//Japan’s Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part II – Osaka, Kyoto, Nara & Tokyo
Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part 2

Japan’s Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part II – Osaka, Kyoto, Nara & Tokyo

Planning a trip to experience the amazing scenery of blooming sakura’s blanketing the entire city? Well, this is the post you shouldn’t miss out because we know it is pretty tricky to time your Japan trip to coincide with the sakura blooming season as they are subjected to several natural factors such as unpredictable weather & rainfall, So we’re here to minimize your frustration for planning your Sakura trip by following this handy Japan’s cherry blossoms forecast 2018.

In the previous post, we’ve covered Kumamoto, Fukuoka & Hiroshima be sure to check it out here in case you missed out Japan’s Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part I. So in this post, we will cover another 4 Japanese prefectures Osaka, Kyoto, Nara & Tokyo.

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Map by Big Pocket 17

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Map

 

Osaka, 大阪市

 

Kema Sakuranomiya Park Osaka, Japan

Kema Sakuranomiya Park Osaka, Japan

A riverside park boasting water, greenery, and cherry trees, which is built on the river terrace between Kema Araizeki (overflow weir) and Temmabashi Bridge. Incorporating classical buildings such as the Mint, Water Square and walking trails, the park is a good place for strolling and jogging. It is also known as a cherry blossom-viewing spot for its magnificent seemingly endless rows of 4,700 cherry trees.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 5 April – 11 April

How To Get There

A short walk from Temmabashi Station on the Subway Tanimachi Line or the Keihan Line. Alternatively, Osakajo-Kitazume Station on the JR Tozai Line, or Sakuranomiya Station on the Osaka Loop Line

Hours & Fees

Kema Sakuranomiya is a public park so it’s FREE and accessible 24 hours.

 

Osaka Castle, Japan

Osaka Castle, Japan

The construction of Osaka Castle (大阪城, Ōsakajō) started in 1583 on the former site of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple, Toyotomi Hideyoshi intended the castle to become the center of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi rule. It was the largest castle at the time. Todays, the entire Osaka Castle Park covers about two square kilometers with lots of green space, sports facilities, a multi-purpose arena (Osakajo Hall) and a shrine dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The park is one of Osaka’s most popular hanami spot during the cherry blossom season, which usually takes place in early April.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 5 April – 11 April

How To Get There

Recommended through Otemon Gate at the park’s southwestern corner and the closest station is Tanimachi 4-chrome Station along the Tanimachi Subway Line and Chuo Subway Line. Alternatively, from the closest JR station to Osaka Castle is Osakajokoen Station on the JR Loop Line, 10 minutes 160 yen (approx. RM6) ride from Osaka Station.

Hours & Fees (Castle Tower)

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 Extended hours during various holidays & special exhibitions *Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.

Closed: December 28 to January 1

Admission: 600 yen (approx. RM22)

Hours & Fees (Nishinomaru Garden)

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 | 9:00 to 16:30 (November to February) | 9:00 to 21:00 (During cherry blossom season).

Closed: Mondays (or following day if Monday is a national holiday), New Year Holidays.

Admission: 200 yen (approx. RM8)

Expo 70 Commemorative Park

Expo 70 Commemorative Park

The Expo ’70 Commemorative Park (万博記念公園, Banpaku Kinenkōen) is a huge public park in Osaka, located about 30 minutes north of the city center. The spacious grounds hosted the Japan World Exposition in 1970, the first of its kind in Asia, which exhibited over 75 pavilions to show off the wonders of the world’s countries and cutting-edge corporations. Today, the grounds have become a popular destination for enjoying nature, sports, museums and seasonal flowers. Around 5000 cherry trees populate the grounds, especially along the southeastern plazas, which turn the park into one of Osaka’s most popular cherry blossoms spots when they bloom.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 5 April – 11 April

How To Get There

The Expo ’70 Park and Expocity are located next to Bampakukinenkoen Station along the Osaka Monorail. There are many possible access routes, including taking the Midosuji Subway Line from central Osaka (e.g. Tennoji, Namba, Umeda/Osaka and Shin-Osaka stations) to Senri-Chuo Station where it is possible to transfer to the monorail. The trip from central Osaka to the park typically takes between 30 and 50 minutes and costs around 500 to 700 yen. (approx. RM18 to RM25)

Hours & Fees (Expo ’70 Commemorative Park)

Hours: 9:30 to 17:00 *Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.

