Osaka 2021: 7 of the best cherry blossoms viewing spots


2021.03.18

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Each year excitement builds as Japan’s cherry blossom season rolls around, beginning in March and extending through to April.

Osaka is no exception when it comes to beautiful cherry blossoming viewing spots where you can enjoy the stunning colors and fragrance of these iconic blooms. According to the latest information, the cherry blossoms will start blooming in Osaka from March 20, which is earlier than previous years.

A highlight is undoubtedly Osaka Castle, which looks magical surrounded by cherry blossoms. But there are plenty of other famous hanami spots in and around the city.

In this article, we’ll introduce some of the most impressive viewing locations in Osaka, as well as whether they permit banquets, food stalls, and alcohol.

  • 01

    Osaka Castle Park

    Sprawling beneath Osaka Castle, this picturesque park is planted with around 3,000 cherry blossom trees, including Somei-Yoshino varieties. The lawn area beside the Minami-sotobori is a particularly popular area for banquets, so it’s essential that you reserve a space early in the morning.

    Barbecues have also been permitted on the east side of the Higashi-sotobori in previous years but check with the official website in advance regarding this year’s regulations. Please note that leaving spaces unattended or reserving them with ropes is not allowed in Osaka Castle Park.

    No nighttime illumination in 2021

    Banquet: not permitted in 2021
    ※rugs × space reservation × alcohol ×

    Access: a seven-minute walk from Osakajokoen Station on the Osaka Loop Line
    Nearby food options: gourmet food stalls, convenience stores, plenty of eateries
    Toilets: several places around the cherry blossom viewing spot (please check with staff before using toilet facilities at establishments)

    Osaka Castle Park
    place
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Osakajou
    phone
    0667554146
    opening-hour
    Open 24 hours※Excluding par…
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  • 02

    Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden

    Stretching to the west of Osaka Castle, the Nishinomaru Garden is another popular cherry blossom-viewing destination, with around 300 (mostly Somei-Yoshino) trees planted here.

    It offers impressive views of the castle and its stone-walled moat, with the admission fee for the garden helping to keep crowds down.

    A night viewing event is also held during the peak blooming period, backed by the illuminated keep of Osaka Castle. Several food stalls cluster in the park during the season, creating a festival-like atmosphere. (No night viewing in 2021)

    Banquet: not permitted in 2021
    ※rugs × space reservation × alcohol ×

    Access: a 14-minute walk from Tanimachi 4-chome Station on the Osaka Metro’s Chuo Line/Tanimachi Line
    Nearby food options: convenience stores, plenty of eateries
    Toilets: several places in the park, including two beyond the Nishi-sotobori

    Nishinomaru Garden
    place
    Osaka Osakashi Chuou-ku Osakajou 2
    opening-hour
    [Mar.--Octo.] 9:00-17:00[Nov…
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  • 03

    Kishiwada Castle

    Dating to 1334, the Kishiwada Castle was reconstructed in 1954 after being largely destroyed by lightning at the end of the 19th century. This impressive landmark is planted with around 170 cherry trees that ignite in the spring and can be enjoyed during banquets beneath the blooms. The castle is also illuminated at night, and several food stalls are set up in the surrounds selling local gourmet specialties, such as takoyaki and grilled squid.

    Banquet: not permitted
    ※rugs × space reservation × alcohol ×

    Access: a seven-minute walk from Kishiwada Station or Takojizo Station on the Nankai Main Line
    Nearby food options: food stalls, convenience stores, and restaurants
    Toilets: several places around the cherry blossom viewing spot (please check with staff before using toilet facilities at establishments)

    Kishiwada Castle
    rating

    4.0

    112 Reviews
    place
    Osaka Kishiwadashi Kishikichou 9-1
    phone
    0724313251
    opening-hour
    10:00-17:00 (Admission is un…
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  • 04

    Expo'70 Commemorative Park

    Famed for its Tower of the Sun and seasonal floral displays, the Expo'70 Commemorative Park is planted with around 5,500 cherry trees and has been selected as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots.

    Hundreds of people flock here to enjoy banquets and barbecues during the cherry blossom season, so try to arrive early to ensure you can find a place. But it’s also worth staying until after dark when the festival area is beautifully illuminated.


