10 Best Osaka Cherry Blossom Spots: When & Where to See Sakura Festivals!

·13-min read
10 Best Osaka Cherry Blossom Spots: When & Where to See Sakura Festivals!
10 Best Osaka Cherry Blossom Spots: When & Where to See Sakura Festivals!

Osaka cherry blossoms reach full bloom from late March to early April every year. Osaka has a delightful mix of cherry blossom viewing locations that offer a representative slice of Kanasi with historical sites, modern neighborhoods, and mountainous surroundings.

We've compiled a list of some of Osaka's most popular viewing spots, along with the best time to visit and festival info for your convenience.

1. Settsukyo Park: Picturesque beauty

A popular place to enjoy a nature-themed day trip, about 20 kilometers from downtown Osaka
A popular place to enjoy a nature-themed day trip, about 20 kilometers from downtown Osaka

A popular place to enjoy a nature-themed day trip, about 20 kilometers from downtown Osaka

Takatsuki City and the Settsu Gorge are easily accessible from Osaka in about 40 minutes by car or 70 minutes by train or bus. As one of Osaka Prefecture's most scenic areas, it boasts a natural environment reminiscent of ancient Japan and inhabited by a wide variety of wildlife.

The gorge's Settsukyo Park was opened in 1956 and has camping and athletics areas throughout. Here you can surround yourself in nature and enjoy the murmur of the Akuta River and sunlight shining through the trees.

Enjoy cycling or walking beneath cherry blossoms in full bloom
Enjoy cycling or walking beneath cherry blossoms in full bloom

Enjoy cycling or walking beneath cherry blossoms in full bloom

About 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees grow in the park, and the annual Sakura Festival always draws a crowd. Don't miss the cherry blossom tunnel with azaleas planted beneath the trees or the spots overlooking the city below.

At the northern end of the park, you'll find the 15-meter Shirataki waterfall and the otherworldly rocky cliffs of the "Settsu Yabakei" gorge itself. On the 4-kilometer hiking course alone, you can see about 1,300 cherry trees as you soak in the valley's natural wonders.

A great photo opportunity overlooking the cherry blossoms and the city below
A great photo opportunity overlooking the cherry blossoms and the city below

A great photo opportunity overlooking the cherry blossoms and the city below

Best viewing: Late March to early April

Settsukyo Sakura Festival
・Venue: Settsukyo Park Sakura Square
・Date: Late March to early April (Festival and other events. Bonbori lanterns and park illumination on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.)
・Admission: Free
・Information: 072-675-0081 (Takatsuki City Tourism Association)

Settsukyo Park
5-3-14 Tsukawaki, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1036
Take the city bus from JR Kyoto Line Takatsuki Station, get off at Tsukawaki bus stop, then walk for 20 minutes.
072-674-7516 (Takatsuki City Hall Park Division)
Admission: Free

2. Expo' 70 Commemorative Park: The Tower of the Sun and Osaka Cherry Blossom Competition

Tower of the Sun, designed with three faces on the outside and a fourth inside, and cherry blossoms
Tower of the Sun, designed with three faces on the outside and a fourth inside, and cherry blossoms

Tower of the Sun, designed with three faces on the outside and a fourth inside, and cherry blossoms

The Expo '70 Commemorative Park was built on the site of the Japan World Exposition (Osaka Expo) held in 1970. It's home to numerous cultural and leisure facilities such as the National Museum of Ethnology, sports fields, and hot springs.

But the attraction with the most presence is the symbol of the Osaka Expo, the "Tower of the Sun" designed by artist Taro Okamoto. There's a healthy competition between the tower and the cherry blossoms for domination of the scenery in spring. Other types of flowers, in bloom year-round, also beautifully decorate the park.

Enjoy cherry blossoms against the backdrop of the Tower of the Sun (as seen from behind)
Enjoy cherry blossoms against the backdrop of the Tower of the Sun (as seen from behind)

Enjoy cherry blossoms against the backdrop of the Tower of the Sun (as seen from behind)

Expo '70 Commemorative Park has been selected as one of the "100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan." In the Sun Plaza, Japanese Garden, and the Natural and Cultural Garden, more than 5,500 cherry blossom trees of various types have been planted thematically.

