Located about 30 minutes by train north from Umeda – the central commercial district of Osaka – Minoh is a tourist spot where you can enjoy lush nature and soak in historic culture. If you come here, you will get to enjoy all four seasons in various ways, such as through the river terraces during the summer and the changing colors of the leaves in fall. Below are the hidden attractions and charms of Minoh!
What Kind of Place is Minoh?
Located at the southern foot of Hokusetsu Mountains, Minoh is a city that is blessed with abundant nature. A large part of this city is designated as a national park, with the valley at Minoh River, in particular, considered as a scenic tourist spot. There are 980 varieties of plants and more than 3,000 species of insects that grow and live all around the area.
Minoh is rich in history, having been a sacred place for mountain-based Buddhism since ancient times. It is dotted with shrines, temples, and historic sites. It also houses unique spots, such as the Minoh Koen Konchukan (Minoh Park Insect Museum), as well as hot springs and footbaths. You can have a lot of fun even if you stay for one whole day!
If you find it difficult to decide on where to go given the myriad of attractions, then it is best to head to the Minoh Tourist Information Center, which can be found right beside Minoh Station on the Hankyu Line. Here, you can get plenty of helpful sightseeing information, as well as foreign language maps.
What Attractions are in Minoh?
One of the must-see spots in Minoh is the Minoh Otaki (Minoh Waterfall), which is visited by as many as 2 million tourists each year. It is a beautiful and incomparable waterfall with a height of 33m. The dynamic scene of the water rushing down from a steep cliff is quite thrilling. Depending on the season, you may also find it illuminated, with a curtain of bright lights covering the water.
You can reach this spot by car, but it is recommended to walk. It takes about 40 minutes to get here from Minoh Station by taking the road that is set along Minoh River. On the way to the waterfall, you will pass through many sightseeing spots like Saiko-ji Temple and Ryuan-ji Temple.
Another famous sightseeing spot in Minoh, Katsuo-ji Temple is an ancient temple that was built in 727. Known as the “temple of winner’s luck”, powerful people would pray for victory here. Even today, it is said to give good luck for business, exams, love, sports, and various other areas where people need luck to succeed, so it is constantly flocked by worshippers from all over Japan. There are Kachi-daruma (winning tumbling dolls) everywhere on the temple grounds, offered by worshippers who have had their wishes granted. This temple is also famous for its gorgeous scenery that changes every season. The temple precinct is painted in vivid colors with flowers like sakura (cherry blossoms), rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and autumn foliage.
Admission fee: Adult (high school student and older): 400 JPY, Child (junior high school/elementary school student): 300 JPY
River Terrace in the Summer, Autumn Foliage in the Fall
Another distinct summer feature of Minoh is the Minoh Kawayuka (riverside terrace), where you can relish delicious delicacies whilst seated on a platform that juts out on Minoh River. Experience doing so at places like Otowa Sansou Umeyashiki, which is a restaurant with a retro vibe. Your food will taste even more delicious thanks to the peacefulness brought by the refreshing wind against your face, the babbling river below, and the sight of the forest in front of you.
Another great season to visit would be autumn, as Minoh’s landscape is usually painted in bright red from the autumn leaves starting mid-November until early December. Minoh Waterfall is especially famous as a spot for viewing fall foliage. The contrast between the colorful maple trees that look like they are on fire and the rushing waterfall that makes a splash as it hits the river creates a spectacular view.
Savor Specialty Dishes and Local Beer!
Minoh is also known for its variety of unique dishes. One such dish is the Momiji no Tempura (150 JPY per pack (incl. tax)). It is a snack of edible, deep-fried maple leaves. It has a mild sweetness, strong aroma, and crispy texture. It doesn’t taste oily or greasy.
You should also try Minoh Beer! It is a local beer that wins various awards every year, such as the gold award at the international beer competition, which is dubbed as the World Beer Cup. If you visit the manufacturer’s store, you will even get to taste freshly made beer!
Aside from those featured in this article, Minoh has many other attractive spots and delicious dishes to offer. If you are interested, make sure to visit it!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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