HOME Kansai Osaka Umeda, Osaka Station, Kitashinchi Locals Reveal: 10 Perfect Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Osaka!
Locals Reveal: 10 Perfect Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Osaka!

Locals Reveal: 10 Perfect Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Osaka!

Date published: 12 March 2020
Last updated: 15 May 2020

The long-awaited cherry blossom season has finally arrived! The blossoms in Osaka are usually at their best from late March to early April, and we’re so excited to get started with hanami parties (cherry blossom viewing).

Carefully choosing from Osaka Prefecture’s many famous cherry blossom areas, local writers have recommended ten top spots where you can relax under the blossoms and see a ton of different types. These prime blossom viewing areas are found in parks, theme parks, and historic sites throughout the prefecture.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Osaka Castle Park: Hideyoshi’s beloved blossoms
  2. 2. Japan Mint: Famous for its “Pass Through”, enjoy various types of cherry blossoms!
  3. 3. Expo '70 Commemorative Park: The cherry blossoms in full bloom and the Tower of the Sun!
  4. 4. Kema Sakuranomiya Park and Osaka’s waterways
  5. 5. Nenpo Shinkyo Kongo Temple: Surrounded by blossoms
  6. 6. Hirakata Park: Run through the cherry blossoms!
  7. 7. Satsukiyama Park: The whole mountain is dyed pink with 35,000 cherry trees
  8. 8. Osaka’s Gorge and Settsukyo Park
  9. 9. Katsuoji Temple: Prayers for good luck and weeping cherry blossoms
  10. 10. Eiraku Dam: A cherry blossom spot that everyone knows!

1. Osaka Castle Park: Hideyoshi’s beloved blossoms

Osaka Castle is, of course, one of Osaka’s leading tourist destinations, attracting visitors throughout the year. The 100-hectare park that surrounds the castle is filled with blossoms each spring, thanks to its nearly 3,000 cherry trees.

▲ Spend some time around Osaka Castle when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom Ⓒ Osaka Tourism Bureau

Osaka Castle Park is a 15-20 minute walk from JR Osakajokoen Station or Morinomiya Station. You can find cherry blossoms throughout the large garden, but the area near the moat on the south side of the castle tower is an exceptional viewing point. The light pink of the Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms shine in exquisite contrast with the stunning stone walls of the castle and the green of the dry moat.

▲ The competition between Osaka Castle and the cherry blossoms at night is both powerful and fantastical (Photo courtesy of Osaka Castle Park Center)

From late March to early April, the “Kano Nighter” is held in the Nishinomaru Garden on the castle grounds. At this event you can revel in the sight of about 300 cherry trees, mainly Yoshino, and Osaka Castle lit up at the same time. And a little bit of history for you - Nishinomaru Garden is the former site of the mansion where Hideyoshi Toyotomi's wife and his younger brother Hidenaga lived in turn. Come enjoy Osaka Castle’s fantastic spring scenery!

  • Osaka Castle Park
    • Address 3-11 Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka
    • Phone: 06-6755-4146 (Osaka Castle Park Center)
      Admission: Free

2. Japan Mint: Famous for its “Pass Through”, enjoy various types of cherry blossoms!

The Japan Mint is a classic cherry-blossom viewing site that often lands in the number one spot in Osaka cherry-blossom viewing rankings. The premises cannot be entered on a daily basis, but are open for a limited time during the “Cherry Blossom Pass Through.” While walking along the Mint’s 560m promenade, you can see 338 cherry trees from 134 varieties; mainly Yaezakura.

▲ Different varieties of cherry trees have been planted alongside one another, so why not find your favorite flower? (Photo courtesy of the Mint)

The Mint is about a 15-minute walk from Osaka Tenmangu Station or Osakajokitazume Station on the JR Tozai Line and is about the same distance from Osaka Metro Temmabashi Station.

In order to familiarize visitors with the different blossoms, one variety is selected annually as the “Flower of the Year.” The reddish Benitemari was chosen in 2019, and it’s fun to search for the featured flower among the Mint’s countless blossoms each year.

