What comes to your mind when someone mentions Osaka? Mouth-watering Takoyaki? Or maybe deliciously seasoned kushikatsu? Indeed, being called “Tenka no Daidokoro” (The kitchen of the world) since the ancient times, Osaka is well known for its gourmet street food. Yet unknown to many, Osaka is also host to many wonderful natural beauties. Located in the northern part of Osaka lies Minoh Park, well known for its wonderful autumn leaves and majestic waterfall.
Just 400m from the Hakyuu Minoh station, Minoh Park is voted as one of the top 100 places to go for forest therapy. Near to the quaint historic town of Minoh, the road to the Park from the station is filled with nostalgic shop houses. There is also an onsen (hot spring) for those who wants to rejuvenate themselves after a weary travel.
Entering the park, one is immediately embraced by a twining stream surrounded by maple trees. Minoh Park is famous for being a place of fun for all four seasons. Spring for the fresh verdure, summer for escaping the heat, autumn for the awesome red leaves viewing and winter for hikes. There are many paths to choose such as the regular path to the famous waterfall or the hiking path for mountain lovers.
Despite being a path uphill, the path is well paved such that it is not too daunting for one to take. The sceneries along the way makes the walk really enjoyable. There are also many shops that sells refreshments and souvenirs, so if you are hungry or you want something to remember the trip, you can make a brief stop.
One local food to try in Minoh Park is the famous Momiji Tempura (Red-leaves Tempura). It is usually sold in packets, and can be purchased at almost every single shop in the park. Dried Maple leaves are coated with batter and fried to perfection, finishing off with a sprinkle of black sesame. The black sesame leaves an aromatic aftertaste in your mouth, and it goes really well with the crispy batter. This delightful snack is bound to make you longing for more.
If you think that the only thing that you can do in the park is to take a walk, you are in for a surprise. The park also has an insect museum, showcasing insects native to the Minoh area. Insects lovers are bound to love this place. There is also a free ashiyu (footbath) besides the museum, so you can take a short break here if you like. Rest houses are also available along the way, so you can always recharge before continuing your journey.
Once you reached the end of the path, you will see the famous Minoh Waterfall. Majestic streams of water pour down into a clear stream. There are benches near the waterfall, so you can actually sit down and enjoy the sceneries if you are lucky enough to grab a seat. With souvenirs shop and various food stalls nearby, you can end your trip to Minoh Park with a happy note.
Visit the official Japanese site here: http://www.mino-park.jp/