Taki mountain range (a mountain range extending from Kyoto Prefecture to Sasayama City and Tanba Cit (多紀連山)
Taki mountain range is the generic name for the mountains extending from Kyoto Prefecture to Sasayama City and Tanba City in the shape of high quay wall, which are 500 meters to 700 meters high; it is also called the Taki Alps after former Taki County. Three peaks form its main structure: Mt. Mitake (793 meters), the main peak; Mt. Nishigatake (727 meters) and Mt. Koganegatake (725 meters).
Its topography is gentle on the south and steep on the north; and in terms of water systems, it is the central divide between the Yura-gawa Water System which flows into the Sea of Japan, and the Kako-gawa Water System which flows into Seto Inland Sea. Tsuzumi Pass is the drainage divide at the lowest altitude in Taki mountain range.
Taki mountain range prospered as the practice place of the mountaineering asceticism from the end of Heian period to the Medieval period, but in 1482, all the temples there were burned to ashes in the attack by armed priests from Mt. Omine (Yamato Shugendo [the ascetic and shamanistic practice in Mt. Omine]). Today ruins of Mitake-ji Temple and Fukusen-ji Temple, a drinking fountain and so on still can be seen there. Place names related to ascetic practice still remain: 'Higashi no Nozoki' (peek to the east), 'Fudoiwa rock' (literally, unmovable rock), 'Nishi no Nozoki' (peek to the west), 'Aizenkutsu cave' (literally, cave of Aizen Myoo [one of the important deities in Japanese mountaineering asceticism]) and so on.
Today Taki mountain range has been designated as a prefectural natural park; it abounds in wild grasses and flowers, alpine plants, birds and animals and so on, and the trails have been developed. In spring, the mountains put on fresh green colors and are variegated with Rhododendron keiskei, Rhododendron metternichii and so on; in autumn, all the copses in the mountains change color, and under certain conditions, a sea of clouds emerges in the morning. The tops of the mountains provide a distant view of Mt. Rokko in Kobe and Awaji-shima Island.
Mt. Mitake (793 meters)
It is the main peak of the mountain range and was formerly called Mt. Ranbagamine. There are two peaks at the top, on the east and the west; the western peak, the highest, has a triangulation point, and the eastern peak has a rock chamber. Beneath the southern part of the mountain, there are the ruins of Mitake-ji Temple, a large Buddhist temple of Shinkonho-ji Temple; the head temple of training seminaries for mountaineering asceticism. The mountain provides a 360-degree view. The event for the start of the mountain-climbing season is held in every May.
Mt. Nishigatake (727 meters)
The shape of the mountain is magnificent; it has many ridges on the south side, and on the north side, the precipice stretches from the summit and countless rocky areas are interspersed. Beautiful flowers of Rhododendron metternichii are seen in the rocky areas.
Mt. Koganegatake (725 meters)
Out of the three mountains, it has the most Alps-like appearance and the figure is impressive for the exposed rocks of unusual shape. The rocks are silica stones. It has a broad visual field and a great view, but also has many steep horseback-like paths as well as spots with a chain handrail which are dangerous to go. It is sometimes called Mt. Zaogatake because it used to have Zao-do Hall; it is a mountain of training seminaries for mountaineering asceticism.