▲ Illuminated by lanterns at night, the blossoms have a different look from daytime. Eating and drinking aren’t allowed, but you can breathe in the scent of the cherry blossoms (Photo courtesy of the Mint)

Cherry Blossom Pass Through is usually held from early April to mid-April. The promenade can only be entered via the south gate, and the event is crowded on weekends and at night. However, it seems to be relatively vacant during weekdays so that’s the best time to go if you want to take more time to appreciate the wide variety of blossoms.

  • Mint Cherry Blossom Pass Through (Zoheikyoku Sakura no Torinuke)
    造幣局 桜の通り抜け
    • Address 135.521048
    • Hours: From early to mid-April (No entry except during the cherry blossom season)
      Admission: Free
      Events: Cherry Blossom Pass Through, early to mid-April

3. Expo '70 Commemorative Park: The cherry blossoms in full bloom and the Tower of the Sun!

Expo '70 Commemorative Park is known for its “Tower of the Sun,” created by artist Taro Okamoto, but is also considered one of Japan’s top 100 sakura (cherry blossom) sites. Higanzakura and Kanhizakura begin to bloom in the middle of March every year, and the Higashioji Street, which leads to the Tower of the Sun, is lined with approximately 5,500 cherry trees of nine different types.

▲ A row of cherry trees on Higashioji, located in the southeastern part of the park. This road connects the East Plaza, the venue for outdoor events, and the Festival Plaza at the foot of the Tower of the Sun (Photo courtesy of Japan Expo '70 Commemorative Park Office, Osaka Prefecture)
▲ The Tower of the Sun, which was opened to the public on March 19, 2018 (admission: 700 yen for adults, 300 yen for elementary and junior high school students, tax included) is another sight to enjoy when cherry blossom viewing. (Photo courtesy of Japan Expo '70 Commemorative Park Office, Osaka Prefecture)

Expo '70 Commemorative Park is conveniently accessible via Osaka Monorail Banpaku-kinen-koen or Koen Higashiguchi Stations. During the “Sakura Festival,” held every year from late March to early April, park hours are extended to 21:00 so visitors can fully enjoy the beauty of Higashioji’s cherry blossoms at night.

  • Expo '70 Commemorative Park
    • Address 1-1 Senribanpakukoen, Suita, Osaka
    • Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (until 21:00 during the Sakura Festival), last entry 30 minutes before closing
      Admission: Adults 260 yen, elementary & junior high school students 80 yen
      Events: Sakura Festival, late March to early April

4. Kema Sakuranomiya Park and Osaka’s waterways

Kema Sakuranomiya Park spans 4.2km from the Kema overflow weir at the divergence of the Yodo and Okawa Rivers to Temma Bridge downstream. Located near the Kitahama financial district and the Osaka Securities Exchange, the park is something of an urban oasis.

In spring the row of cherry trees from Tenma Bridge to Sakuranomiya Bridge (Ginbashi) is overwhelmingly beautiful! This 1.3km stretch contains about 4,800 trees of the Yoshino, Yamazakura, and Satozakura varieties, which can be enjoyed late into the night during sakura season from late March to mid-April.

▲ A row of pink cherry blossoms fill the Okawa riverbank with color Ⓒ Osaka Tourism Bureau

Near the Sakuranomiya Bridge, early Meiji era buildings, such as the Mint and the oldest Western-style building in Osaka, Sempukan, are worth taking a look at along with your cherry blossom viewing.

▲ The water bus “Aqua Liner” on the Okawa. Viewing the cherry blossoms from the boat is also recommended Ⓒ Osaka Tourism Bureau

Osaka has long been called the “city of water” because of its many rivers and the boats that carried daily necessities throughout the city. A riverside stroll is great for cherry blossom viewing, but it’s also a wonderful idea to take a ride on a modern or traditional sightseeing boat to look at the rows of cherry blossoms from the river itself.

  • Kema Sakuranomiya Park
    • Address 1-10 Nakanocho, Miyakojima-ku, Osaka
    • Phone: 06-6312-8121 (Ogimachi Park Office)
      Admission: Free

5. Nenpo Shinkyo Kongo Temple: Surrounded by blossoms

Nenpo Shinkyo Kongo Temple is adjacent to Flower Expo Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi. This temple in Tsurumi-ku is the headquarters of Nenpo Shinkyo sect of Buddhism, founded in 1925.

