5 Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in the Kansai Area
30 Mar 2022
In Japan, spring is the season for enjoying cherry blossom viewing (“hanami” in Japanese). Those beautiful pink cherry blossoms are definitely worth seeing! Here are five recommended spots that you need to check out if you want to marvel at cherry blossoms when you visit the Kansai region in April.
1. [Kyoto] Yodogawa Riverside Park, Sewaritei District
The Sewaritei (separation levee) area is sandwiched between two rivers that run through southern Kyoto, the Kizu River and Uji River. Expect to be stunned by the beautiful scenery created by the rows of nearly 220 cherry trees that stretch over about 1.4km. The cherry blossom tunnel that is enveloped in a pink hue will definitely take your breath away. Its contrast against the view of the riverside area that is covered in lush greenery is also superb. You should also check out the viewing platform called Sakura Deai-kan to capture a panoramic view of the rows of cherry trees from a height of about 25m.
2. [Osaka] Osaka Castle Park
Positioned at the heart of the famous Osaka Castle, Osaka Castle Park is also famous for cherry blossoms. There are approximately 3,000 cherry trees planted within the grounds of this park, but the 300 in Nishinomaru Garden make for the best sight. Make sure to look at the castle tower through the cherry blossoms in full bloom, as well as observe the large stone walls and moats that are beautifully colored by the cherry blossoms. Another recommended way to enjoy the cherry blossoms at this spot is to hop on the Osaka Castle Gozabune (Japanese-style boat) that will take you around the castle's moat in around 20 minutes! What truly makes this season special is that it lets visitors capture the impressive stone walls, the magnificent castle, and the gorgeous cherry blossoms in a single glance.
- 【Facility Name】 Osaka Castle Park, Nishinomaru Garden
- 【Opening Hours】(March - October) 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, (November - February) 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
- 【Days Closed】 Monday (or the following day if Monday is a national holiday), New Year holidays (December 28th - January 4th
- 【Price】 Adults 200 JPY (350 JPY for nighttime cherry blossom viewing)
- Official Homepage
- Kansai Tourism Bureau Homepage
- 【Address】 Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
- 【Google Map URL】 GoogleMap
3. [Nara] Mt. Yoshino
Loved by many writers and artists since ancient times, Mt. Yoshino is one of Japan's most famous cherry blossom spots. There are approximately 30,000 cherry trees of 200 varieties planted in the four areas of this mountain, comprised of Shimosenbon, Nakasenbon, Kamisenbon, and Okusenbon. Visitors get to enjoy the cherry blossoms longer here, since they bloom in order in the four areas, starting from the area at the foot of the mountains. You should also head to the Hanayagura View Point, which boasts a great view of Mt. Yoshino, so you can enjoy a sweeping view of the entire mountain blanketed in pink, including the valleys and ridges.
4. [Wakayama] Kimiidera Temple
Kimiidera Temple is said to be the flower viewing spot in Wakayama where the cherry blossoms bloom earliest in the Kansai region. With around 450 cherry trees planted within the precincts of this historic temple, which dates from 770 AD, you are bound to be captivated by the view of cherry blossoms set against such structures as the main temple building, which has been designated as an important cultural property of Wakayama Prefecture. The contrast of the cherry blossoms against the vermillion color of the bell tower is truly incredible! This temple is on a mountainside, so the scenery is excellent too. You can also get a glimpse of Wakanoura Bay, also called a “glorious treasure trove”, from across the cherry blossoms.
- 【Facility Name】Kimiidera Temple
- 【Opening Hours】 Main hall/Sutra copying space: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Entrance to Daikannon-zo: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
- 【Days Closed】 None
- 【Price】 Admission fees: 200 JPY/Adult, 100 JPY/Senior (70 years old and above) and elementary or junior high school student
- 【URL】 Official Homepage (Japanese only)
- 【Address】 1201, Kimiidera, Wakayama-shi, Wakayama
- 【Google Map URL】 GoogleMap
5. [Shiga] Biwako Canal
Lake Biwa Canal is a waterway that connects Lake Biwa and Kyoto. At a spot that is around 5 minutes away on foot from Miidera Station on the Keihan Electric Railway, there are around 200 cherry trees planted, and the cherry trees along both banks stretching out their branches towards the canal are truly a sight to behold. The cherry blossoms are also lit up at night during the blooming season, creating a magical scene that is different from what is seen during the day. The nearby Miidera Temple is also a famous viewing spot for cherry blossoms (the blooming season here is from early to mid-April). It is an impressive temple that houses numerous national treasures and important cultural properties, as well as popular gardens.