A former capital city of Japan, Muko is blessed with a rich and varied history that comes alive in the city’s castles, religious shrines and museums. Along with being a gateway to the scenic roads through a cluster of mountains and nature reserves, Muko is home to izakaya restaurants and music cafes.
Things to do
Most of Muko’s best restaurants and cafes are scattered around the Higashimuko train station, including Cafe & Music Second Rooms, where local musicians go to record new songs and hang out. Choose from a range of izakaya, gyoza and sushi restaurants or visit one of the nearby supermarkets to pick up fresh Japanese produce.
If you’re interested in the local history, visit Shōryūji Castle, which has cherry blossom blooms during spring and showcases centuries-old Japanese architecture. Afterwards, head over to Muko Museum, also called Science Museum Tenmonkan to explore a collection of science and technology exhibits.
Want to see the vibrant pink blooms during cherry blossom season? Venture over to Nagaoka Park, where the foliage changes colour with the seasons. It’s also home to the magnificent Nagaokatenmangu Shinto shrine, which has a peaceful setting on the edge of a lake. Wander around the park to discover the revered Buddhist temple and traditional Japanese restaurant.
There are numerous shrines scattered around the city, including the Masui Shrine and Muko Shrine in Katsuyama Park. After you’ve admired these old-world structures, visit the Muko City Cultural Museum to discover more about the city’s history. One of the biggest highlights is the findings from excavations of the old capital of Nagaokakyo.
Muko is about 40 kilometres from Osaka International Airport and is connected to surrounding cities via multiple train lines. You can walk around the centre of Muko or use trains or taxis to venture further afield.
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