Francois' Japan Blog
by Francois, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2010/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka

Osaka Castle's main keep

Today was our second time reporting from Osaka this season. When Scott visited some of the city's cherry blossom spots a week and a half ago on March 29 between 20 and 50 % of the flowers had open. Today I visited the same spots and found that full bloom had already arrived and in some places the trees are starting to lose some of their colour. There should still be good opportunities for flower viewing tomorrow and into the weekend before many spots have only a few flowers remaining.

Expo 70 Commemorative Park
April 8, 2010 - full bloom

The first spot of the day was the Expo 70 Commemorative Park, which is built on the site of the World Exhibition held by Osaka in 1970. Today the area seemed particularly popular for families with kids, as there are many playgrounds and children themed activities within the park. Entry to the park costs 250 yen and the gates opens at 9:30. During the cherry blossom season the park's main cherry blossom spots are illuminated in the evening and their are extended hours. Until this Sunday the gates of the Expo 70 park won't close until 21:00.

Cherry trees line Higashi Oji Street

The Expo 70 park is very large and there are cherry trees scattered all throughout, but there are two main areas that offer the best flower viewing opportunities. The first is the Higashi Oji Street, which is a walkway densely lined with cherry trees on both sides. The second area is the East Plaza, which is located at the end of Higahi Oji Street. The East Plaza is a large grass field that is surrounded by cherry trees along its perimeter.

The spacious East Plaza of Expo 70 Park

The cherry trees of Expo 70 Park are now at full bloom after being only about 20% open on March 29. The flowers at the Expo 70 Park have not yet started falling as much as at the other two spots I visited today, and the park will continue to be a good spot for flower viewing over the next few days.

Fewer petals have fallen at the Expo 70 Park than at today's other spots
Cherry blossoms surround the back of the park's iconic Tower of the Sun

Kema Sakuranomiya Park
April 8, 2010 - petals starting to fall

Alongside the Okawa River there are almost 5000 cherry trees that make up the Kema Sakuranomiya Park. A walk along the riverside under the tunnels of cherry trees is a great way to enjoy the blooming flowers. The park extends for many kilometers, so it is possible to spend quite a while walking under the trees. There are stalls set up selling food and many people sitting on tarps enjoying hanami.

The cherry trees of Kema Sakuranomiya Park line the Okawa River
Locals out for a walk under the cherry trees

I very much enjoyed walking through Kema Sakuranomiya Park, and crossed from one riverside to the other a few times so I could get nice pictures from the bridges. There were river cruises that were passing by that would've been another interesting way to see the park, but this time I stayed on land.

As for the state of the blossoms, full bloom has already come to Kema Sakuranomiya Park and now in some sections the trees are starting to thin out. There are a lot of petals on the ground but the area is still very attractive and should remain so into the weekend.

The bundles of flowers are beginning to thin

Because the park has so many trees and extends over such a long distance, it was easy to find a few places where the trees seem to still be very much at full bloom.

Enjoying hanami under trees that are near full bloom and still opening
One section of the Kema Sakuranomiya Park with a particularly dense canopy of flowers

Osaka Castle
April 8, 2010 - petals starting to fall

My next and final destination was Osaka Castle, which is located near the Kema Sakuranomiya Park and is also connected to the boat cruises along the river. The castle has over 4000 cherry trees on its grounds and today was very busy with people enjoying the flowers. At the top of the castle grounds in front of the keep there are not too many cherry trees. There are however hundreds of trees that line the castle's moats and also many trees in the Nishinomaru Garden, a paid area that has a spacious lawn and is popular for hanami parties.

People enjoying picnics at Osaka Castle's Nishinomaru Garden
Weeping cherry trees in front of the castle keep have lost most of their flowers

Like at Kema Sakuranomiya Park, the trees at Osaka Castle are starting to lose their petals. Nonetheless, the castle should be a good flower viewing spot into this weekend.

Cherry trees are beginning to lose their flowers at Osaka Castle

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List of Posts:
2011/09/01 - Final Post
2011/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo
2011/05/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2011/04/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Aizu
2011/04/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai
2011/04/16 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2011/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2011/04/13 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2011/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2011/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima
2011/03/31 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2011/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/02/11 - Shiretoko Fantasia 2011
2011/02/11 - Asahikawa Winter Festival - by night
2011/02/10 - Asahikawa Winter Festival - by day
2011/02/09 - Sapporo Snow Festival 2011 - by night
2011/02/08 - Otaru Yuki Akari no Michi 2011
2011/02/07 - Sapporo Snow Festival 2011 - by day

2010/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2010
2010/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2010/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/24 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/23 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
2010/11/05 - Autumn Color Report: Yamadera
2010/10/27 - Autumn Color Report: Kuju
2010/10/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kirishima
2010/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2010/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2010/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2010/04/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2010/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagoya
2010/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagasaki
2010/03/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2010/03/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2010/01/23 - Wakakusa Yamayaki

2009/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2009
2009/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2009/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Light Up
2009/11/23 - Autumn Color Report: Nara
2009/11/22 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Ohara
2009/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2009/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Higashiyama
2009/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Kurama
2009/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Hakone
2009/10/07 - Autumn Color Report: Hachimantai
2009/10/06 - Autumn Color Report: Mount Akita-Komagatake
2009/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Kamikochi
2009/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2009/06/18 - Biking the Shimanami Kaido
2009/06/01 - Gunkanjima
2009/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2009/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Himeji
2009/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kobe
2009/04/13 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2009/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2009/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nara
2009/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kobe
2009/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/03/31 - Cherry Blossom Report: Himeji
2009/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/03/29 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2009/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2009/01/19 - Bears in Hokkaido

2008/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kamakura
2008/10/06 - Autumn Color Report: Lake Akan
2008/08/18 - Miyajima Trip
2008/06/09 - Post Towns
2008/05/08 - Baseball Game
2008/04/14 - ASIMO and Aoyama Cemetery
2008/04/08 - Ninja Restaurant