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Osaka Cherry Blossom Guide: Best 8 Spots for Sakura Around Osaka/Kansai (2020)

Osaka Cherry Blossom Guide: Best 8 Spots for Sakura Around Osaka/Kansai (2020)

Date published: 19 July 2019
Last updated: 13 August 2019

Simply gazing at cherry blossom trees in full bloom is a glorious feeling. Seeing the sakura fluttering in the wind and their petals softly falling is a fleeting yet beautiful phenomenon both unique to and representative of Japan.

In Osaka as well as Kyoto and Nara there are many outstanding places for viewing and enjoying the cherry blossoms - a traditional cultural activity known as hanami. Appreciating historic architecture along with the cherry blossom trees, or sakura, makes for an even more impressive experience that you are sure to remember. Here we'll introduce eight recommended spots for hanami in Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara.

1. Japan Mint Sakura Passageway: 560-Meter Long Cherry Blossom Tunnel

1. Japan Mint Sakura Passageway: 560-Meter Long Cherry Blossom Tunnel

On the premises of the Japan Mint in Osaka, where Japanese currency is produced, there is a sakura passageway open for a limited period of time each year. Sakura trees are planted alongside the approximately 560-meter path, and around mid-April you can walk down it while admiring their blossoms in full bloom.

The passageway was selected as one of "Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots" and is packed with visitors every year during this period. In 2019, in addition to the main Yaezakura there were 134 different species of sakura comprising the total of 338 sakura trees available for viewing.

  • Japan Mint
    造幣局
    • Address 1-1-79 Tenma, Kita-ku, Osaka
    • Nearest Station 15-minutes from Osaka Metro/Keihan "Temmabashi Station", or 15-minutes from JR "Osaka-Temmangu Station" and "Osakajo-Kitazume Station"
    • Phone Number 050-5548-8686

    Visiting Hours: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM (Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM)
    Passageway Visiting Period: one week in mid-April (exact dates determined mid-March of each year)

2. Kema Sakuranomiya Park: Stunning Row of Sakura Trees

2. Kema Sakuranomiya Park: Stunning Row of Sakura Trees
(c) Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau

The Okawa River quietly runs through Osaka City. Along the river within Kema Sakuranomiya Park, located on its riverbed, grows an impressive row of approximately 4500 sakura trees. Simply strolling through the park past the trees is a treat, as you can look out at the stately retro buildings, including the Japan Mint, and enjoy the waterside plaza and walking paths. A short walk away is the Japan Mint's Sakura Passageway for you to enjoy as well.

  • Kema Sakuranomiya Park
    毛馬桜之宮公園
    • Address 1-10 Nakano-cho, Miyakojima-ku, Osaka City, Osaka
    • Nearest Station 10-minute walk from JR "Osakajo-kitazume Station" and "Sakuranomiya Station", or a 20-minute walk from Osaka Metro/Keihan "Temmabashi Station"
    • Phone Number 06-6312-8121

    Visiting Hours: park always open
    Closed: Open Daily

3. Osaka Castle Park: Interwoven Scenery of the Castle and Cherry Blossoms

3. Osaka Castle Park: Interwoven Scenery of the Castle and Cherry Blossoms

Osaka Castle Park, adjoining Osaka Castle, has around 3000 sakura trees. During the period of full cherry blossom bloom you can enjoy the mystical scenery created by the combination of the sakura and Osaka Castle. In particular, at the Nishinomaru Garden there are approximately 3000 sakura, mainly of the Somei Yoshino variety, which make for an especially beautiful view.

There is a lighting display put on at night during sakura season as well, so you can see the commanding view of the night sakura trees and Osaka Castle. Entry to Nishinomaru Garden requires a fee (200 yen, tax included; children middle school aged and younger are free).

  • Osaka Castle Park
    大阪城公園
    • Address Osaka-jo, Chuo-ku, Osaka
    • Nearest Station 0-minute walk from Osaka Metro "Tanimachi Yon-chome Station", 19-minute walk from "Osakajo-koen Station", 19-minute walk from JR/Osaka Metro "Morinomiya Station"
    • Phone Number 06-6755-4146

    Visiting Hours: park always open (excluding some facilities)
    Closed: Open Daily (excluding some facilities)

4. Expo '70 Commemorative Park: Around 5500 Sakura Trees

4. Expo '70 Commemorative Park: Around 5500 Sakura Trees

Expo '70 Commemorative Park is known as Osaka's most major sakura viewing spot. The sight of the 5500 blossoming cherry blossom trees, of species Yaezakura, Sato-zakura, and more, is truly overwhelming. Every year during sakura season, from mid-March for around one month, the "Sakura Festival" is held, the park's visiting hours are extended, and a lights are placed to illuminate the sakura trees at night.

