Travel time: 70 minutes - Stations: Fujino,
Trail time: 4 hours - Effort: medium-high

Hills that feel like mountains (shame for the collapsed bits)

+ The good

  • Well connected (it's just two stops after Takao)
  • Some nice, steep climbs to stretch your legs
  • As the 駅から山登り guide says, it's a low-altitude hike that feels like a high-altitude one (in particular thanks to some nice mountain vistas)
  • There are a few modern art installation along the way. They range from uninteresting ("random box of rust") to inexplicable ("pair of eyes at the top of a hill") but make for a fun distraction

~ The bad

  • By the look of it, the itinerary is a bubble-era effort to bring tourists in, with concrete-footed iron rails holding the most exposed bits. However, time has taken its toll and many are crumbling and distorted (but not dangerous)
  • As it's often the case in the Sagami area, as soon as you reach the mountains, the woods become too thick to have any real view
  • Before reaching Kongo-san itself, you are given the option of going to the right and reaching another peak. However, the trail becomes quite narrow, a knife edge between two deep falls, and might not be comfortable for everyone

- The ugly

  • The last fourth of the trail has fallen into the river, making it impossible to follow the guide to the end
  • At that point, the only solution is to take a pedestrian bridge across the river... and follow another semi-collapsed trail
  • The sides aren't that steep to be truly dangerous, and you find multiple ropes and chains to help you out, but the climb could be very unpleasant in wet-mud conditions
  • The detour puts you on a large road, where you must walk for about 30 minutes without a real shoulder to distance you from cars