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“The Absolute Mayachari Guide” This summer, have a smooth and fulfilling experience in the bountiful nature atop Mts. Maya and Rokko with the Mayachari (electric-assisted bike)

The word “Mayachari” was coined from Mt. Maya and “charinko”, a Japanese term for bikes. There are many explanations for why the term “charinko” came about, including the sound for a bike’s bell in Japanese being “charin charin” and the Korean word for bicycle being “chajongo.” The word is often abbreviated to simply “chari.” By the way, the city bike that you can see many Japanese mothers ride with a basket in the front is often called a “mamachari.” The Mayachari plays off of this term for a bit of light humor. Why not have a satisfying experience exploring the nature of Mt. Maya and Mt. Rokko with the smooth riding Mayachari.

Feel at one with the sky at the Mt. Maya Kikuseidai (observation platform). The view of the surrounding Kobe and Osaka areas from here is absolutely stunning. But the allure of Kikuseidai doesn’t stop there. At Kikuseidai, you can avoid fatigue from the expansive Mt. Maya and Mt. Rokko areas by enjoying an easy, leisurely stroll.

That would be courtesy of the Mt. Maya rental bike, the Mayachari! The Mayachari is a powerful electric-assisted bike. The cute, colorful design is enough to get you super excited for the adventure to come.

Here, we will present one of the most popular routes, Mt. Maya Kikuseidai (Maya Ropeway Hoshi no Eki Station) to Rokkosan Pasture.

(Kikuseidai (Observatory) ~ Tenjoji (Temple) ~ Hodakako (Lake Hodaka) ~ Suginamiki (Cedar trees) ~ Rokkosan Pasture)

Mt. Maya Cycling Map (Easily obtainable at places like MAYA VIEW TERRACE 702)
(Kikuseidai (Observatory) ~ Tenjoji (Temple) ~ Hodakako (Lake Hodaka) ~ Suginamiki (Cedar trees) ~ Rokkosan Pasture)

Enter monte702 from MAYA VIEW TERRACE 702 (direct from Maya Ropeway Hoshi no Eki Sta.) 2F, rent a Mayachari, and be off on your excursion!

(*The rental procedure is explained in detail at the end of the article)

It’s 0.7km from Kikuseidai to Mayasan Tenjoji.

Once you depart from the mountain path, you’ll find a downward slope.

After a brief 3-minute ride forward, a building with a prominent white wall and kawara tiled roof will be on your right side. This is the entrance of Tenjoji (Nishisanmon).

By climbing up the long stone steps, it’ll take about 5 mins. to reach Tenjoji.

Clear, blue skies, a white, dry traditional Japanese landscape garden (Maya Tenku no Niwa), verdant green trees, and the solemn standing Tenjoji Kondo (main building). There exists an indescribable beauty and deep emotion.

The principal deity of worship here is the hidden Buddha who wards off evil and encourages good fortune. Also, the Mayabuninzon (mother of the Buddha) is known as a protective deity for safe childbirth, conception, and child rearing. Additionally, many varieties of charms and amulets are found at the Kinrindo to the right when you are facing the Kondo (main temple). The pictured one is a cucumber charm for warding off sickness.

Leaving Tenjoji and moving towards the next checkpoint, Hodakako. As this is a road that cars travel on, be sure to take care as you progress along.

After going along for about 5 mins. from Tenjoji and passing several curves, you will arrive at the entrance of Hodakako.

Park your bike at the entrance and walk a little to find narrow stairs to your right. Climb down and make your way to the end of the nature path.

After walking for about 3 mins., discover Hodakako sprawled out in a calm, mystic stillness.

This long pier is a striking feature of Hodakako. The reflection of the forest and sky over the still surface of the water lends a certain calming tranquility.

Enjoy a brief respite surrounded by the cool forest and lake.

After feeling fully rejuvenated from your time at Hodakako, get back on your Mayachari, ride down the slope lined with magnificent cedar trees. The luscious green conifer forest will provide you with a pleasant, refreshing feeling.

Following the bike ride through the cedar trees, you will approach an upward slope to Rokkosan Pasture. Normally, it can be a bit tiring, but the Mayachari is electric-assisted. You’ll be zooming through as if it were a flat road.

After proceeding along the slope for about 10 mins., you’ll come across beautiful pasture scenery.

Then you’ll come to hear the gentle baaing of the sheep.

You’ve made it to Rokkosan Pasture. The basic rental time for the Mayachari is 3 hours. For those with extra time remaining, don’t hesitate to have some fun interacting with the sheep and other animals.

