Minoo Park (箕面公園)

Friday, 27 April 2018

Located about 30 minutes by train north of Osaka, Minoo Park (箕面公園), or Minoh Park is one of the most beautiful places in the Kansai region to see autumn leaves in a very natural and tranquil environment. When we arrived at Mino-O Station (箕面駅) at about 10:00am in the morning, it was raining when we got off the train so there were barely any other people around except for local store vendors slowly opening up their shops. (Maybe it was too early as well?)

The main hiking trail of the park starts from the station, passes by Ryuanji Temple (瀧安寺) and ends at Minoo Waterfall (箕面滝). It's about 3km in length and takes about 1 hour to complete (1 way). Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the waterfall because as we were making our way there, we were told by other tourists that the road was blocked off, so we didn't proceed any further than a short path past Ryuanji Temple.

We were disappointed that we couldn't see the waterfall, but hike itself was an absolutely brisk one and a lovely contrast to the urban streets of Osaka. Due to the wet weather, it wasn't busy either so it was really a nice break from the bustling foot traffic of city life.

Minoo is also known for their maple leaves, so we took the advantage to take any photos as we could and even tried their famous momiji tempura (もみじ天ぷら) or maple leaf tempura. There are quite a few street vendors selling momiji tempura along the main street of Minoo, so there's no need buy them immediately once you leave the station. The maple leaf tempura we bought had the perfect level of sweetness but it was too oily for my liking.

As we were walking back towards the station, we also noticed a foot bath called Yuzuru No Ashiyu (ゆずるの足湯) that's open to the public free of charge. Sharon dipped her feet in for about 10 minutes and found it really relaxing.

For lunch, we visited a restaurant near the station called Tokutoku Udon Shin Minoo (得得うどん 新箕面店) and had some udon, katsudon (カツ丼) and akashiyaki (明石焼き). The main dishes were so-so, but it was my first time trying akashiyaki, which are dumplings that are meant to be dipped in a broth before eating—almost like takoyaki in soup!

Tokutoku Udon Shin Minoo (得得うどん 新箕面店)
6-4-1 Minoo, Osaka 562-0001
562-0001 大阪府 箕面市 6-4-1

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