Whether you are a regular visitor or are discovering Minoh Park (箕面公園) in Minō City in Osaka for the first time, the Takimichi Hiking Course (滝道ハイキングコース) should be on your itinerary. Completed in 1886, this well-maintained 2.7 km course (which takes around 40 – 50 minutes) starts at Hankyū Minoh Station (阪急箕面駅) and ends at the spectacular Minoo Falls (箕面大滝). This is a great hiking course for the family, with lots of great photo opportunities, shops, and restaurants to enjoy along the way. Best of all – there are no steep slopes!
Table of Contents
- The Trailhead and Maple Leaf Tempura
- Franc et élégant YUZUYA (フラン・エレガン ゆずや)
- Minoh Park Insectarium (箕面公園昆虫館)
- Ryūanji Temple (瀧安寺)
- Tojinmodoriiwa Rock (唐人戻岩)
- Minoo Falls (箕面大滝)
- Tracks Leading to Other Areas in the Park
- Saikouji Temple (西江寺)
- The Best Time to Visit Minoh Park
Explore the Minoh Park With a Guided Tour
If you prefer to be guided when you visit Minoh Park, consider booking the below tour!
The Trailhead and Maple Leaf Tempura
The starting point for the Takimichi Hiking Course is just in front of Hankyu Minoh Station. On the other side of the pedestrian crossing, there are many cute souvenir shops and restaurants. Be sure to stock up on local snacks for your hike. One specialty of the area is Momiji Tempura (紅葉天ぷら). Momiji Tempura is a deep-fried, battered snack seasoned with sugar and sesame. It is shaped like a maple leaf because it actually contains a pickled maple leaf!
Something as special as this is definitely worth giving it a go! We promise that you at least won’t hate it. We guarantee that the leaf you eat didn’t touch the ground and won’t taste like the leaves from a maple tree in your back garden. It is unusual to eat a revered cultural icon as an autumn snack, but it is proper food (´▽｀*).
The hiking course was built along the Minoo River (箕面川), and a large portion of the track is tree-lined on both sides. This not only makes the whole course more colorful in different seasons, but it also provides cool shade in summer. When you are tired, there are a couple of rest areas and benches along the track to take a break while you enjoy the alluring nature!
Franc et élégant YUZUYA (フラン・エレガン ゆずや)
Around a 5-minute walk from Minoh Station, there will be a bridge that you need to cross. The bridge serves as the entrance of Minoh Park!
On the far side of the bridge is a wooden building called Hashimoto Tei (橋本亭). It originally opened in 1910 as a ryokan guest house. Despite the second level being renovated into a restaurant that serves a Western-style menu, the building’s exterior retains the charming wooden structure of 100 years ago.
Please note that the Hashimoto Tei you will encounter now is a replica of the one in the photo. The old building in the photo was destroyed during to natural disaster in 2016…
So when you get to Hashimoto Tei, the restaurant on the second floor is called YUZUYA A TABLE UKITA, which serves a Western-style non-vegetarian lunch and dinner menu. On the ground floor, there is a fusion sweets shop, YUZUYA.
Whether it is on the way to the waterfall or on the way back, we highly recommend you at least get one of their signature sweets – Little Treasure!
Yuzu is a type of small citrus fruit with a unique lemon/lime taste. You will find a lot of yuzu-related products in Japan, and it is becoming more popular around the world. We bet you haven’t encountered any dessert as exotic as “Little Treasure”. It is yuzu wrapped in white chocolate and gyūhi (a rice cake made from glutinous rice flour and sweetened white bean paste)!
Franc et élégant YUZUYA’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Franc et élégant and YUZUYA is open from 12 pm, and dinner is from 6 pm.
- The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Thursdays. If Monday is a public holiday, it will close on Tuesday instead.
- From Hankyū Minoh Station (阪急箕面駅), it is around a 5-minute walk.
Minoh Park Insectarium (箕面公園昆虫館)
Continuing on the track, just before the third bridge, you will see Minoh Park Insectarium on your left. This spot probably won’t appeal to those who aren’t particularly interested in insects, especially since it isn’t an English-speaker-friendly attraction.
Nevertheless, the museum’s opening hours are from 10 am to 5 pm (the last admission is at 4:30 pm) daily except Tuesday and from the 29th of December to the 3rd of January. Note that the museum will be closed on the next business day instead if Tuesday is a public holiday.
Admission to the Insectarium is 280 yen per person for anyone 16 years old and above (Under 16’s are free).
Ryūanji Temple (瀧安寺)
Leaving the Insectarium behind and continuing trekking, you will come across this red bridge called Zuiun Bridge (瑞雲橋). It connects you to one of Japan’s oldest mountaineering asceticism temples – Ryūanji Temple.
This is the temple of Benzaiten, the god of wealth and artistic improvement, and is where lotteries originated in Japan. It is no surprise that a lot of people visit this temple and pray for good luck and a prosperous lifestyle.
Albeit a little scarce in number, the cherry blossom trees around the temple bloom from late March to early April. Rather than during the springtime, it is the fall foliage that makes these photos so stunning (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
Watch Out for Those Cheeky Monkeys
If you like to eat while walking, take care! Otherwise, you might lose your food to the monkeys in Minoh Park (´▽｀*).
