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Osaka's Fall Foliage: Top 10 Spots in 2024

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Osaka boasts beautiful parks where visitors can enjoy the fall foliage. Our top 10 list features Osaka Castle Park, Minoo Park and its waterfall, Midosuji Avenue's golden foliage tunnel, and other autumn destinations in Osaka.

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Osaka's Splendid Autumn Foliage

Minoo Falls, Osaka

Photo of Minoo Falls in Minoh City, Osaka

Osaka's parks and gardens offer excellent locations for enjoying the vibrant autumn colors. The fall foliage in Osaka can usually be enjoyed from late November to early December.

This article introduces the most beautiful 10 fall foliage spots in Osaka, from Osaka Castle Park to the breathtaking Minoo Waterfall.

Top 10 Fall Foliage Spots in Osaka

1. Minoo Park
2. Osaka Castle Park
3. Midosuji Avenue
4. Hoshida Park
5. Daisen Park
6. Osaka Expo Memorial Park
7. Ushitakiyama: Daitokuji Temple
8. Katsuoji Temple
9. Settsukyo Park
10. Mt. Inunaki

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1. Minoo Park: Osaka's Most Famous Fall Foliage Spot

Minoo Park

Head 30 minutes north of central Osaka by train to arrive at Minoo Park, a designated national park with abundant nature.

From the park entrance, walk along the path running alongside the river for a 2.8-kilometer hike up to the famous Minoo Waterfall. There is a walking trail on the way to the waterfall.

Minoo Waterfall

On a sunny day, you can enjoy the sight of fiery red leaves against the backdrop of the waterfall. You may even catch a glimpse of a rainbow! Minoo Park is bustling with people since it's a prominent spot for fall foliage in Osaka.

Momiji Tempura

Along the walking trail, many stalls sell Minoo’s local specialty: maple leaf tempura. The sight of deep-fried maple leaves might be startling initially, but the sweetly sesame-scented deliciousness will make you crave more. The tempura is also a good snack to take on your hike.

Standard Timing for Fall Foliage

Visitors can catch the foliage from mid-November to early December.

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2. Osaka Castle Park: Enjoy the Castle and Foliage

Osaka Castle Park in fall

Picture courtesy of Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau

Osaka Castle Park is situated in central Osaka with Osaka Castle on the park grounds.

There is a museum inside Osaka Castle that displays historical documents. In addition to other facilities, the main keep (*1) is where visitors can get an unobstructed view of the entire city of Osaka.

When autumn rolls around, you can enjoy the castle surrounded by rows of ginkgo trees with golden leaves. The abundant natural scenery and historical Osaka Castle, towering above the heart of the city, make Osaka Castle Park a beloved urban oasis.

*1 Main keep: the highest structure in a Japanese castle. It is a symbolic structure of a castle.

Standard Timing for Fall Foliage

Visitors can enjoy the foliage from mid-November to early December.


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3. Midosuji Avenue: A Yellow Foliage Tunnel in Central Osaka

Gingko Trees in Midosuji

Midosuji is a thoroughfare running north to south, connecting the central Kita (Umeda) area in Osaka with Minami (Namba) to the south.

Roughly 800 ginkgo trees are planted along the Midosuji, spanning four kilometers long. When it’s fall foliage season, don't miss seeing Midosuji transformed by golden ginkgo leaves. Shopping while admiring the leaves is a fall foliage viewing experience you can only have in the heart of Osaka.

Standard Timing for Fall Foliage

The foliage can be enjoyed from late November to mid-December.

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4. Hoshida Park: See the Fall Foliage from a Giant Suspension Bridge

Hoshida Park

Hoshida Park, easily accessible via train, is a quasi-national park nestled in the mountains in Osaka. You can enjoy hiking in the great outdoors.

The park has a walking trail modeled after a forest railway, with a riverbed located along the stroll. There is also a 16.5-meter-tall human-made climbing wall. You can go hiking and climbing in the park with ease.

Star Swing

This is the 280-meter-long Star Swing, the park’s famous suspension bridge! The 360-degree view of the fall foliage atop the bridge will take your breath away with its beauty.

Standard Timing for Fall Foliage

Head to Hoshida Park between mid-November and early December to see the foliage.

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5. Daisen Park: Enjoy Autumn Leaves Near an Ancient Tomb

Daisen Park

Daisen Park, one of Japan’s top 100 historical gardens, is near the massive kofun tomb (*2) of Emperor Nintoku. Several smaller kofun tombs dot the surrounding area, creating a harmony of vibrant greenery and historical spots.

The park has roughly 400 cherry trees that blossom extravagantly in spring. In autumn, the green grass, blue pond, and gorgeous fall foliage create a banquet of color for you to enjoy.

*2 Kofun tomb: a burial mound for nobles built during ancient times. They can vary in size and scope.

Standard Timing for Fall Foliage

See the foliage between mid-November to late November.

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6. Osaka Expo Memorial Park: Enjoy a Full Day of Fun

Osaka Expo Memorial Park in fall

Picture courtesy of Osaka Japan Expo Memorial Park Office

Osaka Expo Memorial Park was built on the original site of the World Expo held in 1970. Now open to the public, this vast park spans 260 hectares. While many trees change color within the park in fall, we recommend visiting the Momiji Waterfall and Japanese garden.

The pleasant Momiji Waterfall is usually overflowing with greenery. In autumn, it offers a brilliant view of vermilion and gold leaves in front of a cascade of white water. The fall foliage also looks beautiful from the nearby Sorado promenade.

The spacious Japanese garden was designed using classical Japanese landscaping techniques, so take your time while strolling. Of course, it’s beautiful in autumn, but the natural scenery can be enjoyed each season.

