Minoh Park

Description: 
Osaka is the third most populous city in Japan. Attracting millions tourists every year, it  is also considered as the most bustling location of the country. However, you will be surely surprised to know that this busy city is holding a piece of pure nature in its arms- Minoh Park. The Park is the first choice if you are standing in some noisy street of Osaka and thinking about having a date with nature- mountains, rivers and trees. 
The Park is a forested valley spreading to Sanroku of Minoh mountain in the north of the urban sprawl and only takes about 30 minutes from Umeda on the Hankyu Takarazuka line to come here. The forest occupies the area of 83.8 ha holding Minoh river and many valuable and rare species of flora and fauna. There are about 980 of plants, over 3000 species of insects and various kinds of wild animals such as wild monkey, arboreus Rhacophorus- a kind of forest green tree frog, Japanese paradise flycatcher- a long-tail black bird or Grey heron-  a long-legged predatory wading bird of the heron family...
 
Some species of Flora and Fauna in Minoh Park
Source: Minoh Park
 
Takimichi Trail
Takimichi trail slopes gently from the Minoh waterfall down to Minoh Station. It was constructed in 1886 with the length of about 3 kilometres. You can spend about 45 minutes to hike from the station, enjoy sights along the trail towards the waterfall. The trail can be divided into 2 parts: the former over some shops, temples while the latter surrounded by trees.
The trail welcomes you by souvenir shops and restaurants at the entrance. The first bridge you will meet is Ichinohashi with a wooden restaurant with a small craft gallery called Hashimoto-Tei. It is a kind of Japanese inn standing here during the period of Meiji since 1910. You can linger on to take for yourself a cup of coffee or a simple breakfast. Besides, many other rest houses or benches are waiting by the trail for you to take a rest. 
 
Minoh waterfall in Autumn
Source: Minoh Park
 
 
There is a small world of insect in the next stage calles Minoh Insect Pavilion taking about 270 yen to visit. You will see here about 10000 samples of 20 species of insects living in Minoh Garden and enjoy Hocho-en butterfly park with over 200 colorful flying butterflies from 30 species in all seasons of a year. You can learn about their year-round ecology and enjoy some festival held here like Musical festival, Flea market, Lanterns festival or Summer festa. 
Ryuanji Temple is right after the Insect Pavilion with a red bridge across the trail, among some temples along Takimichi Trail. The Temple is one of the oldest Temple of Shugendo mountain worship religious sect in Japan with the original name of Tomi-kuji meaning Prosperity. Therefore if you need some luck for your new plan, take your time to pray in this Temple.
 
  
Minoh Park in Summer
Source: Minoh Park
 
Back to our route, it is time to enjoy the beauty of seasons with very early white Cornus florida, purple Campanula punctata like little lanterns, Morus bombycis with ripened fruits and Osmanthus fragrans. Typically, spring is vast of dreaming white and pink cherry blossoms, late summer is green of grass, Japanese cedar and cypress, red leaves of maples cover autumn and winter is unique with frozen trees and hanging icicles. Actually, Takimichi trail curves along a stream and in spring and you can even see young budding leaves still green or cherry blossoms petals still pink under the limpid water. While you are falling in the silence of trees, you will suddenly hear a call from a monkey. It is said that in 1977, the Minoh Zoo was torn down and set many monkey free to the mountain.
 
Minoh Waterfall
Passing a 7,5-metres rock, you can she the waterfall right in front of your eyes. With the height of 33 metres and the width of 5 metres, Minoh waterfall is exactly the target of your hike. If you have not known, the word Mino comes from the activity of winnowing then applied for all the area. There is a handrail bridge where you can enjoy the impressing view of dazzlingly white water falling fiercely down and take some pictures. If you come here in a shiny day, you can luckily catch the moment when sun rays meet tiny waterdrops and together create a rainbow. From the waterfall, there is a river flowing through the forest and valleys with walking trails such as Sakuramichi cherry blossom trail or Tengumichi trail.
 
Autumn leaves
 
Autumn leaves
Visitors are advised to be here in the time of autumn, usually in the second half of November. This is one of the best location to sea the Autumn color in Kansai region with foliage of red, orange and yellow covered all valleys. Momiji family’s members like Iroha-momiji or Yama-momiji together create a heaven show of red. The combination of red foliage, the waterfall and the bridge if unique in Minoh Park. You see the beauty and color of Autumn, you can also eat them. Minoh is famous for Momiji Tempura- a kind of cookie made from maple leaves fried in a sweet batter with sesame. Although it is not so different from other kind of cracks or cookies, you still feel the taste of Autumn when you enjoy a piece of crisp Momiji Tempura.
Before saying goodbye your trail, you should spend 150 yen washing and wiping you feet at the Momiji hot spring footbath beside Hankyu Minoh Station.
 
Open time: 

Minoh Insect Pavilion: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, closed on Tuesday

Ryunanji Temple: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Admission: 

You can freely visit the Park but paying for Minoh Insect Pavilion or Ryunanji Temple

Minoh Insect Pavilion: 270 yen for adults and free for junior school students or younger

Ryunanji Temple: 400 yen

How to access: 

From Umeda in central Osaka, take the Hankyu Takarazuka Line from Hankyu Umeda Station to Ishibashi Station ( about 15 minutes) and transfer to the Hankyu Minoh Line to Minoh Station (about 5 minutes).

Minoh Park starts a short walk north of Minoh Station.

Comments

13:11 Nov 16th 2016
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Must come back and must see location when you visit Osaka