In Osaka, autumn leaves transform corners of the busy city, temples precincts, the mountains, and beyond into a pleasing mélange of sunny yellows, golden browns, and deep reds.

Osaka is a great city to explore in autumn: While some spots are day-trip destinations or hiking adventures, you can also pick from the more central options if you’re short on time. Walking up Midōsuji Avenue or visiting the castle are perfect ways to check out Osaka’s autumn leaf displays, even on a tight schedule. While it depends on the exact location and elevation, autumn leaves in and around Osaka tend to peak between mid-November and mid-December.

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1. Osaka Castle

osaka castle autumn leaves
Cross into autumn at Osaka Castle | Photo by iStock.com/amnachphoto

The sightseeing spot that just keeps on giving, Osaka Castle’s hundreds of cherry and plum trees transform the surrounding Nishinomaru Garden into an autumnal beauty spot. Meanwhile, rows of golden gingko trees line the paths leading to the iconic castle tower, including one that is over a hundred-years-old.

While enjoying the colors from ground level is pretty satisfying, a trip up the tower offers a vista of the whole city.

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  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry 4:30 p.m.)
  • Admission: ¥200 for the gardens; ¥600 for the castle tower
  • Closest stations: Osaka Business Park, Osakajō-kōen, or Temmabashi stations

2. Hoshida Park Suspension Bridge

Beautiful leaves surrounding the impressive Hoshida Suspension Bridge | Photo by iStock/Pixelprofessional

Located in a quasi-national park, the Hoshi no Buranko (meaning “Star Swing”) is possibly one of the most stunning autumn viewpoints in the whole of Japan, let alone Osaka. Offering views across the 105 hectare park, the largely wooden suspension bridge is 50 meters high and allows you to look down across the trees (assuming you’re not scared of heights, of course).

The park is home to multiple hiking trails and a 16 ft artificial climbing wall, so there are plenty of ways to experience the foliage. The park is a 40-minute hike from the nearest station. They are currently expecting peak colors at around mid-November.

  • Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (final entry to the bridge is at 4 p.m.)
  • Admission: Free
  • Getting there: Hike from Kisaichi Station on the Keihan Line, 45 minutes from Osaka Station.

3. Daisen Park

Home to one of the country’s top 100 Japanese gardens, Daisen Park is a popular autumn spot as it combines landscaping with deep-red leaves. The views in miniature aren’t overwhelmed with autumnal colours, but the carefully selected trees provide a beautiful scene straight out of a traditional painting. The garden has a small teahouse where you can try a seasonal sweet with green tea while enjoying the view.

  • Hours: The park is open 24/7. The Japanese garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (last entry at 4 p.m.) and is closed Mondays.
  • Admission: The park is free but entry to the Japanese garden costs ¥200.
  • Getting there: Head to Mozu Station on the Hanwa Line — 35 minutes from Osaka or 10 minutes from Tennōji.

4. Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park

Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park
Colorful leaves in Expo ’70 Commemorative Park | Photo by iStock/Evergreenplanet

Known as Banpaku Kinen-kōen in Japanese, this large park was once used to host the pavilions of the Japan World Exposition in 1970. Featuring forests, lawns, a Japanese garden, thousands of cherry trees, and the Momiji Waterfall, it’s a great place to view the autumn leaves (70s clothing optional).

Stroll along Sorado Promenade for views of the waterfall as the maple leaves turn red. The park itself is also pleasant to meander through, with plenty of pleasing hues surrounding park symbols like the statue Tower of the Sun by Taro Okamoto.

  • Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry 4:30 p.m.); closed on Wednesdays
  • Admission: Park entry is ¥260; the Japanese garden costs an additional ¥260.
  • Getting there: Catch the Osaka Monorail to Expo Memorial Park Station, about 20 minutes if you take the Midōsuji Line from Umeda to Senri-Chūō and change there.

5. Minō Falls and Katsuo-ji

Mino waterfall in autumn season
The beautiful Minō waterfall in autumn | Photo by iStock.com/Kittichais

One of the most popular spots for an afternoon out in Osaka, Minō Park is a soft hike along a river with a few bonus spots along the way. Ending in the picturesque view of Minō Falls, complete with small bridge (and probably lots of people), the walk is about 3 km long.