The park is designed so visitors can learn more about the relationship between cherry blossoms and Japanese culture.

From popular cherry blossoms varieties like Somei Yoshino, Satozakura, and Yamazakura, to Jugatsuzakura, Kanhizakura, and fruit-bearing sweet cherry trees the park is a great place to immerse yourself in cherry blossom culture and impressive blossom viewing.

The spacious park is beautifully colored with seasonal flowers
The spacious park is beautifully colored with seasonal flowers

The spacious park is beautifully colored with seasonal flowers

Take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about cherry blossom viewing and cherry blossom culture
Take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about cherry blossom viewing and cherry blossom culture

Take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about cherry blossom viewing and cherry blossom culture

Best viewing: Late March to early April

Expo '70 Commemorative Park Sakura Festival
・Venue: Various locations throughout the Natural and Cultural Garden, centering on Higashioji Street
・Date: Late March to mid-April 9:30 - 21:00 (last entry 20:30) *Cherry blossoms are lit up at Higashioji Street 18:00 - 21:00 (time subject to change)
・Admission: Standard admission fee only
・Information: 06-6877-7387 (General Information Center)

Expo '70 Commemorative Park
Senri Expo Park, Suita City, Osaka Prefecture
Bampakukinenkoen
06-6877-7387

3. Satsukiyama Park: The symbol of Ikeda City

Satsukiyama Park, representative of Ikeda City, which borders Hyogo Prefecture
Satsukiyama Park, representative of Ikeda City, which borders Hyogo Prefecture

Satsukiyama Park, representative of Ikeda City, which borders Hyogo Prefecture

Satsukiyama Park, in northwestern Osaka Prefecture's Ikeda City, is a large park at the foot of 315-meter tall Satsukiyama. Somei Yoshino cherry trees and Yamazakura spread from the entrance at the foot of the mountain to the Hinomaru Observatory at the summit, and you can also enjoy the view from the train window as you arrive.

The young buds vary from light green to light red, magenta, and brown in a beautiful interweaving of color
The young buds vary from light green to light red, magenta, and brown in a beautiful interweaving of color

The young buds vary from light green to light red, magenta, and brown in a beautiful interweaving of color

The view of the Osaka Plain from the observatory is always spectacular but becomes even more breathtaking in spring. The vibrant dash of color provided by the Osaka cherry blossoms is a brilliant, rippling sight.

In the park's free Satsukiyama Zoo (closed on Tuesdays) you can interact with Australian wombats and wallabies, adding to a full day of blossom viewing.

The view from the observatory overlooking the Osaka Plain
The view from the observatory overlooking the Osaka Plain

The view from the observatory overlooking the Osaka Plain

Best viewing: Late March to early April

Ikeda Satsukiyama Sakura Festival
・Venue: Satsukiyama Park Ikeda Castle Ruins Park
・Date and time: Saturdays and Sundays from the end of March to the beginning of April from 10:00 to 15:00 (The cherry blossoms are lit up at night from late March to early April every year.)
・Admission: Free
・Information: 072-754-6244 (Ikeda City Airport-Tourism Division)

Satsukiyama Park
2-5 Ayaha, Ikeda, Osaka 563-0051
A 15-minute walk from Ikeda Station on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line
Phone: 072-751-2813 (Satsukiyama Zoo Management Center)

4. Kema Sakuranomiya Park: Osaka Cherry Blossom Tree Promenade

Kema Sakuranomiya Park is made up of multiple adjacent parks
Kema Sakuranomiya Park is made up of multiple adjacent parks

Kema Sakuranomiya Park is made up of multiple adjacent parks

The area along the Ogawa River, which flows through the center of Osaka and into Osaka Bay, is home to multiple buildings and structures that serve as well-preserved reminders of Japan's entry into modern times such as the Japan Mint, the former Fujita House Ruins, and the Kema Lock Gate and Araizekigun.

