Photo courtesy of Otowa Sansou, Meiji no Mori Mino Kokutei Koen
Otowa Sansou, Meiji no Mori Mino Kokutei Koen
Located in a quasi national park about 20 kilometers due north of Osaka, this 87-year-old ryokan-style property has maple trees as neighbors. The park teems with nature, home to 1,300 plant species and 3,500 insect species. Despite its proximity to the city, Otowa Sansou is a tranquil place to stay, especially spectacular in the fall when the maple leaves gracefully morph from green to fiery red. The traditional Japanese inn is a window to the past, with a pretty, central courtyard shaded by maple trees, and shoji (paper sliding screens), tatami, and lanterns used in the design.