Minoo is an area in the mountains just north of Osaka, not to far out by train. It’s actually not a place I’d known of, but over a chilled out breakfast at Eggs ‘n Things in Shinsaibashi it was picked out at random on a map as it just looked like an interesting place.
Incidentally I really recommend Eggs ‘n Things as a breakfast stop, it’s actually a Hawaiian style place (and Hawaiian based I think), doing great ranges of breakfasts from fried eggs with Canadian bacon, to delicious looking pancakes. They have quite a few places across Japan, but it had taken until now to actually find one due to a strange ghosting marker on Google Maps days before.
Arriving in Minoo it started to rain steadily the second after stepping out of the station, but not being in the mood to buy yet another umbrella I decided to just tough it out and get wet instead. The path out into Minoo Park led past a small area of shops, that were still open despite there being no one around.
Now the path through Minoo Park cutting through the valley is actually quite a wide paved / tarmacked path, yet somehow we managed to miss this and ended up on a muddy track climbing up into the hillside. At the top there was a muddy clearing with what would have been quite a nice sight of some sakura trees, only up here they weren’t in bloom (presumably due to the cold higher up the hillside).
Weaving back down another trail led into a small park next to the river, with a small shrine nearby as well. After a bit of exploring the area we pressed on across the bridge and continued further into the park, somehow once again missing the actual main path and ending up on a smaller dirt track along the side of the river.
The track cut back and fourth across the river a couple of times via some small bridges, with some areas where you could step down to the rocks in the river.
The small track continued to follow the river, cutting through some impressive rock faces, before eventually a narrow bridge crossed the river linking back up with the main pathway, this made for easier and less muddy walking. The main path soon led to an undercover break area, with restrooms, vending machines, seats and a handful of shops, though the shops were closed, probably assuming not many people would venture out in the rain.
Continuing along the main path, which again followed the river, gave more great views of the valley below, the tree lined hillsides, and quite a few various plants that were shinning from the water left by the rain.
A few more kilometers further along and the path led to a clearing with a waterfall cascading over the edge of the tall rocks above and into a lake below, before forming the source of the river which the trail had followed.
After taking in the view of the waterfall and the water crashing over the rocks at the start of the river, we followed the main path back toward the town, curious to see where the main path actually had started. Along the way was a solitary Ice Cream vending machine, yup even out here on a random mountain path there was still a vending machine! Despite it still raining and me being fairly soaked, I still decided to buy a pot of cool looking flavoured ice chips, as it turns out though I should have probably read what flavour they were, as they tasted like Listerine mouth wash!
The main path then led back through a small section of traditional buildings, with the path curving around and a drop to the river below, a really picturesque sight, especially in the rain.
More walking eventually led back to the trail of shops leading back to the town and station, looking back the main route was actually really obvious, and the original trail we had taken into the park was the narrowest path and easiest to miss, but it had led to a nice walk through the park along a different route.
Overall Minoo is a really nice trip out from Osaka, it doesn’t take long to reach, but it really is a nice change of pace from the busy city areas of Namba, Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi.