Raina's Japan Travel Journal
by Raina, staff writer of japan-guide.com

previous post
list all posts
next post

2014/04/04 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report

Close up of the cherry blossom in the garden of Baron Fujita's residence

After three days of beautiful weather, I woke up to slight rain and cooler temperatures today. Because of last night's rain and strong gusts of wind, the cherry blossom petals at all three sites in Osaka that I visited today had started to fall. However, I'm sure that there were enough cherry blossoms left to enjoy viewing this weekend.

When the fallen petals swirled up in strong gusts of wind, it looked like snow to me. It is the best kind of 'snow' in my books because my fingers do not get numb from the cold. Also, today's wedding photo-shoot tally stands at two, a drastic fall from yesterday's tally.

With the cherry blossom petals in Osaka starting to fall, head here to find out the state of the flowers in Tokyo where Scott was today.

Kema Sakuranomiya Park
April 4, 2014 - petals starting to fall

I started my journey from Kema Sakuranomiya Park today, north of Osaka Castle. It seemed to be a popular spot as I saw people exercising, playing gateball, and photography enthusiasts. The park is also beside Okawa River and I saw river cruise boats, offering a different view of the cherry blossoms.

Elderly playing gateball
Fallen petals
Cherry blossom tree over the river

There are about 5000 cherry trees planted in Kema Sakuranomiya Park. With so many trees, the ground was whitish-pink from the petals that had fallen. It was a pretty sight indeed. Along the way, I stopped by the garden of Baron Fujita's residence, which is a small garden towards the end of the park. Entry is free and the garden is open from 10:00 till 16:00. There were a couple different varieties of cherry trees, all in full bloom.

Close up of the mainstream Somei Yoshino blossoms
I almost wanted to call for an ambulance, but I guess they came super early to reserve their spot
Part of the river cruise boat
Cherry trees at the gardens of Baron Fujita's residence

Osaka Castle
April 4, 2014 - petals starting to fall

It was a pleasant stroll from Kema Sakuranomiya Park to Osaka Castle, my next destination. There were many more visitors compared to Kema Sakuranomiya Park, and the food stalls near castle entrance were making brisk business. The cherry blossom petals have started to fall here but should still be pretty enough for this weekend.

Wedding photo-shoot in Nishinomaru Garden with Osaka Castle in the background
You can tell which ones have no petals left
It took four men to fold up the picnic sheet in the strong winds

I went to Nishinomaru Garden located on the castle grounds as well, where about 300 cherry trees were planted. It costs 200 yen to enter and it is open from 9:00 t0 17:00 (entry until 17:30). The garden is also lit at night from 18:00 to 22:00 and entry costs 500 yen. The light up will run until April 13.

Cherry blossoms and Osaka Castle

Once inside Nishinomaru Garden, it was clear that the prime picnicking spot is on the east side along the moat. It offered an unobstructed view of Osaka Castle under cherry trees. Also popular was the west side of the lawn under the cherry trees, providing a wider view of the castle.

Weeping cherry tree in darker pink and Somei Yoshino tree in light pink in Osaka Castle
English spring camp in action

Expo 70 Commemorative Park
April 4, 2014 - petals starting to fall

Finally, I took the monorail to Expo 70 Commemorative Park, the former site of the Japan World Exposition in 1970. Most of the park now is a huge garden, and you can see different kinds of flowers through the year. The park is open from 9:30 to 21:00 (entry until 20:30). It costs 250 yen to enter the Natural and Cultural Garden, where I went. There are about 5500 cherry trees planted in the Expo Park and the main cherry blossom boulevard is lit in the evenings from 18:00 to 21:00 (entry until 20:30). The light up will run until April 13. Once more, the cherry blossom petals here were also starting to fall, but is still expected to look beautiful over the weekend.

At the main cherry blossom boulevard at the Expo Park
A blue patch in the overcast sky for some close up blossoms

I saw children gathering up the fallen petals into plastic bags and emptying it all into the wind or throwing fistfuls of petals at one another. A fistful of petals has to be the gentlest thing you could throw at someone. The park was bustling with activity with visitors having cherry blossom viewing parties, food stalls (with smells that made my mouth water) located in a few parts of the park, a ceramics market towards the east entrance.

