There are so many places where you can enjoy cherry blossoms in Japan. If you live in Osaka, or if you are planning to go to Osaka, I would like to introduce some great places to see cherry blossoms there.
It may be a little weird to go to see cherry blossoms but Zoheikyoku (造幣局), the Japan Mint is one of the popular cherry blossom viewing spots. More than 100 different types of cherry blossoms bloom in the area of the Mint and you will be able to see some rare kinds as well. Only in the cherry blossom season, it is opened for public. This tradition has been carried out since Meiji period. One of the previous chiefs of the Mint said: “let’s share the cherry blossoms scenery with more people, not only the officials”.
This year’s opening period is April 11 to April 17, 10:00 am to 21:00 pm on weekdays and 9:00 am to 21:00 pm on weekend. Opening dates change every year depending on the climate and those cherry blossoms usually bloom a little later than others. This is called Sakura no Torinuke (桜の通り抜け/ Cheery blossom passage) or just Torinuke.
There is no admission fee and the nearest stations are Temmabashi/ 天満橋 (Tanimachi-sen/ 谷町線), Osaka Temmangu/ 大阪天満宮 (Tozai-sen/東西線) and Temmabashi/天満橋 (Keihan/ 京阪). It will be about a 15 minute’s walk from each station.
The Mint building stands near the Okawa river and not only in the Mint area but also along the riverside there are many cherry blossoms so you may be able to enjoy more or even if you cannot make it for the cherry blossoms at Mint you will able to see other cherry blossoms there.
There will be also concession stands like other festivals so you can enjoy food, drinks, and some games.
You can also check the latest information on the website (http://www.mint.go.jp/enjoy-eng/sakura-eng/toorinuke-eng/eng_osaka_viewing2017.html).
Osaka Castle is another popular spot for cherry blossom viewing. There are 3,000 cherry blossoms in the Osaka castle park and within the area, there is also a famous garden called Nishinomaru Teien (西の丸庭園). When one of the cherry blossoms in the garden started blooming, it is officially declared that cherry blossom season has come in Osaka. You will be able to enjoy it usually around between late March to mid April. Though there’s no admission fee for the Osaka castle park itself, it will be 350 yen for the garden. The nearest station is Tanimachi 4 cho-me/ 谷町4丁目 (Tanimachi-sen/ 谷町線).
Banpaku Kinen Koen (万博記念公園), Expo 70 commemorative park is also a great spot. There are more than 5,000 cherry blossoms in the park and Sakura festival will be held from March 25 through April 9. The opening hour will be 9:30 am to 21:00 pm and admission fee is 250 yen. The nearest station is Banpaku kinen koen/ 万博記念公園( Osaka monorail/ 大阪モノレール). The best time for cherry blossom viewing in this park will also be between late March to mid-April.
Just be prepared to see the crowd and better not to visit those spots by car.
As mentioned there are a lot of places you can see cherry blossoms in Japan. Even you do not have to go to viewing spots you can enjoy them on the regular streets. But those spots are so beautiful, breathtaking and worth visiting so if you have any chance, experience them.