A vast riverside park spans 4.2 km from the Kema Lock Gate to Tenmanbashi. The entire park, including Minamitenma Park, Kema Park, and Buson Park, is collectively known as Kema Sakuranomiya Park.

The area that use to handle Osaka's waterworks is now lined with beautiful rows of cherry trees
The area that use to handle Osaka's waterworks is now lined with beautiful rows of cherry trees

The area that use to handle Osaka's waterworks is now lined with beautiful rows of cherry trees

Buildings constructed in the latter half of the 19th century, including the Japan Mint and Sempukan, are situated on the Ogawa's right bank, and about 4,800 cherry trees line the riverside promenade.

Not limited to Yoshino cherry trees, there are about 130 varieties represented like double-flowered Fugenzo and Shogetsu. It is one of the best Osaka cherry blossom viewing spots, with visitors staying late in the night.

Crowds flock to see about 130 varieties of cherry blossoms every year
Crowds flock to see about 130 varieties of cherry blossoms every year

Crowds flock to see about 130 varieties of cherry blossoms every year

Best viewing: Late March to early April

Kema Sakuranomiya Park
Tenma, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka others
Osakajokitazume
06-6312-8121

5. Osaka Castle Park: The must-see collaboration of Osaka Castle and 3000 cherry blossoms

Nishinomaru Garden, which encircles the castle tower rebuilt in 1931, is a popular destination
Nishinomaru Garden, which encircles the castle tower rebuilt in 1931, is a popular destination

Nishinomaru Garden, which encircles the castle tower rebuilt in 1931, is a popular destination

Osaka Castle, built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1496, burned down during World War II. After postwar reconstruction and renovation, the current Osaka Castle Park was completed. Approximately 3,000 cherry trees (Yoshino, Itozakura, Yamazakura, Satozakura, etc.) fill the park, drawing crowds of tourists as one of Kansai's best cherry blossom viewing spots.

During the cherry blossom season, you can take a boat ride around the moat
During the cherry blossom season, you can take a boat ride around the moat

During the cherry blossom season, you can take a boat ride around the moat

About 300 Somei Yoshino cherry trees are planted in the Nishinomaru Garden, the former site of where Hideyoshi's wife's residence, making it a particularly popular viewing area.

Osaka Castle Park has five turrets, such as Sengan Yagura, which played a role in protecting the castle as well as the Ishigaki stone wall, which bears engravings made by the daimyo.

In a collaboration of light and flowers unique to Osaka Castle, the castle tower emerging from the cherry blossoms lit up at night is a must-see.

There are many areas for beautiful photography like the castle's stone walls.
There are many areas for beautiful photography like the castle's stone walls.

There are many areas for beautiful photography like the castle's stone walls.

Best viewing: Late March to mid-April

Nishinomaru Garden Night Cherry Blossom Viewing
・Venue: Nishinomaru Garden
・Date: Late March to mid-April 9:00 - 21:00 (Illumination is from 18:00 - 21:00)
・Admission: Nishinomaru Garden 200 yen / Sakura night viewing period 350 yen (tax included)
・Information: 06-6941-1717

Osaka Castle Park
Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Osakajokoen
06-6755-4146

Book Online ▶ Osaka Castle Ticket

6. Waso Sohonzan Shitenno-ji Temple: A colorful cherry blossom paradise

The cherry blossoms in full bloom in Gokuraku Jodo garden leave a strong impression
The cherry blossoms in full bloom in Gokuraku Jodo garden leave a strong impression

The cherry blossoms in full bloom in Gokuraku Jodo garden leave a strong impression

Shitenno-ji, in Osaka's Tennoji Ward, is the main temple of the Wa sect of Buddhism and was built by Prince Shotoku to enshrine the Four Heavenly Kings. While the temple only hosts a mere 100 cherry trees, they're still impressive alongside the majestic temple and its beautiful garden, which is meant to inspire Paradise.

