While I have been enjoying city life here in Osaka, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the countryside and mountains. Between gorgeous, traditional Kyoto and my time in properly rural Gifu, Osaka feels phenomenally urban. It’s the third largest city in Japan, after all.
Thankfully, my friend Charlotte pointed me in the direction of Minoh, a small city in the North of Osaka Prefecture which is nestled into the mountains, rivers and forests of a gorgeous National Park.
Only a short train ride away, Minoh made for an ideal day out in the sun. Upon arrival, I was instantly pleased by the temples and architecture. A short climb upwards saw the beginnings of the park trail itself.
I followed the river some way and found the impressive waterfall, a genuinely breathtaking sight which was momentous enough that it lost nothing for being absolutely surrounded by gawking tourists.
I picked up a little frankfurter on a stick and some fried chicken, drank a sports drink and followed a side path that wound up and around, this way and that, into the mountains.
The greenery and the quiet was absolutely perfect. In the distance, the views of the city melted into the haze and cloud, giving the whole place an ethereal, floaty feeling. Deer galloped past me in the forest and I barely encountered another human.
It was a long meander back to the train station, and a short ride saw me once again surrounded by concrete and neon, living in a Blade Runner futurescape, but just for a moment I was back in the mountains where I feel so at home.
My time in Osaka is almost up, and soon I’ll be heading to Nagano, north of Tokyo, to start full-time work. That’ll be something else entirely, and I’m very excited to be surrounded by mountains and greenery and traditional temples again.
Plus, Nagano is nowhere near as bloody hot as Osaka!