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Every spring, the more than 4,000 cherry trees in Kema Sakuranomiya Park sprout beautiful light pink and white blossoms which attract millions of visitors during Japan's cherry blossom season. This park welcomed its first visitors in 1923 and is located five minutes on foot from Osaka Castle in one of bustling Osaka's most serene spots.
Kema Sakuranomiya Park extends four kilometres between the Okawa and Tenma-bashi bridges. Climbing aboard the water buses which regularly depart from Tenma-bashi Bridge's Hachikenya Port is one of the most relaxing ways to take in the park's soothing scenery, especially during cherry blossom season.
Kema Sakuranomiya Park visitors can also enjoy the view from walking trails, Water Square, or the Osaka Mint. As the Japan Mint's head office, the Osaka Mint oversees and manufactures Japanese coins and currency. Even though guests are welcome to visit and tour Osaka Mint at all times of the year, the mint also opens the gates to its cherry garden for one week during cherry blossom season.
Address and contact: 530-0025 Area including 1-chome, Nakano-cho, Miyakojima-ku, Osaka City; tel: (81) 06 6312 8121
Opening times and fees: No set opening times or admission feesWhere to stay
Advance reservations are essential for any visitors wishing to stay in hotels near Kema Sakuranomiya Park during the April cherry blossom season, but rooms are usually easier to come by at other times of the year. Places to stay on the right bank of the Kyu-Yodo River tend to be cheaper than those situated on the river's left bank.
The hotels near Kema Sakuranomiya Park on the Kyu-Yodo River's right bank are, for the most part, affordable three-star establishments. These mid-range properties, however, still contain their fair share of perks like more than one onsite restaurant, air-conditioning, and staff to assist with tickets or tours.
Even more luxuries can be found at the four- and five-star hotels near Kema Sakuranomiya Park. These include up to half a dozen places to eat, swimming pools, tennis coursts, fitness centres surrounded by natural light and greenery, and free shuttle service to JR Osaka Station. Guestroom views include Osaka's stunning skyline, the Kyu-Yodo River, and in some cases the surrounding mountains.