Minoo Park – also spelled Mino or Minoh – is a forest valley on the outskirts of Osaka, further north of urban sprawl.
The photos shown here was taken during summer, but during the fall the park is one of the best places in the Kansai region to see the colors of this season in a natural setting. Colors usually peak in the second half of November.
Minoo Park is the closest place to Osaka’s bustling metropolis to find a recreation area with natural space. It received quasi-national park status in 1967 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Meiji period (1867-1912).
The main hiking trail is about 3 km and passes through a valley along the Minoo River.
The trail starts near Hankyu’s Minoo Station ( tap here to see the location of the station) and leads to Minoo Waterfall.
The trail from the station to the waterfall has no steep slopes, is paved and the walk takes around 45 minutes. On the first half of the trail you will pass several shops, temples and other facilities, while the latter is a bit steeper and surrounded by trees.
Among the temples along the hiking trail, Ryuan-ji is the most impressive. Located roughly midway between the train station and the waterfall, it is part of the Shugendo Mountain veneration religious sect and has several interesting buildings.
With a height of 33 meters, the waterfall is the main attraction of the park.
However, if you want to walk less and get, say, a little faster in the waterfall area, there is another parking area ( tap here to open the map) from which you can walk approximately 20 minutes. This was the one chosen by the team.
During Golden Week, Obon, and fall holidays the area gets very busy and there may be no parking spaces.
In high season the parking fee is 1,000 yen (August 2019).
The road leading to the waterfall is paved but steep.
Also pay attention to monkeys that move freely around the place and do not feed them.
There are several signs like this scattered around:
Walking the paved trail is very nice and fresh, especially on hot days. Go with comfortable shoes and don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture beautiful pictures!
This is the view you get as you approach the waterfall. From this place you can see how beautiful it is.
If you want to get closer to the waterfall there are several stools to accommodate you and feel the good energy of the place. On hot days it is a delight as water splashes touch your face and body.
Although the waterfall area is open 24 hours, on-site shops close around 5pm.
Who knew that the bustling city of Osaka would have a place like that hidden in the mountains? It is very worth knowing!
Minoh Waterfall (箕 面 大 滝 Mino Otaki)
- Website for information: http://www.mino-park.jp/
- Admission is free