November provides plenty of great opportunities to travel all over Japan to enjoy the beautiful scenery that nature provides with the autumn season in Japan. However, if you find yourself in Osaka in particular, there is one place that stands out from the rest that comes highly recommended – and nope, it isn’t the famous Mino waterfall autumn hot spot. It is none other than Osaka’s Katsuoji Temple (勝尾寺)!
Although less popular to overseas visitors due to the not-so-easy-to-reach factor, Katsuoji temple is actually a very nice place to visit any time of year. Why is that so? Most probably because of the presence of many daruma dolls here and there within the temple. What makes these darumas interesting are they have many different facial expressions and appear in various sizes and locations throughout the temple. Even as you enter, you will be greeted with daruma dolls to welcome your presence. So, apart from enjoying the fun of finding the daruma dolls, I also really enjoy exploring the temple and garden area as well.
When you visit the temple on a nice clear autumn’s day, you will experience the spectacular contrast of the astonishing colors of the red fall leaves against the beautiful blue sky in the background. The view from the lake with the pagoda surrounded by a colorful autumn background is also a magnificent view to soak in on your visit. Also, throughout all of November, the temple holds an ‘Autumn Night Light-up’ event on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays from sunset until 7:30 pm.
As mentioned previously, access to Katsuoji temple isn’t very easy. The best way to get here is by catching the Hankyu bus from the bus stop at Senri Chuo (platform 4) or Kita Senri (platform 5). For more information on access and transportation, see here for more details. However, remember to check the schedule carefully as the buses do not run frequently. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also travel to Mino station by foot but it will take around 2 hours!
- Best time for foliage: Mid-October to late November
- Entry fee: Adult 400 yen, Child 300 yen