Closed: Wednesdays (except during cherry blossom and autumn leaf seasons), December 28 to January 1

Admission: 250 yen (approx. RM9) *Additional fees are required for the museums and the Japanese garden

Hours & Fees (Expocity)

Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 (Shops) | 11:00 to 22:00 (Restaurants) | 10:00 to 20:00 (Most Attractions) | 10:00 to 23:00 (Ferris Wheel).

Closed: Infrequent, occasional closing days

 

Kyoto, 京都市

 

Philosopher's path Kyoto, Japan

Philosopher’s Path Kyoto, Japan

The Philosopher’s Path (哲学の道, Tetsugaku no michi) is a pleasant stone path through the northern part of Kyoto’s Higashiyama district. The path follows a canal which is lined with hundreds of cherry trees. Usually, in early April these trees explode with color, making this one of the city’s most popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 5 April – 11 April

How To Get There

The Philosopher’s Path runs between Ginkakuji and the neighborhood of Nanzenji, a 5-10 minute walk north of Nanzenji’s main temple buildings.

Hours & Fees

It is path beside a canal that connects Ginkakuji with the vicinity of Nanzenji, so it’s FREE and 24 hours accessible.

 

Maruyama Park Kyoto, Japan

Maruyama Park Kyoto, Japan

Maruyama Park (円山公園, Maruyama Kōen) is a public park next to Yasaka Shrinein the Higashiyama District. In the first half of April, when the cherry trees are in full bloom, the park becomes Kyoto’s most popular and most crowded spot for cherry blossom viewing parties (hanami). The centerpiece of the park is a tall shidarezakura (weeping cherry tree), which gets lit up during the night. This is also the place you can have a meal under the cloud of cherry blossom with unprecedented hanami experience.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 5 April – 11 April

How To Get There

Maruyama Park can be reached by bus from Kyoto Station in about 20 minutes. Take number 100 or 206 and get off at Gion bus stop. The park is just behind Yasaka Shrine. Alternatively, take 15 minutes walk from Kiyomizudera through the narrow lanes of the Higashiyama District.

Hours & Fees

It’s a public park in the District so it’s FREE and 24 hours accessible. *Illumination: during blooming season until 1 am

 

Arashiyama, Kyoto

Arashiyama, Kyoto

Arashiyama (嵐山) is a pleasant, touristy district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185) when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Arashiyama is particularly popular during the cherry blossom and fall color seasons. It becomes most attractive spot around early April and the second half of November when the cherry blossom and fall color seasons peak. During the summer months, traditional cormorant fishing is practiced on the Hozu River for tourists to watch. Another good time to visit is during December’s Hanatoro illumination when lanterns line the streets and bamboo groves.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 5 April – 11 April

How To Get There

By Japan Railways (JR)

The fastest access from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama is provided by the JR Sagano Line (also known as JR Sanin Line). The one-way ride to Saga-Arashiyama Station takes 15 minutes and costs 240 yen (approx. RM9). From Saga-Arashiyama Station, central Arashiyama can be reached in a 5-10 minute walk.

By Keifuku Railways (Randen)

The small trains on the Keifuku Arashiyama Line connect Arashiyama with Omiya Station at the intersection of Shijo Street and Omiya Street in central Kyoto 20 minutes, 210 yen (approx. RM8). Keifuku Railways also provides access to Kitanohakubaicho Station in northern Kyoto, not far from Kinkakuji, Ryoanji and Ninnaji Temples 20-30 minutes, 210 yen (approx. RM8)

Hours & Fees 

Various attraction have different operating hours in between 8:30 to 20:00 and admission fees between 250 yen to 1000 yen (approx. RM9 to RM36) ++ *Illumination: during blooming season until 22:00 (Nakanoshima Park)

 

Nara, 奈良市

Nara Park Kyoto, Japan

Nara Park Kyoto, Japan

Nara Park (奈良公園, Nara Kōen) is located in central Nara. Established in 1880, it is the location of many of Nara’s main attractions including Todaiji, Kasuga Taisha, Kofukuji and the Nara National Museum. The park is home to hundreds of freely roaming deer. Considered in Shinto to be messengers of the gods, Nara’s nearly 1200 deer have become a symbol of the city and have even been designated as a natural treasure. About 1700 cherry trees are planted across spacious Nara Park and become one of the most pleasant hanami spots.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 5 April – 11 April

How To Get There

Nara Park is 5 minutes walk from Kintetsu Nara Station or about 20 minutes walk from JR Nara Station. Alternatively, the park can be reached by bus with multiple stops around the park.

