Hiking Distance: 12.5km
Time: 7-9 hours
Elevation gain: 930m
Huts & Campgrounds
Hyonosen is 1,510m tall and the highest mountain in Hyogo prefecture. It's great for hiking year round but is especially beautiful during the autumn period and features a nice mountain hut that hikers can sleep in for free, as well as some lovely campgrounds around the area. There are a few hiking trails, but we will focus on the one that can be most easily accessed with public transport from Kyoto or Osaka. The hike is quite out of the way for most visitors of Japan, so you won't find large crowds or foreigners here.
Car, or Train & Bus
The bus to the trailhead departs from Yoka Station approximately once every hour and takes around 40-50 minutes to arrive at Hyonosen-Hachibuseguchi bus stop (氷ノ山鉢伏口).
Trail head: Google Maps link
Kyoto: Yoka station is 2 hours from Kyoto and the train costs ¥3800.
Osaka: Yoka station is 2 hours 20 minutes from Osaka and the train costs ¥4900.
The trail head is located behind the toilets of a campground which is labelled as Fukusada Water Park on Google maps, to get there you'll need to walk along the road from the bus stop which should take about 20-25 minutes.
Once you reach Fukusada Water Park, you'll walk through the campground and across a river bed where you'll find the hiking trail, from here the trail is well marked so all you need to do is check the map at each intersection and enjoy the hike.
If you need a more detailed account you can read through a great description by Wes on hikinginjapan.com, you may find it necessary towards the end of the hike as there are a lot of intersections and you have to hike down the ski field.
Weather and Seasons
Autumn is undoubtedly the most visually beautiful time to visit, the autumn colours are at their best around the first two weeks of October, this will vary a little depending on the weather. It's also nice in summer. If you're hiking in spring, be aware that snow can still be there until May.