Osaka’s cherry blossom season is a magical time of year that draws in people from all walks of life. The blooming sakura trees create a captivating landscape of vibrant pink and white petals that adorn the city streets. Every year, locals and tourists alike flock here to take part in the seasonal celebrations and admire the stunning beauty of the cherry blossoms in Osaka. Learn when & where to find the city’s most beautiful spring scenes with this complete guide to Osaka’s top sakura viewing spots!
When is cherry blossom season in Osaka in 2024?
Cherry blossom season in Osaka generally begins in mid- to late March, with full bloom hitting about 7-10 days later. In 2023, Osaka’s cherry blossoms first flowered on March 21st and hit full bloom (mankai) on March 27th. This was about a week earlier than it’s normally predicted.
For the exact dates of Osaka’s prime cherry blossom season in 2024, you can check out the official Japanese cherry blossom forecast. The forecast is usually released in late January every year.
QUICK TIP: If checking out the cherry blossoms is high on your agenda, the best time to visit Osaka is around the last week of March to the first week of April. Although the official 2024 forecast isn’t yet out, the flowers usually start blossoming during the last week of March. Full bloom usually hits in the first week of April.
Where to see cherry blossoms in Osaka & the top hanami spots
Osaka Castle Park
To some, Osaka Castle isn’t much more than a tourist trap. During sakura viewing season, however, it’s one of the must-see places in Osaka. The lawn of Osaka Castle is covered in cherry trees. In fact, there are over 4,000 of them throughout the area!
If you decide to visit Osaka Castle, stop at the Nishinomaru Park. It’s located in the western citadel of the castle grounds. Nishinomaru Park offers an amazing view of cherry trees with the castle as a backdrop.
Keep in mind that Osaka Castle and Nishinomaru Park are also one of the most crowded spots for hanami. Prepare to battle with the crowds here!
Kema Sakuranomiya Park
Next to the Osaka River, Kema Sakuranomiya Park is one of the top destinations in Osaka for cherry blossom viewing. The park is home to over 5,000 cherry trees. Kema Sakuranomiya Park is carefully laid out and is a favorite local spot for jogging and cycling. On the weekends during the sakura season, it’s perpetually jammed.
Kema Sakuranomiya Park also offers the perfect spot to sit, eat, and view the trees. If you want to see them from a different perspective, take an Osaka River cruise. Stare at the blooming trees as you float down the river.
Hattori Ryokuchi Park
Located in northern Osaka, Hattori Ryokuchi Park offers a wide selection of plant life to gaze at. Along with cherry trees, the park includes a bamboo forest and an arboretum.
Hattori Ryokuchi Park is mostly known for its open-air museum, which includes old farmhouses. You can view cherry trees while imagining how people in the region lived nearly a thousand years ago. The park, museum, and arboretum are well-maintained by its dedicated staff. It’s a surprisingly popular getaway for locals—not just tourists.
Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park
If you want to enjoy a picnic near a sea of cherry trees in full blossom, Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park is your destination. This large park houses hundreds of trees with pale pink flowers that come alive in spring.
While cherry trees are the main attraction, Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park contains a number of other plants and flowers. The park doubles as a botanical garden that offers gorgeous foliage year-round. It also has a tulip farm with an old-fashioned windmill that offers a picture-perfect backdrop.
Expo 70 Commemorative Park
Expo 70 Commemorative Park was the site of the World Exhibition in Osaka in 1980. After the exhibition, the area became a park and is now home to over 5,000 trees. The trees are carefully arranged along wide paved paths and various garden areas. The park covers over 260,000 square meters and includes a collection of national gardens from around the world.
Expo 70 Commemorative Park is also a great place for viewing cherry blossoms in the evening. The trees ared illuminated each night, creating a truly memorable experience.
Tired of the crowded parks in the city? Spend part of the day in Daisen Park. The park is just 30 minutes from Osaka. Daisen Park contains over 400 cherry trees spread across a spacious landscape. The park comprises a tea house, a museum, a water park, and a Japanese garden.
Daisen Park spans over 26,000 square metres. The ponds and gardens are designed and maintained with traditional Japanese gardening techniques. The result is a beautiful, tranquil green space that whisks you across a gentle stream and through a landscape of seasonal plants.
With its beautiful maple trees, Daisen Park is also one of the most popular Osaka autumn destinations.
Osaka Mint Bureau
If you arrive too late to catch the cherry trees in full bloom throughout Osaka, you may still have one more chance. The Osaka Mint Bureau has a garden with over 300 trees. More than 100 different varieties of cherry trees call the park home. Most of these trees are late bloomers.
Instead of the first week of April, the Osaka Mint Bureau opens its gates in the middle of April. While you’re there, you can also take a tour of the Mint Museum and see how Japanese coins and medals are made.
Osaka Castle isn’t the only ancient castle in the region. Kishiwada Castle is about 25 minutes from the center of Osaka, conveniently located near the airport. You can easily make this the last destination of your sakura viewing tour.
Like Osaka Castle, the castle has undergone renovations over the years. It’s maintained much of its original architecture. Kishiwada Castle was first erected in 1597 and features a moat and hundreds of cherry trees.
The main reason to visit is to avoid the crowds at Osaka Castle. While Kishiwada Castle is smaller, it’s also a far more laid-back destination.