Translated by Richard Perkins
Minoo Waterfall - A Place Of Scenic Beauty Near Osaka
Written by Atsuko Yagura
The Minoo Waterfall is one of the scenic places of natural beauty easily accessible from Osaka. On a hot summer day, there's nothing like a refreshing waterfall!
While traveling in Japan in the summer, how many times have you unintentionally exclaimed that it’s hot?
In the summer, the one place where I would go is a cool forest and with a waterfall where you can refresh your body. The Meiji-no-mori Minoo Quasi-national Park, located just 30 minutes away from Osaka Station is exactly this type of place.
Meiji-no-mori Minoo Quasi-national Park
Along with Mt. Takao in Tokyo, the Meiji-no-mori Minoo Quasi-national Park was also designated a national park to celebrate the passing of 100 years since the beginning of the Meiji era (1868). The park itself is in the northern part of Osaka, in the city of Minoo. This area is famous for its autumn foliage and for the 33 m (roughly 108ft) drop of the Minoo waterfall.
This park is on the outskirts of the metropolitan area. There are over 1000 different kinds of vegetation here with 3000 kinds of insects inhabiting it. This is without a doubt an oasis in the middle of Osaka.
Hiking Towards the Minoo Waterfall
Without wasting any time, let’s go from Hankyu Minoo Station and head for the Minoo waterfall. The road leading up to the waterfall is almost completely flat and 2.7 km (roughly 1.6 mi) long. It’s about a 40-minute hike.
When you begin to make your way along the path, what you’ll notice first is the maple leaf tempura sold at the food stalls. These snacks are made from maple leaves that have been dipped in batter and deep-fried. When wondering what’s for sale and having a closer look, you’ll hear the voice of an elderly lady who’s full of vigor saying ‘Welcome! How about some maple leaf tempura? You can eat it while hiking!’
Seeing as we’d went all the way to the Meiji-no-mori Minoo Quasi-national Park, we decided to buy a bag and try the maple leaf tempura. It's as if maple leaves have been sprinkled with salt, then mixed with sugar and wheat flour before being deep-fried. The sweet and somewhat nostalgic flavors come alive in your mouth.
The maple leaf tempura is a Minoo specialty. After smacking our lips at this delicious treat we continued our way along the path.
The paved path is easy to follow. All around, the trees begin to thicken, so there’s plenty of shade. To the side, there is a clear flowing stream, the air is cool and refreshing.
While we're on the subject, for those who would like to challenge themselves on an actual hiking trail, there is another path going through a cluster of trees. From this path, you can enjoy the gorge and the forest even closer, as well as the sight of some large and unusually shaped rocks.
Have a look at the signs and map (which you can receive at the tourist information center at the Minoo Station) and enjoy different routes.
Along the path to the waterfall, just as you can guess from the picture above, is a cluster of trees that couldn’t be captured in a single photo. The trees here go on as far as the eye can see and are referred to as "the scenery with 1000 maple trees". There’s little doubt that in the autumn the trees here will all show beautiful bright red maple leaves.
The Minoo Waterfall Will Appear Before You!
You’ll be captivated by the maple leaves that stretch high up into the sky. Before you know it, you’ll hear the sounds of water flowing from a waterfall. After working hard and making your way up the river you’ll see the waterfall off in the distance!
This is the Minoo Waterfall, selected as one of ‘Japan’s 100 best waterfalls’. This waterfall isn’t very wide, but the water that splashes from this 33m (roughly 108ft) drop looks as if white strings are running down and it’s absolutely beautiful. We couldn’t help but be captivated by the sight.
Near the base of the waterfall, benches have been set up, so you can sit right next to the waterfall while taking it all in. After hiking up to the waterfall our slightly sweaty bodies were able to cool down quite well. The sounds and smells of this beautiful waterfall in front of us cooled us down and refreshed us.
Even for those who like the beaming sun and blue sky, you can't help but become exhausted from the summer heat. The mornings and evenings somehow manage to be cool, but in the middle of the day it can get so hot that you can’t go out without a hat and or umbrella to block the sun.
Why not enjoy a beautiful waterfall, an incredible gorge, and the vivid green of maple leaves? Let's get out from Osaka’s concrete jungle and enjoy the wonderful sight of the Minoo Waterfall!
Meiji-no-mori Minoo Quasi-national Park
Address: Minoo, Minoo Park, 1-18 (Administration Office)
Access: Roughly 400m (roughly 0.2mi) north of the Hankyu Minoo line ‘Minoo Station’; it’s roughly a 40-50 walk north to Minoo waterfall from Minoo Station.
Other Languages: There is an English pamphlet available at the tourist information center in front of Minoo Station.
Phone Number: 072-721-3041 (The administration office)
Official Website: http://www.mino-park.jp/