The air is getting warmer, and what seemed like shy little green buds are starting to give color to the once-naked and leafless trees as flowers start to bloom – signs that spring is just around the corner. It is one of the most beloved times of the year, especially in the land of sakura aka Japan.
Hanami, or flower viewing, is a centuries-old tradition in Japan where families and friends unite and enjoy the beauty of spring under cherry blossom trees. There are lots of beautiful places in the country where hundreds and thousands of cherry trees can be admired. But if you are traveling in Osaka this spring season, here are the top eight places recommended for hanami!
Osaka Castle Park is one of the most popular places for cherry blossom viewing in Osaka among local and foreign visitors alike. The park covers an area of 106.7 hectares with over 3,000 cherry trees planted all over.
Also located inside Osaka Castle Park is the Nishinomaru Garden. The garden was once the residence of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s (16th-century Japanese ruler) wife and is famous for its 600 Yoshino cherry trees that bloom beautifully in spring.
Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Located in Suita City, the Expo ’70 Commemorative Park (Banpaku Kinen Koen) is home to different kinds of seasonal flowers. In the spring, people love to visit the park as 5,500 cherry trees charmingly color the area in varying shades of white and pink.
During the park’s cherry blossom festival, people can enjoy flower viewing until 9:00 PM (last entry is at 8:30 PM) and be captivated with cherry trees illuminated at night.
Address: 1-1 Senri Banpaku Koen, Suita-shi, Osaka
The Osaka Mint Bureau (Osaka Zohei Kyoku) has 134 varieties and 350 cherry blossom trees. Every year, around the second week of April, their north and south gates are opened to the public for cherry blossom viewing. The event lasts for a week wherein the flowers are in full bloom. It is one of the most visited places in Osaka during hanami season.
Address: 1-1-79 Tenma, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Kema Sakuranomiya Park covers 32.3 hectares and has approximately over 4,800 cherry trees. This riverside park stretches for more than four kilometers between Kema Araizeki and Temmabashi Bridge. The view from Sakuranomiya Bridge is perfect for travel photos or even your Instagram.
You can also enjoy a walk under the tunnel of cherry trees along the river. If you want an enchanting view of the cherry trees lining both sides of the river, you can opt for a ferry or boat ride.
Address: 1-10 Nakanocho, Miyakojima-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Located in Higashisumiyoshi-ku in Osaka, Nagai Park is known as a venue for several sports and outdoor activities. However, besides from its sports facilities like Yanmar Stadium Nagai, this place is also home to 1,200 species of plants, more than 8,600 trees from different regions of Japan, and 400 cherry trees. So if you love greenery and colorful flowers, Nagai Park is the best one-stop park for you!
Address: 1-1 Nagaikoen, Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
This 9.5-hectare park located beside the Yodo River is actually home to traditional flowers and plants in Japan. It is famous for its 13,000 lilies that bloom between May and June, however, during the spring season, it is a favorite place for cherry blossom viewing. Its sakura square has around 400 trees that bloom from late March until April.
Address: 3-29-1 Ikue, Asahi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
If you want to go flower viewing in Osaka and at the same time visit a shrine, Osaka Gokoku Shrine is definitely the place to visit. Although there are only 80 cherry trees inside the garden, when simultaneously in full bloom, you will still be absolutely in awe to see the lovely pink shades of the sakura flowers as you enter the gate to the shrine.
The shrine is located in Suminoe-ku within the Suminoekoen vicinity and can be accessed via train (Yotsubashi Line), 16 minutes from Namba.
Address: 1-1-77 Minamikagaya, Suminoe-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Located in Tsurumi-ku, Osaka City, the Tsurumiryokuchi Expo ’90 Commemorative Park is home to more than 1,400 cherry blossom trees (more than half are the well-known Yoshino cherry trees). The most number of cherry trees are located on the west side of the pond and on the northeast side of Ryokuchi Hashiguchi.
The park can be accessed via train: take the Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line and get off at Tsurumi-ryokuchi Station.
Address: 2-163 Ryokuchikoen, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
If you are thinking about traveling to Japan, whether for a romantic trip with your significant other, a vacation with your family and friends, or even for solo travel, spring is one of the best times to come. Osaka has lots of beautiful places that you can explore, especially in spring, such as shrines, castles, parks, etc. You will surely get to experience Japan’s famous cherry blossoms!
And while having a picnic under the sakura trees and taking photos are fun, please take note that the trees, especially the flowers, are delicate; so touching, climbing, and picking are big no-no’s.