The area around Kiyuujima Bentendo is another highlight
The area around Kiyuujima Bentendo is another highlight

The area around Kiyuujima Bentendo is another highlight

The Honbo Garden (Garden of Gokuraku Jodo), the Kanzakura in front of the Eirei-do Hall, and the Shidarezakura (weeping cherry blossoms) in front of the Nokyojo (office) are especially spectacular and produce sighs of delight from visitors.

Sakura around the pond next to Warodo
Sakura around the pond next to Warodo

Sakura around the pond next to Warodo

Best viewing: Late March to early April

Shitenno-ji Temple
1-11-18, Shitennouji, Tennouji-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Tennouji
06-6771-0066

7. Daisen Park: Unique cherry blossoms decorate a historical park

A lush park surrounded by world heritage burial mounds
A lush park surrounded by world heritage burial mounds

A lush park surrounded by world heritage burial mounds

In 2019, the Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group, which is a combination of Sakai City's "Mozu" and Habikino City and Fujiidera City's "Furuichi" burial mounds was registered as a World Heritage Site. Emperor Nintoku's burial mound in Sakai is Japan's largest keyhole-shaped burial mound. Situated between it and that of Emperor Richu you'll find Daisen Park.

The spreading branches of the weeping cherry tree are wonderful!
The spreading branches of the weeping cherry tree are wonderful!

The spreading branches of the weeping cherry tree are wonderful!

About 1,000 cherry trees are planted across the vast 26,000 square meter park. Weeping cherry trees like Itozakura, Yae-Beni-Shidare, and Shirohigan-shidare, as well as rare varieties like the large-petaled Oyamazakura can be seen.

The large park was created in 1989 to give Sakai a Japanese garden with international appeal
The large park was created in 1989 to give Sakai a Japanese garden with international appeal

The large park was created in 1989 to give Sakai a Japanese garden with international appeal

Best viewing: Late March to early April

Daisen Park
2 Chome-204 Mozusekiuncho, Sakai Ward, Sakai, Osaka 590-0802
5-minute walk from JR Mozu Station
072-241-0291
Admission: Free

8. Sayamaike Park: Earliest blooming cherry blossoms in Osaka

1,400 cherry trees are planted along the shores of Sayama Pond!
1,400 cherry trees are planted along the shores of Sayama Pond!

1,400 cherry trees are planted along the shores of Sayama Pond!

Sayamaike Park, located in Osakasayama in southern Osaka Prefecture, opened in 2002 and has since been selected as one of the "100 Best Historical Parks in Japan."

Around 1,400 cherry trees were planted along the path encircling the park's pond, as "the earliest place to enjoy cherry blossom viewing in Osaka."

Many of the trees are early-blooming Koshinohigan trees as well as a mix of Yoshino, Yamazakura and late-blooming Yaezakura, making it a popular destination for its long blossom viewing season.

Every year, the tree-lined path on the north bank of Sayamaike is lit up, making it one of the season's highlights.

A wide variety from early-blooming Shinohigan to late-blooming Yaezakura
A wide variety from early-blooming Shinohigan to late-blooming Yaezakura

A wide variety from early-blooming Shinohigan to late-blooming Yaezakura

During the Sakura Festival, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms by night when those on the north bank are lit up
During the Sakura Festival, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms by night when those on the north bank are lit up

During the Sakura Festival, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms by night when those on the north bank are lit up

Best viewing: Late March to mid-April

Osakasayama City-Sakura Festival Spring-Night Sakura Illumination
・Venue: Sayamaike North Bank
・Date and time: Late March to early April Sunset to 22:00
・Admission: Free
・Phone: 072-366-0011

Sayamaike Park
Iwamuro, Osakasayama, Osaka 589-0032
10-minute walk from Osakasayamashi Station on the Nankai Electric Railway Takano Line
072-366-0011
Admission: Free

9. Eiraku Dam: Stroll around the dam while looking at the Osaka cherry blossoms

A natural park selected as one of Japan's "100 Best Water Source Forests"
A natural park selected as one of Japan's "100 Best Water Source Forests"

A natural park selected as one of Japan's "100 Best Water Source Forests"

The Eiraku Dam, completed in 1968, in the mountains of Kumatori Town, near the prefectural border with Wakayama, is a water source for the Kumatori region.