Osaka

Picture courtesy of Osaka Japan Expo Memorial Park Office

Osaka Expo Memorial Park has many other highlights. These include the symbolic Tower of the Sun (pictured above) built by renowned artist Taro Okamoto. There's also the National Museum of Ethnology, which has gathered data on global ethnic groups. Lastly, you'll find the Osaka Folk Crafts Museum, with its collection of art pieces from pottery to dyed fabric.

Additionally, the neighboring EXPOCITY offers attractions like Nifrel, an entirely new museum transcending the boundaries of an aquarium, zoo, and art exhibit. You can have a fruitful day in the area!

Standard Timing for Fall Foliage

You can enjoy the foliage between early November to late November.

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7. Ushitakiyama and Daitokuji: Marvel at a Vermilion Tower and Colorful Foliage

Ushitakiyama

Ushitakiyama is located in southern Osaka along the Wakayama border. It has long been known as a famous spot to view fall foliage.

The Ushitakiyama mountains are home to a temple called Daitokuji. The two-story pagoda in the photo above is a designated important cultural asset of Japan. In autumn, the brilliant sight of the vermilion pagoda and surrounding foliage bring joy to many visitors.

The Maple Leaf Festival is held annually here during the fall foliage season. There are rows of shops selling merchandise from Osaka’s famous Danjiri Festival and traditional Japanese sweets. It’s the perfect hiking spot to enjoy the refreshing autumn air.

Standard Timing for Fall Foliage

Visitors can enjoy the foliage in November.

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8. Katsuoji Temple: Enjoy Light-ups and Golden Foliage

Osaka

Picture courtesy of Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau

Katsuoji in Minoh City is a well-known place to see fall foliage. The road that heads toward the main shrine becomes a tunnel of foliage (pictured above). You can see the bright autumn sky peeking between the gaps in the roof of vividly colored leaves.

Every weekend and holiday from early November until the 30th, the shrine area is lit up, presenting visitors with an otherworldly appearance. The seasonal illumination lasts from sunset until 19:30. Because there is no public transportation at night, we recommend driving or taking a taxi.

Katsuoji

Picture courtesy of Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau

The daruma doll is another thing Katsuoji is famous for. A daruma is an ornament modeled after a Buddhist monk, usually sold with two white eyes. There is a Japanese tradition of filling in one eye when you set a goal, then filling in the other once you’ve achieved it.

Katsuoji is known as a temple for blessings of victory. The legend originated a thousand years ago when the head priest cured the illness of an emperor through prayers. Since then, the kanji for victory (“katsu”) has been part of the temple’s name. Even generals come to this temple to pray for success in battle.

Many daruma dolls that brought victory to visitors are placed here.

Standard Timing for Fall Foliage

You can enjoy the foliage at Katsuoji Temple from early to late November.

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9. Settsukyo Park: Enjoy a Hike amid Autumn Colors

Settsukyo Park

Picture courtesy of Takatsuki Tourism Association

Despite not being far from the city, Settsukyo Park is brimming with nature. No wonder it is a great destination for relaxation.

There are five hiking trails within the park. We recommend the mountainside forest trail in autumn, which passes through a valley of maple-leaf trees. You can also see a 15-meter-tall waterfall midway through the hike.

Settsukyo

Picture courtesy of Takatsuki Tourism Association

There is also a ravine course where you can walk along the bank of a clear river while looking at oddly-shaped rock formations. There are roughly 230 cherry trees planted in the park. In spring, the park is crowded with visitors coming to see the blossoms.

Standard Timing for Fall Foliage

Visitors can enjoy foliage from late October to late November.

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10. Mt. Inunaki: Relish a Mystical Atmosphere

Mt. Inunaki

Picture courtesy of Izumisano Tourism Association

Mt. Inunaki is known as a site for ascetic practices. Established as a training ground for Shugendo asceticism (*3) roughly 1,300 years ago, Mt. Inunaki continues to have an aura of mystery today.

*3: Shugendo: an ancient school of Japanese asceticism, whose ascetics train in the mountains in pursuit of enlightenment.

Mt. Inunaki

Picture courtesy of Izumisano Tourism Association

There are hiking trails on the mountain, allowing visitors a pleasant hike through the woods surrounded by fall foliage. It is roughly a 40-minute walk from the bus stop at the base of the mountain to the “ascetic’s waterfall” (pictured above). You might see a Shugendo devotee being pummeled by the waterfall.

Osaka’s only onsen resort town is also at the foot of Mt. Inunaki. While it isn’t a large-scale resort town, there are inns where you can enter the hot springs even if you’re not staying there. We recommend refreshing in an onsen before heading home. Mt. Inunaki is far from central Osaka, so give yourself plenty of time to get there.

Standard Timing for Fall Foliage

Visitors can enjoy foliage from mid-November to late November.

Mt. Inunaki Bus Stop

Address: Osaka, Izumisano, Ogi 2236 Google Map
Access:
From Izumisano Station on the Nankai Line, take the Wing Bus Nanbu bound for Mt. Inunaki and get off at the last stop (40 minutes, 470 yen)
From JR Hineno Station, take the Wing Bus Nanbu bound for Mt. Inunaki and get off at the last stop (30 minutes, 410 yen)

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Osaka Has Plenty of Hidden Fall Foliage Spots

Kyoto probably comes to mind when thinking about fall foliage in the Kansai region. However, Osaka has plenty of famous places to appreciate the seasonal colors come autumn. Since it coincides with the “season for eating,” why not plan a trip to see the fall foliage in the gourmet region of Osaka?

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This is an updated version of an article originally published in 2016.

 

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