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Osaka's Minoh Park: Enjoy A Refreshing Getaway With Waterfalls, Onsen, Food & More

Osaka's Minoh Park: Enjoy A Refreshing Getaway With Waterfalls, Onsen, Food & More

Date published: 14 July 2022
Last updated: 30 September 2022

Minoh City, located in the north of Osaka Prefecture, is a nature-rich getaway easily reachable via train from Osaka City.

Within Minoh City is Minoh Park, most famous for its dazzling array of fall foliage, along with the walking trail by the Minoh River to Minoh Falls. The park is also particularly refreshing during the hot and humid summer months.

With the waterfall an easy 2.8 km walk from the station on a paved trail with little steep undulation, it’s a comfortable, pleasant walk.

This article will show you how to make the most of a day at Minoh, including its famous maple leaf tempura, riverside dining, and hot springs!

What Sort of Place Is Minoh Park?

What Sort of Place Is Minoh Park?

Minoh Park is a spacious 83.8-hectare forest in the mountainous northern regions of Minoh City. For its abundant wilderness, it was recognized by the Forestry Agency of Japan as one of the “100 Spots For Forest Bathing” in 1986.

It has long been adored as a popular hiking spot close to Osaka City, and is noted for the unique facilities along the waterfall trail, including insectariums, restaurants, temples, and hot springs.

Getting to Minoh Park From Osaka City

Getting to Minoh Park From Osaka City

The closest station to Minoh Park is Hankyu Minoh Station, which can be reached from Osaka City by train in around 30 minutes, making it very accessible. While there is a carpark near Minoh Station, it is often full, and only vehicles with special permission can drive all the way to Minoh Falls, making public transport the better option.

Public Transport
Take the express train on the Takarazuka Line from Hankyu Osaka-Umeda Station for 17 mins, and change to the Minoh Line at Ishibashi Handai-mae Station. Ride the train for around 6 mins until the final stop, Minoh Station.

Car
Drive for around 30 mins on National Route 423 from Shin-Osaka Station until Hankyu Minoh Station. The highway carries lots of traffic, and there are frequent traffic jams, so it’s best to avoid driving to Minoh Park unless you have lots of experience driving in Japan.

Spending a Day at Minoh Park!

After Arriving at Minoh Station, Head For the Information Center!

After Arriving at Minoh Station, Head For the Information Center!

Near the gates of Minoh Station is the Minoh Transportation and Tourist Information Center. Here, you can pick up a map of the waterfall trail and pamphlets with local restaurant information and more, making it a good spot to kick off your day trip.

There are pamphlets in English, Korean, and Chinese, along with information about the community Orange Yuzuru Bus available. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask the staff for help.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Masks requested/temperature and health check enforced

  • Minoh Transportation and Tourist Information Center
    箕面交通・観光案内所
    • Address 1 Chome-1 Minoh, Minoh-shi, Osaka 562-0001
    • Phone Number 072-723-1885
    • Hours:
      - Weekdays: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
      - Weekends, Public Holidays: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
      Closed: Thursdays (next weekday if a public holiday), New Year’s (Dec 28 - Jan 4)
      *No closures in November

Head off to the Waterfall Trail!

Head off to the Waterfall Trail!

There are plenty of convenience stores, restaurants, and public toilets around the station. However, while it’s tempting to buy something here to bring on your walk, there are also vending machines and eateries along the path to the waterfall, plus toilets. So, without any further ado, let’s head to the waterfall!

The Traditional Local Snack: Momiji Tempura!

The Traditional Local Snack: Momiji Tempura!

Along the way to the waterfall are many souvenir shops selling the local delicacy “momiji tempura.”

Around 1,300 years ago, it is said that a certain individual fell in love with the beauty of the “momiji” maple leaves around the waterfall of Minoh and decided to fry them with oil to serve to visitors, kicking off this quirky tradition.

These edible leaves are covered in a batter of sugar and flour and slowly fried, yielding a crisp bite and soft sweetness. They make for both great souvenirs to bring back home, along with a pick-me-up when hiking the trail.

Hisakunikosendo: One of the Most Popular Stops For Momiji Tempura

While there are several stores selling momiji tempura, one of the most renowned is Hisakunikosendo, which is just a brief walk from the station. Their maple leaves are cultivated organically from the store’s own mountain, and each ingredient, including the oil and flour, is painstakingly sourced to be of the highest quality. The frying oil is drained each day, giving the tempura a clean crunch without any oily texture.

