The Unique Restaurant on Wild Boar Mountain

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Rob Dyer The Real Japan

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A thirty minute hike from Ashiyagawa Station (Hankyu), tucked away on Mount Rokko in Ashiya is the unique Takinochaya restaurant. 

My wife and I were following the hiking trail to the nearby Kōza Falls when we stumbled onto this charming hideaway. It's interior is a time capsule of a period when wild boar were regularly hunted.


Ashiya is in Hyogo Prefecture. Just 10 minutes by train from Kobe, 20 minutes by train from Osaka.
wild boar mountain Takinochaya restaurant Ashiya Rob Dyer The Real Japan

Takinochaya Restaurant - a unique find on 'wild boar mountain'

Takinochaya Restaurant

The log-cabin style eatery, specialising in oden and soba, was a welcome sight as we made our way up the mountain on a cold winter's day.

It staddles the rock face, arching over the path, with the main building overlooking the river flowing from Kōza Falls all the way down to Osaka Bay.

Private Day Trip to the Kobe Mountains

wild boar mountain restaurant Takinochaya ashiya Rob Dyer The Real Japan

Honesty shop outside the restaurant

Outside there is a small honesty shop display selling pot noodles, snacks and souvenirs.

A refrigerated cabinet hosts a selection of beers, soft drinks and teas, and there's a freezer supplying ice creams, and mochi no doubt, in summer.

It being a chilly morning we decided to stop for some oden - a popular winter dish perfect for warming the body on a day like today.

wild boar mountain restaurant Takinochaya ashiya Rob Dyer The Real Japan

The ceiling is covered in hunting ephemera - including animal traps

Inside It Is Incredible

First impressions were that it looks like something out of a horror film.

You know the kind. The ones set in remote rural locations, where the locals like to kill and eat those foolish to stray into their neighbourhood!

Hike and Have Breakfast on Mt. Rokko


VIDEO: Inside The Wild Boar Mountain Restaurant

Thankfully, it only looks like one of those horror movie locations. In reality, the restaurant is run by a friendly elderly couple who, I hasten to add, seem entirely harmless.

wild boar mountain restaurant Takinochaya ashiya Rob Dyer The Real Japan

Seating around the central fire pit

It's actually more like being inside a trapper's mountain cabin.

A raised fire pit in the centre of the dining room is surrounded by seats made from large tree logs, with woven matting cushions.

wild boar mountain restaurant Takinochaya ashiya Rob Dyer The Real Japan

Stuffed head of an innoshishi - wild boar

Wild Boar Ephemera

It is packed to the rafters with ephemera and memorabilia relating especially to the inoshishi (wild boar) that roam this mountain.

This ephemera includes a stuffed inoshishi head on one of the walls. Huge, vicious-looking metal boar traps hang from the ceiling.

It's not uncommon for hunters and mountain people to name their sons after wild boar

Among Japanese hunters, the boar's courage and defiance is a source of admiration. It's not uncommon for hunters and mountain people to name their sons after the animal.

wild boar mountain restaurant Takinochaya ashiya Rob Dyer The Real Japan

Photographs taken in the area of wild boar adorn the walls

Photographs Of Local Wild Boar

Adorning all the walls are photographs of the creatures, in various sizes, from cute baby piglets to rather more imposing adults. Photos that one of the owners confirmed were taken in this area.

Although I have seen wild boar in Ashiya before, unfortunately we were not so lucky today.

wild boar mountain restaurant Takinochaya ashiya Rob Dyer The Real Japan

Wooden carvings of bears on the window ledge

Popular With Hikers

The restaurant is frequented by hikers enroute either up or down the mountain, as well as Ashiya residents. It's the perfect pitstop - whatever the weather or time of year.

The day of our visit was wonderful.

Shafts of dazzling sunshine cutting through the shadows cast by the flora outside. The greenery beginning to recover from the coldest days of the season.

Private Day Trip to the Kobe Mountains, Gardens and Hot Springs from Osaka 

wild boar mountain restaurant Takinochaya ashiya Rob Dyer The Real Japan

Oden - A Japanese One-Pot Dish

During winter the Takinochaya restaurant specialises in oden - a Japanese one-pot dish. Typically including boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in a light, soy-flavoured dashi broth.

Although we already had a table booked in another restaurant for lunch a little later, we couldn't resist the opportunity to sample one of their signature dishes.

RELATED: 15 Must-Try Japanese Foods

wild boar mountain restaurant Takinochaya ashiya Rob Dyer The Real Japan

A Highlight of Our Day

Individual elements of the dish are priced seperately, making it customisable to suit your tastes (just choose the ingredients you want included in the dish) and, at just ¥120 each, very affordable too.

It came served with a decent sized smudge of equally warming Japanese mustard. Like many such places, the green tea is both free and unlimited.

wild boar mountain restaurant Takinochaya ashiya Rob Dyer The Real Japan

Mountain information sign warning of the risk of fires

We didn't know about Takinochaya when we headed out this morning. And yet it became one of the highlights of our day. The place has so much character I had to film it for prosterity (see video below).

I hope you enjoy this rare peek inside Takinochaya - the restaurant hidden in the wild boar mountain.

It's a fine example of The Real Japan.

Hike and Have Breakfast on Mt. Rokko

Rob Dyer The Real Japan


About the Author

A writer and publisher from England, Rob has been exploring Japan’s 6,800 islands since 2000. He specialises in travelling off the beaten track, whether on remote atolls or in the hidden streets of major cities. He’s the founder of TheRealJapan.com.

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Resources

Takinochaya Restaurant
(滝の茶屋)

Address: 1 Yamaashiyacho Ashiya Hyogo
Tel: 0797-34-1683 (+81-797-34-1683)
Open: 8:00 to 17:00
Closed: Irregular
Note: Cash Only - credit cards not accepted

 

Local Tours

Hike and Have Breakfast on Mt. Rokko
Private Day Trip to the Kobe Mountains, Gardens and Hot Springs from Osaka

 

Restaurants In Japan

Restaurants in Japan - ByFood

 

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