There are many good cherry blossom viewing spots at Osaka and Osaka Castle is one of it. It’s quite a far walk from the nearest train stations but if you don’t mind it, it’s rather worth the efforts to view the beautiful flowers against the famous landmark of Osaka city. It’s also a popular spot for ‘hanami parties 花見’ where friends and colleagues will come together to have a BBQ and picnic under the sakura trees while enjoying the short-lived beauty of the flowers.
I went to Osaka Castle during the evening time as I wanted to go to Nishinomaru Garden for the evening light up where there are around 600 cherry trees and good views of the Osaka Castle from below. It was a Friday evening and I must say the Japanese really take their ‘hanami parties’ really seriously as early birds were sent to secure good ‘hanami spots’ hours ahead of time!
After a good 20 minutes walk after detouring here and there to take photos, I finally reached my destination – Nishinomaru Garden! The entrance ticket for the evening light up can be purchased right at the door. The doors for night illumination opens at 1800 sharp. I queued for around 5 minutes before I got in as I was ahead of time. I wanted to catch the last bit of the daylight before the sky turned totally dark. 🙂
I managed to squeeze through a hedge to take a photo of the Osaka Castle framed with sakura trees. After I found this spot, people were queuing up to take photos. lol
Cherry blossom viewing is almost always carnival-like. The usual food stalls selling snacks was found in the garden as well. Want to have an impromptu ‘hanami party’? Fret not, many food are available for sale! 🙂
Nightfall came and this is my fave shot of the castle before the sky turned totally dark.
Opening Hours: No limit / Admission: Free / No closing days
Opening Hours: 0900 to 1700 (entrance till 1630) / Admission: 600 yen / Closed 28 December to 1 January
Usual Opening Hours: 0900 to 1700 (until 1630 from November to February) / Admission: 200 yen / Closed on Mondays and New Year Holidays
Night Illumination during Sakura Season Opening Hours: 1800 to 2200 / Admission: 500 yen / Seasonal depending on flower blooms
How to Get There
By Subway: Tanimachi 4-Chrome Station on the Tanimachi Subway Line and Chuo Subway Line
By JR: Osakajokoen Station