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

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2013/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka

Festival stall at Expo 70 Commemorative Park

News agencies reported that the peak for this cherry blossom season had arrived in Osaka just slightly before this past weekend. Following my visit six days ago, I returned to the city again to check out its cherry trees. It was another cloudy and slightly drizzling day, but I witnessed some nice views of the blossoms at Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Osaka Caste and Expo 70 Commemorative Park.

Kema Sakuranomiya Park
April 2, 2013 - full bloom

Kema Sakuranomiya Park is a riverside park with nearly 5000 cherry trees lining the eastern bank of Okawa River. Today the trees were at full bloom, providing impressive views of cherry blossoms at their best stretching for kilometers by the riverside promenade.

With that many cherry trees, it didn't come as a surprise that many blossoms were at different stages of their flowering cycle: some still looked relatively robust and fresh, while others looked a little jaded and had already shedded some petals. I think in general the cherry trees here will remain at full bloom for another couple of days, before their cherry blossoms start to lose petals in numbers.

For those who arrive in Osaka just after the main cherry blossom season, consider visiting the Osaka Mint Bureau, located on the western bank of Okawa River across Sakuramiya Bridge from Kema Sakuranomiya Park. The mint has a garden with a large assortment of late blooming varieties of cherry trees. It can be quite an eye opener looking at the different types of cherry blossoms that it has to offer. The mint's garden will be specially opened to the general public from April 16 to 22 this year.

Okawa River
Kema Sakuranomiya Park
Pretty blossoms
Bicycles parked by the park
Late blooming Ichiyo blossoms at Osaka Mint Bureau
Fugenzo buds were not near opening yet
Kids having fun at Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Osaka Castle
April 2, 2013 - full bloom

When I visited last week, the cherry blossoms at Osaka Castle were at a noticeably more advanced stage than those at Kema Sakuranomiya Park. Accordingly, while they were still at their best today, many blossoms were starting to turn dark pink at their centers: a sign that the petals will start to fall before long. Nonetheless, I caught some great views today, including that of the colourful peach tree grove outside the castle's northern moat which was also in bloom.

Visitors to the castle in two or three days should find increasing occurrences of hanafubuki (blizzard of falling petals). There is a festival going on at the castle's Nishinomaru Park from April 4 to 10 (9:00 to 20:00, 350 yen). At the festival there will be live music performances in the evenings, as well as "Sakura Fantasia Laser Shows" on April 6 and 7 (18:25, 18:55, 19:25).

Cherry blossoms at Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle's Nishinomaru Park viewed from the observation deck at the main keep
Peach blossoms also in bloom (left). Cute dog protective of its owners

Expo 70 Commemorative Park
April 2, 2013 - full bloom

Gleeful children running around playgrounds; rows of cherry trees lined up neatly along wide avenues; large lawns for families and couples to have their picnics; the smell of burning charcoal; festival stalls bringing out the celebratory spirit; nice music playing through the park speakers: these are the endearing qualities of the Expo 70 Commemorative Park that make it one of my favourite three cherry blossom spots.

Today the smell of rain added a tinge of romance to the air. The cherry blossoms were pretty and healthy. The light breeze made branches sway gently, but barely any of the petals were willing to fall yet. The lights were placed on the ground faced up, ready to receive the baton from the sun goddess.

This year's cherry blossom festival at the park will take place until April 14. During the festival, the park will operate daily until 21:00, having illuminations in the evenings.

Expo 70 Commemorative Park
Light rain kept away some visitors
Close up on some cherry blossoms

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List of Posts:
2014/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2014/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumae
2014/04/23 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takato
2014/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2014/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hikone
2014/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsuyama
2014/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2014/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2014/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/03/06 - Shopping around Northern Osaka
2014/01/23 - Nikko in Winter

2013/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2013
2013/12/06 - Kamakura Report
2013/11/26 - Tokyo Report
2013/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/21 - Miyajima Report
2013/11/19 - Korankei Report
2013/11/18 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/11 - Sakurayama Report
2013/11/08 - Karuizawa Report
2013/10/29 - Nikko Report
2013/10/18 - Nasu Report
2013/10/17 - Nikko Report
2013/10/14 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/10/10 - Oze Report
2013/09/27 - Alpine Route Report
2013/09/13 - Nakanojo Biennale 2013
2013/08/07 - Exploring Tokyo 2: Around the Tokyo Imperial Palace
2013/05/20 - Tottori Sand Museum 2013
2013/05/07 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2013/05/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2013/05/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2013/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2013/04/23 - Northern Kanto Flower Report
2013/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takayama
2013/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumoto
2013/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2013/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2013/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Gunma
2013/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/31 - Visiting Shodoshima for the Setouchi Triennale 2013
2013/03/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/27 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagoya
2013/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/12 - Tokyo Early Cherry Blossom Report
2013/02/17 - Tokamachi Snow Festival
2013/02/16 - Zao Snow Monster Report
2013/02/15 - Yokote Kamakura Festival
2013/01/10 - Winter Visit to Manza Onsen
2013/01/02 - Tokyo New Year Report

2012/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2012
2012/12/11 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
2012/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Takaosan
2012/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/15 - Autumn Color Report: Shosenkyo
2012/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Yamadera
2012/11/06 - Autumn Color Report: Naruko
2012/11/05 - Autumn Color Report: Hiraizumi
2012/11/01 - Autumn Color Report: Kuju
2012/10/26 - Autumn Color Report: Minakami
2012/10/24 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/16 - Autumn Color Report: Norikura
2012/10/12 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2012/10/09 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2012/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Kurodake
2012/09/27 - Autumn Color Report: Kogen Onsen
2012/09/26 - Autumn Color Report: Asahidake
2012/09/17 - Exploring Tokyo: Gate Bridge
2012/08/20 - Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2012
2012/06/27 - Hiking at Mount Azuma
2012/06/18 - Legoland Discovery Center opens in Odaiba
2012/06/18 - Hydrangea Flowers in Kamakura
2012/06/04 - Tokyo Skytree
2012/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo
2012/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2012/05/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/29 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiraizumi
2012/04/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai
2012/04/24 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukushima
2012/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2012/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiroshima
2012/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2012/04/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2012/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2012/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima
2012/03/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2012/03/08 - Plum Blossom Report from Kairakuen, Mito
2012/03/07 - Trip to Iwaki, Fukushima
2012/02/21 - Plum Blossom Report from Tokyo
2012/01/30 - Skiing in Inawashiro, Fukushima
2012/01/27 - Kusatsu Hot Springs