Due to efforts to return the monkeys in Minoh Park to their original natural habitat, the chances of encountering them might be rare. However, if you do see a monkey, do not feed it! Feeding monkeys is against Minoh City rules and carries a fine of 10,000 yen.
Before you get to the magnificent Minoo Falls, you have to pass through this gigantic Tojinmodoriiwa rock.
Legend has it that the imposing 7.5m height of Tojinmodoriiwa scared off a messenger sent from China during the Tang Dynasty. The messenger returned to China, sadly, without seeing Minoo Falls.
We reckon it was the rock’s resemblance to a human face, rather than its imposing size, that scared the messenger away (´▽｀*).
Minoo Falls (箕面大滝)
If you manage to get past the Tojinmodoriiwa, the Minoo Falls that runs down from a quay with a height of 33 meters is just behind the final red bridge in the course.
The waterfall is particularly stunning during the fresh green and autumn foliage seasons that see many tourists gather at Minoh Park!
If the light is right, you could even snap a photo of the waterfall with a rainbow (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
Tracks Leading to Other Areas in the Park
A map of the hiking course leading to Minoo Falls can be found HERE. The English map is somewhat simplified, so it doesn’t show the tracks leading to other sightseeing spots, such as the observation decks. For a more complete map of the park, please refer to HERE. This map is in Japanese, but it shows more detail of the smaller tracks leading from the main hiking course to different areas of the park.
Exploring those trails will be a good idea if you want to increase your chances of spotting a monkey. And for those who love the view from observation decks, please look for the words “展望台”.
Saikouji Temple (西江寺)
If you didn’t drop by Saikouji Temple on the way to Minoo Falls, remember to pay it a visit on the way back to the station.
Saikouji Temple is a unique place that combines a Shinto shrine and a Buddhist temple. The Shinto god enshrined here – Taiseikangiten (大聖歓喜天) – is also a guardian god of Buddhism, so you will find both Taiseikangiten and Kannon Bodhisattva (観音菩薩) in Saikouji Temple.
Another special thing about the temple is the Kesoufumi (懸想文), which was a love letter in the good old days. Nowadays, the Kesoufumi you can get from Saikouji is an amulet that aims to fulfill your wishes for marriage, business prosperity, and family safety.
Also, whilst the beauty of the autumn leaves is exceptional, it is also known as a camellia viewing spot from December to May when the autumn foliage season ends.
Tip: There is a small track that leads to the Seiten Observation Deck (聖天展望台), which gives you a complete view of Minoh city. Please note that the slope is steeper than the waterfall hiking track.
Festivals at Saikouji Temple
- Mushikuyō (蟲供養): a ritual performed at the temple on the first weekend in October. The ritual originated 1350 years ago when Gyoki Bodhisattva (行基菩薩) collected the remains of insects from the grounds and held services praying for them. The insects here are really a metaphor for all living things in the universe.
- In addition to the ritual, there are tea ceremonies, flower arrangements, Japanese traditional music, parties, and banquets during the 2-days event schedule
- Tengu Festival (天狗まつり): held annually on the 15th and 16 of October.
- Tengu is a long‐nosed goblin from Japanese folklore. During the festival, the tengu (who are performed by volunteers from the local fire brigade) will chase children and gently smack them. It sounds brutal. However, this is to exterminate evil spirits and dispel demons, so be happy, not horrified, if a tengu smacks your kids!
The Best Time to Visit Minoh Park
Minoh Park Fresh Green Carnival (新緑カーニバル)
The Minoh Park Fresh Green Carnival is held throughout the park from mid-April to the end of May.
During the festival period, activities and events mostly happen on weekends. One of the most exciting activities is deep-frying your own Momiji Tempura. This is probably your only chance in your entire life to make a dish out of maple leaves!
In 2023, the festival will be held from the 22nd of April to the 31st of May.
Kawadoko at Minoh Park
When the Japanese think of valleys, cool streams, and the summertime, they are likely thinking of Kawadoko (川床) dining. Kawadoko is a great way to escape the summer heat and chill out on a platform built by the nearby restaurant/ryokan whilst you enjoy delicious food.
At Minoh Park, the Kawadoko is operated by two restaurants/ryokans from late April to late October each year. Booking is essential, so ensure you give them a call at least a day before you visit Minoh Park for them to prepare for your arrival.
Important: We haven’t been able to confirm if they can cater to a special diet.
Minoh Park’s Candle Road
Minoh Festival (箕面まつり) usually takes place at some time between the end of July to early August.
At night time during the festival, the hiking track to Minoo Falls is illuminated with thousands of candles. The candles last only two hours, so make sure you are there in time to experience this romantic summertime atmosphere!
In 2023, Minoh Festival will be held on the 30th of September and the 1st of October.
Minoh Park’s Autumn
The fall foliage season starts in mid-November and finishes around early December.
Also, as the park is in a long valley, the progress of color changes of the foliage differs throughout the park. You can refer to the park’s website HERE for a clearer update on the situation of the autumn leaves when the season starts.
Discover Other Close-by Attractions in Minō City
There are a couple more fascinating attractions in Minō City in Osaka that you can easily form a one-day itinerary.
For more information, please refer to our article on Minō City.