Have you ever heard of Minoh City? It’s located in the northern part of Osaka Prefecture and is surrounded by an abundance of nature.
Today, I’ll introduce Minoh Park, which is recognized as one of the top “100 Spots For Forest Bathing,” used in the figurative sense. You can enjoy the famous waterfall, the temples, the food, and hot springs. Let’s explore the walking trail by the Minoh River all the way to Minoh Falls.
Step onto the Waterfall Trail (滝道 Map 1)
Right in front of Hankyu Minoh station, you can find the entrance of the trail. There are a lot of souvenir shops along an easy slope. Also, there are many stalls where you can enjoy dishes served with ingredients found in the mountains.
Local Delicacy Momiji Tempura (Map 2)
I’ll show you a surprising thing, which are deep-fried maple leaves. Minoh is famous for its autumn foliage, and the locals decided to make tempura by using the momiji maple leaves.
They are preserved with salt for a year in order to be edible and covered in a batter that consists of sugar and flour, and then they are fried. They are something like a Japanese fried dough cookie or karinto. Why not have a crisp and sweet snack while walking the path?
River Bed Restaurant: Kawayuka (川床 Map 3)
A great idea would be to have a meal that can only be experienced by a mountain stream. The long-established restaurants are situated on a riverbed and are open from April through October. You might as well enjoy some seasonal dishes, a cool breeze, and the sound of the running river.
Insect Museum (箕面公園昆虫館 Map 4)
The Minoh Park Museum of Insects is located within a forest. The area is known as one of the “three houses of insects,” along with Takao in Tokyo and Kibune in Kyoto.
They exhibit many species of insects collected from not only Minoh but also all around the country. Furthermore, they have a Butterfly Park, which is a greenhouse where you can watch butterflies flying around in their natural state.
Ryuanji Temple (瀧安寺 Map 5)
In 650, a monk in training by the name of Enno Gyoja started ritual devotions under the Minoh Falls and established the area as a religious training ground. He built the Minoh temple, which is the present-day Ryuanji temple, in 658 and devoted it to Benzaiten (弁財天) as the main idol. It’s said that the oldest image of Benzaiten is here in Japan.
This temple is also famous for Minoh Tomi (箕面富), which is the origin of the Japanese lottery system. It has a history of 400 years and became an annual event that is held on October 10th every year. Only three winners can receive a special good luck charm during this time.
Minoh Falls (箕面の滝 Map 6)
After a 40-minute walk, you will arrive at Minoh Falls. It’s one of Japan’s “100 Greatest Waterfalls” and measures 33 meters in height.
The water flowing from the top of the cliff looks impressive, so you can’t help but admire the view. Minoh Falls has a different feel in each of the four seasons. You can see the fresh maple leaves during spring and summer. However, the best season is definitely autumn. The contrast between the red maple leaves and the sparkling water is amazing. The waterfalls are lightly powdered with snow in winter. The snowscape gives you a real taste of coldness as well.
From here, you will find yourself returning to the entrance. However, before leaving, getting sidetracked a bit is a good way to find a hidden gem. You will drop by another photogenic place.
I’ll show you some beautiful scenery along the trail.
Shotengu Saikoji Temple (聖天宮西江寺 Map 7)
This temple was also established by Enno Gyoja in 658 and is dedicated to a different idol known as Kangiten (歓喜天) and Daikokuten (大黒天). The temple holds the insects’ memorial service, which is a prayer for all living things after passing.
If you would like to wish for a good partner, you should consider buying a lucky charm in the shape of a traditional love letter called Kesofumi (懸想文). It will make a good match for you.
When the autumn leaves finish, the camellia start blooming till next May. The cherry blossom will give an additional charm in spring as well.
Now, that short trip to Minoh Park has come to an end. If you still have a bit of time, you ought to go up to the observatory. The great view is in store for you.
Well, this concludes our tour. I hope you enjoyed your time. Thank you very much.
About 200 wild monkeys lived in Mt. Minoh in those days. The monkeys became familiar with human beings and from being fed. They were a symbol of the area and were cherished.
However, some troubles happened, and peaceful coexistence came to an end.
Minoh City moved monkeys to the top of the mountain and took them under protection. So, they’ve seldom been seen around the base of the mountain.
〜Minoh City’s Mascot Characters
I’ll introduce you to the two cool characters of Minoh City here.
First is Takinomichi Yuzuru (滝ノ道ゆずる), who appeals to Minoh’s local specialty, “Yuzu” citrus. He has the head of a citrus fruit and is polite because he makes way for other travelers to pass.
Second is Momijiinu (モミジーヌ), who sends information on the Minoh City website. She is very helpful to citizens.
Please visit the link below and check out their wonderful work.
＊All images used with permission of Minoh City and Minoh Chamber of Commerce and Industry
How did you like this article? I hope you are interested in Minoh Park. Minoh City is easy access from the center of Osaka, so why not take a trip to Minoh as a good getaway? You should go there and watch the waterfalls at least once. It’s so refreshing!
Brand Ambassador of kyoto Denim company, Kimono dresser, Japanese flower arrangement instructor I was born and raised in Osaka, I know this area like my backyard. I’d like to introduce Japanese culture and good points to someone from overseas. That’why I study English every day. Please feel free to ask me if you need anything.