As Japan’s kitchen, Osaka makes the perfect place for a hanami picnic. With spring in the air, here are the best spots to enjoy cherry blossoms in Osaka.

According to the 2024 cherry blossom forecast, the blossoms in Osaka are expected to appear around March 25 and to reach full bloom by April 1. As always, be sure to check the latest updates on the forecast, as it can change depending on the weather.

Pro tip: If you’re arriving later in April, be sure to visit the Japan Mint, which has free entry once a year and has late-blooming varieties of cherry blossom.

Osaka may not be as famously picturesque as its neighbor, Kyoto, when it comes to cherry blossom displays. However, don’t underestimate the power of pink petals to transform even the most urban of places. The gardens and parks of Osaka provide the most popular spots and, as a livelier city, you’ll find more blue tarps than you ever thought possible (plus plenty of beer to go with them).

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Pro tip: If you don’t have a lot of time to see cherry blossoms in Osaka, we recommend joining this combo sakura cruise and bus tour, which takes you to Kyoto, too.

1. Osaka Castle

Central Osaka

Osaka castle in cherry blossom season, Osaka, Japan
Osaka Castle, one of the most popular cherry blossom spots, was built in 1583. | Photo by

Osaka Castle is the number-one place to start both your sightseeing and hanami adventures. The castle grounds are filled with over 3,000 cherry trees, meaning there’s plenty of space to get the perfect shot.

In the west section, Nishinomaru Garden has super spots for a picnic. This is where lawns stretch beneath the trees (other areas have hard ground). Entry for the garden is ¥200, however; other areas are free.

The Osaka Castle Spring Festival runs from February 21 to April 15, allowing visitors to celebrate both the plum blossoms and cherry blossoms as they bloom.

2. Daisen Park

¥200 for the Japanese Garden

If you’re looking to escape the city for a day, we suggest you head out to Daisen Park, a luscious 35-hectare park with a large Japanese garden. It has 400 cherry trees and plenty of space to enjoy them. There are a few blossom varieties, including mountain cherry and Oshima, but all the flowers together create an impressive scene, especially near Dada Pond.

The gardens have a tea house and other sights to explore, including the Sakai Museum, and a flower and water park. Note that the gardens are closed on Mondays.

3. Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Central Osaka

Sakura Cherry blossom tree along the fence and the riverside ,fallen sakura petal on path way in Sakuranomiya Park, Osaka Japan
Cherry blossoms along the path. | Photo by

Located on the river terrace between Kema Araizeki and Temmabashi Bridge, Sakuranomiya Park is a beautiful stretch. Almost 5,000 cherry trees line the edges of the Okawa River — a sight that will take your breath away. During the blossoming, you’ll find food stalls and hanami picnics galore, creating a festival atmosphere.

Pro tip: This park is very close to the Japan Mint, so — depending on the timing — you can combine the two.

4. Japan Mint Bureau

Central Osaka

closeup of beautiful blossom cherries
Yaezakura is the most common variety of late-blooming cherry blossom in Japan. | Photo by

The Mint garden is usually closed to the public, but for one week during cherry blossom season, they open their gates, allowing visitors to admire some rare and unusual varieties of blossoms. Note that this event requires online registration in advance.

Among the 350 trees are an impressive 134 different varieties, and the Mint is an especially good spot for late-blooming trees, like yaezakura. There is a tunnel effect, and it is one of the most picturesque spots in the city, with lanterns and evening illuminations.

Surprisingly, entry is completely free — although if you were planning on visiting the Mint Museum, it is closed for the duration of the garden opening. No hanami picnics are allowed here, but you can head to nearby Kema Sakuranomiya Park instead.

5. Expo ’70 Commemorative Park

Suita (north Osaka)

Expo Park with cherry blossom festival in Spring
Expo Park with its cherry blossom festival in spring. | Photo by

Also known as Bampaku Kinen Kōen, this park was designed to host to the 1970 World Exhibition. Famed for its seasonal flower displays and open spaces, Bampaku has over 5,000 cherry trees spread across 260,000 square meters, mostly along paths and in the southeast section. While it’s a popular spot, there is certainly enough space for it to not feel too crowded.

As part of the park’s annual cherry blossom festival, two teahouses in the Japanese Garden — normally off-limits to the public — are open on weekends. One of them sells matcha and sweet sets. There will also be evening illuminations from March 25 to April 3 (from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) 

Within the park, which is about 30 minutes from central Osaka, you’ll also find street performers, a Japanese landscape garden, artwork left over from the Expo, and two cultural museums to explore.

6. Kishiwada Castle

Kishiwada (south Osaka)

Home to the famous Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri, this castle was originally built in 1334 and has more than 130 blossoming trees surrounding it. The gardens include remains of the original castle (the current one was rebuilt in 1954 after many fires/disasters/battles), and a stone garden designed to represent the fortification.

Although the castle is around 25 minutes from Osaka central, it’s actually on the way to the airport, so you could make it your first or last stop in the city.

7. Hattori Ryokuchi Park

Toyonaka (north Osaka)

A large hilly park in northern Osaka, this park is well known for its open-air farmhouse museum and recreational pools, as well as its cherry blossoms. For a more spacious blossom experience with some additional entertainment on the side, this can make for a great afternoon out in Osaka.

The park has more than 10 ponds, a bamboo forest, an arboretum with over 700 species of camellia, and sports facilities, too. The museum is a great chance to see the gassho-zukuri houses of Shirakawagō, if you haven’t been able to see them yet.

8. Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park

Tsurumi (east Osaka)

Not to be confused with the park above (ryokuchi means “green space”), Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park was host to the International Garden and Greenery Exposition in 1990, and thus has a great selection of flower displays — including cherry blossoms.

You can picnic beneath the hundreds of cherry trees and also explore the grounds, which include a traditional Japanese garden, a rose garden with 2,600 plants, and a teahouse. The trees line the edges of a pond, creating beautiful reflections and dreamy sakura photo-ops as they begin to fall and float on the water’s surface.

The park is designed to have flowers in bloom during every season, so there are plenty of flowers to see aside from the cherry blossoms, too.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. This article was originally published in March, 2018. Last updated in January, 2024, by Maria Danuco.

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