    Banquet: not permitted in 2021
    ※rugs × space reservation × alcohol ×

    Access: a four-minute walk from the Osaka Monorail’s Bampaku-kinen-kōen Station or five minutes from Koen Higashiguchi Station
    Nearby food options: convenience stores, shops, and restaurants
    Toilets: several places in the park (5+ around the Higashi-no-hiroba (East Plaza))

    Expo’70 Commemorative Park
    place
    Osaka Suitashi Senribampakukouen 1-1
    phone
    0120197089
    opening-hour
    9:30-17:00(Last entry16:30)
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  • 05

    Utsubo Park

    Utsubo Park is the largest park in Osaka and home to picturesque fountains, rose gardens and a tennis center that holds regular tournaments. It’s divided into two areas - Higashi-en and Nishi-en - with the former being the main cherry blossom viewing spot.

    Banquets with rugs are allowed during the season while playground equipment makes it particularly appealing for families with children. While there is no light-up event, the surrounding streetlights remain on until 9:00 pm if you want to stay until after sunset.

    Banquet: not permitted
    ※rugs × space reservation × alcohol ×

    Access: a nine-minute walk from the Osaka Metro’s Hommachi Station
    Nearby food options: convenience stores and restaurants
    Toilets: several places around the cherry blossom viewing spot (please check with staff before using toilet facilities at establishments)

    Utsubo Park
    place
    Osaka prefecture Osaka-shi Nishi-ku Shimamoto cho
    phone
    0669411144
    opening-hour
    open everyday
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  • 06

    Cherry blossoms at the Osaka Mint

    While the Osaka Mint is known primarily for manufacturing coins, it allows people to enter its grounds in mid-April each year to admire more than 300 cherry trees as they come into bloom.

    This “passage” tradition along what was formerly known as the Yodo River began in 1883, with over 100 different kinds of cherry trees planted here that include the late-flowering Yaezakura.

    The trees are illuminated with paper lanterns after sunset to create a truly magical scene. Eating and drinking are not permitted within the grounds, and you must walk in one direction only, from the south gate on the Temmabashi side towards the Sakuranomiya Bridge.

    Banquet: not permitted (no eating or drinking is allowed)
    ※rugs × space reservation × alcohol ×
    ※Due to novel coronavirus, prior reservation is needed to enter for 2021. However, reservation is closed as of March 18th 2021.

    Access: an eight-minute walk from Temmabashi Station

    Osaka Mint Bureau Cherry Blossom Viewing
    place
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Tenma 1-1-79
    phone
    05055488686
    opening-hour
    [Weekday]10:00-17:00[Saturda…
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  • 07

    Kema Sakuranomiya Park

    Sprawling along both banks of the Okawa River, Kema Sakuranomiya Park features a waterfront promenade that’s planted with almost 5,000 cherry trees. They can be admired while strolling along the river or aboard one of the boats that cruise the waterway. Food stalls line the route during the festival period, so you can grab a bite to eat as you walk. Alternatively, banquets are also permitted on the adjacent lawns if you prefer a leisurely picnic.

    Banquet: not permitted in 2021
    ※rugs × space reservation × alcohol ×

    Access: an 18-minute walk from Sakuranomiya Station on the Osaka Loop Line or 16 minutes from Tenjimbashisuji 6-chome
    Nearby food options: food stalls, convenience stores, and restaurants
    Toilets: several places in the park and in the Osaka Amenity Park (please check with staff before using toilet facilities at establishments)

    Kema Sakuranomiya Park
    place
    Osaka prefecture Osaka city Kita-ku - Miyakojima
    phone
    0663128121
    opening-hour
    Open 24 hours
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  • 08

    Check the blooming forecast

    On March 11th 2021, the Japan Meteorological Agency released forecast for when the cherry blossoms will start to flower across the country.

    It’s important to remember that the forecast will change from time to time, depending on the weather conditions, so check periodically before booking your travel dates.

    Aside from website such as Release of 2021 Cherry Blossom Forecast (7th forecast), you can also take advantage of the Sakura Navi app to monitor the forecast and receive notifications when you are close to a cherry blossom viewing spot.

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