▲ The Kongoji worship hall. There are also a number of other temple buildings and a stone garden. (photo courtesy of Nenpo Shinkyo Kongoji)

The spacious temple grounds are filled with flowers, and in spring about 150 Yoshino cherry trees are in full bloom. Standing in the center, surrounded trees, you’ll feel as if you’re in a sea of cherry blossom clouds.

▲ The pink blossoms and the vermilion temple create a gorgeous combination (Photo courtesy of Nenpo Shinkyo Kongoji)

From late March to April, when cherry blossoms are in full bloom, around 2,000 tulips and 20 to 30 peach trees also bloom, making the path to the temple even more lovely. Here among the competing flowers, you can experience a moment of calm relaxation and a gentle breeze.

▲ In April, the temple holds a flower festival to celebrate the birthday of Buddha, commemorated with flower displays and tea ceremonies. (Photo courtesy of Nenpo Shinkyo Kongoji)
  • Nenpo Shinkyo Kongoji
    念法眞教 金剛寺
    • Address 3-4-22 Midori, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka
    • Phone Number 06-6911-2101
    • Hours: 5:00 - 15:00 (closed the day after the bimonthly ceremony on the 3rd day and 3rd Sunday of the month; ceremony dates subject to change)
      Admission: Free
      Events: Flower Festival, early April
      Extra facilities: Car parking, disabled toilets

6. Hirakata Park: Run through the cherry blossoms!

Hirakata Park in Hirakata City, nicknamed “HiraPa,” is an amusement park that’s year round fun for visitors of all ages. From late March to early April, the park is painted pink with the blossoms of about 300 Yoshino cherry trees.

▲ Riding the 80m Sky Walker Ferris wheel offers a magnificent view of the park’s scenery. (Photo courtesy of Hirakata Park)

Located just outside the Keihan Railway’s Hirakata-Koen Station, HiraPa is one of the largest amusement parks in Kansai, boasting 1.2 million visitors per year (in 2017). There are more than 40 attractions on the 160,000 square meter site.

▲ Cherry blossoms near the “Athletic ‘try-it’” area. (Photo courtesy of Hirakata Park)

HiraPa’s biggest draw in spring is seeing the sakura while riding the park’s many rides and attractions. Among them, the Red Falcon roller coaster offers a slightly different viewing experience as it powerfully accelerates past the blossoms along its course.

▲ Ride over the blossoms on the Red Falcon roller coaster! (Photo courtesy of Hirakata Park) スポット
  • Hirakata Park
    • Address 1-1 Hirakatakoencho, Hirakata, Osaka
    • Phone Number 072-844-3475
    • Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 (varies by season)
      Admission: Adults (junior high school students and older) 4,400 yen, elementary school students 3,800 yen, 2 years old to preschool children 2,600 yen (all prices include admission fee and all access pass, tax included; some prices scheduled to change March 7, 2020)

7. Satsukiyama Park: The whole mountain is dyed pink with 35,000 cherry trees

Satsukiyama Park is located in central Ikeda City, about a 15-minute walk from Hankyu Railway Ikeda Station. This vast park rests on part of 315m Mt. Satsuki and is well known for cherry blossom viewing. About 35,000 Somei Yoshino and Yamazakura cherry trees are in full bloom from late March to April, and the observation decks scattered throughout the park also provide a superb view of the Osaka Plain!

▲ Take in the simultaneous view of cherry blossoms and the Osaka Plain

The park also features a complex playground, and the adjacent 3,000-square-meter Satsukiyama Zoo is home to about ten wombats, bred in Japan. With fun ranging from cherry blossoms to rare animals, a family can spend an entire day in this large park.

▲ In March and April lanterns are lit from sunset until 22:00 for beautiful evening cherry blossom viewing. (photo courtesy of Ikeda City)
  • Satsukiyama Park
    • Address 2-5-33 Ayaha, Ikeda, Osaka (Satsukiyama Park General Information Center)
    • Phone: 072-751-3070 (Ikeda Park Management Center)
      Hours: Satsukiyama Zoo, 9:00 - 17:00, closed Tuesdays
      Admission: Free

8. Osaka’s Gorge and Settsukyo Park

Along the course of the Akutagawa River upstream from Takatsuki City, the Settsu Gorge is a scenic spot with intersting rocks and cliffs. The surrounding area forms Settsukyo Park, which has many hiking trails and campsites that can be used throughout the year.

