One of Japan’s oldest national parks in this city is where you’ll find beautiful waterfalls, an ancient Buddhist temple and forested hillsides.
Minoh is a city in Osaka prefecture that is home to a much-loved national park, gorgeous Japanese maple forests and intriguing Shinto history. Also known as Minoo, Minoh is a landmark in the Kansai region for its magnificent natural scenery, ancient shrines and agricultural heritage. Visit peaceful temples and Shinto shrines and experience the beauty of Minoh’s surrounding foliage in spring and fall.
The city’s downtown area is a good place to find out what’s happening during your visit. Explore the city streets, which are presided over by the picturesque Hokusetsu mountain chain. Go shopping or relax in casual cafés. Specialties that are particular to Minoh include momiji tempura sweets, which are sweetened and fried maple leaves. Minoh is also famed for its Mino Yaki pottery, which incorporates the deep-red colors of maple leaves in the fall. Pick up souvenir items or “omiyagi,” gifts for your loved ones at home.
Minoh’s premier attraction is undoubtedly its magnificent Meiji no Mori Minō Quasi-National Park. Explore the park’s main hiking trail, Takimichi, which follows the Minō River at the bottom of a beautiful gorge. After a 1.8-mile (3-kilometer) stroll along the paved pathway, you’ll reach the breathtaking Minō Waterfall. This roaring cascade is a sight to behold in all seasons. The valley’s forests of maple trees cloak the hillsides in a rich tapestry of orange, red and yellow during the fall, while in spring the wild cherry blossoms come into bloom.
See intriguing insect collections in the national park’s insectariums and learn about the region’s ancient spirituality at the Ryuan-ji Temple. In Katsuo-ji Temple, you’ll find an enormous collection of traditional daruma dolls, while Saiko-ji Temple is renowned for its camellia blooms. Join locals as they celebrate the changing of the seasons during the Setsubun festival at Taisyaku-ji Temple to the east of the city.
Minoh is located 11 miles (19 kilometers) north of the center of Osaka. It can be reached within 30 minutes via Osaka’s railway network. Stay in one of Minoh’s traditional ryokan lodgings or enjoy modern hotels. Minoh is busiest during the fall, when the turning of the leaves brings a crowd to the tranquil national park.