My first weekend in Takatsuki, Osaka! I had plans to go into Osaka city on Sunday, so on Saturday I decided to get into nature and try out some hiking! I walked about an hour to a hiking area that was suggested on Trip Advisor for a waterfall. It is in the Settsukyo (摂津峡) Mountain Park.
It was warm, so I took my time and lots of water. Armed with a map of Takatsuki, sunglasses and a hat plus some water and off I went! I decided to follow a direct route, which took me down a very narrow rarely used road. It generally had forest on one side and farms on the other. A few small Japanese style baby trucks, some cyclists and walkers were all I saw. A small walk-way up a path intrigued me so I explored – it had a small reservoir and I saw a turtle paddling about! My first sign of nature! Yay!
The farms were growing all sorts of things, mostly tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. Many fields looked prepared for planting, but I`m not sure what will be planted.
The road itself looked a little like it could lead to a magical place of mystery – I was reminded of the famous Hayao Miyazaki Japanese animation movie Spirited Away (千と千尋のかみかくし) where Chihiro enters a magical land after wandering away from a small road her parents were driving down to move to their new house in a new part of Japan.
I came across many greenhouses covered in thick plastic sheets, but the most surprising was one with the hugest aloe vera plant I`ve ever seen! It was massive.
Next I spotted a shrine in the near distance – behind it was a forest of bamboo!!! I was even able to get to it and took some photos which really don`t do the scenery justice, but hopefully you get the idea!
I ended up in a more urban area for the second half of my walk and saw a funky tree beside a near religious building – I`m still not sure if it’s a temple or a shrine, but it`s certainly beautiful, and the tree I find just so unique – I think perhaps it’s a large bonsai tree that somebody forgot to keep cutting! 🙂
I finally got to the final road to my destination – Settsukyo Street. The park is known for fireflies and frogs – of course they weren`t around when I was walking there as it was daytime, but I learned this from the funky artwork on the sidewalk.
I entered the park and found a children`s play area which was fun and quite neat – I tried out the zipline, of course! Found a sign for the Valley of Maples (one of my schools in Hokkaido was Maple Mountain, so I knew the word for maple trees) and off I went. I`d been warned of wild boars and black millipedes that are crazy poisonous and had on my trusty birks, so I was admittedly a little cautious! Didn`t see anybody and hiked for about an hour until I came to a view point – wow! My city is quite large, but I didn`t know. And the rest of the view was mountains! Amazing…..
Was glad to meet a woman and her young son at a campsite that appeared out of nowhere, and she assured me I was on the right track to the waterfall, but it was steep going down to it. She was right! Stairs upon stairs upon switchback stairs! I went
down, down, down…. No sign of the waterfall, but next was a river – a beautiful, blue-green river with clear gorgeous water. There were some families enjoying it, so I decided to soak my swollen sandaled feet! Amazing. Turns out, there was a little frog just by my feet also enjoying the refreshing water! (I admit I did later see a snake as well – darn, they exist in Osaka, I was hoping that they wouldn`t have made it to this mainland island as they didn`t exist in Hokkaido [in my experience which I was very grateful for] …. So, a good taste of nature.
Decided to find some food as there were a few restaurants at the base of the park instead of hunting for the waterfall. Save it for another day. I enjoyed tempera on rice and a beautifully icy cold beer! Then walked back home. It was a great day – probably a total of about 5 hours…. Felt so great to be out in nature, though I decide next time I`d better at least wear runners if not hiking boots.