Hanahaku Kinen Koen Tsurumi Ryokuchi, a park that extends between Osaka City and Moriguchi City, was the venue site of The International Garden and Greenery Exposition (or "Hana-haku" for short) that was held in 1990. Currently, overflowing with all kinds of flowers and greenery it is known to the locals as a place for relaxation, sports, and BBQs. But as a venue for Hana-haku, it is also full of photogenic, Instaworthy landscapes and rare plants. When I heard about it being a recommended Osaka sightseeing location, I decided to check it out!
A Landscape Just Like the Netherlands, the Windmill Hills
Hanahaku Memorial Park is located a short walk away from Tsurumi-Ryokuchi Station on the Osaka Metro Nagahori Tsurumi-Ryokuchi Line. In this 120 hectare space (roughly half of New York’s Central Park) there are various facilities such as a stream that flows between the trees and the tree-lined paths, and a vast lawn, which you can stroll freely. In addition, there are colorful flowers that bloom every season, making this a very popular attraction.
▲About a 3 minute walk from Osaka Metro Tsurumi-Ryokuchi Station lies the central entrance of Tsurumi Ryokuchi.
First, head for the little hill in the northeast part of the park. Here you can see a windmill on the hill and the seasonal flowers that colorfully surround it. In early July when I visited, it was full of bright yellow and orange summer flowers such as sunflowers and marigolds.
▲Windmill cabin atop the little hill. A sunflower field surrounds it. (Best time to see sunflowers in Osaka: mid-July to August)
▲A photo of sunflowers blooming in bunches
▲Marigolds spread out beyond the sunflower fields (Best time to see marigolds here: June to August)
▲These may be small, yet beautiful and full of life
The flowers surrounding the windmill hill are re-planted seasonally. In the spring there are tulips, and cosmos in the fall.
▲These colorful tulips let you really know it's spring time (Best time to see tulips in Osaka: April)
▲The cosmos blowing in the autumn breeze are a lovely sight. (Best time to see cosmos in Osaka: late October to late November)
▲20 meters from the windmill hill sits a beautiful rose garden (Best time to see roses in Osaka: May-June, October-November)
"Sakuya Konohana Kan" – Giant Greenhouse with 5,500 Kinds of Flowers from All Around the World!
▲The Sakuya Konohana Pavilion is a 2-story greenhouse. The building seems to have been designed in the image of a water lily.
The seasonal flowers blooming in the open air are certainly beautiful, however in this park in which one can appreciate flowers from all over the world, there are also some facilities that you just should not overlook.The Sakuya Konohana Pavilion is the largest glass-enclosed greenhouse in Japan, and was used as the main pavilion for the Hana-haku Expo.
About 5,500 kinds of plants from all over the world are grown here, and about 300 of them are always in bloom. Divided into 4 parts, including tropical and polar species, you can see a wide variety of plants from around the world in this giant exhibition room.
▲At the center of the building is the Flower Hall in the atrium. There are various exhibitions and events held here throughout the year.
For those who wish to learn more about the charms and secrets of these plants beyond what you can see walking around on your own, I recommend the free guided Flower Tour! Every day at 11:00AM, 1:00PM, and 3:00PM, they hold a tour with up to 20 people (the required time for the tour is about 30 minutes).
The tour began from the room of tropical rainforest plants. Right there is a pond of lotuses.
▲The leaves of the Oo-onibasu (Victoria amazonica) plant grow so large, they don’t sink even when children sit on them. We also learned the secret of why it does not sink.
▲The lifespan of the Victoria amazonica flower is only 3 days. "It is white on the first day it blooms, and on the second day becomes a beautiful pink color," she explains as she shows us a picture.
▲These are barringtonia, amazing flowers with white or light red stamens seen in the Nansei Islands. They bloom at night and closes around dawn. Here you can see the barringtonia floating in the aquarium up close.
Colorful flowers and plants that grow in tropical areas are exhibited In the Tropical Rainforest Plants room.
▲This was the best time to see the Heliconia, which is popular for its unique shape and vivid colors.
▲This Rafflesia has been hardened with resin and has been exhibited in a huge glass case since Hana-haku was held. The actual flowers are known for giving off a pungent odor.
On this flower tour, not only can you look at the plants, but you can also enjoy a variety of other experiences. Today I was introduced to a lightly sweet miracle fruit that I was able to taste. When you eat this fruit, even sour things taste sweet.
▲After eating the red miracle fruit, it is interesting to try eating a lemon! The lemon actually tastes like grapefruit now! Effects can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours (depending on the person).
After the Tropical Rainforest Plants room, we proceed to the room of Tropical Flowering Trees, the room of Dry Land Plants, and the Alpine Plants room. Even on land with little water, you can see many unique plants that are vigorously thriving. I was surprised that there were many more types of plants than I had imagined.
▲There were many cacti in the Dry Land Room. This Golden barrel cactus is about 50 years old and weighs about 80 kg!
▲The Hawaii silversword is an alpine plant of Hawaii, a peculiar species that blooms flowers only once in its entire lifetime. The leaves are covered in beautiful silver hairs, which protect the plant from the strong sun of the high mountain areas.
▲Night blooming cacti such as the Dragon Fruit and the Queen of the Night have been adjusted to bloom during the day by reversing their night and day. It is especially recommended to view in the morning when it is blooming most energetically. (The flowers' status is posted on the homepage).
When I visited, the Hualien Exhibition was being held (generally from mid-June to mid-July). Various other events are also held depending on the season, such as exhibitions of roses, orchids, and carnivorous plants. Please check them out if you have the chance.
