Where do you think of when you hear the word "fall foliage spots" in Osaka? When it comes to autumn leaves, the neighboring city of Kyoto is famous, but in fact, Osaka also has a number of hidden spots and spectacular fall foliage that are incredible. Usually from early November to mid-December, these 5 best fall foliage in Osaka can be best enjoyed. From parks where you can admire the autumn leaves while hiking, temples where the leaves are lit up, to waterfalls and autumn leaves in collaboration from a suspension bridge, these spectacular locations must be on your bucket list.
Mino Park: A beautiful collaboration of waterfalls and autumn leaves
Free of admission, Mino Park, located in the Meiji-no-mori Minoh National Park, is a place where you can enjoy the collaboration of the 33-meter Minoh Otaki Waterfall, one of the 100 best waterfalls in Japan. Together with the autumn leaves, this park is great to hike along the gorge where the water from the waterfall flows.
The park is only 30 minutes away from Osaka City by train, and its 83.8-hectare expanse is one of the most valuable places in Osaka to experience nature, where you can observe different plants and animals in each of the four seasons.
It is also famous for its light-up displays of autumn leaves, such as the "Mino Otaki Light-up" from the beginning to the middle of November, and the "Takianji Temple - Insect Museum Light-up" from the middle to the end of November.
Katsuoji Temple with mystical, illuminated autumn leaves
Katsuoji Temple, also located in Mino National Park, is known as the "Temple of Victory" because it once cured an emperor's illness with a prayer. Businessmen, athletes, and other visitors from all over the country come to the temple to pray for victory, and the temple grounds are lined with victory daruma dolls.
In autumn, the trees on the grounds of the temple, which cover an area of about 80,000 square meters, all change color at once, creating a beautiful contrast with the green mountains in the background. In addition, the "Special Nighttime Illumination" held every year for a limited time is a great way to enjoy the mysterious and beautiful scenery of the Benten Pond with its illuminated leaves, mist and LED lights.
The entrance fee is 400 yen for adults over high school age, 300 yen for elementary and junior high school students, and 100 yen for preschool children.
Daisen Park Japanese Garden
Daisen Park Japanese Garden is in Sakai, Osaka, and visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery, including a small mountain called Tsukiyama, created in the image of Luzhan, a famous scenic spot in China which is also registered as a World Heritage Site.
During the autumn foliage season, the maple trees and ginkgo trees change color and are lit up at night for five days each year. The reflection of the illuminated leaves on the pond in the garden is a rare sight that can only be seen at this time of year.
You can check the official Twitter page for announcements about the best time to see the leaves and when the lights are on from here.
Hoshida Park: Collaboration of Suspension Bridge and Fall Foliage
Fall foliage seen from high ground on the suspension bridge in Hoshida Park has a rewarding view that can not be experienced elsewhere. There is a full-fledged rock climbing facility with a height of 16.5 meters above the ground, as well as a 200-meter-long promenade too. Together, these makes this park a popular spot for hiking and enjoying the outdoors while surrounded by nature in all seasons.
Known as the "Star Swing," this is one of the largest suspension bridges in Japan, with a length of 280 meters and a height of 50 meters above the ground. In the fall, the red and orange forests spread out below the suspension bridge, and you can see the autumn leaves in a powerful panorama. The best timing to see the fall foliage is usually from mid-November to early December.
Osaka Castle Park: Famous for cherry blossom and fall foliage
Osaka Castle Park is an urban park with the Osaka Castle Keep at its center and 13 important cultural properties scattered throughout. The park is commonly known as one of the best viewing places for cherry blossom in spring, but to those in the know, the fall foliage also gives a spectacular view with the castle in the background.
A line of golden ginkgo trees stretches for about a kilometer around the east outer moat, the pond in the Japanese garden reflects the autumn leaves and "Osaka Castle in reverse," the maple garden near the south side of the east outer moat is lined with reddish maple trees, and the observatory of the castle tower offers a panoramic view of the park from above.