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North Osaka

The Saigokukaido Road runs from the old capital to the Sanyodo Road and through the northern part of Osaka, once populated by powerful clans and shrines and temples. This area, also known as “Hokusetsu,” includes the cities of Toyonaka, Ikeda, and Minoh, built up with luxury houses in the European style that took root there long ago, as well as Suita and Ibaraki, which developed along with the influences of the 1970 World Exposition. These towns are enveloped in a calm atmosphere, laden with the touch of nature and the colors of their history.

Be sure to see the Tower of the Sun.

Tower of the Sun

Gazing into the southern sky with its face of glittering gold, the Tower of the Sun has a commanding presence. This piece of art was built in 1970 by Taro Okamoto, as a symbol of the World Exposition that was exciting the entire country. At its feet are the 2.6 million square meters of Expo Park. This includes a Japanese Garden and Natural and Cultural Gardens Gardens where you can enjoy year-round greenery and the flowers and trees of each season, as well as the National Museum of Ethnology, where you can learn about cultures from all over the world. You can easily spend a whole day here without growing bored.

Enjoy Osaka’s nature.

Mino Quasi-National Park

Only an hour away from bustling Osaka City, you can enjoy the greener side of Osaka. Settsukyo Gorge is a valley only a slight distance away from a residential area near the mountains, but the stream there is so clear that it attracts fireflies in the summer. Said to have been loved by Imperial family member Taikou for its lush greenery and colorful autumn leaves, the Meiji-no-Mori Mino Quasi-National Park(Mino Waterfall) is a place of abundant water, with a waterfall and hot springs. Here you can eat deep-fried red maple leaves, and occasionally you may come across a wild monkey.

Introducing some tasty secrets

Instant Ramen Museum

In the north of Osaka sits Mount Tennou, famous for a battle involving Akechi Mitsuhide. This area is the source of Kansai’s most renowned well water, “Rikyu-no-mizu,” which springs forth from the royal villa of Emporer Go-Toba. And thanks to the benefits of this water, the region produces world-class whiskey and beer. At the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery, you can observe the manufacturing process, and taste freshly-finished whiskey. Also recommended is the Asahi Beer factory.
Another site in this area which cannot be left out is The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. In addition to viewing the exhibits here, you can choose your favorite toppings and make your own original cup noodles.

Nosekaido and Hokusetsu’s history

Katsuoji Temple

During the Edo period, the Nosekaido Road went from Osaka, through Ikeda, to Tanba and Kameoka, and served as a transport route for chestnuts, rice, charcoal, and precious metals from Nose, Kawanishi, and Tanba, as well as sake and clothing from Ikeda. Ikeda was an important point along that road, and even now you can see the Ruins of the Ikeda Castle and the ancient layout of the town. At the Joruri Theater in Nose, you can attend performances of gidayu, a form of traditional Japanese narrative music sung to the accompaniment of a shamisen that originated in Osaka. Stretch your legs just a little to visit popular sites such as Katsuoji Temple in Minoh, where you can offer a prayer for victory, or Nose Mt. Myouken in Nos for good fortune.

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