Cherry blossoms at Osaka Castle

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!

Bright blue picnic mats dotted the park along the river bank

Bright blue picnic mats dotted the park along the river bank

This is the most prepared 'hanami party' I saw! Complete with BBQ on wheels, foldable tables and lights!! Almost looking like a mobile restaurant

This is the most prepared ‘hanami party’ I saw! Complete with BBQ on wheels, foldable tables and lights!! Almost looking like a mobile restaurant

Sometimes missing humans is fine too. Just leave your things all over the spot! :)

Sometimes missing humans is fine too. Just leave your things all over the spot! 🙂

Beautiful blue skies accentuating the beauty of the white somei yoshino sakura flowers

Beautiful blue skies accentuating the beauty of the white somei yoshino sakura flowers

I took a long route up to the Osaka Castle so that I can enjoy the beautiful views :)

I took a long route up to the Osaka Castle so that I can enjoy the beautiful views 🙂

Peaceful.

Peaceful.

IMG_3339 (1)

Pleasantly surprised by the cute bird fixtures on a random guard rail along the path up to the castle. Love the little touches.

Pleasantly surprised by the cute bird fixtures on a random guard rail along the path up to the castle. Love the little touches.

Beautiful sakura around the moat

Beautiful sakura around the moat

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. 🙂

Ta-daaa! My ticket to Nishinomaru Garden.

Ta-daaa! My ticket to Nishinomaru Garden.

The garden was lined with festive lanterns and pleasant music was piped throughout the park. Very light hearted atmosphere

The garden was lined with festive lanterns and pleasant music was piped throughout the park. Very light hearted atmosphere

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

Postcard worthy? :P

Postcard worthy? 😛

Another view of the Osaka Castle through a clearing

Another view of the Osaka Castle through a clearing

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! 🙂

Food stalls with the castle as a backdrop

Food stalls with the castle as a backdrop

Nightfall came and this is my fave shot of the castle before the sky turned totally dark.

Night illumination of Osaka Castle

Night illumination of Osaka Castle

 

Information

Castle Grounds

Opening Hours: No limit / Admission: Free / No closing days

Castle Tower

Opening Hours: 0900 to 1700 (entrance till 1630) / Admission: 600 yen / Closed 28 December to 1 January

Nishinomaru Garden

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

 

 

Advertisements

3 responses to “Cherry blossoms at Osaka Castle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s