An “Easy” First Hike up to Nunobikino Waterfalls in Kobe

I have never really hiked up a hill or mountain. Before, the thought of hiking up a mountain would never have crossed my mind. The only way you would have gotten me up a mountain would be to tell me of the delicious meals that I can expect at the top of the mountain. I would be the first in line to climb up then, although I can guarantee you that I would end up last to get to the top.

I remember that trip to Japan as one that was free and easy during my dark, dark days of working horrible hours. I could not even spare time to plan the trip, I left it to my friend to do it instead.

Looking up Nunobikino Waterfalls in Kobe, I realised that the waterfalls are on Mt Rokko but she assured me that it was supposedly just around the corner from the train station in Kobe and should not take that long to reach the waterfall.

waterfall

Through a tunnel to get to the path

The fact is that, the entrance leading to the waterfall was indeed around the corner from the train station. What she failed to realise was that the waterfall was actually a series of waterfalls, the higher we climbed.

Yes, that is right. Climbed.

What was supposed to be an easy walk to the waterfall turned into a 3 hour hike up the mountain. Not only that, we were also the least prepared for a hike up a mountain. I was wearing winter, furry boots and my friend was wearing ballet flats.

Not to mention. ALL…THOSE… STAIRS….

Our muscles were aching, we were sweating like crazy and we (or mostly, I) were huffing and puffing our way up all those stairs.

As if we were not going through enough torment, we kept bumping into curious elders, casually walking past us briskly up or down all those stairs while we were struggling to get to the top.

They all greeted us happily and briskly overtook us.

Right. We tried not to take note how fast they overtook us.

So we climbed, we cursed, we laughed at ourselves struggling up those stairs, and we kept at each other till we continued.

After the long climb, we finally reached a wide and peaceful reservoir.

reservoir

Peaceful reservoir at the top (or so we thought)..

Exhausted, we collapsed to rest and catch our breath, euphoric that we finally made it to the top.

Really? Did you think it was that easy?

Nope. Scratch the thought away.

We were not even at the top of the mountain.

It turned out that the water was a dam and we would have to climb beyond this reservoir of water to climb to the peak of the mountain. And the waterfalls? Apparently, we had already passed Nunobikino Waterfalls earlier but we had just continued climbing up instead.

We started way at the bottom, marked in red.

We started way at the bottom, marked in red.

So, do we laugh or do we cry?

We just looked at each other dumbfounded. All those effort and pain and we could not even claim all that glory of reaching the peak. Silently and unanimously, we made our way down. We were definitely not stupid enough to continue.

For all the effort we used, we paid for it the next day with our sore muscles. My soles were so sensitive that it was painful to stand in the beginning. Needless to say, travelling for the next few days required some creative thinking, especially having to negotiate all the stairs in subways.

Since then, we have learnt our lesson and avoided any mention of stairs and mountains in the same sentence, ever again.

Till today, my friend refuses to hike up any mountain if stairs are involved.

For myself, this was a memorable “easy” first hike indeed, even if it was accidentally undertaken.

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33 thoughts on “An “Easy” First Hike up to Nunobikino Waterfalls in Kobe

  1. It’s beautiful though. You get bragging rights. I can’t IMAGINE doing it in ballet flats though. Holy moly. Your friend must have been crippled. At least you had boots on. Ah, the joys of maps. I certainly know about THAT, lol.

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    • Haha…yes, I get to brag that I hiked for 3 hrs only to see a waterfall…hahaha…but yes, my boots were not much better off too cos there was not much padding…but yes, it was beautiful when it ended for me…hehehe…:)

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  2. Ha, what a hilarious story. I can’t imagine doing that hike in ballet flats or your boots! It’s funny that you mentioned that elderly people were overtaking you. I had a similar experience when I was climbing Monserrate in Bogota. I was struggling to catch my breath the whole time while older men were jogging past me!

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    • Lol, totally get you with the elderly. It just felt funny how we were all really struggling but all these elderly people just cheerfully greet us and whizzed past us, never to be seen again. And yes, I shall be more prepared on my next hike…:)

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  3. hahahaha I hate those groups of retirees that just climb up like it’s nothing while you gap for life and air! That happened to my friend and I in Cusco and we felt so worthless!

    Also, the view in the picture is so beautiful!! I would count that as a victory for sure!

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  4. I don’t understand what’s with older people when climbing a mountain or a hill. They seem to climb up pretty fast and I’m the one having a heart attack on the way. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? 😀

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  5. I lived in Hokkaido for 2,5 years, when I was a student. Your post reminded me how much I used to climb back then. Many beautiful mountains around Sapporo. Thanks, Sha! Your story brought me many wonderful memories. 🙂

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    • Hahaha…I can tell you I was definitely not in the mood for that when it happened…more like glaring at such people while I’m being silently killed by stairs…haha…😄

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  6. Gosh..your story reminds me of climbing a rocky hill that looks like inclining for 90 degree for a view – and that was without any stairs – I was practically crawling on my way up 😀 I might be do the same if I were in your situation..Love your funny post Sha 🙂 it makes me smile and the photos are stunning!

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  7. Well, you muscles may have ached and you may hate stairs but it did make for one great hiking adventure. I love the picture of the reservoir!

    My husband and I did an 8 hour hike (it took us 10 hours because we stopped and took sooo many pictures) but a part of it was climbing over unstable rocks in the side of a mountain. I was literally on my hands and knees at one point and then there was a place that went vertically up. I considered turning around but to climb down over the rocks would have been more dangerous than continuing on. We accomplished it and I couldn’t have been prouder.

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    • Wow! 10 hours!! That’s amazing!! 😉 but I do agree that it’s coming down that is sometimes more worrisome than going up. But it is definitely a proud moment to have…😄

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