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Hike & Swap! The Mountain Beckons
The “HIKE & SWAP” event was held on Saturday, April 24, 2021 on Mt. Rokko. Many people enjoyed the market, took a tour of various properties on the mountain and visited ROKKONOMAD and so much more! Here is a report about the wonderful event.
The weather was beautiful! Due to the declaration of a state of emergency, the event had to be held only on Saturday instead of both Saturday and Sunday, but we were all greeted by the perfect weather that blew away our sad mood.
This year’s HIKE & SWAP consisted of; (1) a market on the mountain, (2) opening the base facilities on the mountain such as ROKKONOMAD and Re-Nest A HOLIDAY HOME, and (3) a tour of real estate properties on the mountain.
Enjoying Natural Communication at the “Market on the Mountain”
The market was held on the lawn of 653cafe, which is located right by where one exits the Rokko Cable Sanjo Station. The market featured curry, coffee, sandwiches, baked goods, bookstores, bicycle stores, hat shops, and so much more.
In addition to wearing masks, the participants enjoyed interacting with each other in a refreshing outdoor environment while taking thorough measures to prevent infectious diseases, such as keeping a certain distance between booths and keeping the flow of traffic to one direction.
It was like a public space born for a moment in Mt. Rokko, and everyone was relaxed and enjoying natural communication. It was as if they were loving other values such as enjoying conversation and having time to relax, rather than just there to buy things.
I want to expose my children to the fresh air and get them moving. I’m sure the parents of the families with children who came to the park had such feelings.
The children immediately started playing on the makeshift swings that we had made by attaching ropes between the trees, and they immediately had innocent smiles on their faces. Of course, you need to take precautions against infectious diseases on the mountain as well, but compared to the city, it is less crowded and has the advantage of being in the open air.
Enjoy a tour of the facilities and gibier at ROKKONOMAD
At the same time, ROKKONOMAD, about a 12-minute walk from 653 cafe, was hosting a bonfire dinner by “traveling chef” Nao Mikami. ROKKONOMAD, which is usually only open to members, was opened to the public. Visitors were able to tour the facility and taste the gibier and paella cooked in an outdoor kitchen. The venison was provided by Mr. Tetsuya Nitta, a wild deer meat processor in Tanba Sasayama City, and the vegetables were from Kobe. The vegetables were all locally grown ingredients. The firewood used for the bonfire was also from the Rokko Mountains.
Nao’s process is to first go into an area, research the food, talk with the producers, and then create the menu. This time, she stayed for 10 days through ROKKONOMAD’s “work-in-residence” program. During that time, she did a lot of research, including visits to producers. This is a great way to use ROKKONOMAD as a working base.
And this was the day of the unveiling. She gave a workshop about food and community to the people who came, and everyone enjoyed eating the final dishes together.
With the onset of spring, the area around the building is in full bloom with fresh greenery. We enjoyed pleasant breezes and cool temperatures just before Golden Week.
Tour of interesting properties on Mt. Rokko
We also had a property tour on top of Mt. Rokko started from ROKKONOMAD, and the participants often said “Wow” during the tour. We visited a total of six properties, including those listed on the ROKKONOMAD website as well as a few not listed on the website.
In addition to ROKKONOMAD, they also opened the “Re-Nest A HOLIDAY HOME”, a rental villa type accommodation facility for people to tour. “I had no idea that such a place existed. I’d like to think about specific opportunities to use it.” The participants expressed their fresh surprise.
(For more information on “Re-Nest A HOLIDAY HOME,” please refer to this column.
I’ll see you on the mountain
The event started at 11:00 a.m. and ended at 4:00 p.m. It was a very short time, but everyone was able to enjoy an unusual and relaxing time. If I had to describe the common impression of the visitors and the vendors, I would say it was the feeling of discovery of “I didn’t know there was such a place!”
A farmer who opened a stall at the market said, “I usually come to Sannomiya with my produce from Kita-ku, but it was nice to know that there is such a nice place in between, right in the middle of the city really.” He said. “The city and the farming village are in close proximity, and in between there is the forest of Mt Rokko. It was a day that made me feel anew that I would like to develop more pleasant ways to spend and use this place.”
We will not be holding any events for a while, but ROKKONOMAD is holding an open day in May.
Why not go up to the top of the mountain and turn on something a little different?
(Column Writer: Youhei Yasuda Photo: Iku Fujita and Kyoko Kataoka)