Each leaf is fried by hand, which means that supply is limited, and they will unfortunately sell out quickly, particularly during the autumn fall foliage season.

We recommend reserving your momiji tempura on the way to the waterfall, and picking them up on the way home.

You can actually watch as the maple leaves are fried to make momiji tempura. While it looks easy, it actually requires a lot of skill to ensure the leaves retain their delicate shape.

After being coated in batter, the leaves are dipped into the oil and turned over and over for around 20 mins to be slowly deep-fried.

The second-generation owner, Setsuko Hisakuni, was selected as one of the official “Great Craftspeople of Naniwa” by the Osakan Government, so it’s definitely worth seeing her talents up close!

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Restricted admission, reservation system in place - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks requested/temperature and health check enforced

  • Hisakunikosendo Main Store
    久國紅仙堂 本店
    • Address 1 Chome-1-40 Minoh, Minoh-shi, Osaka 562-0001
    • Phone Number 072-721-2747
    • Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
      Price: Momiji tempura 60g from 440 yen
      Closed: Thursdays

Stroll Through the Greenery to Minoh Falls

Stroll Through the Greenery to Minoh Falls

Walking to Minoh Falls amongst the maple and cedar trees while listening to the whispering of the Minoh River is pure bliss.

The paved riverside trail is easy to follow, and there is no risk of getting lost. For those who want to dive deeper into nature, you can also leave the paved trail for the unpaved mountain route, which has steps and steeper slopes and offers a more intimate encounter with the surrounding wilderness.

Hikers can freely enter and rest at the “Umeyashiki” building, one of the remaining teahouses of the many that once lined the trail. It is a wooden thatched roof one-story house constructed in 1921 in the sukiya-zukuri architectural style. While you can’t eat here, it’s okay to have a quick drink.

Umeyashiki
・Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
・Closed: 12/29 - 1/3 (government holiday)
・Minoh Park Management Office: 072-732-3014

Minohsan Ryuan-ji: Bask in the History of a Prestigious Temple

Minohsan Ryuan-ji: Bask in the History of a Prestigious Temple

On the way to Minoh Falls is Minohsan Ryuan-ji. Believed to have been originally founded by Enno Gyoja in 650 CE, it features the oldest image of Benzaiten in Japan, who is the temple’s main deity.

It long enjoyed a deep connection to the royal court, receiving its title of Ryuan-ji after granting the prayers of Emperor Go-Daigo. The temple’s 400-year-old tradition of “Minoh no Tomi” is said to be the basis for the modern Japanese lottery.

Minoh no Tomi is held annually on October 10, and the three lucky winners each receive a special good luck charm.

The temple’s goshuin stamps, which are believed to protect against plague, feature “Hakuryu Daimyojin,” the guardian deity of rivers (500 yen). From Minohsan Ryuan-ji, Minoh Falls is a 20 minute walk away.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, and wash hands regularly - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Guests are asked to wear masks

  • Minohsan Ryuan-ji
    箕面山 瀧安寺
    • Address 2-23 Minohkoen, Minoh-shi, Osaka 562-0002
    • Phone Number 072-721-3003

Arriving at Minoh Falls!

Arriving at Minoh Falls!

Walking 40 minutes from the station, or 20 minutes from Minohsan Ryuan-ji, you’ll finally arrive at Minoh Falls.

This 33-meter-high waterfall is the only one of Japan’s “100 Great Waterfalls” in Osaka Prefecture, and it has long been celebrated for its jaw-dropping beauty.

The dense maple trees and water flowing into the basin weave together a scene like a painting. You can get right up close to the waterfall basin, allowing its spray to invigorate the body.

In spring, the vivid green maple leaves shine brightly against the waterfall, while in summer, the spot is frequented by locals and visitors alike seeking refuge from the heat.

Autumn is famed for the fiery array of fall foliage, while winter endows the scene with a pattering of snow. Nearby is a souvenir shop, along with benches to sit and tuck into a bento box while absorbing the scene.

Minoh Falls in the autumn foliage season.
Minoh Falls in the autumn foliage season.

What to Eat in Minoh

Kawadoko Isoyoshi: A Charming Riverside Restaurant

Kawadoko Isoyoshi, a 20-minute walk from Minoh Station, is a picturesque restaurant perched on the side of the Minoh River.

It was popular during the Meiji Period until the beginning of the Showa Period, and was restored to its former glory 11 years ago, with two establishments currently running.