From late March to April, about 3,000 Somei Yoshino cherry trees color the valley and delight visitors.

▲ To embrace the power and beauty of the sakura that give the valley a pink hue, take a 15-minute bus ride from JR Takatsuki Station to Tsukawaki bus stop, then walk about 10 more minutes. The gorge is also about a 15 minute drive from the Takatsuki IC (interchange) by car (Photo courtesy of Takatsuki City)

The annual Sakura Festival is held from late March to mid-April. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights during the festival, the blossoms are magnificently illuminated.

▲ Open during the day, the park takes on a fantastic atmosphere with dim lights by night (Photo courtesy of Takatsuki City)

In addition, for two special days in early April, food vending booths fill the park in a lively celebration of the blossoms.

  • Settsukyo Park
    • Address 5-3-4 Tsukawaki, Takatsuki, Osaka
    • Phone: 072-675-0081 (Takatsuki City Tourism Association)
      Admission: Free
      Events: Sakura Festival, late March to mid-April; Special event days, early April

9. Katsuoji Temple: Prayers for good luck and weeping cherry blossoms

Katsuoji Temple, located in Mino City, was given its name by Emperor Seiwa in the Heian era and is dedicated to victory and good fortune in academics, sports, and business. There, many “winning daruma” (doll-like charms) have been purchased in hope for success.

▲ Katsuoji Temple is located about 30 minutes by bus from Senri-Chuo Station on the Kita-Osaka Kyuko Electric Railway and Osaka Monorail.

Not only known for good luck, Katsuoji is also a popular sakura spot. The vast 265,000 square meter grounds are home to both early and late blooming varieties, bringing the temple notoriety for its long viewing season. The light-pink “weeping” Shidarezakura blossoms, which bloom from mid-April to May, provide a stunning contrast against a backdrop of mountain greenery and the vermilion temple.

▲ A tunnel of Shidarezakura and a “winning daruma” dedication area at the foot of the stairs.
▲ A small “bentendo” temple in the middle of Katsuoji’s large pond, surrounded by scenery awash with pink.
  • Katsuoji
    • Address 2914-1, Aomatani, Mino, Osaka
    • Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 - 17:00, Saturday 8:00 - 17:30, Sundays & holidays 8:00 - 18:00
      Admission: Adults 400 yen, elementary and junior high school students 300 yen

10. Eiraku Dam: A cherry blossom spot that everyone knows!

Eiraku Dam is located in Kumatori-cho in southern Osaka Prefecture. Along with the adjacent Eiraku Yume no Mori Park, it’s renown for its 1,000 cherry trees. Looking at the pink blossoms and green mountains and feeling the breeze blowing across the water brings a sense of healing to those who walk around the lake. The park has a wide range of playground equipment, like a large slide and a skateboarding area, so it’s a great place for families.

▲ Eiraku Dam, with its beautiful cherry blossoms, and lush greenery has been selected as one of Osaka’s Top 100 Green Sites and Japan’s Top 100 Water Sources. (Credit: Kumatori-cho)

The Eiraku Sakura Festival is held annually from late March to early April. During the event, visitors can enjoy lit up cherry blossoms at night, snacks, and flower seedling sales in Eiraku Yumenomori Park.

▲ The illumination period may be extended depending on the condition of the cherry blossoms (Photo: Kumatori-cho)

To get to Eiraku Dam, ride the Nankai Bus bound for Tsubasagaoka Kitaguchi from JR Kumatori Station for about 20 minutes and get off at Nariaikuchi bus stop. From there it’s a 20-minute walk to this popular spot, where you can enjoy day trip in nature.

  • Eiraku Dam
    • Address 65-10 Noda, Kumatori-cho, Sennan-gun, Osaka
    • Phone: 072-452-6404 (Kumatori Town Urban Development Department Water and Green Division)
      Hours: Eiraku Yumenomori Park 9:00 - 17:00 (18:00 from May to August)
      Admission: Free
      Events: Eiraku Sakura Festival, late March to early April

Osaka’s popular cherry blossom viewing spots range from castles and temples to large parks and other natural locations. Be sure to check out a few different places to get a unique sakura experience at each!

* Photos taken before 2017.
* Event dates and schedules may change depending on when the flowers are in bloom. Please check official websites for details.

*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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