There are a few bonus spots along the way, like Katsuo-ji, a small but popular temple known for its links with Daruma (the round, red, one-eyed dolls). There are shops and small restaurants along the way too, so be sure to try the fried momiji (maple) leaves — an autumn specialty.

Minō hosts a momiji festival from November 12th to December 4th, with stalls, forest yoga, illuminations, and plenty of tasty autumnal treats: check here for more details.

  • Hours: Always open
  • Illuminations: The falls and Katsuo-ji are lit up during early evening on weekends and holidays between Nov. 12 and Dec. 4 (from sunset until 8:30 p.m.); transport is limited, so plan ahead.
  • Admission: Free
  • Getting there: From Umeda Station, take the Takarazuka Line to Ishibashi, then change to the Minoo Line, getting off at Minoo Station; it takes just under 30 minutes and costs ¥270.

6. Ushitakisan Daitoku-ji

autumn at Ushitakisan Daitokuji, Osaka
All the reds you can handle at Ushitakisan Daitoku-ji | Photo by Ushitakisan Daiitokuji

An area of mountains well known for autumn foliage, Ushitakisan is home to Daitoku-ji — a temple with a two-story pagoda designated as an Important Cultural Asset. Framed with the colors of autumn, the Tahōtō pagoda, bell tower, and Daishidō hall all make for stunning views. And although it’s at the end of a pretty long bus journey, it’s worth it.

There is a momiji (maple) avenue to stroll down; the beautiful Kinryū Falls nearby; and stalls selling local seasonal goods. The temple is one of Japan’s oldest and was used by Kūkai in the 9th century.

On the same bus route, get off at Ushitaki-Onsen Seseragiso-mae bus stop if you fancy a soak in the feather-like waters of Iyoyaka no Sato-an, an onsen complex with outdoor baths.

  • Hours: No closing hours, but public transport is relatively limited, so check in advance.
  • Admission: Free
  • Getting there: From Kishiwada Station (25 minutes from Namba Station on the airport express), catch the local Nankai bus to Ushitakayama (50 minutes). You can also catch the bus from Kumeda Station on the JR Hanwa Line (50 minutes from Osaka Station with one change).

7. Midōsuji Avenue

Midosuji Avenure autumn leaves
Golden leaves for days at Midōsuji Avenue | Photo by iStock.com/gyro

A 4 km stretch of unusually wide road, Midōsuji Avenue is lined with ginkgo trees and transformed into a golden haven every autumn. Located in Shinsaibashi, the avenue is home to high-end stores and boutiques as well as being a romantic place for a stroll in the evening.

Nicknamed the Champs Élysées of Japan, it has over 800 trees and is an easy-to-visit autumn spot right in the heart of the city.

  • Hours: Open 24/7
  • Admission: Free
  • Closest stations: The street is between Hommachi and Yodoyobashi stations but is also within walking distance of Shinsaibashi, Kitahama, and Higobashi stations.

8. Mt Kongō

On the prefectural border with Nara, Mt Kongō is Osaka’s tallest mountain and is popular in winter for its ice trees (juhyō), but also has some stunning autumnal foliage. Part of the Kongō Katsuragi range, the peak is 1,125 meters-tall and home to castle ruins, temples, and shrines, as well as plenty of hiking routes for all levels.

  • Hours: Open all year round
  • Admission: Free
  • Getting there: From Namba Station, catch the Nankai Kōya Line for Kawachinagano Station; from there, catch the Nankai Bus bound for “Kongōsan Ropeway-mae.”

9. Kyūan-ji Temple

Kyuanji Temple, Osaka
A traditional take on autumn leaves at Kyūan-ji | Photo by Kyuanji Temple

Kyūan-ji Temple is one of the most popular spots to enjoy fall leaves in northern Osaka.

The ancient temple is known for its traditional and long-lasting buildings as well as its maple leaves, which enhance the already beautiful gardens. Be sure to see the pagoda, bell tower, and ancient trees — and if you have time, try the forest-bathing course.

The temple also has its own autumn leaves festival, which is generally held on the third Sunday of November (Nov. 20 this year). There’s also a maple-themed tea ceremony scheduled for Nov. 23 this year.

  • Hours: 9 a.m to 4 p.m.
  • Admission: ¥300
  • Getting there: Head to Ikeda Station on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line; from there, catch the bus for Kyūanji (15 minutes).

This post is updated annually. Last update: October 2022.

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