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Osaka Autumn Colors: 10 Best Places for Seeing Fall Foliage (2020)

Osaka Autumn Colors: 10 Best Places for Seeing Fall Foliage (2020)

Date published: 27 August 2020
Last updated: 18 October 2020

In Osaka autumn is a dramatic time of year, with 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.

Here are ten of Osaka’s best leaf viewing 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
  1. 1. A castle above the leaves at Osaka Castle Park
  2. 2. The sophisticated atmosphere of the Midosuji Ginkgo Trees
  3. 3. Dazzling maple leaves at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park
  4. 4. Magnificent waterfalls and autumn colors at Minoh Park
  5. 5. A 264,000 square meter panorama at Katsuoji
  6. 6. Take a walk above the trees at Hoshida Garden
  7. 7. Maples stretching to the sky at Settsukyo Park
  8. 8. Graceful colors in Daisen Park’s Japanese Garden
  9. 9. The best Osaka autumn leaves in an urban area at Flower Expo Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi
  10. 10. “Secret” Osaka autumn leaves at Inunakisan Onsen

1. A castle above the leaves at Osaka Castle Park

1. A castle above the leaves at Osaka Castle Park

Located in the heart of Osaka, Osaka Castle Park is easily accessible from Osaka Station via the JR Osaka Loop Line. A standard tourist destination, it has countless visitors not only in autumn but also 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.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

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.

  • Osaka Castle Park
    大阪城公園
    • Address Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka, 540-0002
    • Phone: 06-6755-4146 (Osaka Castle Park Center)
      Hours: Open 24 hours (excluding some facilities)
      Admission: Free (excluding some facilities)

2. The sophisticated atmosphere of the Midosuji Ginkgo Trees

2. The sophisticated atmosphere of the Midosuji Ginkgo Trees

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.

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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.

  • Midosuji
    御堂筋
    • Address Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
    • Admission: Free

3. Dazzling maple leaves at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park

3. Dazzling maple leaves at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park

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.

  • Expo '70 Commemorative Park
    万博記念公園
    • Address Senribanpakukoen, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0826
    • Phone Number 0120-1970-89
    • Hours: 9:30 - 17:00 (Last entry 16:30), closed Wednesdays (If Wednesday is a national holiday, the following Thursday), closed during Golden Week in April and May, open every day in October and November
      Admission: Adults 260 yen, elementary and junior high school students 80 yen, (tax included)

4. Magnificent waterfalls and autumn colors at Minoh Park

4. Magnificent waterfalls and autumn colors at Minoh Park

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, which has been 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 for an eternity. 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.

  • Minoh Park
    箕面公園
    • Address Minookoen, Minoo-shi, Osaka 562-0002
    • Phone: 072-723-1885 (Minoh Traffic and Tourist Information Center)
      Admission: Free

5. A 264,000 square meter panorama at Katsuoji

5. A 264,000 square meter panorama at Katsuoji

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.

  • Katsuo-ji Temple
    勝尾寺
    • Address Katsuoji, Minoo-shi, Osaka 562-8508
    • Phone Number 072-721-7010
    • Hours: 8:00 - 17:00 (until 17:30 on Saturdays, 18:00 on Sundays and holidays)
      Admission: Adults 400 yen, elementary and junior high school students 300 yen

6. Take a walk above the trees at Hoshida Garden

6. Take a walk above the trees at Hoshida Garden

Hoshida Garden 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 garden 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.

  • Hoshida Enchi
    ほしだ園地
    • 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
      Admission: Free

7. Maples stretching to the sky at Settsukyo Park

7. Maples stretching to the sky at Settsukyo Park

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.

  • Settsukyo Park
    摂津峡公園
    • Address 5-3-4 Tsukawaki, Takatsuki-shi, Osaka 569-1036
    • Phone: 072-675-0081 (Takatsuki City Tourism Association)
      Admission: Free

8. Graceful colors in Daisen Park’s Japanese Garden

8. 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: 9:30 - 17:00 (Last entry 16:30), December - February 9:30 - 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. The best Osaka autumn leaves in an urban area at Flower Expo Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi

9. The best Osaka autumn leaves in an urban area at Flower Expo Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi

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.

In autumn, the park’s more natural “mountain areas” are colored beautifully with fall foliage, which can be appreciated while relaxing in the comfort of the Murasaki-tei tea house.

  • 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
      Admission: Free

10. “Secret” Osaka autumn leaves at Inunakisan Onsen

10. “Secret” Osaka autumn leaves at Inunakisan Onsen

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)
      Admission: Free walking

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

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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