Following on from yesterday's report in Kyoto, where I was lucky enough to enjoy four of the city's classic cherry blossom sites close to their peak appearance, today I found myself in Osaka just as we were forecasting the arrival of full bloom in the city.

Elsewhere in the country, full bloom had already by now been announced at a majority of locations outside of Hokkaido and Tohoku, with just a few more days remaining to enjoy the blossoms at their best in most major cities.

The morning began with heavy rain, which despite easing off somewhat by the time of my arrival would continue into the afternoon. Undeterred, I set out to check on the progress of the blooms at two of the city's best known viewing spots, finding them generally at their peak with just a handful of fellow viewers braving the weather.

Osaka Castle

Full Bloom

My first stop of the day was at Osaka Castle - a large-scale reconstruction set in spacious grounds featuring a large number of cherry blossom trees.

Making my way around the park, I found the vast majority of trees at their peak, with just a few here and there lagging behind by a day or two. The rain had clearly had some impact, and I felt that branches in the popular Nishinomaru Garden and along the pathways in the outer ring of the grounds looked a little lighter than in previous years. The view across the eastern outer moat however was a particular highlight, with an especially thick covering of blooms. Visitors to the park can expect the blossoms to remain at their best for at least a few more days.

Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Full Bloom

Having started the day a little later than usual, I rounded off my visit with a stop at Kema Sakuranomiya Park - a nice grassy spot by the Okawa River close to the Osaka Mint Bureau.

Here as well the trees were very much in full bloom, although a light sprinkling of petals on the ground suggested today's rain had affected them somewhat.

Again, in ideal conditions I would expect the park to be well worth a visit for blossom seekers for another week, but further heavy rain could shorten this by a day or two.