Osaka is a large city in Japan’s southern region, Kansai area. Known for its food and outgoing people, Osaka is a great place to enjoy the nightlife, all it has to offer in the way of food and drink. But for those seeking a break from the concrete jungle, Osaka also has access to many nature spots which normally do not associate with such a big city. Here are some of the best nature spots and parks to visit in Osaka. Let’s find out the lesser-known attractions of Osaka!
1. Expo ’70 Commemorative Park
Just north of Osaka, Expo ’70 Commemorative Park is located on the former site of the world’s fair held in 1970. It was the first world’s fair held in Japan when Japan was in a growing period with developing new technologies. At the park, you can see some remains of this successful world’s fair and the Tower of the Sun by Taro Okamoto is one of them. It has three different faces, the golden face on the top represents a bright future, the face of the sun in front represents the present time and the black sun in the back represents the past. This iconic work is now a symbol of the Expo ’70 and it is worth a visit just to take a look at this impressive tower.
Another interesting spot in the park is the Japanese garden which is divided into four parts that recreates different periods of Japanese history. Starting from the Heian period (794-1185) to the modern periods, the neatly designed gardens will take you on a journey through time.
Admission: ¥260 (adult)
2. Minoh Falls
Minoh Falls is located in a forest valley north of Osaka, just outside of the city. With a drop of 33 meters, this dynamic waterfall is chosen as the 100 best waterfalls in Japan. It can be enjoyed throughout the year, and in summer it’s a good place to escape from the heat and in winter it is covered with snow. But especially autumn is the best season to see the depth and beauty of the autumn foliage. Enjoy a relaxing stroll in the beautiful nature.
3. Osaka Castle Park
Osaka Castle Park is an urban park located in central Osaka. It is the 2nd largest park in the city and is the home of Osaka Castle. Built in 1931, this park includes not only important historical remains of the famous castle sites but also sports fields, open-air theatres and Osaka Castle Hall and museum. It is one of the most popular spots for buskers and you can see many performers year-round.
It’s also home to seasonal plants and flowers. In spring, thousands of people celebrate hanami, cherry blossom viewing by picnic under the trees. People flock to the park to see the castle and sakura blossoms being beautifully together on sight, and the sakura will be lit up in the evening to create a mystical view. You can enjoy the peach and plum blossoms at an earlier time too.
4. Osaka Maishima Seaside Park
Near Osaka Bay, Osaka Maishima Seaside Park boasts over a million flowers in bloom. There is a flower festival for Nemophilia every spring, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery that was created by the combination of the vast blue carpet of Baby Blue Eyes and Osaka Bay. The festival is held from the middle of April to the end of May. Other attractions from this park are buggy courses where you can enjoy exciting rides with a view of the bay. Please note that it is closed during winter.
Hours: Flower Festival Monday through Friday 9 am – 5 pm; Weekends 9 am – 6:30 pm
Buggy activities March 5th 2022 ~ (close December 1st 2021 – March 4th 2022)
Admission: ¥ 1,000 (adult)
5. Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park
Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park is located at the former site of the International Garden and Greenery Exposition which was designed to showcase flowers in bloom every season. This park includes a central pond, windmill and Japanese garden as well as being the home to over 100 species of birds. You can enjoy various outdoor activities including playgrounds, camping, barbeque and horseback riding.
6. Utsubo Park
Built in 1955, Utsubo Park is located in the bustling area of Osaka. It got its name due to a former fish market that prospered from the Edo period to the early Showa period which was notorious for its cheap prices. The park is popular as a relaxing spot for city people today, and it’s getting more popular for the stylish cafes and bakeries on the east side.
There is a major Tennis Center on the west side of the park which occasionally hosts international tournaments. Don’t forget to see beautiful rose garden hosting approximately 170 different kinds and 3,400 roses.
7. Nakanoshima Park
Nakanoshima Park was designated as the first public park in Osaka in 1891. This waterfront park is about 1 mile long and sits between two rivers. This park includes a beautiful rose garden and some fascinating architecture. The highlight is the modern architecture nearby such as the Bank of Japan, a public hall, a library, and a ceramic museum. These buildings were built in the Meiji and Taisho period which makes it a perfect spot for those who are interested in Japanese modern architecture.
8. Akutagawa Sakurazutsumi Park
Akutagawa Sakurazutsumi Park runs along a river and has some of the most beautiful cherry blossom trees around in spring. The best season to visit this park besides the sakura season is early May. Many carped streamers can be seen on display for the Koinobori Festival which is celebrating Children’s Day on May 5th.
9. Nagai Botanical Garden
Nagai Botanical Garden is located within Nagai Park. This park includes wild birds, flowers, trees and a large grass field. One of the most popular features of this park is the Osaka Museum of Natural History which allows visitors to learn about human’s relationship with nature in history through interesting exhibitions. It’s a good place for kids to study closely for flowers at the botanical garden to try some knowledge from the museum!
Hours: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm; Closed Mondays
Admission: ¥ 200
10. Tempozan Park
Mt. Tempo is the smallest mountain in Japan, standing just 15 feet tall. This seaside park opened in 1958, it includes a Ferris wheel and one of the most famous aquariums in Japan, Kaiyukan. It is also close to other Osaka’s popular tourist attractions such as Universal Studios Japan.
The Tempozan Marketplace is a great place for dining and shopping which is especially convenient to pick up some last minute souvenirs.
The park is very popular in the springtime for the annual cherry blossom viewing!
Osaka is a lovely and beautiful city with tons of things to see and do. Besides exciting activities in the neon lights, you can also find many relaxing and healing places with nature to enjoy some peace. I hope that you have found this list helpful and that you can enjoy some tranquility on your next visit to bustling Osaka.
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Trevor Jones is an educator and an aspiring marketer. Originally from the United States, he moved to Tokyo in 2017. Trevor enjoys exploring new destinations and sharing his experiences. He can be found on Instagram at @tjones312
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