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The blooming of cherry trees is an important event that engages the whole country, keeping alive the long tradition of hanami, which is to admire the blossoms of the cherry trees. People just love to stroll around the parks and to have a picnic under a sakura tree.
Osaka is one of the best cities in Japan to admire this unique sight. Visit the stunning castle and its garden full of cherry trees or walk along the path that crosses the garden around the Mint. Every place will offer you a sight that you won’t forget.
Keep reading our short article and learn more about hanami in Osaka!
Japanese people love to appreciate the momentary nature of life, and to them the short blooming of the cherry trees is a perfect symbol of this concept.
This is why Japanese love doing hanami (literally “flower viewing”). They just go to a park to sit under a tree or to stroll around while admiring the beautifully colored trees. Many parks have hundreds and hundreds of cherry trees, often surrounding temples, creating a unique scenery you won’t find anywhere else.
In Osaka, cherry trees bloom around the last week of March and last until the first week of April. Cherry blossoms don’t last long, and thus you have to plan carefully and need a little bit of luck to see them.
Be aware that these dates are only averages. Mostly depending upon the weather of the year, the cherry trees can bloom a week earlier or later, and hit full bloom any time in March and April. If you really don’t want to miss them, you should try to spend as much time as you can in one place, ideally from 20 March to 10 April.
But, unfortunately, this would be really hard for two reasons: This period is the peak of the tourist season, and accommodation will be expensive or fully-booked. This said, don’t lose hope!
Osaka is a big city, so a little preparation is needed if you don’t want to miss out the best viewing spots for cherry blossoms. One of the most famous places is the Kema Sakuranomiya Park, that every year sees thousands of tourists who gather to admire the cherry trees.
Another wonderful place is the Osaka Castle with its beautiful garden full of sakura, and the Mint, with a big garden that you cross from south the north.
This park is beautifully set on the side of the Okawa River, and it is home to more than 5,000 cherry trees. It is considered to be the most popular viewing spot of all Osaka, and it is hard to beat. It is an amazing place to stroll around and admire the trees and, of course, it attracts thousands of visitors, especially during weekends.
However, the park is really big and quiet, ideal for families who just want to sit down on a bench and enjoy the sakura.
The castle in Osaka is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the whole city, and many touristic tours start from there. Beside admiring the trees, you can also visit the Nishinomaru Garden, the Stone Walls, the turrets, the gates and the moats.
There are several hundred cherry trees around the castle and in the evening, both, the tower and the trees, are lit up.
This is another extremely popular place for cherry blossoms. It opens around the beginning of April (even though dates change every year). The garden of the Mint contains many yaezakura trees, which bloom later than many other kinds of trees.
The garden of the Mint is maybe the best place for taking pictures of your walk among the trees, along the one-way street that goes from the south gate of the Mint to the north gate. Along the walk, you will see about 350 trees of 139 different kinds.
This park, pretty big and perfect to host big parties, contains also an Open-Air Museum of Japanese Farmhouses, a wonderful addition to the cherry trees. The park is perfect also for picnics, and the paths that lead around it are really enjoyable.
Inside the park you will find a placid pond, a rose garden, a tea ceremony house and a Japanese garden, as well as other facilities like tennis courts and children’s playgrounds.
You will find the memorial park in the north part of the city. It is a beautiful spot with plenty of lovely trees. You will also have the chance to visit the National Museum of Ethnology and the huge shopping center of the Expo City. You can basically spend a full day there.
In 1990, this huge park hosted an important flower exhibition, and today it is a really nice place for cherry blossom viewing. There are cherry trees planted all over the park, with plenty of relaxing places to have a picnic with family or friends. You can also visit the 50 small gardens from 50 different countries across the world.
Hanami is as popular as it is straightforward: People just head to the parks to enjoy the pink sky of petals above their heads. Groups of people will reserve their spot with a blanket and spend the whole day (and part of the night) having a picnic, drinking, singing and playing games. In many parks, you will also find live music and food stalls.
To do hanami properly, you just have to follow a simple etiquette based on a simple principle: Respect nature and everyone arounds you. To Japanese people, respect is fundamental, in every aspect of life, and doing hanami is no exception.
Choose an authorized place where to have a picnic and reserve a spot without occupying too much space. Stay away from the roots of the tree and do not ever touch the branches or pick a flower. They are for everyone to enjoy. Don’t be too loud, respect other people’s space and clean up after yourself.
Hanami being so popular, it is normal to see thousands of people going around and trying to reach the best sites for cherry blossom viewing. Osaka is no exception. We strongly recommend you book your accommodation at least a couple of months in advance. A last-minute decision won’t get you the best places nor the best deals.
Beside tourists, also thousands of Japanese people will travel during these weeks. Book train tickets way in advance and expect to find crowds in most places. If you wish to do hanami in a famous location, be sure to head there early in the morning so you can reserve the spot you like the most.
A great perk is that Kyoto is really close to Osaka, so you might want to try to visit the two cities in the span of a few days.
Strolling around with a marvelous pink cloud of flowers above you… who wouldn’t want to do that? Asia Highlights can help you to fulfill your dreams. We will take care of everything, tailoring your trip to your desires and needs – you will only have to choose a spot for your picnic.
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