Kawadoko Isoyoshi is open between April and October, allowing patrons to dine whilst relishing the cool afternoon breeze from the river. At night, the romantic glow of lanterns forms an enchanting, otherworldly atmosphere, totally different from the daytime.

The menu features kaiseki-style makunouchi dishes, including sashimi, tempura, pickles, salt-roasted ayu sweetfish, rice, and various other morsels cooked in a range of styles (from 4,200 yen, telephone reservation required at least one day in advance).

During the period when the riverside restaurants are closed, you can enjoy delicacies like pufferfish, hotpot, and more at the main restaurant near Minoh Station.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - テーブル間Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Restricted admission, reservation system in place - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks requested/temperature and health check enforced

  • Kawadoko Isoyoshi
    川床 磯よし
    • Address 1-20 Minohkoen, Minoh-shi, Osaka 562-0002
    • Phone Number 072-724-2477
    • Hours:
      - April 23 - June 30 and September 20 - October 30: Noon - 5:00 p.m.
      - July 1 - September 19: Noon - 9:00 p.m.
      Closed: Open daily (may occasionally close temporarily)

YUZUYA Bettei: Sushi With Minoh Yuzu

The smoked coconut salmon.
The smoked coconut salmon.

YUZUYA Bettei serves fresh sushi flavored with seed-grown yuzu citrus, only found in the Todoromi area of Minoh. The colorful sushi is arranged in a circular wooden “wappa” container and includes seasonal vegetables and pickles, freshly-caught seafood marinated in original sauces, and vinegared rice flavored with yuzu juice, all with a faint yet invigorating fragrance.

There is a fantastic diversity of other dishes to try too, including Asian-style “Smoked Coconut Salmon” (1,200 yen, not including tax) and Hawaiian poke-style “Tuna Soy Sauce” with Yuasa soy sauce from Wakayama and sesame oil (1,500 yen, not including tax).

The ethical and fermentation-themed cuisine at the accompanying French restaurant also boasts the kind of food that will keep you coming back. They offer both take-out and eat-in options.

*Consumption tax is 10% for eat-in, 8% for take-out.

Near YUZUYA Bettei, in the vicinity of the Ichinohashi Bridge, is YUZUYA Hashimoto-tei, which was built as a ryokan inn in 1930 but was destroyed in a landslide in 2016.

The original exterior was painstakingly restored and reopened in 2020 as Franc et élégant YUZUYA. In August, 2022, the 2nd floor French restaurant YUZUYA A TABLE UKITA also opened.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Restricted admission, reservation system in place - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks requested/temperature and health check enforced

  • YUZUYA Bettei
    YUZUYA別亭
    • Address 1 Chome-6-2 Minoh, Minoh-shi, Osaka 562-0001
    • Phone Number 050-5526-2941
    • Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. (hours are subject to change)
      Closed: Irregularly

HOKUSETSU SPICE Lab: For Those That Like Their Food Hot!

The 3-flavor Aigake Plate: Full Topping Set (1,700 yen)
The 3-flavor Aigake Plate: Full Topping Set (1,700 yen)

HOKUSETSU SPICE Lab is a super popular restaurant opened by a passionate chef with self-proclaimed “spice mania.”

Lunchtime diners can choose between two or three curries in one “aigake” set, including a curry of local vegetables from the Hokusetsu area, a keema curry of Japanese Black wagyu, and the special curry of the day.

There are also five different toppings, such as spicy stewed beef tendon and spicy boiled egg. The portion of rice can also be changed, and the burn can be intensified with a special spice paste for 50 yen.

Craft Cola (2,000 yen, for dilution)
Craft Cola (2,000 yen, for dilution)

The evening menu changes to individual dishes, making it totally different from lunch. Cumin, coriander, cardamom, cloves, and various other spices are added to the dishes, yielding a symphony of tastes and aromas.

You can pair them all with locally brewed craft beer from Mino, along with craft cola, a current trend in Japan. The cola is made with 10 carefully selected spices bolstered by Minoh's own yuzu citrus, and if you buy a bottle of undiluted cola, you can enjoy it at home by mixing it with carbonated water.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature

  • HOKUSETSU SPICE Lab.
    北摂スパイス研究所
    • Address 2-1-34 Minoh, Minoh-shi, Osaka 562-0001
    • Phone Number 072-735-7799
    • Hours:
      - Lunch: 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (last order 2:30 p.m.)
      - Dinner: 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. (last order 10:30 p.m.)
      *One drink included, including soft drink
      Closed: Thursdays

Minoh Onsen Spa Garden: Soak in Hot Springs While Admiring the Views

The Oedo-Onsen Akafuji Open-Air Bath
The Oedo-Onsen Akafuji Open-Air Bath

To help wash away fatigue and freshen up after your walk to Minoh Falls, we recommend a dip in one of the onsen hot springs around Minoh Station.

