After reading several postings by my fellow franchisees on the topic of autumn maple leaf viewing here in the Kansai area I decided to introduce a smaller less well known but beautiful park where one can enjoy the beautiful changing color of the maple leaves in autumn.
Here in Kansai some very popular, and hence very crowded locations, include the various temples in Kyoto and also around Nara Park, both of which are spectacular in autumn.
However, I was recently introduced, by one of my students at Smiths School of English to a small park which is located… on the Kintetsu Nara line (近鉄奈良線) between Hiraoka Station (枚岡駅)and Nukata Station (額田駅). You pass through this area if you are traveling from Namba (難波,なんば) to Nara（奈良） on the Kintetsu Nara line (近鉄奈良線). It is just before Ishikiri Station (石切駅) and Ikoma Station (生駒駅).
The park’s name is Hiraoka Park (枚岡公園). You can get off the train at either Hiraoka Station (枚岡駅)or Nukata Station (額田駅)and walk through the park to the other station then get back on the train and continue along your way. The park is very quiet and not crowded at all providing you with an opportunity to move along at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful autumn maple trees along with spectacular views of East Osaka City (東大阪市) from up on the mountain.
It’s also a beautiful spot to stop by in the spring to see the plum tree blossoms (梅林) and cherry blossoms (花見｛はなみ｝、桜狩)｛さくらがり｝. I highly recommend making a short stop at this park next time you are traveling along the Kintetsu Nara line (近鉄奈良線).
It’s off the beaten path but well worth a couple of hours and I’m very grateful to my student for telling me about this place!
Hiraoka Park (枚岡公園)
It’s a wonderful season here in Japan and there’s even an official website dedicated to tracking what areas are at their peak and also to help you plan your autumn leaf viewing expeditions!
Check it out! http://kouyou.nihon-kankou.or.jp/ 全国紅葉最前線
Smith’s School of English Nara – Saidaiji
月謝制 の スミス 英会話 奈良 － 西大寺校
http://www.smithweb.co.jp/school/saidaiji.shtml 英会話 西大寺 奈良市