Spring in Japan is a season that makes you feel the beauty of nature anew. If you are wondering what the spring in Osaka might be like, here are 5 recommended spots to go on a walk enjoy the city in the spring.
1. Utsubo Park
This is a park in a rectangular shape located in the center of Osaka. It is divided in two areas, east and west, by the "Naniwa-suji", a path that runs across the center of the park from north to south. The Rose Park in the east side of the park, where more than 3,200 buds belonging to 151 different types of roses bloom in the beginning of May, is absolutely a must-see. A Rose Festival is held at the end of May, too, and it features a variety of events that include live concerts by artist and local groups, and also dancing. The park is just about a 15 minute ride by train from Osaka station, so we recommend coming here first to start your stroll.
2. Tennoji Park
After you enjoy the roses, try and walk to the Tennoji Park. This park opened in 1909, and it has many spots where you can enjoy water and greenery, such as the "Mizu no Hiroba" (Water Plaza), rose arches, and greenhouses. The entrance area, "Tenshiba", was renewed in 2015, and it offers a vast grassy area, a playground for children, and cafés and restaurants where you can relax. It is located at about a 30 min. train ride from Osaka Station. It is not always open (open hours are between 9:30 am and 5:00 pm, and admission ends at 4:30 pm), so check the time before you visit.
*The park opens from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (admission ends at 5:30 pm) on Saturdays, Sundays, and National Holidays between May and September.
If you are visiting the Tennoji area, you must drop by the "Shitennoji" temple too. This is the first full blown Buddhist temple in Japan, and it is said to have been built in 593. The temple is arranged in a particular layout called "Shitennoji-shiki Garan Haichi" in Japanese, which features great influence from the Korean peninsula and China, and it belongs to one of the oldest architectural styles of Japan. There are many must-see spots in the temple grounds, such as the "Taishi-den", where Prince Shotoku is enshrined and the "Gokuraku-jodo Garden", a traditional Japanese-style garden. In addition, at the end of April, valuable paintings that belong to the temple are displayed to the public. We recommend strolling about the temple as you allow its sacred atmosphere to wash your heart clean.
4. Water bus
Getting a feeling of the spring by strolling about parks is great, but how about enjoying the spring in Osaka from the water as well? A good option would be the Osaka Water Bus "Aqua Liner", which offers a 60 minute plan in which the water bus tours around spots famous for their cherry blossoms, such as the Osaka Castle and the Nakanoshima Park - all you have to do is sit back and relax as you enjoy the spring scenery. The price is about 2,000 JPY per adult. And if you are not visiting during the cherry blossom season, there are also 4 other sightseeing plans that tour around Osaka's retro buildings. This is definitely a great opportunity to enjoy spring in Osaka in a way different than when you are on the ground!
5. Osaka Castle Park
Cherry blossoms are an essential part of the spring in Japan, and the cherry blossoms of the Osaka Castle Park are a very famous spot that is representative of Osaka. In this park, more than 3,000 cherry trees create a beautifully harmonious view together with the large stone walls and the moat. The Nishinomaru Park, where about 300 cherry trees are planted, is a must-see. This park is located at about a 15 minute train ride from Osaka station. In addition, the cherry blossoms are lit up by night, so it might be a good idea to enjoy the view of the flowers by night after your walk is over.
There are many places in Osaka where you can enjoy the nature in the spring. Going shopping and visiting famous sightseeing spots is great, but we also recommend trying and enjoying a relaxed walk to visit the places mentioned above.