Hours & Fees 

Admission is FREE except the main attractions including Todaiji, Kasuga Taisha, Kofukuji and the Nara National Museum

 

Tokyo, 東京市

Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku Gyoen (新宿御苑) is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular parks. Located just a short walk from Shinjuku Station, the paid park’s spacious lawns, meandering walking paths and tranquil scenery provide a relaxing escape from the busy urban center around it. From late March to early April, more than 400 somei yoshino trees blossom around the English garden turning the lawns into one of Tokyo’s most popular and pleasant hanami spots. In addition, the park has numerous early and late-blooming cherry trees which provide an extended cherry blossom viewing season (mid March to late April) for those who miss the main season.

How To Get There

10 minutes walk from the “New South Exit” of JR Shinjuku Station or 5 minutes walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line. Okido Gate is also 5 minutes walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line. Alternatively, Sendagaya Gate is 5 minutes walk from JR Sendagaya Station on the local Chuo/Sobu Line.

Hours & Fees 

Hours: 9:00 to 16:30 *Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.

Closed: Mondays (or following day if Monday is a national holiday), December 29 to January 3. There are no closing days during the cherry blossom season (late March to late April) and the Chrysanthemum Exhibition (first half of November).

Admission: 200 yen (approx. RM8)

 

Ueno Park Tokyo, Japan

Ueno Park Tokyo, Japan

Ueno Park (上野公園, Ueno Kōen) is a public park next to Ueno Station in central Tokyo. The park grounds were originally part of Kaneiji Temple, which used to be one of the city’s largest and wealthiest temples and a family temple of the ruling Tokugawa clan during the Edo Period. Today Ueno Park is famous for the museums, especially the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum. It is also home to Ueno Zoo, Japan’s first zoological garden. Of course, Ueno Park is one of Tokyo’s most popular and lively cherry blossom spots with more than 1000 cherry trees lining its central pathway.

How To Get There

Ueno Park is just next to JR Ueno Station. Easiest access is provided by the station’s “Park Exit”.

Hours & Fees

It’s a public park in the District so it’s FREE and 24 hours accessible except Museums including the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum. It is also home to Ueno Zoo.

 

Chidorigafuchi Tokyo, Japan

Chidorigafuchi Tokyo, Japan

Chidorigafuchi is a moat located in the northwest of the Imperial Palace, and it is said the name comes from the moat’s shape, which resembles plovers (Chidori in Japanese). The moat is a historic site and was constructed in the early Edo Period according to the expansion work of the castle, by damming the river. Today’s hundreds of cherry trees decorate the moats of former Edo Castle around Kitanomaru Park, creating one of Tokyo’s most outstanding cherry blossom sights. Boats are available for rent, but picnics are not allowed. Trees are lit up in the evenings. Many food stands can be found at nearby Yasukuni Shrine, where another thousand cherry trees were planted.

How To Get There

5 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Kudanshita Station Exit 2, alternatively take 5 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Station Exit 5.

Hours & Fees

It’s a public park in the District so it’s FREE and 24 hours accessible except Food & Attraction within the park.

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part 3

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part 3 – Fukushima, Hakodate & Sapporo (Coming Soon)

If you’re still planning your trip to Japan this may come in handy for you to plan where and when to go for the best Hanami viewing during your trip.

In this post, we’ve introduced another 4 prefectures in Japan including Osaka, Kyoto, Nara & Tokyo. If you have missed out the previous post covering Kumamoto, Fukuoka & Hiroshima be sure to check it out here Japan’s Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part I. Stay tuned for the next post featuring another 3 Japanese prefectures.

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part 1

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part 1 – Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Hiroshima