[Osaka - Kita] Japan Mint Sakura Cherry Blossom Walk - See ALL the Varieties of Cherry Blossoms in Japan in One Place
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Official news release: https://www.mint.go.jp/wide/sakura_osaka_news_h30.html (Japanese Only)
There are more than 300 different blossoms and 134 species of trees showcased (as of 2018). Every year, roughly 500,000 people visit.
In 2018, it runs from April 11-April 17, but they post on the website
It's a one-way path because of the sheer number of visitors, so make sure you go to the entrance near Temmabashi. If you get lost, just follow the wave of people.
Even as you walk there along the O River, there are plenty of cherry blossom trees. Honestly, this is a much less stressful way to view the blossoms.
Let me warn you, I learned a valuable lesson about iPhone camera limitations. We went at night because it is a better time to view the trees, the illuminate them for you, which made for a wonderful in-person experience, but since I only had my phone, I had some limitations in terms of photographic documentation.
There were so many more types of cherry blossoms than I had ever realized! My favorites were the fluff balls.
We kind of gave up after a bit trying to take pictures and just enjoyed ourselves.
The crowds are overwhelming though. There were plenty of small children around, but I could see that as an added stress if you're visiting Japan. Since there were so many people, the phone service was spotty, so it is important to make a plan with your friend if you are somehow separated to meet later (I'm sure you know that).
We were very lucky because we actually made it there at full bloom time, so everything was blooming...you know how sometimes you go and the trees are only just budding? I was lucky because I had just arrived on the second to last day of the festival, so we were able to just make it.
If you have trouble walking or you have a stroller, I would probably recommend skipping this event. There are a couple of exits along the path for emergencies, but they're few and far between. So, you can't really get out of the crowd and you really have to go with the flow...literally. I saw some people trying to stop and take pictures, but they got pushed, not in a violent way, but because there was just a surge of people behind them.
It's definitely worth the experience if you live in Japan, especially in the Osaka area. If you're only in Osaka for a brief time and want to see cherry blossoms, I would say you should just walk the path along the river and skip the Japan Mint Sakura Viewing Walk.
If you do get hungry, there are food booths at the entrance and exit of the walkway. However, you CANNOT bring food in, so you must finish it before entering. It's the typical festival fare - like the food booths you see outside Japanese temples.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions! I can try to ask my friend to translate some of the info.