Last week, I mentioned how beautiful and green Hiroshima is for a Japanese city, and that most Japanese cities are a bit drab, Osaka especially.

rules for invisible monkeys
Luckily, there is a Quasi-National Park (I have no idea why "quasi") just half an hour's train ride out of the city. I think I can say that Mino Park helped keeping me sane at times. It's biggest attraction are the waterfall (to be honest, not that exciting) and the monkeys that live in the park (which I've never spotted).

However, it's a beautiful place for a long walk, or even hike, when you're not a low-lander like me. With lush trees, old houses and a tranquil river running through the park, it's one of these places where traditional Japanese films might be shot.

kids fishing in the river
Entry is free and while it can get quite crowded on weekends, during the week it's wonderfully quiet. The park starts about a mile's walk from Mino station, but this is no chore as even the trail leading there transports you to a completely different, more relaxed and old-fashioned Japan, a harsh contrast to the fancy Umeda station where you got on the train!
an abandoned old building along the river

the main attraction - not to be watched without the matching Japanese tourist hat
 Information how to get to Mino Park and more pictures can be found here.

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