The surrounding area makes up Okuyama Ameyama Nature Park (Okuyama Ameyama Shizenkoen). There, you can see Yamazakura and Uwamizuzakura but around the dam itself, about 1,000 Yoshino cherry trees grow for 2 kilometers along the reservoir banks.

You can enjoy cherry blossoms while taking a leisurely stroll along the footpath and the view from Eiraku Dam is a must-see.

The cohesion of natural beauty around the dam and the spectacular sight of the cherry blossoms
The cohesion of natural beauty around the dam and the spectacular sight of the cherry blossoms

The cohesion of natural beauty around the dam and the spectacular sight of the cherry blossoms

Ameyama, which is 312 meters above sea level, was formerly a sacred mountain site used for prayers for rain at the mountaintop Ameyama Ryuo Shrine (now in ruins).

A castle (also in ruins) was built on Ameyama during the Nanbokucho Period (1336-1392), giving the area a feeling the historical romance. During blossom season, lanterns illuminate the trees at night and there are concession stands set up for an enjoyable evening of cherry blossom viewing.

There is a path around the dam, so you can enjoy a leisurely walk
There is a path around the dam, so you can enjoy a leisurely walk

There is a path around the dam, so you can enjoy a leisurely walk

Best viewing: Late March to early April

Eiraku Sakura Festival
・Venue: Around Eiraku Dam
・Date and time: Late March 10:00 - 15:00 (Lanterns are lit from 18:00 - 21:00 and some cherry trees are also lit up.)
・Admission: Free
・Phone: 072-452-6404 (Kumatori Town Hall Water and Greenery Division)

10. Yamanakadani: 1,000 cherry trees decorate the riverside

Many people visit every year to see the rows of cherry blossoms along the river
Many people visit every year to see the rows of cherry blossoms along the river

Many people visit every year to see the rows of cherry blossoms along the river

During the Edo Period (1603-1867), the Yamanakadani district was known as "Yamanakashuku" and prospered as an inn town and a busy hot spring resort.

To recapture the former bustle, about 1,000 cherry trees have been planted over about 1 kilometer on both banks of the Yamanaka River since 1965, creating a splendid row of cherry blossoms.

The revival efforts have paid off and the area is now a popular blossom viewing destination, drawing many visitors each spring.

Cherry blossoms reflected on the surface of the Yamanaka River are among the area's highlights
Cherry blossoms reflected on the surface of the Yamanaka River are among the area's highlights

Cherry blossoms reflected on the surface of the Yamanaka River are among the area's highlights

At the Hanakaido Yamanakadani Sakura Festival held during the peak bloom, various performances such as Rakko (drumming) and Yosakoi Odori (dancing) are held, and you can enjoy the fantastic cherry blossoms lit up by night.

Jifukuji Temple is famous for its weeping cherry tree whose widely spreading branches cover the temple grounds. Nearby Wampaku Kingdom park (free to enter) is also recommended.

A row of cherry trees that stretches for about 1 kilometer
A row of cherry trees that stretches for about 1 kilometer

A row of cherry trees that stretches for about 1 kilometer

Best viewing: Late March to early April

Hanakaido Yamanakadani Sakura Festival
・Venue: Wampaku Kingdom and surrounding area
・Date: Usually the first Sunday in April (Lit up from the end of March to the beginning of April from sunset to 22:00)
・Admission: Free
・Phone: 072-471-5678 (Hannan City Hall, Town Vitality Creation Division)

Yamanakadani
大阪府阪南市山中渓
A short walk from JR Yamanakadani Station
072-471-5678
Admission: Free

There are many other Osaka cherry blossom viewing spots and the collaboration between classic architecture and nature is characteristic of the region's sakura viewing. Be sure to visit for a taste of historic retrospection and beautiful cherry blossoms!


Translated by Gabriel Wilkinson

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