Autumn is one of the best seasons to visit Japan. The cool, comfortable climate, and gorgeous fall colors make for a pleasant experience for travelers and locals alike. In fact, tourists flock to Japan this season just to enjoy the colors of fall foliage.
Fall in Japan usually starts late in October when the leaves start changing colors, and one of the best places to view the reds and golds of fall is in Osaka. Although many would prefer to visit nearby Kyoto and Nara for fall viewing, Osaka won’t be left behind. Osaka’s weather during this season is predominantly warm and gets cooler at night, with November rivaling May as the best time to travel. Fall foliage usually can be seen in full glory from mid-November to early December. There are many places to enjoy the foliage in Osaka and here are just some of them.
Minoo Park is a designated national park located in a forested valley in the northern part of Osaka. It is said to be the best place to visit for fall foliage viewing in Osaka. Enjoy the three-kilometer walk along the trail running from Minoo Station to Minoo Waterfall which is said to be the highlight of this spot. Don’t forget to stop by and take in the autumn scenes around the Ryuanji Temple famous for its red bridge that provides a scenic complement to the maple leaves.
To add flavor to your maple viewing experience, try some momiji tempura, which are deep-fried maple leaves in tempura batter, a good snack to take on the short hike through the park.
Also located in Minoo City is another spot popular for fall foliage viewing. Katsuo-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple situated in a forested hillside. It is a splendid place that offers a peaceful atmosphere, a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of a modern city like Osaka.
The road heading to the main shrine is surrounded by dense foliage that becomes a tunnel of fall colors, allowing a peek of the bright blue sky above the canopy. Aside from the gorgeous scenery, this temple is also known for its “winner’s luck.” People flock to this temple every year praying for good fortune.
Osaka Castle Park
Probably the most convenient spot for fall foliage viewing in Osaka is Osaka Castle Park. Situated in Central Osaka, this park is also the location of the city’s most iconic landmark, Osaka Castle. Aside from the abundance of maple trees, scattered throughout the park are gingko trees that lend a splash of golden yellow to the oranges and reds of the maple.
You can opt to go on a peaceful walk around the park while admiring the colorful autumn foliage or enjoy the breathtaking views surrounding the park from the castle’s tower observatory. History and Japanese culture buffs can also explore the castle’s museum before heading up to the observation deck.
Tourists who are only staying a day in Osaka can still enjoy the fall colors by taking a stroll along this mega thoroughfare right smack in the middle of the bustling metropolis. Midosuji Avenue, also known as Midosuji Boulevard, is Osaka’s main street which connects the Kita and Namba areas.
Although it is best known for shopping and dining, Midosuji also enchants its fall visitors with its gorgeous fall foliage featuring hundreds of gingko trees that add a brilliant golden glow to the area. The trees are also sometimes illuminated at night which lends a magical feel to the atmosphere.
Want to add thrill to your autumn viewing experience? Hoshida Park is the perfect place for you. It is located in Katano City, an hour away from central Osaka. The park boasts a walking trail and there are various walking courses available through the forest. What makes this park famous for fall foliage viewing though is the 280-meter suspension bridge, Hoshi no Buranko or Star Swing.
Hanging at 50 meters above the ground, this bridge that connects two mountains offer a panoramic view of Osaka, as well as nearby Kyoto. Enjoy a scenic walk across the bridge while taking photos with the breathtaking (literally!) backdrop of autumn colors.