Hoshi no Buranko – Hiking Japan
Near Kisaichi station (Keihan Railways), Fumin no Mori is one of the largest national parks in the greater Osaka area and boasts having one of the best beginner hiking courses. The national park is made up of 8 smaller parks: Kurondo Enchi, HoshidaEnchi, Muroike Enchi, Kusaka Enchi, Nukata Enchi, Narukawa Enchi, Mizunomi Enchi, and Chihaya Enchi, each containing their own unique draw. My personal favorite, Hoshida Enchi, spreads over 105 hectares, and has hiking courses that all lead to the stunning centerpiece Hoshi no Buranko (Star Bridge). The bridge takes it’s name from the Tanabata legend because it is believed the the Amanogawa River (Milky Way) runs through the park. You can read more about Tanabata here.
The wooden suspension bridge, which is the largest in the country, is 280 meters long and 50 meters high. As I first approached Hoshi no Buranko I was instantly impressed by the scale of it. Almost feeling a bit out of place, the towering bridge stands in stark contrast to the lush green forest below it. Although it didn’t create the stomach dropping feeling I get when I overlook a cityscape, the experience of walking from one side to the other can still be a bit frightening, especially for those with a fear of heights. Although the park is open year-round, I highly recommend visiting the bridge in spring, when the trees are fresh and green, or in the fall, when the leaves turn red.
Visitors wishing to see Hoshi no Buranko can take either the flat or steep trail. The flat trail takes approximately 25 minutes and the steep one, which is mainly stair steps, takes about 15 minutes. I personally prefer the steeper trail but with whichever one you choose you’re sure to work up a little sweat. For visitors after even more physical activity, checkout the park’s large rock climbing wall located near the rest stop.
Good to Know
All restrooms are squat style toilets. Before using the bathroom, you must press the yellow button. Suds will come out and you go to the bathroom on the suds. To flush, press the button again.
There is a box outside the restrooms; where visitors may put in a few coins as charity for maintaining and preserving the bridge’s appearance.
Parking is ￥200 per hour.
The path to the bridge is on the left side (looking from the parking lot).
Be prepared to walk!
Bring water or a sport’s drink. There are vending machines inside the park (none on the trail to the bridge).
The rock climbing wall costs ￥700 for adults, ￥300 for junior high and high school students, and ￥250 per person for groups of 10 people or more. Beginner courses cost￥2,500.
The nearest station to Fumin no Mori is Kisaichi station (Keihan Railway, Katano Line). It’s a 40 minute walk from the station to the bridge. On weekends, there are buses that go from the station to the bridge.
Osaka-fu, Katano-shi, Hoshida (Ooaza)
Parking lot and other facilities: 9am – 5pm
Bridge: 9:30am – 4:30pm