A Moment of Relaxation in Okukawachi

Do you know? Just 30 minutes from Osaka city, lies the nature-rich Okukawachi.
This time, i am introducing an area filled with refreshing air and rich history that offers a relaxing escape.


Ah, the air feels different.

Just a 30-minute train ride from Osaka city, and you arrive at Kawachinagano Station, the gateway to Okukawachi. The moment you step off the train, you're enveloped in gentle air.

"Okukawachi"? Isn't that Kawachinagano City?

Yes, but it’s a bit more than that. Okukawachi refers to a nature-rich area in the southeastern part of Osaka, centered around Kawachinagano City. In Okukawachi, there are many spots to enjoy nature, such as Mount Iwawaki, Mount Kongo, which are recommended for trekking, and waterfalls filled with refreshing air. Not only that, but there are also historical sites like the atmospheric Koya Kaido, Kongoji Temple with its national treasures, and Kanshinji Temple, known for its Big Dipper Mound. Why not spend a relaxing time in Okukawachi?

Nature Activities

Takihata Forty-Eight Waterfalls

The Takihata area is dotted with numerous waterfalls, historically known as the "Forty-Eight Waterfalls of Takihata". Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a leisurely waterfall tour.

First is Arataki. From Koutakiji Campground, walk 10 minutes on the prefectural road and another 5 minutes on the forest road to find a sign pointing down to the stream. Walk about 5 minutes along the riverbank and you'll find a hidden waterfall (for more details, see here). Continuing up the forest road for another 15 minutes, you'll find Gokoutaki, a majestic twin waterfall (for more details, see here). Refresh your mind and body with sunlight filtering through the trees and a mist shower.

Stunning Panoramic View! Mount Iwawaki Trekking

The summit of Mount Iwawaki, rare in Japan, is covered with vast fields of Japanese pampas grass. The green leaves of summer and the swaying pampas grass of autumn are truly breathtaking. At an elevation of 897m, the gentle Diamond Trail takes about 2 hours from the trailhead near Takihata Dam bus stop to the summit. The reward for your effort is a panoramic view of the Osaka Plain and Osaka Bay, and on clear days, you can even see Mount Rokko and Awaji Island. The return route to Amami Station takes about 3 hours. From the Iwawaki Trail Junction, descend through the Gyojikawara Junction to the satoyama, where beautiful terraced rice fields await. Make Mount Iwawaki your next trekking destination (for more details on the model course, see here).

You might meet a flying squirrel! Iwawaki Forest Shikisai-kan

Located midway down Mount Iwawaki, Iwawaki Forest is a beautiful place to visit while descending from your trek. The forest is adorned with seasonal flowers, and from late summer to autumn, it is painted with the blooms of Japanese begonia (for more details on the begonia, see here). The log house "Shikisai-kan" offers superb views and has free parking, making it accessible by car. Check their website for details on woodworking classes and more (for more information, see here).

History and Culture

May your wishes come true. The only Big Dipper Mound in Japan

Kanshinji Temple, founded in the early 8th century, is deeply connected with the famous samurai Masashige Kusunoki, known for his loyalty and bravery during Japan’s feudal period. The temple’s main statue, the Nyoirin Kannon Bosatsu (a national treasure), is considered the pinnacle of esoteric Buddhist art. According to legend, in 808, during the Heian period, the great Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi Kukai prayed to the Big Dipper to ward off evil, and stars are said to have fallen from the sky. Kukai is renowned for founding the Shingon sect of Buddhism in Japan.

Encircling the main hall are seven star mounds representing the Big Dipper, which Kukai prayed to, and each mound enshrines a star. What will you wish for? (for more details, see here).

Strolling along the Koya Kaido Road: Enjoy a drink favored by Taiko-sama

Dating back to the Heian period, the Koya Kaido Road has long been a pilgrimage route to Mount Koya, preserving its historical charm. Near Kawachinagano Station, you'll find Yodotei, a mansion with a grand facade that exudes the dignity of a wealthy merchant's home. Yodotei is a traditional Japanese architectural style built for wealthy merchants and samurai, characterized by its dignified exterior. A five-minute walk will bring you to Amanosake Brewery, marked by large wooden barrels. This brewery has revived a traditional sake, monk’s sake, once loved by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Many of their sakes are mildly sweet and easy to drink, even for women. Enjoying a drink is part of the journey (for a recommended Koya Kaido course, see here).

Gourmet and Relaxation

Enjoy the scenery with your meal: Lunchtime in the green

The café & seasonal restaurant "Poeme" offers delicious and hearty one-plate lunches, making it a popular spot. The terrace seating is perfect for enjoying the pleasant breeze while you dine. Along the Minamikawachi Green Road, the log house "Sabo Kyo" is known for its excellent coffee, making it a great place for a relaxing break. Combine a drive with a lunch and café outing on your day off (for more details, see here).

Hidden Hot Spring: Refresh your mind and body at Nanten-en

Located at the trailhead of the Iwawaki Mountain trekking route is Amami Station, where you'll find the nostalgic Amami Onsen Nanten-en, exuding an atmosphere that seems to halt time. Whether for a weekend getaway or a day trip, Nanten-en offers hot springs and seasonal cuisine to refresh your body and soul (for more details, see Nanten-en official website).

Access Information

Takihata Forty-Eight Waterfalls

  • Take the Nankai Bus from "Kawachinagano Station" to "Takihata Dam" bus stop

Koutakiji Campground

  • Take the Nankai Bus from "Kawachinagano Station" to "Takihata Dam" bus stop, then walk 20 minutes south
  • Open from April 1 to November 30
  • Tel.0721-64-1977
  • For inquiries during the winter season from December to March, please contact 0721-64-9285 (Takihata Lakeside Tourism Agricultural and Forestry Association)

Mount Iwawaki

  • Take the Nankai Bus from "Kawachinagano Station" to "Takihata Dam" bus stop, then walk 135 minutes

Iwawaki Forest Shikisai-kan

  • Take the Nankai Bus from "Kawachinagano Station" to "Kannou" bus stop, then walk 90 minutes south
  • Open from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM / Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (if a holiday falls on these days, the center is open and closed on the following day), closed during the New Year's holidays
  • Monday is a holiday: Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Tuesday is a holiday: Closed on Monday and Wednesday
  • Monday and Tuesday are holidays: Closed on Wednesday and Thursday
  • Tel.0721-63-5986

For more information:

Refresh your mind and body in Okukawachi!