These hydrogen carbonate springs are said to help alleviate nerve pain and arthritis, and will leave your skin moisturized and radiant.

The inside baths are fitted with tatami straw mat flooring, which feels soft and pleasant on the feet. There are also open-air springs, lie-down baths, saunas, and five bedrock baths (for an additional fee).

Reception is reached from the entrance via a high-rise see-through elevator, presenting stunning views of the Osakan cityscape, particularly beautiful at night.

In addition to the baths, there is also an eatery, taishu engeki theater, kayo song show, and leisure facilities designed like a traditional Japanese festival.

If you stay next door at the Minoh Kanko Hotel, you can use the Spa Garden for free! Plus, you'll also be able to use the hotel’s rooftop open-air hot spring, which is reserved for hotel guests only.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Restricted admission, reservation system in place - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks requested/temperature and health check enforced

  • Ooedo Onsen Monogatari Minoh Onsen Spa Garden
    大江戸温泉物語 箕面温泉スパーガーデン
    • Address 1-1 Onsen-cho, Minoh-shi, Osaka 562-0006
    • Phone Number 0570-041-266
    • Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 11:45 p.m. (last entrance 10:45 p.m.)
      Closed: Open daily
      Admission
      - Adults: 1,813 yen (weekdays), 2,253 yen (weekends, public holidays, other special days)
      - Elementary school children: 1,078 yen
      - Preschool children: 638 yen
      Night-time Admission (from 5:00 p.m.)
      - Adults: 922 yen
      - Elementary school children: 572 yen
      - Preschool children: 352 yen
      *Those with tattoos or similar markings cannot enter.

MINOH BEER: Relish Fresh Local Craft Beer!

MINOH BEER: Relish Fresh Local Craft Beer!

MINOH BEER is a 12-minute walk from Makiochi Station, one stop over from Minoh Station via a 2-minute train ride. It’s easy to pop by on your way back to Osaka, and it is instantly recognizable from the adorable monkey mascot.

The “WAREHOUSE” bottle shop and pub, which adjoins the brewery, serves their own craft beers on tap. They have won numerous international awards, and are made with 100% malt unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Fresh brews include the standard pilsner, weizen, pale ale, and stout, alongside limited beers only available here.

The food menu includes sausage sets, cheese and ham, and other classic beer nibbles, along with some heftier meals like sandwiches and margherita pizza.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Ventilation measures in place - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Increased space between seats - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Guests are asked to wear mask

  • MINOH BEER WAREHOUSE
    箕面ビール本社・WAREHOUSE
    • Address 3-14-18 Makiochi, Minoh-shi, Osaka 562-0004
    • Phone Number 072-725-7234
    • Hours:
      - Shop: 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
      - Pub: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (last order 8:30 p.m.)
      Closed: Thursdays

Venture From Minoh to Katsuo-ji Temple

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

If you have extra time, we recommend venturing from Minoh Park to Katsuo-ji Temple, which is also famous for its autumn leaves. You can get there in 10 minutes via taxi from Hankyu Minoh Station.

This exquisite temple boasts a history stretching back around 1,300 years, and those seeking success in business, exams, sports, games, and more, often visit and dedicate a “kachi daruma” doll to receive its blessings and luck in winning.

It is also a flower hotspot, with a profusion of rhododendron, hydrangea, and more throughout the vast grounds.

While Minoh Falls is only accessible on foot, the paved trail is largely flat and easy to walk on, making it a doable hike for visitors of all ages and fitness levels.

There are also plenty of spots to rest, grab something to eat, and sightsee along the way, so take your time to thoroughly enjoy the bounties of this remarkable hidden gem.

As you approach the waterfall, the sounds of rushing water will fill your ears, and once it comes into view, you’ll feel your body heal as its refreshing, stimulating presence cleans the soul.

▼Recommended Tours in Minot▼

*The information in this article is accurate as of June, 2022. For the latest, please confirm at official websites.

Written by:

WESTPLAN

WESTPLAN

Kiko Matsuda, Keiko Kimura, Risa Tsuji, and a team of female writers familiar with Kansai. We love eating, drinking and traveling! We share fun information based on our experiences.

*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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