Osaka's autumn leaves transform the city into a feast for the eyes. Japanese maples and other trees dyed vivid shades of red and yellow. Osaka has plenty of spots popular with foliage-seeking tourists, both in and just outside the city.
In 2021, the best time to see fall foliage in Osaka is from November 23 to December 1, when the Japanese maples turn red and ginkgo shift to gold.
Here are ten of Osaka’s best leaf-peeping locations along with information on the best time to see each so you can enjoy the spectacular scenery of autumn leaves in full harmony with the cityscape!
- Table of Contents
- What's the weather like in Osaka in autumn?
- 1. Osaka Castle Park: Snap photos of a Japanese castle above the gorgeous autumn leaves
- 2. Midosuji Ginkgo Trees: Enjoy the sophisticated atmosphere of golden foliage
- 3. Expo ’70 Commemorative Park: Snap a selfie with the dazzling Japanese maple leaves
- 4. Minoh Park: Magnificent waterfalls and Osaka autumn colors
- 5. Katsuoji: Enjoy a stunning 26.4-hectare autumn panorama
- 6. Hoshida Park: Take a walk above the trees
- 7. Settsukyo Park: With gorgeous maples stretching to the sky
- 8. Enjoy the graceful colors in Daisen Park’s Japanese Garden
- 9. Flower Expo Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi: See the best Osaka autumn leaves surrounded by the city!
- 10. Inunakisan Onsen: Enjoy the splendor of “secret” Osaka autumn leaves
What's the weather like in Osaka in autumn?
Generally, the weather in Osaka is pleasant in autumn. In November, as the days grow shorter and the autumn weather becomes more prominent, the average high temperature is 17.6°C, with the average lows at 9.9°C.
Towards the end of the month when the leaves on tree-lined streets begin to change color and the mornings and evenings feel quite chilly it's a sign that winter is not far off.
1. Osaka Castle Park: Snap photos of a Japanese castle above the gorgeous autumn leaves
Located in the heart of Osaka, Osaka Castle Park is easily accessible from Osaka Station via the JR Osaka Loop Line. It is a standard tourist destination, with has countless visitors in autumn and during spring cherry blossom season and in the verdant summer months.
The autumn leaves in the vast western Nishinomaru Garden are particularly beautiful, and the sight of the castle towering above the red leaves of nearly 300 cherry trees is exceptional.
The row of ginkgo trees along the east side of the castle creates an impressive, yet calming, place for a walk. The main square’s Japanese garden is also full of character during the fall foliage season, which peaks throughout November.
It’s an excellent opportunity to see beautiful Osaka autumn foliage at its finest, with colored ginkgo and zelkova against the backdrop of the castle tower.
2. Midosuji Ginkgo Trees: Enjoy the sophisticated atmosphere of golden foliage
Stretching around 4km between Umeda and Namba, central Midosuji Street connects north and south Osaka and has an air of urban sophistication. Ginkgo trees planted along either side and in green areas turn Midosuji a bright yellow from late October, creating an even more fantastic atmosphere.
The striking contrast between the yellow ginkgo leaves and the surrounding buildings is a perfect photo opportunity. Every fall, the foliage is lit up by night, creating a romantic, almost Christmas-like atmosphere. After shopping at the Shinsaibashisuji Shopping Street, be sure to check out the illuminated leaves and the glittering lights.
3. Expo ’70 Commemorative Park: Snap a selfie with the dazzling Japanese maple leaves
Centered around the “Tower of the Sun” sculpture designed by artist Taro Okamoto, Expo ’70 Commemorative Park has facilities for both education and play, like the Japanese Garden, the Natural and Cultural Garden Park, and the Japan Folk Craft Museum Osaka.
At this famous Osaka autumn spot, the best place for fall foliage viewing is Momiji Falls. The surrounding maples and other trees form an outstanding contrast with the waterfall. “Kouyokei” (autumn leaf valley) is where you’ll want to take your time to stroll through.
Along a 360m long section of the park’s cobblestone Nishioji Street, about 260 sycamores line the path and attract many photo-seekers.
While you can enjoy the autumn colors from mid-October to early December, November is exceptionally beautiful. To get to the park from Osaka, take the Osaka Monorail (from multiple train and subway stations), and get off at Bampakukinenkoen or Koen-higashiguchi Stations.
4. Minoh Park: Magnificent waterfalls and Osaka autumn colors
Minoh Park, one of the symbols of northern Osaka, has been selected as one of the “100 Best Forests.” This vast 83.8-hectare park is a beautiful focal point for tourists throughout the year.
One of the most attractive Osaka autumn sights in the park is Minoh Falls, chosen as one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls. The dazzling flow of water from the 33m drop is a scene of both power and refreshment one could watch forever.
When the leaves change, the water takes on a tasteful red and yellow hue. A walk along the waterfall path is well worth the 40-minute walk (approx. 2.7 km) from Mino-o Station.
The best time to see the leaves is from mid-November to early December, but due to the difference in elevation between the north and south ends of the park, there is also a difference in the leaves’ progress depending on location. There is no parking lot in Minoh Park, and no vehicle entry, so walking from Hankyu Mino-o Station is recommended.
5. Katsuoji: Enjoy a stunning 26.4-hectare autumn panorama
Dedicated to success, Minoo City’s Katsuoji Temple belongs to the Koyasan Shingon sect of Buddhism and is famous for its “winning daruma” charms. Worshipers come to the temple to pray to “win” in business, employment, exams, and sports.
During the leaf viewing season, which is in full swing from early November, the mountains turn red and yellow to create an idyllic scene.
