Tall buildings. A shopping mall. Warehouses. Dockyards with mountains of shipping containers. Wedding chapels. Even a discount food store. And then, surprisingly, this oasis of green tranquility.
Osaka Nanko Bird Sanctuary is 19 hectares of wetlands and woods in which 237 species of birds, either permanent residents or transients, have been spotted so far, including over 50 species of shore birds. There are tidal flats, a freshwater pond, woods, trails, two observatories, a visitor center, and now, a geocache!
The sanctuary is an easy, level, 0.5-mile (0.8-km) walk from the Trade Center-mae station on the OTS Line. It's only a little farther from Cosmo Square on the Chuo Line if you don't want to bother with transferring to the tram. Or, if you're doing my other caches near the Nakafuto station, there is a hut near N34 38.159 E135 24.951 which usually contains bicycles which may be borrowed free of charge for riding only to the bird sanctuary. (PLEASE NOTE: The bicycles are currently unavailable)
The visitor center/main observatory is open from 0900 to 1700 every day but Wednesday. However, the north observatory and the part of the sanctuary that contains the cache seem to be available 24 hours a day. The cache is within 50 ft. (15 m.) of an excellent trail. As you approach the cache, you may be tempted to bush-whack the remaining distance. BUT, if you continue a bit on the main trail, you will find a faint side-trail that leads directly to the cache site. If you take the side-trail, be careful where you step or you may soak your feet.
I rate this cache a 2-star difficulty because heavy overhead foliage may make your GPS position wander about. But there is one obvious cache-hider's favorite spot at the end of the side trail, and if you're still having trouble, the encrypted hint below is a bit of a spoiler.
After finding the cache, continue on to the north observatory for a great view of the tidal flats, and then back to the main visitor center/observatory (if open) for some indoor exhibits and a view of more of the sanctuary.
(Note of no particular importance unless you're a trivia buff.) I intended to name this cache "For the Birds" until I discovered that geocaching.com already lists 3 pages of caches with that title. I decided to go with the longer title, "Strictly for the Birds," from which the shorter phrase is derived. It turns out that this phrase is of relatively modern origin. Just for fun, can you tell me where this phrase is thought to have first appeared?