Will I find it!?Searching for the phantom fall ~River trekking & hot spring in Urarokko~

  • Work out
  • Tried
  • Hot spot for athletes
  • With the family
  • With the kids
  • Nature
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Kobe City (Hyogo Pref.)
Will I find it!?Searching for the phantom fall
~River trekking & hot spring in Urarokko~

This article is based on the coverage conducted in July 2021 when a state of emergency was not declared in Hyogo Prefecture. In principle, the coverage was conducted taking counter measures against Covid-19 (to wear a mask, etc.) recommended at that time.

Arima Onsen (hot spring) is like an annex to Kansai.
Seen from Kobe, this Onsen is located on the other side of Mt. Rokko and it is famous as one the oldest Onsen in Japan.

One morning in July.
I took Kobe Electric Railway and got off at “Arima guchi”, one station before “Arima Onsen” station.
I didn’t come here for Onsen today but for river trekking, I mean, gill scrambling!
It’s something even kids can enjoy as long as they have equipment and experience, but I’m trying it for the first time.
I’ll play it safe and applied for a tour produced by “canyorise”, which specializes in producing activities in mountains.

Our meeting point is “Arima guchi” station.
It’s sunny. It is said the highest temperature will be 30 degrees Celsius. Best condition for river trekking!
We walked from the station for about 15 minutes and arrived at the point that is half way up Okuyamagawa River. This is the starting point.
The water is clearer than I expected and seems refreshing. I slowly put my foot in. It felt cold at first but soon I got used to it.
It’s nicely cold and refreshing.
I heard that the rivers in Rokko take water from the rain, not melting snow, and so it’s nicely cold.
At first, I had a lecture from the guide Mr. Susami, and then we started walking towards the upstream.
I walked up the river, the sunshine comes through green leaves of the forest.
How refreshing!
People around me were enjoying doing things suited to their skill, like trekking and playing in the river. Some of them were fully equipped and it was obvious that they were a group of mountain climbers, and some were families with small children.
This Okuyamagawa River has relatively clear water in Mt. Rokko, and the view changes as you walk, so it is a popular spot for river trekking, apparently.

To keep away from danger, I could have walked knee-deep shallow end avoiding deep end and fast-flowing spot, but Mr. Susami purposely guided me to the deep end and pulled me with the rope so that I could have fun.
It was so much fun!
I, grown-up was so hyper and delighted like a child. I requested to pull the rope again and again just like kids would do.
It is an activity of grown-up + nature, I would say.
On the other hand, the guide does not forget to alert.
“It’s only about 5 cm deep here, however, you could be swept from your feet in this complicated flow. You’ll see why we are swept from our feet even in low waves.”
I stepped in the point to find the flow was surprisingly powerful.
I have to be very careful, otherwise, I could be swept off.
I kept the nature’s terror in my mind.



I was getting a bit hungry and it was what I’d been waiting for! Lunch time!
All tours produced by “canyorise” come with delicious lunch for eating outdoors. Mr. Susami used to be a chef.
We had pasta and sandwiches on this day. I warmed myself up eating mouthful of food.
Eating authentic pasta in nature. It was such a luxurious moment and I could hardly think of something better than this.
After we warmed ourselves up taking some break, we went further towards the upstream.
I was just walking in the river.
But it didn’t bore me.
The beautiful view, river water stroking my legs, coldness of water, feeling of rocks, rustling leaves.
Everything is stimulating. It naturally makes me smile.
In the meanwhile, we arrived at today’s destination!

A beautiful two tiered waterfall in front of me!
Contrary to my expectations, it looks like an ordinary fall. Is this the phantom fall? “Actually, there’s more above.”
It only looks like two tiered but as I climbed up the first one, I could see the third one!


As I climbed up, another fall appeared!

Apparently, this is why it is referred as a phantom fall.
After I fully enjoyed the mystical phantom fall, we go back to the point we started. Though it took us three hours on the way, it took thirty minutes on the way back since we used walkway.

We arrived at the point we met each other in the morning, then dismissed.
Thank you very much! It was a wonderful day!

...well, we cannot end like that.
There is Arima Onsen (hot spring) nearby. I don’t want to miss it.
Mr. Susami drives you to Arima Onsen if you want. Then we dismiss for the second time in this hot spring town.
From now on, it’s free time which isn’t included in the activity plan.


Arima Onsen has two different types of springs, “Gold Spring” and “Silver Spring”.
I warmed up in the smooth Silver Spring this time but if you wish to quickly warm up inside your body, the Gold Spring is recommended.
In Arima Onsen, drinking Arima Beer or Arima Soda after a bath is the classic thing to do.
Warmed up and sweaty, I poured cold drink down my throat. Super!
After a bath, I enjoyed eating snacks as I strolled around the hot spring town. Such a fulfilling day.
If you are coming from far, it would be nice to stay in Arima Onsen overnight, and then go hiking in Mt. Rokko and sightseeing in city centre of Kobe the following day.

I’m grateful that I had fun all day and also had a nice meal. I’d love to go again soon.