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July, 7 th 2019
Wild monkeys. Every morning I see these mountains when I leave the station heading to go to work. And every morning I’m wondering how it would be being there right now and dreaming of it. These mountains were the mountains of Minoo. We went there in the end of autumn (read more about it) and it was the beginning of these event. I always dreamed of going there again in another season. A perfect match. Since the Minoo park and its waterfall is a popular tourist’s spot I expected many people to join. I was right. This time I joined the group at Senrichuo Station and was happy that even though with many new people they managed to gather at Ōsaka Station smoothly without me. It was warm and I already sweated a lot while walking to the Station. The sun was already burning. We all met at Senrichuo Station and took the bus to skip the residential area. We walked around a corner and followed a small road which directly guided us into the mountains. Surprisingly, from one to another moment we had the feeling to be deep in the countryside and hiked next to young rice field surrounded by deep green mountains. Soon we entered a forest and in the shadow of the trees it was very nice to hike even in summer. Officially we have rainy season right now, but generally there isn’t much rain at all and today’s weather was the perfect summer’s day. Smoothly we climbed up on that forest trail. The path was small and next to us large deep green fern was growing. The soil was soft and it was very relaxing atmosphere with happy people chatting with each other. I admit after a while of climbing we all sweated a lot and took several small breaks to cool down, but it was still enjoyable. We arrived at Katsuo-ji temple and I was surprised about such a beautiful place. The temple required to buy a ticket and for today’s hike it wasn’t suitable to enter. But I definitely will come back to visit the temple soon. We took our lunch break in the shadow of the temple’s entrance. I cannot describe the deeply feeling of happiness I had on these perfect summer’s day in the mountains surrounded by amazing people. With an ice cream in my hand, we slowly continued our way to Minoo park. The trail I chose was absolutely locked, so we continued the main road and I hoped for a trail to sneak into the mountains soon. Luckily we only needed to walk on that road for a few hundred meters until we found a trail into the mountains again. While the sun was shining with all its power we enjoyed the shadow of the forest we were hiking through. The alternative trail I chose was also blocked, it seemed all the trails which were higher in the mountains were heavily damaged. It didn’t affected us that much, but the trail was way shorter and we were close to the famous Minoo fall very soon. Suddenly I recognised the the trail we were walking on. This part was merging the one we already did last December. We arrived a junction and since it was very early due to the short cut I let the group decide wheater to go to the waterfall directly or take a beautiful detour which will lead us through the place where the monkeys lives. They decided for the detour even though the trail was blocked with a yellow tape and the note “dangerous”. After some experiences with blocked trails during previous hikes I wouldn’t cross anymore, but this time I knew the trail was safe and amazingly beautiful since we already hike it last December and there wasn’t any typhoon yet. Some people weren’t happy to cross the tape, but at least they trusted me. The trail didn’t change in the last seven months. The sunlight was shining through the huge trees while we were hiking along a ridgeback and climbing up continuously. Silence. On this part of the trail is a spacial atmosphere. The fallen trees created a very nice smell. I cannot describe it. It is very unique and enjoyable. The trail’s condition was messy at a minimum (it can change very quickly after upcoming typhoons). This part is one of my favourite trails around Ōsaka. Before we climbed down, we could enjoy an amazing view of Ōsaka on one side and Minor’s mountains on the other side. We crossed a street again and followed a forest road. After a few hundred meters we bumped into the wild monkeys habitat when we went there last time. We were surprised and amazed by all the monkeys surrounding us. I hoped so much there would be still there. My hope came true and exactly at the same place we spotted the first monkey last time, the spotted one there again. We waited for the rest of the group to catch up and go through together when a man appeared. He told to Sayaka that we’re not allowed to pass, but he led us the choice to go back (which meant a huge detour) or go through the area very quickly without taking any pictures. I was very thankful and happy for this. I can understand the ban to protect the monkeys from the plenty of tourists who might come and mess up. We were visitors and we should behave like this. I don’t support zoos and animals in cages, the more thankful I was for the opportunity of this short visit at the monkey’s home. They are amazingly adorable and when I look into their faces, no doubt, it feels like a mirror. This time the monkeys were enjoying the sun and warm temperature the way we at the weekend. Lying in the sun, taking a nap and delousing each other. Between them tiny baby monkeys which play with each other. After passing the monkey’s habitat it was only a short walk to the famous waterfall. Last time I was a little bit disappointed, because I expected it to be a bit more amazing, so my hope was that the waterfall may has a more blue collar in summer. It hadn’t. Again the most important part was the journey itself. Anyway the waterfall is nice and the place around either. It fits the perfect Japanese image and all of us enjoyed and were happy. After a while of taking pictures together we headed on a beautiful path along the river to the Station. I was very keen to take a break at the foot onsen next to the station, but unfortunately it was already closed. Closing public bridges and foot onsen is something I will never understand about the culture. Together we went for dinner at Umeda and finished a nice day of hiking.
Access: Senrichuo Station / 外院 (Hankyu Bus Line 23) – Minoo Station