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Minami Kawachi

In the southwest of Osaka lies the Minami Kawachi area, with the Kongo and Katsuragi mountains looming in the background. The area borders Nara Prefecture, and includes Kawachi-nagano and Chihaya-akasaka. Opportunities for camping, hiking, and mountain-climbing make it popular among nature fans, and the many shrines and temples and roughly 300 burial mounds make it popular among history lovers as well. Take a deep breath and imbibe the nature and history, and when you grow tired of walking, take a rest and warm yourself at a hot spring.

Mount Kongo attracts the most hikers in all of Kansai.

The tallest point of the mountains that stretch south from Ikoma is the Kongo-Katsuragi mountain range. The tallest peak in Osaka is Mt. Kongo, with an elevation of 1125 meters. Its ropeways, hiking courses, and mountain climbing courses are popular throughout the year, from the spring with its new greenery, to the winter with its frost-covered trees. The entire mountain is maintained under the name Chihaya Park, and the Chihaya Stars Nature and Museum has a star-gazing platform, as well as star-gazing events once or twice a month.

Mount Katsuragi and its campgrounds

Rising in the north of the Kongo mountains, on the other side of Mizukoshi Pass, is Mt. Katsuragi. In May, the mountaintop is washed in red from the countless azaleas that grow there. But it’s worth visiting during any season, whether for the pampas grass in the autumn, or the frost-covered trees and flowers in the winter. There are campsites and the Katsuragi Kogen Lodge near the top of the mountain, where you can stay overnight.

Enjoy Takihata’s nature

Along the lakeshore near Takihata Dam are Kotakiji Camping Ground and many hiking courses that allow you to enjoy nature as is. Takihata Lake Park is a big hit with kids, with its 160 meter super slide and other athletic equipment. There’s a fishing spot above the dam, stocked with satsukimasu salmon and trout. Also, the The 48 Waterfalls of Takishita that dot the area each have a unique look, and have been chosen collectively as one of Osaka’s most beautiful natural sights.

Rest your bones at a hot spring

World Ranch

The many hot springs of Minami Kawachi are well-known among hot spring lovers. When you’re tired after hiking or mountain climbing, these hot springs are a perfect place to rest. Try the natural Katsuragi Hot Spring(World Ranch Ichinoyu) at World Ranch, the Amami Onsen which have been around since the era of the Northern and Southern Courts period, or the peaceful Taishi Onsen at the base of Mount Nijou. How about a hot spring tour?

The ancient area of Chikatsu Asuka

Chikatsu Asuka Museum

While the Nara part of the Asuka region uses the name “Totsu Asuka,”in the Habikino and Taishi areas the place is called “Chikatsu Asuka.”Osaka Prefecture Chikatsu Asuka Fudoki-No-Oka includes over 300 burial mounds, as well as walking routes around them and viewing platforms. At the Osaka Prefecture Chikatsu Asuka Museum, designed by Tadao Ando, you can learn about the burial mounds through words and pictures.

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