Nearly everyone who comes to Mino comes to see the waterfall! It has been designated as one of Japan's Top 100 Waterfalls and is the only one in Osaka Prefecture on the list. The walkway to the falls is very scenic and not at all strenuous. For those who enjoy serious hiking, the paved path leading all the way to the falls might be a letdown but for those who just want to see the waterfall and just enjoy being outdoors, it's really nice!
It's also convenient as a nature spot to reach for those without a car, which cannot be said for many natural sites. The best season is considered to be autumn because the changing leaves make the path to the falls more beautiful, but it also brings in more people, so those wanting to feel the nature a little more without so many people should consider a different time of year.
I went during the fall and thought it was nice though! The lower half of the trail is really festive and the crowds were not so bothersome except perhaps right at the falls but I was still able to enjoy the view.
The walk and falls are all free.
The insect museum is located along the path to Mino Falls. It is a great place for anyone traveling with children. The museum features many insects from all over the world, including the world's rarest butterfly.
In addition to the insect displays, there is also a place where you can hear various insect sounds, a small butterfly room where living butterflies fly freely about as you walk the path, and displays about the body features of insects.
It's a fun museum and for me it was worth it just to see all the little kids enjoying it!
Entrance is 270 yen.
Saikoji is a small temple that is famous, like much of the area, as a good spot to see the autumn leaves. It is said to be the first temple in Japan to be dedicated to the worship of Ganesh, the Hindu god which was also made a Buddhist saint.
It's a nice stop on the way to see the waterfall, and the temple grounds are free.
There are a couple of small shrines on the road leading up to Minoo Falls.
The first one you come to is a new looking wooden building, right next to the red bridge on my Minoo Introduction page.
A more pleasant one is located beyond this one - walk to the back of the shrine and go up the stairs with the the row of stone lanterns next to them. This one is not immediately apparent from the road so watch out for it (although it is more obvious on the return journey)
This shrine (sorry don't know the names for either of them) is made of a darker wood and is much more atmospheric to wander around, with the smell of woody incense.
It is definitely worth a look.
Just 5 minutes walk past the Minoo Hotel will bring you to the Minoo Insect Museum.
The displays here largely consist of dead insect specimens in display cases, which will probably only be of interest to insect enthusiasts.
There is also a large butterfly house with a glass roof which is much more interesting. There are places to sit and numerous species of butterfly fluttering around. It really is very pleasant and there are plenty of opportunities for those interested in photography.
One thing to note is that each butterflies has an identity number written on its wings, which kind of spoils the effect. Fortunately photoshop does a wonderful job of masking this!
OK - I told you it was hideous!
Have you ever seen such an ugly hotel?
What was the architect thinking??
Minoo Hotel dominates the hillside overlooking Minoo town and is a real eyesore. On the plus side it makes a useful landmark - just walk up the road past it to get to the falls.
It also has a pleasant spa.
Take the lift up to the hotel (a couple of hundred yen and free on the way back) and follow the signs for the spa. It costs 1300 yen and apparently there is an outside bath for the women (although not the men). You buy modesty towels from the dispenser in the changing room and you are best to bring a towel for drying with you.
It is a bit of a haunt for the older generations and it may not be worth the entry price but its still quite nice and good for warming up in after a hike to the falls on a winter day
The main attraction in Minoo are the falls which are a 30 - 40 minute walk away from the train station. It is very easy to find, from the station walk towards the hideous Minoo Hotel which dominates the hillside and follow the road past it.
Keep going and you will reach it in no time.
At the falls there is an area where you can sit and eat a picnic, but this can be crowded at the weekend.
During the week it is not uncommon to see locals doing their streching there. I have been a few times and have been surprised by how friendly the people there are - its not unusual to be approached by someone who wants to chat.
The Minoo Waterfall is famous and very popular among Osaka local people.
And the path to the waterfall is very good,too.
Here,you can see some Japanese traditional houses. And the air from the trees and the river is refreshing.
Minoo waterfall is loved by local people here in Osaka. We often visit it.
In summer,the air is refreshing (because the path to the waterfall is surrounded with trees).
In autumn,the leaves are yellow and red...so beautiful!!
Usually we visit it in daytime, but this photo was taken on the summer festival day. So the waterfall was illuminated.