Oishi Highland Silver Grass

Enjoying an autumn drive to the no. 1 pampas grass spot in Kansai

By Alena Eckelmann    - 2 min read

You know that you are addicted when you cannot stop doing something. This is what happened to me when I saw this wide expanse of silvery-white pampas grass. I just could not stop taking photos. Yep, photos of grass, one after another.

Called susuki in Japanese, the view of pampas grass heralds late autumn and the beginning of winter in Japan. Searching for colorful leaves has become a must-do activity but seeking out these beautiful fields of silver grass on one of Japan’s highlands is equally rewarding. A late autumn road trip with my friend took me to Oishi Kogen, a highland just south of Osaka Prefecture. It is the ultimate silver grass spot in the Kansai area.

If you like panoramic views, short hikes and driving windy roads, then a trip to Oshi Kogen is for you. You can combine this trip with a visit to the mikan (satsuma mandarin) orchards in Arida, drive through secluded Kimino Valley and even drive all the way to Mount Koya on the next day of your trip. On the way to Mount Koya, you will also pass by the Katsuragi area, which is famous for kaki (persimmon). Mikan and Kaki are also part of the autumn scenery in this part of Japan just like pampas grass.

There is a small campsite there. Registration and the payment of a fee should be done at the Yamanoie, the rest house by the parking area on Oshi Highland. They are open for business from 9:30 to 16:30. You can reach them by phone at: +81 (0)73-489-3586 (in Japanese only). I came by car this time but will drive up on my motorbike next autumn. One reason to camp here is for watching the starry night sky and possibly even a full autumn moon.

Getting there

Access is best by car. I suggest you rent a car or drive your own, if you live in Japan. You can rent a car at Kainan Station on the JR Kinokuni Line. It is a 45 minutes drive to the top of Oshi Kogen. Renting a car at Kansai International Airport or in the Osaka area is also a good option.

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Alena Eckelmann

Alena Eckelmann @alena.eckelmann

Founder of Kii Monogatari, my story and the story of the Kii Peninsula of Japan. Originally from East Germany, I came to Tokyo, via Berlin and London, in 2005. In summer 2011 I moved by choice to remote Kumano in the south of the Kii Peninsula where I live, work and play now, and explore every day.The whole of the Kii Peninsula is a Healing Hub for me with its abundance of forest, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, the ocean, friendly rural communities and sacred places. This is where nature meets spirituality, and tradition meets sustainability, the new paradigm for travel post-pandemic. My deep interest is in Japanese nature & spirituality. I love being in nature, in the forest and in the mountains, and I love spending time at temples and shrines.  I am building my life and my work around these two passions. I am a Licensed Forest Therapy (Shinrin Therapy) Guide and a Licensed Kumano Kodo and Koyasan Guide. I am also a Licensed Retreat Facilitator and I am planning retreats on the Kii Peninsula. Last but not least, I have been the Japan Travel Partner for Wakayama and Yamagata since the conception of the platform in 2011! These two prefectures are close to my heart because they are the centers of Shugendo, a spiritual tradition of mountain ascetism. I am a Shugendo Practitioner for over ten years now and received Tokudo in 2016 at a Shugendo temple on Yoshinoyama. Please kindly connect via my Facebook Page Kii Monogatari. Take care, keep well, stay safe!