*See an article related to the sheep of Rokko Pasture below↓

https://kobe-rokko.jp/en/events/377/

「Can’t Take My Eyes Off You! ~Feel the warm spring breeze, relax in the great outdoors, and meet cute lambs! ~」

As soon as you return to Kikuseidai, hop off your bike and go to the reception area of monte702 to return the Mayachari. For a break after your mountaintop cycling adventure, why not head to the connected CAFE 702. You’ll definitely feel revitalized in both body and spirit when you enjoy the breathtaking view while digging into their No.1 item, a satisfying chicken curry carefully simmered with a special 10 spice blend.

*See an article on CAFE 702 here↓

https://kobe-rokko.jp/en/events/242/

「CAFE 702! (Part1) It’s a completely hot and new winter experience in Kobe!」

<Renting your Mayachari>

When you roll up to Maya Ropeway’s Hoshi no Eki Sta. and exit the ticket gate, there will be a staircase to MAYA VIEW TERRACE 702 located right next to you. The reception area for the Mayachari rental is in CAFE 702 (monte702) inside MAYA VIEW TERRACE.

The staff will inform you about a few important points regarding the rental. At this time, you’ll also fill out a simple form. This process takes only a few minutes!

After that, proceed to the first floor and choose your bike. Before you set off, the staff will carefully explain to you how to use the electric-assisted bike and help you properly adjust the seat.

See here to easily complete the rental reservation beforehand↓

https://coubic.com/mayasan/552084(Japanese)

<ACCESS>

To get to Kikuseidai from Sannomiya, taking Kobe bus route #18 is a surefire choice. The bus stop “Subway Sannomiya Sta.” (Chikatetsu Sannomiya Eki-mae) is just next to the all-line-access Sannomiya Sta. (*The bus stop is located under the railway overpass at the south side of the station that is on the left side facing north following along Flower Road). Other than Sannomiya, it’s also convenient to use the Saka Bus that departs from JR Nada Sta. Mae. For details, check out the “To Maya Cable car” column at the following:

https://kobe-rokko.jp/en/access/

*From 7/1~11/30, the “Rokko-Maya Express Bus” which directly connects “Maya Cable Shita” from Sannomiya and Shin-Kobe will also be running. You can check out the timetable at the following link:

https://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/a71810/kurashi/access/kotsukyoku/english/rokko_english.html

You’ll arrive at Maya Cable Sta. in 24 minutes.

From here, take the cable car and ropeway at the Maya Viewline to make it to the summit. The round-trip ticket (¥1,560) is more budget friendly than buying separate one-way tickets (¥1,800). Once you’ve reached Niji no Eki Sta. from the cable car, transfer to the ropeway to get to the mountaintop.

There are both red and green cable cars. They depart at intervals of 20 minutes and the ride takes about 5 minutes.

While ascending through the greenery, an exquisite view of the Kobe cityscape and harbor will come into sight.

After the cable car lands at the station, transfer to the Maya Ropeway. It takes about 2-3 mins. until Niji no Eki Sta. The hydrangeas were in full bloom this day. There’s a large thermometer at the Maya ropeway – the temperature at Niji no Eki Sta. was about 22℃ (71.6℉). Very cool in comparison to the 26℃ (78.8℉) at Maya Cable Sta. (departure point).

The ropeway is similar to the cable car in that it has both red and green cars. The red car is “Orihime” and the green is “Hikoboshi.” When the two cars pass each other, it might remind one of the Japanese Star Festival “Tanabata” from the folk legend in which the two lovers are separated by the Milky Way and only meet once a year during the festival (on July 7th).

Arriving at Hoshi no Eki Sta.

There’s a thermometer at Hoshiki no Eki Sta. (Top of Mt. Maya). This time (around 11 o’clock in the morning), it measured at about 20℃ (68℉). A rather comfortable temperature.

The view that you are treated to when arriving at Kikuseidai is an absolute marvel. A panorama worth goggling at.

monte702 is on the 2nd floor of Hoshi no Eki Sta.

 

Mayachari Details

・Return/rental site:monte702(Maya Ropeway Hoshi no Eki Sta. 2nd floor)

・Mayachari Usage Area:Mt. Maya Kikuseidai~Rokkosan Pasture

・Rental time frame: Weekdays 11:00~16:00(Closed on Tuesdays)Friday, Weekends, Holidays 11:00~18:00

・Price:3 hr. ¥1,000; ¥100 for each additional hour(¥1,000 deposit; Returned upon return of the rental bike)

・Reservations:https://coubic.com/mayasan/552084(Japanese)

・Contact : 078-882-3580