Minoo Park – 箕面公園
Minoo Park is one of the most appreciated places to enjoy the colorful spectacle of the autumn foliage.
Ōsaka Prefecture is the second smallest subdivision of Japan, after Kagawa.
Even so, in this narrow part of the country, the bustling Ōsaka can still leave space for mountains and a rich nature.
What’s special about Minoo Park?
Minoo Park is located in the omonimous city, a few kilometers north from Ōsaka. From Minoo Station you can reach, by a pleasant 3 km walk, the Minoo Waterfall, 33 meter-high. Along the way, besides enjoying the scenery and the nature, you can see even some temples and shrines.
The most worthful period to visit this park is autumn, when myriads of leaves turn into warm colours, giving your eyes an unforgettable spectacle. Along with the cherry blossom period in spring, the autumn leaves is one of the favourite seasonal events.
During your walk you will also happen to see a little bug museum, quite visited by families with children. Actually ,in Japan, children go really crazy for insects and bugs, especially beetles and butterflies. About butterflies, there is a big cage inside, with many butterflies flying around.
Close to the bug museum, there is a quite interesting temple, called Ryōan-ji. It is said that this temple is the original place of the “Tomikuji”, a kind of traditional lottery coming from the Edo period. People bought a ticket with a number printed on it and, if your number was extracted, you won “happiness and good fortune”.
To conclude our introduction, there is a quite unique product in this park, that is the maple leaf tenpura. Yes, it’s exactly what you think: a red maple leaf is lightly fried in the typical Japanese way. It has a very delicate fragrance, and we suggest you to try it just fried, still warm. Actually it is not unique to Minoo Park, you can find the fried maple leaf also in Takao (Kyōto).
How to reach Minoo Park
To learn how to reach Minoo Park, click here!
We had many opportunities to visit Minoo Park, we saw it in every season. The first time we came to Minoo Park it was autumn, so we could experience the most beautiful side of it. The coloured maple trees had great contrasts, with red, green and yellow textures. The suggested period to enjoy the park is November, especially the second half og the month.
Right outside Minoo Station you can find a cute and cozy street, with many souvenir shops, little ryokans and restaurants. By walking on your way inside the street, at a certain point you will spot an imposing building with a panoramic elevator, with a nice view on Ōsaka: this is Minoo Hotel.
If you Keep walking in the park, buildings will slowly disappear, while being replaced by the woods. After some more minutes by foot, you will find Ryōan-ji Temple. This building dates back to the Heian period, so more than 1000 years ago. Inside the main hall there is a very elaborated wood statue of Buddha, designed as national treasure.
On your way you can spot some Japanese monkeys: these cute primates are actually considered the northernmost monkeys in the world! We also remind you not to feed them and not to show them food or something else that would make them be too interested in your bag or clothes.
Nearly at the end of the walk you will find yourself in front of Minoo fall, a 33 meters high waterfall.
Surrounded by trees, you will feel relaxed and at peace. In addiction, in the little pond created by the flowing of the water, you may be able to see herons and other birds, relaxing in this magic environment.
Close to the waterfall, the main percourse will split in many different paths leading to some hiking trails needing more preparation. An easy one is the one reaching a panoramic terrace, from which you can enjoy the view on Ōsaka, Kōbe and the Ōsaka Bay. Another one, quite longer, connects Minoo Park with the Katsuō-ji Temple. This is about 10 km long.
Minoo Park is located close to Ōsak, it is a nice destination even just to spend half a day away from the city. You can find also wooden tables and a picnic area in the park.
Minoo Park is a great idea to spend an autumn day sorrounded by nature.