Today, I head to Osaka for our first cherry blossom report from the city this season. The opening of the first blossoms was officially announced in Osaka on March 27, 2019, more or less on par to the average year. I visited a number of popular cherry blossom viewing spots in the city today. Judging from the state of the cherry trees I saw today, and the weather forecast for the rest of this week, I expect the best viewing period to kick off in a few days and full bloom to be reached by this weekend at the latest. This weekend should be one of the best times to see the cherry blossoms at their best for those in or planning to be in Osaka.
Elsewhere in the country, Charles reported yesterday that the places he visited in Tokyo were approaching full bloom. Kyoto, like Osaka, is expected to enter its best viewing period this week. In amongst the places entering their best viewing period, kaika was officially announced in Kanazawa today.
I started my day at the Kema Sakuranomiya Park not far from Osaka Castle. The park runs along the shores of the Okawa River, and is a pleasant place for picnics and exercising. There are lots of cherry trees at Kema Sakuranomiya Park, making it a popular cherry blossom spot in Osaka. Today I found the cherry trees to be just under the halfway mark to full bloom, and there were a small number of trees that were approaching full bloom. Given the sunny but slightly chilly weather forecast for the next few days, I expect the best viewing period to start in a few days from today and continue through to next week.
Next on my list was Osaka Castle. There are hundreds of cherry trees on the castle grounds, and I found that most were still under the halfway mark to full bloom today. One of the main cherry blossom viewing spots on the castle grounds is the Nishinomaru Garden, where visitors can also enjoy a view of the castle. Entry to the garden costs 350 yen and is illuminated from 18:00 to 21:00 (entry until 20:30) until April 14. Alternatively, the southern perimeter of the castle is lined with cherry trees which makes for a great place for a stroll or a picnic under the blossoms. Given the sunny but slightly chilly weather forecast for the next few days, I expect the best viewing period to start in a few days from today and continue through to next week.
My final spot for today was the Expo 70 Commemorative Park. The large park which was the location for the 1970 Expo is located just outside of central Osaka, and is where the iconic Tower of the Sun is located. The main cherry blossom area is at the eastern end of the park and not far from the main entrance. I found the sakura here to be at varying states of bloom depending on where they are located. The trees in the area closest to the Tower of the Sun had the most blossoms open and looked to be approaching their best, but the trees looked more sparse farther away from there.
Until April 14, the park will be illuminated from 18:00 to 21:00 (entry until 20:30). During this time, there is also sakura festival and visitors can look forward to activities and food stalls in the park. Given the sunny but slightly chilly weather forecast for the next few days, I expect the best viewing period to start in a few days from today and continue through to next week.