Surrounded by natural beauty, the temple’s vermilion gates and main hall are spectacular, and the autumn colors create an unforgettable atmosphere.
On Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays in November, special night illumination transforms the temple’s daytime solemnity into a fantastic world. (Light up scheduled from sunset to 19:30)
From Kansai International Airport, take the Nankai Railway to Namba Station or JR to Shin-Osaka Station, then change to the Osaka Metro and head to Senri-chuo Station. From there it takes about 33 minutes by bus or 20 minutes by taxi.
6. Hoshida Park: Take a walk above the trees
Hoshida Park is home to the wood-planked “Hoshi no Buranko” (“Star Swing”) bridge. One of the largest pedestrian suspension bridges in Japan, it’s 280m long and situated at an altitude of 180m. With a maximum above-ground height of 50m, the Star Swing is a thrilling vantage point for viewing the vast forest below.
The park is popular all year round, but the gradation of autumn colors on the mountains makes a walk on the Star Swing truly special.
The best time to visit is from mid-November to late December. There is a parking area, but it is very crowded, so public transportation is recommended. From Osaka, take the Keihan Katano line to Kisaichi Station, and from there, it’s a 40-minute walk to Hoshida Park.
- Address 5019-1 Hoshida, Katano-shi, Osaka 576-0011
Phone: 06-6266-1038 (Osaka Prefecture Green Public Corporation)
Hours: 9:00 - 16:00 (Star swing), closed Tuesdays and December 29 – January 4, open every day in April, May, October, and November
7. Settsukyo Park: With gorgeous maples stretching to the sky
Settsukyo Park, in northern Osaka’s Takatsuki City, is a scenic area where you can experience magnificent nature unique to the valley. Visitors of all ages can enjoy various activities in the plaza, the nature trail leading to the waterfall and a hiking course that is perfect for those looking for exercise.
Cherry blossoms in spring and fresh greenery are undoubtedly beautiful, but seeing the whole area colored red in autumn is outstanding. Looking up from the Momiji Valley located on the south side, the Osaka autumn colors are sight to see as they seem to spread across the sky. There is also a hot spring inn in Settsu Gorge, with open-air bathing surrounded by natural beauty.
From Osaka, get off at JR Takatsuki Station or Hankyu Takatsuki-shi Station, take a bus from the terminal at the north exit of JR Takatsuki Station, and ride for about 15 minutes.
- Address 5-3-4 Tsukawaki, Takatsuki-shi, Osaka 569-1036
・Phone: 072-675-0081 (Takatsuki City Tourism Association)
8. Enjoy the graceful colors in Daisen Park’s Japanese Garden
Daisen Park, located near the world's largest burial mound, is itself a registered World Heritage site and features a large grass lawn, a museum, and even a tea room.
The Japanese garden is especially striking when the maple leaves turn red in mid- to late November. In addition to a human-made mountain built to imitate the famous “Rozan” in Jiangxi Province, China, large ponds, flowering plants and autumn leaves will make you feel like you're in paradise. Evening lights enhance the fantastic scenery.
From Osaka, get off at JR Hanwa Line Nakamozu Station and walk about 15 minutes to reach the park.
Daisen Park Japanese Garden大仙公園 日本庭園
- Address 17 Daisen Nakamachi, Sakai-ku, Sakai-city, Osaka 590-0801
- Phone Number 072-247-3670
・Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (Last entry 16:30), December - February 9:00 - 16:30 (Last entry 16:00), closed Mondays (If Monday is a national holiday, the following Tuesday) and New Year holidays
・Admission: Adults 200 yen (65 years or older living in Sakai City or persons with disabilities free entry with the presentation of certificate), 100 yen for elementary and junior high school students 100 yen, elementary school students free, (tax included)
9. Flower Expo Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi: See the best Osaka autumn leaves surrounded by the city!
Flower Expo Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi has a variety of cultural and sporting facilities on its vast 120-hectare grounds. Located within Osaka itself, the park is easily accessible from other tourist spots via Osaka Metro Tsurumi-Ryokuchi Station.
Flower Expo Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi花博記念公園鶴見緑地
- Address 2-163 Ryokuchikoen, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka, 538-0036
・Phone: 06-6911-8787 (Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park Center)
・Hours (mountain area): April - October 9:00 - 17:30, November - March 9:00 - 16:30
10. Inunakisan Onsen: Enjoy the splendor of “secret” Osaka autumn leaves
If you’re looking for a more secluded autumn leaf viewing spot, head to Inunakiyama Onsen, known as Osaka’s “secret” hot spring. About an hours’ drive from the city, you’ll find a hot spring village in a valley that seems like anything but “Osaka.”
In autumn, the area around the waterfall near Inunakisan Shipporyuji Temple turns red and creates a mysterious atmosphere. The contrast between the 5m tall Toh-no-Taki waterfall and the maple trees is breathtaking.
The autumn colors also make Gyoja-no-Taki and Ryokai-no-Taki waterfalls worth the trip. Afterward, the hot spring is perfect for washing away any fatigue you might feel.
Inunakiyama Hot Spring犬鳴山温泉
- Address Ogi, Izumisano-shi, Osaka 598-0023
・Phone: 072-469-3131 (Izumisano City Tourism Association)
From easily accessible autumn leaves in urban areas such as Osaka Castle Park and Midosuji to local spots where you can relax and unwind, Osaka is full of excellent leaf viewing sites. All are perfectly picturesque, so take your time and be sure to take plenty of photos!
*The above article is based on information from June 2020
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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