I passed a bullet train depot on the way to the Expo Park
The famous Tower of the Sun statue at the Expo Park
Tanuki for sale at the ceramics market
A little girl throwing handfuls of petals into the wind

previous post
list all posts
next post

List of Posts:
2018/12/31 - 2018 Travel Highlights
2018/10/25 - Business as usual at Tsukiji Outer Market
2018/08/19 - Hello Kitty Shinkansen
2018/05/16 - Cruising Tokyo's waterways
2018/04/17 - Wisteria blossoms in Ashikaga Flower Park
2018/01/18 - Shinanomachi, the Backcountry of Nagano

2017/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2017
2017/10/25 - The 45th Tokyo Motor Show
2017/10/11 - Dipping into the three onsen towns of Yamanaka, Yamashiro and Katayamazu
2017/07/24 - Remote Riches in Toyama
2017/07/03 - Spiritual Chichibu
2017/05/02 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2017/04/14 - Sneak Peek from Ginza Six
2017/03/21 - A bit of everything in Fukui
2017/03/13 - Nikko Toshogu Uncovered
2017/02/15 - Subculture in Ikebukuro
2017/02/07 - Travel to the Goto Islands
2017/02/06 - Nagasaki Lantern Festival

2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/12/19 - Winter Illuminations in Tokyo
2016/10/24 - The way of old on the Kunisaki Peninsula
2016/10/11 - Following the Tadami Line in Oku Aizu
2016/08/27 - Fool's Dance at Koenji Awa Odori
2016/08/16 - The three sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan
2016/06/20 - Train travel into the Ise-Shima region
2016/04/03 - Setouchi Triennale 2016
2016/03/08 - The hunt for Namahage on the Oga Peninsula
2016/03/02 - Sake Sangria
2016/02/20 - Tokyo Plum Blossom Report
2016/01/26 - Tour de Reinan: Obama, Oi and Takahama
2016/01/25 - Tour de Reinan: Tsuruga, Mihama and Wakasa

2015/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2015
2015/12/10 - 48 hours in Tokushima
2015/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Kankakei
2015/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2015/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/10 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/09 - Autumn Color Report: Koyasan
2015/11/08 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2015/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Dazaifu
2015/10/28 - The 44th Tokyo Motor Show
2015/10/21 - Hirado, where East meets West
2015/10/20 - Kujukushima Islands and Winter Illumination at Huis Ten Bosch
2015/10/19 - Navigating the Christian sites in Nagasaki
2015/10/18 - Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo
2015/10/15 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2015/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2015/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2015/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2015/09/16 - Nakanojo Biennale 2015
2015/08/19 - Traditional culture and hot springs of the Aizu Region
2015/08/17 - Nature and Hot Springs at Naruko Onsen
2015/08/04 - Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2015
2015/04/30 - Sapporo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/29 - Hakodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/23 - Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/22 - Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/21 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/16 - Sendai Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/09 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/08 - Fukushima Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/06 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/02 - Nara Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/01 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/31 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/27 - Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/26 - Kumamoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/25 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report

2014/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2014
2014/12/15 - Seasonal Illumination: Sendai
2014/12/09 - Seasonal Illumination: Tokyo
2014/12/04 - Autumn Color Report: Kanazawa
2014/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2014/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2014/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2014/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/10/31 - Autumn Color Report: Karuizawa
2014/10/21 - Autumn Color Report: Bandai
2014/10/20 - Autumn Color Report: Towada
2014/10/01 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2014/09/29 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2014/06/19 - Toranomon Hills opens in Tokyo
2014/04/24 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/23 - Morioka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/22 - Aizu-Wakamatsu Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/16 - Matsumoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/15 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/14 - Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/13 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/12 - Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/10 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/06 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/04 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/02 - Nagoya Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/31 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/26 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/04 - Early Tokyo Blossom Report