Awesome Autumn: An autumnal stroll through Osaka’s Minoh Falls and Katsuoji Temple
While looking for a day-hike in Osaka a couple of November's ago, I chanced upon Minoh Falls (箕面大滝 Minō Ōtaki) and knew right away that it was a power spot I could not miss. I took the Hankyu Railway at Umeda Station and made a transfer at Ishibashi Station to the local Minoh Line for Hankyu Minoh Station (阪急箕面駅 Hankyū Minō-eki).
Minoh Falls: An autumn power spot
Minoh Falls. (Image credit: Qiu Ting)
From Hankyu Minoh Station (often times spelled as Hankyu Mino-o Station), it’s a scenic walk to the waterfall, passing by family-run cafes and shops selling street food like yaki imo (焼き芋 baked sweet potatoes), taiyaki (たい焼き fish-shaped pastry), and soft-serve ice cream.
There is no doubt that November is my favourite month of the year. (Image credit: Qiu Ting)
The verdant green of the trees in summer had given way to resplendent reds and oranges of fall. It’s a beautiful stroll through the foliage with the refreshing cool autumn air gently nudging and enveloping you.
Minoh Falls (箕面大滝)
Address: Minoh-koen, Minoh-shi, Osaka 562-0002
Nearest station: Hankyu Minoh Station (阪急箕面駅)
Access: 40-minute walk from Hankyu Minoh Station
Opening hours: All day
Admission fee: Free
Katsuoji Temple: A hidden gem within the falls
Colours of fall. (Image credit: Qiu Ting)
Katsuoji Temple (勝尾寺) is a hidden gem that is approximately 4.5km from Minoh Falls. As there were no buses available, I made the trek by foot. The surrounding beauty of the landscape and companionship by fellow hikers made the journey worthwhile.
It was nature therapy at its best.
Daruma dolls. (Image credit: Qiu Ting)
Daruma dolls of different sizes greeted me as I inched closer into the temple grounds. There were tiny dolls scattered around the temple complex, hidden in random nooks and crannies.
They are traditional Japanese talismans symbolising good luck and perseverance. It’s a sight to behold: some of them only have an eye coloured by their respective temple-goers… supposedly waiting for their wishes to come true someday.
It’s commonplace in Japanese temples and shrines to see fortune ornaments, okimono (置物) displayed. I certainly had fun chancing upon the daruma dolls in unexpected places!
Katsuoji Temple. (Image credit: Qiu Ting)
Katsuoji Temple (勝尾寺)
Address: 2914-1 Aomatani, Minoh-shi, Osaka, 562-8508
Nearest stations: Hankyu Minoh Station (阪急箕面駅) / Senri-Chuo Station (千里中央駅)
Access: 15-minute taxi ride from Hankyu Minoh Station / 30-minute bus ride (Hankyu bus 29) from Senri-chuo Station (Midosuji Subway Line, 御堂筋線)
Opening hours: 08:00–17:00 (Weekdays, Sundays, and PH), 08:00–18:00 (Saturdays)
Admission fee: ¥400
After spending a fulfilling morning at Minoh Falls and Katsuoji temple, I joined a group of obaasan at the picnic benches, who were engaging in lighthearted chatter while I savoured the riceballs I bought from the convenience store at Minoh Station.
The hike to Minoh Falls is suitable for all ages, and makes for a lovely half-day trip out from JR Osaka Station to soak in the sights and sounds of autumn—a splendid season to be out hiking and connecting with nature, indeed.
Header image credit: Qiu Ting
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