When it comes to fall foliage, or Koyo in Japanese, Kyoto always comes to people’s minds. For this reason, during the fall in Kyoto, there are often larger than normal crowds. In extreme cases, you have to wait for hours just to get into a temple to see pretty fall leaves.
However, in Osaka you can experience the beautiful koyo too! Only half an hour away from Osaka’s city center is Minoo Waterfall.
Minoo Park is easily the most spectacular place to enjoy the fall leaves in Osaka. On top of that, it only takes three dollars from Umeda Station to the park and Minoo Waterfall.
The road to the park is very straightforward. After getting out at the exit, just head north along the road with all the street vendors and souvenir shops.
First Half of the path to Minoo Waterfall
Once you get to the park itself, it is a short hike through the park to the falls; roughly 3 km, which should only take only about 45 minutes. The trail is a completely paved road with just a bit of elevation so it is a very comfortable walk. Although Minoo Park can be crowded on weekends, during the week the crowds are not that bad.
The most popular food in Minoo is without a doubt momiji tempura. It is only available in Minoo and is quite interesting, as no other Japanese people eat momiji.
To be honest, it just tastes like any other sweet fried snack. The maple leaves themselves do not really have any flavor—but who doesn’t like fried food, right? Since it is so popular, you should definitely try some. There are quite a lot of momiji tempura vendors along the road to Minoo Park. Some stores sell out their around early evening, so make sure to try them sooner rather than later!
In fact, Minoo is historically well known for its exceptional yuzu. You can find some people selling the actual fruit along the road to the park, as well as some yuzu-flavored snacks, like this croquette filled with yuzu and white bean paste.
On the way to the cascade is the insect museum. Right behind of the insect museum is Ryuan-ji Temple. Supposedly built in 658, this temple is full of history.
It prospered as a secluded Buddhist practice site for many monks and also the first temple to implement a kind of lottery as a means of generating funds.
Oddly, though it is on the path to Minoo Waterfall, not that many people visit this temple.
Last Half of the path to the Minoo waterfall
After Ryoanji Temple, the paved path goes further to the waterfall with beautiful fall foliage on either side of the road.
Since it is in the mountains, you might feel a little bit chilly. Make sure to bring warm clothes!
Before you realize it, you will be the cascade. The waterfall, registered as 100 waterfalls in Japan, is 33m high, and is especially beautiful in the fall season.
Around the waterfall, there are lots of food vendors, so it would be a nice idea to sit under the waterfall and enjoy some food!
While you reach the waterfall, take a careful look around, especially in the tree tops. If you are lucky, you will be able to spot some monkeys!
Information: Minoo Waterfall
Minoo City, Osaka Prefecture
The closest station to Minoo Park is the Hankyu Minoo Station off of Hankyu Minoo Line. To get there, take the Hankyu Takarazuka Line from Umeda and then change to the Hankyu Minoo Line at Ishibashi Station. It takes 15 minutes to reach Ishibashi from Umeda, and then another 15 minutes from Ishibashi to Minoo.
Open 365 days