Autumn is definitely the best time to visit this woodland park, a short train ride from Osaka. As you walk up the gently sloping path alongside a stream, look out for monkeys climbing among maple trees which are a blaze of red and yellow in the autumn months. You pass temples and shrines before reaching a waterfall.
Along the path, stalls sell maple leaves deep-fried in a sweet batter.
Take the Hankyu Railway to Minoh. 30 minutes from Umeda Station in Central Osaka.
Google map: bit.ly/SjQzWQ
Japan was (relatively) a breeze to travel around for a wheelchair user. Many many lifts, drop kerbs and excellent trains and customer service wherever you went. One of the most unexpectedly accessible adventures was a trip we took from Osaka to Hiroshima and on to Mija-jima. Osaka's floating garden observatory was fully wheelchair accessible and we even got in free. Next we made our own way through the very flat city to Osaka Castle (again, lifts aplenty despite it's age and free entry - they even ran after us to refund our money when they realised we had a wheelchair user in the party - just keep walking round till you find the flat entrance). We then took the bullet train to Hiroshima and onto the ferry at Mija-jima. While we couldn't make it up the mountain, we got to visit the temple, run away from the tame deers that try and eat your map and see all of the lower island. And eat some awesome maple treats and okonomiyaki.
With your back to Osaka's Umeda station, walk at street level around the right hand side of the Hanshin department store. There you will find an off license that serves beer and great snacks at off sale prices. There's a standing bar with sports playing in the background - stand with the suited office set drinking in a unique (for Japan) western friendly style.
Capsule hotels are quintessentially Japanese but finding one that will accommodate not only foreign guests, but also females, can be notoriously difficult.
Osaka is the birthplace of the fibreglass sleeping pod and the Capsule Inn Namba happily embraces all travellers for approximately £13 a night.
1-7-16, NAMBANAKA, NANIWA-KU, OSAKA 556-001, JAPAN
1 minute walk from Exit 31 on Namba subway station on the Yotsubashi subway line or 3 minute walk from Exit 7 on Namba subway station on the Midosuji subway line.
From Kansai International Airport
Approximately 48 minutes by Airport Limousine Bus to Namba Station (The Bus Terminal to the Airport is nearby the Hotel.)
Approximately 35 minutes by Rapit Limited Express or approximately 43 minutes by Nankai Airport Express to Namba on the Nankai Line.
Approximately 50 minutes by JR Kansai Airport Rapid Service to Namba on the JR Line.
The first option would be air travel - there are several flights from Kansai Intl (KIX) to Sapporo (New Chitose - CTS). Flights depart at 16:45, 17:55, and 20:50. The price is 39,900 yen (US $335 at today's rate).
Another option is taking a ferry and train combination from Osaka to Hokkaido. Unfortunately, the ferry takes a lot of time - 19 hours one way, plus a couple of hours for the train. So flight seems to be the best option here.
More options and detailed flight schedule:
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org