▲There was also an exhibition of approximately 200 varieties of just lotus plants. I didn't even know there were so many kinds! Yet another surprise!
The tour comes to a close with the description of the Antarctic and Arctic plants. If you have enough time after the tour, you can always go back to look at the flowers once again at your own pace.
Sakuya Konohana Pavilion
2-163 Ryokuchikoen, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu
Opening Hours: 10:00AM~5:00PM (Admission until 4:30PM)
Closed: Mondays (Open on national holidays, but closed the following weekday); Dec 28~Jan 4
Admission: Adults ¥500 (tax included); free for junior high and younger
Come Empty-handed, Still Have Fun! BBQ in the Green
There are also 3 BBQ areas in the park. Amongst them is the one called "Midori-no-Seseragi Higashigawa BBQ Hiroba," which you can reserve by 5:00PM the previous day, and even rent all equipment and utensils, including the stove, table, and even chopsticks. You can even order various set ingredients for 2 people or more (reservation required 3 days in advance). You can also bring your own favorite food and drink (4 openings per day, 2 hours each).
▲Passing through the flowing stream that winds between the trees, you will see the barbecue place right there
▲The barbecue place is surrounded by many green trees, such as poplar. You can bring tables and chairs anywhere within the area enclosed by the fence
▲Tarps (for shade from the sun) can also be rented. ¥2000 for the medium size, and ¥3000 for the large (tax not included).
▲Regular Set (¥1980 per serving, tax not included; *photo shows 2 servings). All foods are sealed in plastic bags, and kept refrigerated until delivered, so it is hygienic and safe.
They will also help prepare and ignite the charcoal so you can start barbecuing right away!
▲Sausages and ham, and quality beef and chicken pre-seasoned with salt and pepper. All you have to do is grill them!
▲It's so simple and easy, you can enjoy your meal in the open air without a care in the world!
▲And at last, some savory soy sauce grilled rice balls
Eating under the blue skies with a breeze gently blowing through the lawn feels great! You will definitely want to try this BBQ, where you can freely and comfortably enjoy a meal without having to bring a thing. Along with this Regular Set, they also offer Premium Sets.
▲Recommended for those who want to enjoy plenty of meat: The Wild Set (¥2480, tax not included; *photo shows 2 servings)
▲Variety Set (¥2480, tax not included; *photo shows 2 servings). Included shrimp and scallops along with meat.
Next to the barbecue area is a campground. Spending a nice night here with family and friends will surely create lots of great memories.
▲The spacious grassy area next to the barbecue area is also nice.
Midori no Seseragi Higashigawa BBQ Hiroba
2-163 Ryokuchikoen, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu Hana Haku Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi
Opening Period: March 1 ~ November 30
Hours of Use:
Sat, Sun, Holidays: 1st: 10:00AM~12:30PM; 2nd: 3:00PM~7:00PM; 3rd: 5:30PM~8:30PM
*Reserve by 5:00PM the day before
Available for up to two consecutive segments
Usage Fees: Junior high and older: ¥1000; Elementary school: ¥500; Children under elementary school: free
*All prices shown are for one person, tax not included
Closed: Mondays (Open on national holidays, but closed the following weekday)
*Sudden cancellations due to inclement weather may occur
0570-09-0014 (Reservation Desk: 9:00AM~5:00PM)
There are plenty of places to see in this spacious park!
Inside the park there are sports facilities such as tennis courts and golf courses, as well as cultural facilities such as the Hana Haku Memorial Hall.
There is even a full-scale horse riding area where over 50 horses are raised and competitions are held. You can even experience horseback riding, even if it is your first time.
▲The small pony rides are very popular with children (available from 4 years to adults; reservation not required). (Business hours: 9:00AM~7:00PM, Closed Tuesdays; ¥700, tax included; Phone: 06-6915-0034)
There is also a tearoom in the park. Murasaki-tei is a full-fledged tearoom that honored a large number of customers both from Japan and abroad during the time of Hana-haku. Anyone can use it when you book in advance (in order of arrival), and you can enjoy the mountain streams that flow near the tearoom and the lovely view of the Japanese gardens.
▲Murasaki-tei has a calming atmosphere. (Usage time from 9:00AM~5:00PM, ¥28000 day rental, tax included *Air conditioning fee is separate; please call 06-6915-3246)
Surrounding Murasaki-tei are buildings that symbolize the countries of the world at the time of the Hana-haku. With the structures just starting to show age and the surrounding nature, it creates quite an attractive landscape.
▲The China Area as seen from the pond in the center of the park. The outward-pointing tips of the roof have an exotic feel.
▲An Irish garden. The contrast between the bright lights and shadows are superb.
Hana Haku Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi is a place for the whole family to enjoy, with many available activities in many different facilities. In addition to the magnificent seasonal views of the flowers, there is also a wide lawn area with playground equipment where children can play. A fulfilling leisure spot such as this cannot be fully enjoyed in just one day!
For being in Osaka City, it has a rather attractive relaxing atmosphere. Why not spend some leisurely down time here next time you find yourself in Osaka?
▲The Central Fountain at the entrance of Hanamaki Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi is a perfect meeting spot.
▲Look out for the manholes designed with Hana-haku's flower mascot, Hanazukin-chan!
Hana Haku Memorial Park Tsurumi Ryokuchi
2-163 Ryokuchikoen, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu
Entrance Fees: Free
06-6911-8787 (Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park Center)