Aside from the sakura trees, the park offers many other noteworthy attractions, such as the Tower of the Sun, a Japanese garden and a hot spring, the Natural and Cultural Gardens, so you should be able to spend an entire day enjoying the park.

  • Expo '70 Commemorative Park
    万博記念公園
    • Address Senribanpaku-koen, Suita-shi, Osaka
    • Nearest Station 5-minute walk from Osaka Monorail "Banpakukinen-koen Station"
    • Phone Number 06-6877-7387

    Visiting Hours: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (entry until 4:30 PM) *extended hours during sakura season
    Closed: every Wednesday (in the event Wednesday falls on a national holiday, closed Thursday)

5. The Philosopher's Path: Enjoy a Full Tunnel of Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto

5. The Philosopher's Path: Enjoy a Full Tunnel of Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto
(c)Kyoto Media Support Center

This path stretches approximately 2 km from Kyoto's Ginkaku-ji Temple to Nyakuoji-bashi Bridge. It was given its name because philosopher Kitaro Nishida would walk along it while thinking. In spring, around 3000 sakura trees bloom along the riverside, creating an apparent tunnel of sakura. Try enjoying a leisurely stroll down this path.

  • The Philosopher's Path
    哲学の道
    • Address Jodoji-ishibashi-cho ~ Jodoji-kamiminamida-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
    • Nearest Station from JR "Kyoto Station" by Kyoto City Bus #5 to bus stops "Nanzen-ji" or "Eirakudo", then a 3-minute walk; or from JR "Kyoto Station" to Kyoto City Bus #100 stop "Ginkakuji-mae", and a short walk

6. Maruyama Koen: Celebrating the Sakura Trees of Gion

6. Maruyama Koen: Celebrating the Sakura Trees of Gion
(c)Kyoto City Greenery Association

This park in the Gion district of Kyoto is an easy stop to make while out sightseeing, nearby Yasaka Shrine and just a 10-minute walk from the Keihan Gion-Shijo Station. Maruyama Park is the city of Kyoto's oldest park and is brimming with a traditional Japanese aura. Of all the many blooming sakura trees, one variety that stands out is the beautiful "Gion Shidare" weeping cherry trees. The trees are lit up during sakura season, so prepare to be wowed by the Gion Shidare glowing beautifully in the darkness.

  • Maruyama Koen
    円山公園
    • Address 463 Maruyama-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
    • Nearest Station 10-minute walk from Keihan "Gion-Shijo Station", 15-minute walk from Hankyu

    Visiting Hours: park always open
    Closed: Open Daily

7. Arashiyama: Where Kyoto's Natural Landscape and the Sakura Make a Perfect Match

7. Arashiyama: Where Kyoto's Natural Landscape and the Sakura Make a Perfect Match
(c) Kyoto Media Support Center

Arashiyama is an unparalleled site for Kyoto's picturesque scenery, with beautiful views year-round of the magnificent river, Togetsu-kyo Bridge across it, and Kyoto's mountains in the background. During sakura season, the Arashiyama scenery becomes even more spectacular. Sakura trees lines the riverbank, and the contrast between their blossoms and the gorgeous landscape is truly irresistible. Arashiyama was also selected as one of Japan's "Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots".

  • Arashiyama
    嵐山
    • Address Arashiyama, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto
    • Nearest Station 5-minute walk from Hankyu/Keifku "Arashiyama Station"

    Visiting Hours: always open
    Closed: Open Daily

8. Nara Koen: The Elegant Scenery of Sakura and Deer

8. Nara Koen: The Elegant Scenery of Sakura and Deer
(c)General Foundation Nara Visitors Bureau/Yukiharu Machii

Nara Koen, famous for its deer, was also chosen as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Sites. On the grassy slopes of Mt. Wakakusa, over 1700 cherry blossom trees grow, including varieties such as Naranoyae-zakura, Naranokokonoe-zakura, and Somei-yoshino. With the wild deer also living peacefully on the mountain, you can view the magical scenery of the sakura and deer coexisting.

  • Nara Koen
    奈良公園
    • Address Zoshi-cho, Takabatake-cho, Noborioji-cho, and Kasugano-cho area of Nara City, Nara
    • Nearest Station 5-minute walk from Kintetsu "Kintetsu-Nara Station"

    Visiting Hours: park always open
    Closed: Open Daily

Text by:WEST PLAN

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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