Take a Trip off the Beaten Path in Japan
Japan is a country of endless attractions for the tourist. Pretty much anywhere you go you will find something accessible, easy to do and attractive to you. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great things of which you or the travel book might not have heard. Start walking off the beaten track and you might discover something you couldn’t have known existed, short of reading a Japanese travel book in Japanese, or speaking to someone with living experience in the country. The Hoshida-Enchi Park in Osaka Kisaichi is one such place.
Osaka’s Hoshida-Enchi Park
I stumbled upon this place by complete chance. At the time I was living on a quiet suburban train line in Osaka, sitting in my front yard enjoying the view and fresh air. Looking at those mountains I decided to just start walking there, and see how far I could go. As you can probably see by the photo this was not a difficult hike, but worth the day trip if you’re living in Osaka, want to get away from the usual tourist locations, or just passing through the area (perhaps when heading between Kyoto and Osaka). Please refer to the access part of this article for directions to Kisaichi station.
Take the Walking Path at Hoshida-Enchi
The walking path in Hoshida-Enchi is very easy on the feet, and well signed. There are minimal chances to get lost, so simply following it along will get you to the destination. At various points along the way there are (quite obvious) alternative roads that take you to interesting little vantage points, but you are not missing too much if you just follow the main road.
Following the walking paths further and further I realized that wherever it was that I was heading, something for tourists or families was there. Welcome to Hoshida-Enchi.
After coming upon a vehicle parking area, you’ll enter the park via a boardwalk. The boardwalk raises you up alongside a picturesque river, so you can get a nice look at the autumn leaves.
Picnics and Outdoor Activities
At the mouth of the park, you will come across a food store, toilets and rock climbing spot. Speak to the staff in the shop about rock climbing if you would like to have some fun with that, it costs 700 yen for an adult and requires a training session to be completed. When I was there, the staff didn’t know much English, so be aware that this might stop them from allowing you to climb.
Passing the rock climbing spot, the path forks in numerous directions but they all link up to the main attraction at some point, so take whichever one strikes your fancy. The path in the photograph was taken on the smaller, straight ahead/left hand turn at the first crossroad. If you haven’t realised by now, stairs are pretty common in Japanese hikes.
Try Crossing the Star of Blanco Bridge!
At the end of the path, we come across the Star of Blanco Bridge! (星のブランコ) Crossing the bridge is a really fun experience because you can look out over the autumn red leaves, and feel the swaying as you cross. Make sure to look down from the bridge and see if you can recognise the path you took earlier. Did you notice there was this giant bridge over your head when you were down there? The bridge is 280 meters long and 50 meters high at its tallest point, making it the largest wooden foot suspension bridge in japan.
After crossing the bridge, feel free to explore the various trails around the park, or start the journey back home. If you crossed the bridge from the left side, at the end take the right hand path back down to the valley, and you will reach the “yaa ho point”.
Standing at this point, let out a really loud “YAAA HOOO” toward the people on the bridge. Many of the kids or less shy people will surely give you a response! It’s a fun experience and it’s nice to let your voice ring out through the valley.
I hope you can enjoy the Star of Blanco Bridge at Hoshida-Enchi. It will surely be a fun experience, especially if you are able to go during the peak of the autumn leaves season.
Ikimashou~ (Let’s go!)
From Kyoto: Take the Kintetsu Kyoto/Kashihara line for Kashiharjingumae to Kintetsutambabashi. It takes around 10 minutes and costs 330yen. At Kintetsutambabashi change to the Tambabashi Keihan station, and catch the Keihan main line for Yodoyabashi to Hirakatashi, taking around 15 minutes and 330 yen.
From Osaka: Ride the JR outer loop for Tennoji to Kyobashi. It costs 160yen and takes 15 minutes. At Kyobashi chance to the Keihan main line for Denmachiyanagi and ride until Hirakatashi. It takes just over 10 minutes and costs 210 yen.
From Hirakatashi: Take the Keihan Katano line for Kisaichi to Kisaichi, which takes 13 minutes and 210yen. Then, from the train station you can follow the included map to a river area, where the path is fairly obvious from there.
|Name||Kisaichi Hoshida Enchi: Rock climbing|
|Address||5019-1 Hoshida, Katano, Osaka Prefecture 576-0011|
|Access||[map]5019-1 Hoshida, Katano, Osaka Prefecture 576-0011[/map]|
|Opening Hours||March to November 9:30~17:00December to February 10:00~16:00Holidays: Tuesdays except in April, May, October and NovemberClosed on New Year’s Day|
|Price Range||700 yen for adults or 300 yen for high school students|