Minami Kawachi

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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, 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 Kongo-Katsuragi mountain range is the tallest point of the mountains that stretch south from Ikoma. 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 spring when the greenery is freshest, to the winter when the trees are covered in a fine frost. The mountain is housed within Chihaya Park, which also includes the Chihaya Stars Nature and Museum that has a star-gazing platform and monthly astronomy events.

Mount Katsuragi and its campgrounds

Rising in the north of the Kongo mountains, on the other side of Mizukoshi Pass, is. In May, the mountaintop is bathed 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 even accommodation options at the campsites and Katsuragi Kogen Lodge near the top of the mountain should you want to stay overnight.

Enjoy Takihata's nature

Along the lakeshore near Takihata Dam one can hike along numerous course and stay at Kotakiji Camping Ground. 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 48 Waterfalls of Takishita that are dotted throughout the area each have a unique look, and have been collectively voted to be one of Osaka's most beautiful natural sights.

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Rest your bones at a hot spring

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 at World Ranch, Amami Onsen that's been around since the Northern and Southern Courts period (late 1300s), or the peaceful Taishi Onsen at the base of Mount Nijou. Or, if you can't choose, why not try a hot spring tour?

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The ancient area of Chikatsu Asuka

While the Nara part of the Asuka region uses the name Totsu Asuka (far Asuka), the Habikino and Taishi areas refer to the place as Chikatsu Asuka (nearer Asuka). Osaka Prefecture Chikatsu Asuka Fudoki-No-Oka is a historical park that includes over 300 burial mounds, as well as platforms for viewing them and routes for walking between them. At the Osaka Prefecture Chikatsu Asuka Museum, designed by Tadao Ando, you can learn about the burial mounds through words and pictures.

Mt. Kongo

Mountain stretching along the border of Osaka and Nara prefectures. There are many climbing routes from beginner to advanced levels. Juhyo (trees glazed with ice) Festival is held annually in February.

World Ranch

A Western-style leisure spot located at the foot of Mt. Kongo amongst beautiful greenery. Many enjoyable activities such as interacting with animals, horseback riding and milking.

Osaka Prefecture Chikatsu Asuka Museum

A museum presenting kofun, Japan's ancient burial mounds, built on the Chikatsu Asuka Fudoki-No-Oka. Visitors can learn about the origins of the ancient Japanese empire, and international influence on early Japan.

The 48 Waterfalls of Takihata

Enjoy the beauty of waterfalls sparkling in the sunlight filtering through foliage. Take a tour around the waterfalls and be refreshed by clean air and negative ions.

The Nakamura's Residence

Still used as a residence.

Chihaya Stars and Nature Museum

Stars viewed from the top of Mt. Kongo, the roof of Osaka, are exquisitely beautiful. At this museum, visitors can experience wonders of nature with friendly guides.

Nagano Onsen

Verdant "hidden spring in Osaka," just 30 minutes from Osaka City.

Terraced paddy fields of Shimoakasaka

Selected as one of the Top One Hundred Terraced Paddy Fields in Japan, this is a famous spot for amateur photographers, especially in the fall when the sea of golden rice ears shines in the sun.

Osaka Prefecture Chikatsu Asuka Fudoki-No-Oka

The historical park that preserves and maintains the Ichisuka tumulus cluster. There are 102 round tombs built around the late 6th century, and of these, 40 corridor-style burial chambers can be entered by visitors.

Nagano Park

Nagano Park comprises five park districts spreading at the foot of Mt. Kongo. Visit your favorite place and enjoy watching seasonal flowers, strolling in the forests, and watching wild birds.

Ko Iseki

The government-designated historic site, which is of archaeological and international significance, is now a park that inspires reflections on ancient history.

Shibagaki-jinja Shrine

An old shrine constructed by the order of Emperor Ninken, enshrining Emperor Hanzei. It is said that the Tajihi-no-shibagaki-no-miya (imperial residence) stood in this location around the 5th century.

Amanosan Kongoji Temple (Nyonin Koya)

Amanosan Kongoji Temple, dubbed "Nyonin Koya," was opened by the venerable priest Gyoki in the eighth century (in the Tempyo era). The temple's garden is beautifully adorned with cherry blossoms in spring and with colored foliage and the harvest moon in autumn.

Fujiidera Temple

The name of the city, Fujiidera, was derived from this temple. It is believed that worshippers can receive a blessing lasting 46,000 days by looking at the face of the Senju Kannon statue, a national treasure enshrined in this temple.

Tondabayashi Jinaimachi

Tondabayashi Jinaimachi, where town planning from the mid 16th century still remaining, was selected as an important traditional architectures preservation district by the national government. Enjoy time travel by visiting traditional town houses.

Sudare Museum / Inoue Sudare Co., Ltd.

The Osaka Kongo sudare (reed screen) is designated a traditional craft by the national government.

Yachuji Temple

One of the three major temples in the Kawachi area. Constructed in the Asuka period, Yachuji Temple is associated with Prince Shotoku and Soga no Umako.

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