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Cherry Blossom Report 2011
Official cherry blossom reports by japan-guide.com

This year's cherry blossom season will be overshadowed by the tremendous loss caused by the recent earthquake. However, we believe that the blossoms will serve as symbols of hope and resilience and a source of motivation along Japan's road to recovery. With this in mind, we never hesitated to go ahead with our annual reports in order to inform travelers in Japan and readers across the world about this year's cherry blossom season.

2011 Cherry Blossom Forecast - Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report
Popular cherry blossom spots - How to do hanami? - Cherry tree varieties

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2011/04/10 - Osaka Report
by scott

Today I spent the last day of my contribution to this year's Kansai Region reporting by checking out some of the best cherry blossom spots in Osaka. After today I'll be heading back to the Kanto Region, and will hand off the area to Francois who will be covering Kansai through the end of the season sometime next week.

Expo 70 Commemorative Park
April 10, 2011 - full bloom

My first stop of the day was Expo 70 Commemorative Park, a large public park built on the site of the 1970 World Exhibition. There are nearly 5000 cherry trees planted around the park, mostly found along Higashioji Street and the park's East Plaza.

According to the park's website, the cherry blossoms here reached full bloom two days ago. Indeed, the trees that line the paths around Higashioji Street and the East Plaza looked right around their peak and turned the paths into beautiful white tunnels of cherry blossoms.

The trees provided many great spots to have a hanami party, and there were hundreds of people taking advantage of the peak season and beautiful weather. Note that the park has extended hours and evening illuminations during their cherry blossom festival event. Unfortunately, that ends today an the park will be back to its regular opening hours from tomorrow.

Expo 70 Commemorative Park - East Plaza
Expo 70 Commemorative Park - Cherry blossoms in full bloom
Expo 70 Commemorative Park - East Plaza
Expo 70 Commemorative Park - Higashioji Street
Expo 70 Commemorative Park - Higashioji Street

Kema Sakuranomiya Park
April 10, 2011 - full bloom

Next I headed to Kema Sakuranomiya Park, a pleasant park along the bank of the Okawa River in central Osaka. The park has nearly 5000 cherry trees planted along both sides of the river that can be viewed from walking paths that crisscross the riverbanks or from sightseeing boats that cruise the water.

The cherry blossoms here have reached full bloom and looked absolutely spectacular today in combination with some really great weather. The park was very lively today and crowded with tons of hanami parties. There were still plenty of places to set up a party, however, despite the thousands of people already out enjoying the park.

Kema Sakuranomiya Park
Kema Sakuranomiya Park - Cherry blossoms in full bloom
Kema Sakuranomiya Park - Sightseeing boats cruising the river

Osaka Castle
April 10, 2011 - full bloom

I ended my day at Osaka Castle, which is just a short walk from Kema Sakuranomiya Park. There aren't really that many trees up around the castle keep, but there are plenty of cherry trees planted around the grounds of the former castle.

The cherry blossoms around Osaka Castle have reached full bloom, and there were large crowds of people enjoying hanami parties around the park. Despite the crowds, the grounds are big enough that it didn't feel cramped, and were plenty of open hanami spots to be found around the different parts of the castle grounds.

I think the best spots were in Nishinomaru Garden, an attractive paid garden (200 yen entry) to the west of the castle keep which has lots of cherry trees and good views of the castle keep. Nishinomaru Garden has extended hours and is lit in the evenings during the cherry blossom season. This year the garden will be illuminated until 20:00 in the evening from April 9-17, 2011.

Osaka Castle - From Nishinomaru Garden
Osaka Castle - Cherry blossoms in full bloom
Osaka Castle - Hanami parties in Nishinomaru Garden
Osaka Castle - Hanami parties around other parts of Osaka Castle Park

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List of Posts:
2011/05/09 - Sapporo Report
2011/05/06 - Hakodate Report
2011/05/02 - Kakunodate Report
2011/05/01 - Hirosaki Report
2011/04/29 - Kitakami Report
2011/04/22 - Aizu Report
2011/04/21 - Sendai Report
2011/04/20 - Fujigoko Report
2011/04/19 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/16 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/15 - Osaka Report
2011/04/14 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/14 - Kanazawa Report
2011/04/13 - Yoshino Report
2011/04/12 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/12 - Okayama Report
2011/04/11 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/11 - Takamatsu Report
2011/04/10 - Osaka Report
2011/04/10 - Matsuyama Report
2011/04/09 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/08 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/08 - Yoshino Report
2011/04/07 - Hiroshima Report
2011/04/07 - Iwakuni Report
2011/04/07 - Nagoya Report
2011/04/06 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/05 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/04 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/03 - Fukuoka Report
2011/04/02 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/01 - Kagoshima Report
2011/03/31 - Kumamoto Report
2011/03/31 - Fukuoka Report
2011/03/30 - Tokyo Report
2011/03/30 - Kochi Report
2011/03/29 - Kyoto Report
2011/03/28 - Himeji Report
2011/03/27 - Tokyo Report