I had the pleasure of going to Minoo Falls at night this year to see it lit up. The last day to go is this Sunday, so if you're looking for something to do this weekend - definitely take a chance to go!
The walking path up to Minoo Falls takes 30-40 minutes, and it's partially lit up by lights. Some parts of the path is not very well lit, but it's usually a short distance before there is some light. So please don't worry about being completely in the dark. If you're worried, there is a shuttle bus service that costs 2000 yen.
I started walking up at around 6PM, and got to the falls just before 7PM.
The Hankyu train that I took is currently doing a collaboration with Chikawa, recently a very popular character in Japan. There is a shop in Umeda at the moment and lots of places you can take pictures with it. If you like Chikawa too, definitely don't miss out on that!
"Forest bathing village", the banner says, "Welcome to Minoo"
And no I don't believe in it... for me, since I am usually a victim of mosquitoes coming for my blood, the only thing that I'll be bathing in is mosquito repellent. But it is a very nice hike, I assure you!
From the station to the falls is a 2.7KM walk. On the way, there's a spa (Oedo Monogatari chain hotel that has day spa & onsen options - it has quite a spectacular view!), a bug museum and a shrine. It's quite scenic!
You can even river dine here in Minoo!
I'll show you that in a minute, but here are some views of your walk:
And before long, you will reach Minoo Falls.
We got there just as it got dark, and there were already a lot of people there sitting and enjoying the light up of the falls. We didn't really meet many people walking up to the falls with us, so I assume they walked here just before dark to get in the views along the way. Great idea if you're not afraid of being mosquito feed!
It's a very majestic view, and I wish the pictures show more of it. There is a purple light too and they rotate between three or four colours, but the purple simply doesn't capture well on lens - though it is very beautiful in person! It's worth seeing at least once and just to enjoy the nature around us.
The only thing I wish they had done was open up the food stalls that are around the waterfall. It would have created a nicer summer atmosphere and a waste chance in profit...
But as we walked back, we just enjoyed the darkness around us littered with some lights here and there.
There were some signs that warned us against monkeys (yes, there are monkeys and I have seen them once) and giant hornet, and I tried my best not to think about it as I navigated our way back to the station.
And also taking in scenes like these:
This was the river dining area along the path. They were just about to close as we were walking back out at around 7:30PM.
Before we headed back to the station, we decided to take a look inside Oedo Monogatari Onsen here in Minoo Falls. We saw that it was quite high up, and we made an educated guess that the lobby would be up there - meaning we might be able to walk around it a little without being told to leave.
We were right.
There was an elevator up to the lobby, bring you to a bridge that goes to the lobby area. And a gift shop. If you wish to use the baths, you can purchase a ticket up there too.
And that brings us to the end of our night walk to Minoo Falls!
Have you been here before? Let us know what you think of Minoo Falls and click here to read about my other blog on beginner hikes in Kansai.