Minoh town and the Meijinomori Minoh Quasi-national Park are getaway spots from the summer heat of Osaka city. Short distance and easy access to the place make the park crowded in summer, spring and autumn. The main attraction is a waterfall located about half an hour on foot from Minoh train station. This is where most of the people go. The path from the station actually ends there. Most of the people come to Minoh by train and walk the path. Others drive to a parking lot situated above the waterfall on the main road that goes across these small mountains. The way between the station and the fall is a very nice pathed path in the woods, along a stream, but it's very crowded. The park is also a nice place for hiking if you live in Osaka and want to get out of the city for a day.

Much more interesting place though is the parking lot itself. It's in that parking lot where monkeys can be seen. The group passes through the parking lot everyday at about 5 pm. That's what I was told by American hikers that I met on one of the trails there. I've been to Minoh twice and during my first trip the monkeys were actually passing through the lot, but not the second time. The passage takes about an hour. There are many of them and they have to go through all the garbage bins and hang out for a while near vending machines before entering the forest again.

The road continues up the mountain and near the top is a temple which is nice, but for some reason the entrance fee is Y500. I just laughed and took off. There are many trails in this area and are pretty empty. Actually the only people that I met on 3 different trails were 2 Americans. It was a weekday and situation may be a little different on a weekend considering how close it is to Osaka and Kobe. Most of the people walk to the fall and back.

Monkeys can be seen on the trails as well. I saw only one once, but wherever there is one there is always more. Later, I saw more on the main road while cycling back down to the parking lot. Three places where I had seen them were on the waterfall side of the mountain. I'm not sure wether or not it was a just a coincidence.

The ride itself to the mountains from Osaka is not very interesting as it leads through neverending city all the way to Minoh station.

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