Ikeda is one of the popular suburbs in Osaka. Ikeda has many things to offer from its beautiful Satsukiyama (Mt Satsuki), many significant temples and shrines in Japanese history to the birthplace of instant noodle!
Mt Satsuki (315.3m in height) situated at the back of Ikeda, makes this city such a lovely part of Osaka to visit. 'Satsuki' is the name of flower Satsuki azalea as well as one of the traditional expressions of May in Japanese. There you can see not only Satsuki azalea but many various flowers throughout the year. Especially it shows a breath-taking view during its cherry blossom season. There are many walking courses. From many viewing points you can see Osaka Prefecture and the Seto Inland Sea, and on a very clear day, you can see Awajishima Island.
Opened in 1957, Satsukiyama Zoo is a unique zoo in Japan as it has a
collection of Australian animals including wombats, wallabies and sheep,
from Ikeda's sister city Launceston, Tasmania, on top of Japanese native
animals such as monkeys and deer. They have successfully bred a wombat,
which is very rare outside of Australia.
On August 25, 1958, Momofuku Ando invented the world's
first instant noodle product, 'Chicken Ramen' after hours of research using
common tools in a small shack which he had constructed in the backyard of
his house in Ikeda. 'The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum conveys the
importance of invention and discovery through the history of instant
noodles, which have become a new food culture. There are many exhibitions to
see including replica of the hat where the world' first instant needle was
invented, 'Space Ram,' the instant noodles that travelled on the space
shuttle Discovery, Cup Noodle Drama Theatre and Instant Noodle Tunnel.
'Handmade Chicken Ramen Hands-On Workshop' is the world's one and only
workshop where you can reproduce the world's first instant noodle product,
Chicken Ramen, yourself.
Ikeda Castle was built in 1334 and destroyed around 1568
after a lost of a battle. In 2000, this area was recreated into a beautiful
Japanese garden with the castle keep rebuilt in one corner. From the
lookout, you can enjoy the view of Ikeda town, Shin-Inagawa Bridge and more.
Jazz concert, tea ceremony, Noh and other special events are held in this
park throughout the year.
Itsuo Art Museum has a collection by Ichizo Kobayashi
(1873-1957), founder of Hankyu Toho Group (Hankyu Railway, Hankyu Department
Store and Toho). At the age of 34, he founded Hankyu Railway, Takarazuka All
Girl's Revue and many other business companies. He was appointed to a
minister post twice. He was very interested in art since his early age and
he started his collection of arts in his twenties. He is also very talented
in novel, Haiku, drama script, calligraphy etc. His collection is about
5,000 pieces in total, among them 15 pieces are designated as Important
Cultural Properties and 19 pieces as Cultural Properties by the Country.
'Itsuo' is his alternative name as artist.
Located in Mt Satsuki, Taikoji Temple was built in 1395 by
the order of Mitsumasa Ikeda, the lord of Ikeda Castle at the time. Since
then, it has a strong relationship with Ikeda Castle and has been a family
temple for Ikeda family. All ancestral of Ikeda Castle lords' graves are
kept in this temple and the board where Sadamasa Ikeda, the last lord of
Ikeda Castle, committed seppuku is displayed.
Kureha Shrine has a long history. It was originally built
in 77 then rebuilt in 1969. It enshrines Emperor Nintoku and
Kurehatorinohime, who brought weaving skill from China.
Yasaka Shrine was originally built in 978 and rebuilt in
1610. It is designated as Important Cultural Properties by Country.
Situated between steep hills, Kyuanji Temple was first
established by Gyoki priests who came from Nara in 725. This temple is
famous for its legacy of buildings from its long history and the beautiful
garden where people can enjoy various flower and trees throughout the year.
Especially, autumn is the most spectacular with its Momiji (Japanese maple).
Momiji Matsuri is held in Kyuanji Temple on the 3rd of November every year.