The Kansai region of Japan is made up of the Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, and Shiga Prefectures and is renowned for its stunning cherry blossoms. Each year, enthusiastic viewers flock to gather underneath the fluttering sakura petals. Of course, Kyoto is one of the most well-known cherry blossom viewing spots in the Kansai region. Here we will focus on areas outside of Kyoto where cherry blossoms can be appreciated.

Read more about Cherry blossoms in Kyoto. 

Kansai Cherry Blossom Map①: Osaka Castle Park

Osaka castle

Castle Park is a public park in Osaka, Japan that surrounds the historic castle, built by a powerful feudal lord named Toyotomi Hideyoshi. By itself, the castle is an impressive sight, but the vibrant, pink cherry blossoms in spring elevate Osaka Castle Park. Osaka Castle Park makes a great spot for appreciating nature and Japanese history.The Nishinomaru Garden is home to 600 cherry trees and a teahouse while offering spectacular views of the tower from below.

Viewing period: End of March to early April
Access: A short walk from Osakajokoen Station
Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002
Ranking: ★★★★★

Kansai Cherry Blossom Map②: Expo 70 Commemorative Park

The Expo 70 Commemorative Park, also known as Bampaku Kinen Koen, was built to celebrate the 1970 World Exposition that was held in Osaka, Japan. One of the country’s largest parks, Expo 70 Commemorative Park covers an area of approximately 230 hectares and features a variety of attractions, including a Japanese garden, a greenhouse, a museum, and a large artificial lake. There are over 5,000 cherry trees throughout the garden to admire in spring. An annual cherry blossom festival is held between the end of March and early April.

Viewing period: March to early April
Access: A short walk from Bampaku Kinen-Koen Station or Koen-Higashiguchi
Address: Senribanpakukoen, Suita, Osaka 565-0826, Japan
Ranking: ★★★★☆

Kansai Cherry Blossom Map③: Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Kema Sakuranomiya Park is a large green space located in Osaka, Japan. Spanning an area of about 4.7 hectares, Kema Sakuranomiya Park offers plenty of space for jogging, cycling, picnicking, and cherry blossom viewing. The park is home to over 4,000 cherry trees of several varieties, making it one of the most popular destinations in Osaka to appreciate cherry blossoms in spring. One of the best views in the park is the Ogawa River that is lined with pink blossoms.

Viewing period: End of March to early April
Access: A short walk from Sakuranomiya Station
Address: Nakanocho, Miyakojima Ward, Osaka, 534-0027, Japan
Ranking: ★★★★☆

Kansai Cherry Blossom Map④: Nara Park

Nara park

Nara Prefecture is a popular tourist destination for its rich history, stunning temples, and beautiful natural landscape. In spring, the prefecture transforms into a vibrant, colorful spot perfect for cherry blossom viewing. At Nara Park, friendly deer roam freely under the blooming cherry trees. Many visit this park for hanami, or flower viewing parties, creating a festive atmosphere when the sakura trees are in full bloom.

Viewing period: Mid-March to April
Access: About 5min walk from Kinetsu Nara Station
Address: Nara City, Nara Prefecture, Japan
Ranking: ★★★★☆

Kansai Cherry Blossom Map⑤: Mount Yoshino

Mount Yoshino

Mount Yoshino in Nara Prefecture is a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its sea of cherry blossoms that color the mountainside with white and pink hues in spring. The mountain is divided into four main areas which each feature different types of cherry trees, allowing visitors to appreciate a variety of cherry blossoms. Mount Yoshino is also known for its scenic hiking trails which offer many angles for viewing the cherry blossom-filled landscape.

Viewing period: End of March to early April
Access: Walk from Yoshino Station
Address: Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara, Japan
Ranking: ★★★★★

Kansai Cherry Blossom Map⑥: Nachi Falls

Nachi Falls

Nachi Falls, located near the Nachi Taisha Shrine, is one of the most well-known water falls in Japan and is the country’s tallest. Surrounded by cherry blossoms, it is a popular place for visitors to appreciate the spring sakura and Japanese culture. The combination of the impressive Japanese shrine, misty waterfall, and bright cherry blossoms creates an iconic image.

Viewing period: End of March to Mid-April
Access: From JR Nachi Station, take the Kumano Kotsu Bus and get off at the Nachisan stop. Then walk for about 10 minutes
Address: 1 Nachisan, Nachikatsuura, Higashimuro District, Wakayama 649-5301, Japan
Ranking: ★★★★☆

Kansai Cherry Blossom Map⑦: Kimiidera Temple

Kimiidera Temple

Located in Wakayama Prefecture, Kimiidera Temple is one of the many historical and culture sites in the Kansai region. Founded in 770, this Buddhist temple features some striking architecture and sweeping views over Wakanoura Bay. The temple is known for early-blooming cherry blossoms that color the temple grounds and signal the beginning of spring in the Kansai region. The steep slope with 231 steps is another memorable feature.

Viewing period: Early March to April
Access: About a 15min walk from JR Kimiidera Station
Address: 1201 Kimiidera, Wakayama, 641-0012, Japan
Ranking: ★★★★☆

Kansai Cherry Blossom Map⑧: Lake Biwa

Lake Biwa

Shiga Prefecture is a popular destination in spring for tourists and locals in the Kansai region. One of the most loved spots during the spring season is Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan. Surrounded by scenic parks, there are many places along the shoreline to admire the cherry blossoms. Temples and shrines like the hilltop Ishiyama-dera Temple overlooking the lake and Shirahige Shrine on the shore offer spaces to appreciate Japanese culture and the natural surroundings.

Viewing period: March to early April
Access: About 10min by train from Kyoto Station to Otsu Station
Address: Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
Ranking: ★★★★★

Kansai Cherry Blossom Map⑨: Himeji Castle

Himeji castle

Also known as White Heron Castle, Himeji Castle stands proudly on a hilltop in Hyogo Prefecture, holding memories of the region’s thrilling history within its walls. Surrounding Himeji Castle is a grove of cherry trees that create a sea of pink blossoms in spring. The vibrant hues against the pristine, white walls of Himeji castle strike a dramatic and beautiful contrast, making it one of the best places in the Kansai region to visit to view cherry blossoms and learn about Japanese history.

Viewing period: Mid-March to April
Access: About 20min walk from Himeji Station or 5min by bus
Address: 68 Honmachi, Himeji, Hyogo 670-0012, Japan
Ranking: ★★★★★

Kansai Cherry Blossom Map⑩: Mount Rokko

Mount Rokko is a defining feature of Hyogo Prefecture’s mountainous landscape. Visitors can explore the many trails around the mountain that offer astonishing panoramic views of the natural landscape and bustling cities below, including Kobe and Osaka. In spring, many hike up the mountain to admire the abundant cherry blossoms that color the mountainside and surrounding area. Ropeways offer impressive views from above. In addition, there are a variety of attractions around the mountain, including a botanical garden and Arima Onsen.

Viewing period: Mid-February to Mid-March
Access: A short walk from JR Rokkomichi Station
Address: Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Ranking: ★★★★☆