Recommended Parks to Visit in Osaka

Osaka is an urban city, and there are a lot of sightseeing spots here and there. I imagine you would like to visit USJ or Kaiyukan Aquarium, but it doesn’t hurt to spend time in a beautiful park.
Today, I’ll introduce some awesome parks to walk around in Osaka. Let’s dive into it.

Osaka Castle Park (大阪城公園)

The area known as Osaka Castle Park has seen a revival recently. In the past, the area was much darker, lacked any entertainment, and didn’t provide a good reason to visit the place. However, this situation did a complete 180.

The area now is full of restaurants and outdoor entertainment and has events occurring on a weekly basis. There is also a theater and museum dedicated to the founder of Osaka Castle: Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

In spring, a plum blossom festival is held in a plum tree garden and, in the season of cherry blossom viewing, many people visit and appreciate the great landscape. The park offers boat tours around the moat of the castle.  It’s a good way to see the cherry blossoms, isn’t it?

plum blossom and cherry blossom

Nagai Park (長居公園)

This park is popular for its many facilities. Originally, it was a center for exercise and those practicing sports. A lot of sports competitions have been held since early times. However, now the park has shifted towards being family oriented with the creation of new services, such as a botanical garden and an updated archaeological museum.

The park has a lot of events that include a meat festival, crafting, workshops, stargazing events and illumination show done by Team Labo. For those of you that are interested in soccer, the home stadium for Cerrzo Osaka is very near the park. 

Yodoko Sakura Stadium / Nagai Athletic Field

Rose Garden /  Illumination by Team Labo

Expo’ 70 Commemorative Park (万博記念公園)

Expo’ 70 Commemorative park was built on the former site of the Japan World Exposition held in 1970. Some facilities have been preserved and renovated with the memory of Expo’ 70.

The park has five areas: the Japanese garden, the Natural and Cultural gardens, a cultural institution area, and a sports and recreation area and a parking area. You can enjoy many outdoor activities throughout the year.

The Tower of the Sun, which was designed by Taro Okamoto, is the symbol of Expo’ 70.  It stately stands at the center of the park. You can enter the inside of the tower and see the unique atmosphere.

Tower of the Sun

Please check the article by Mami Yamamoto for your reference.

Parks where you can enjoy flower viewing

I’ll introduce some good parks to see seasonal flowers in Osaka City. They are the places where you can enjoy nature to the fullest even in the middle of the city.

First, Nakanoshima Park (中之島公園) is on a sandbank that is located between the Dojima River and Tosabori River. There are a lot of museums and historical buildings, and the area is loved by citizens as a place to getaway. The rose garden stands on the east side of the park.  It contains about 90 kinds of roses and has about 4000 flowers blooming from spring until autumn.

Nakanoshima Park Rose Garden

I wrote about the Nakanoshima area before. Please check it out.

Next, I’ll talk about Utsubo Park (靭公園) which is located within Nishi Ward, in Osaka City. It’s famous for its rose garden and many people visit to see various kinds of rose throughout the year.

What is worth noting is that the park also offers 20 tennis courts at the Utsubo Tennis Center. Some international tennis tournaments have been held there in the past. Here’s the thing, the previous world ranking no.1 player Naomi Osaka used to practice at the Utsubo tennis school until she moved to the US. It’s pretty amazing, right?

   Utsubo Park Rose Garden / Utsubo Tennis Center

Lastly, let’s look at Shirokita Park (城北公園) which is located within Asahi Ward, in Osaka City. The park was made using parts of the riverbed of the former Yodo River and was opened in 1934.

The park has a big pond and an iris garden which is good for walking around. In spring, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and in May, irises open up into several beautiful colors such as purple, white, and yellow. Also, you can see some local wildlife and some interesting plants that help to create a nice environment at the dike of the Yodo River.

Shirokita Park Iris Garden

Urban Green Space (緑地)

Have you ever heard of “Urban Green Space?” The difference between an urban green space and a park is that these urban green spaces are protected and preserved by the government. Basically, these areas prohibit any development on it and are meant to be kept open. It was a big help to protect the local ecosystem. Some of those areas have also been utilized to help the public with facilities such as a safe house for natural disasters.

 I’ll introduce four major urban green spaces called “Ryokuchi” in Osaka.

① Tsurumi Ryokuchi Expo’ 90 Commemorative Park (花博記念公園 鶴見緑地)

Tsurumi Ryokuchi is located within Tsurumi Ward, in Osaka City at the former site of the International Garden and Greenery Exposition in 1990. A windmill, which stands on the hill, has been viewed as a symbol of the park and houses many kinds of flowers that bloom seasonally.

The park has grass fields, farms, forests, and ponds where you can see some insects and has about 100 species of birds. Also, you can enjoy activities like camping, barbecues, horseback riding, playing park golf and swimming in a recreational pool. There’s also a Japanese garden, a tea ceremony house, and an International Garden (咲やこの花館) which exhibits a variety of plants that are grown using soils from all over the world.
It’s the perfect place for a day trip.

Windmill / International Garden

② Hattori Ryokuchi (服部緑地)

Hattori Ryokuchi is located in Toyonaka City which was a bamboo forest and a wetland in former days. Nowadays, it’s well-known as the biggest ryokuchi park.

The park has gardens which preserve nature, fields, a horseback riding center, outdoor music hall, and the Japanese Folk House Museum. Also, a lot of events are held on a monthly basis, so everyone can enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year.

Lotus Flower Blooming / Bamboo forest

③ Oizumi Ryokuchi (大泉緑地)

Oizumi Ryokuchi is located between Sakai City and Matsubara City. It’s designated a large evacuation site. The park has a big pond, field, a motocross course, a skateboard course and a sheep breeding ground. This place is an explosion of flowers throughout the year, so it’s a good way to spend time in nature without worrying about age or gender.

Oizumi Pond / Flower garden / Sheep breeding

④ Kyuhoji Ryokuchi (久宝寺緑地)

Kyuhoji Ryokuchi is located in Yao City and is famous for an athletic field and an outdoor pool. The area has been recognized as a sports facility for the citizens and has provided many kinds of competitions for a long time.

On top of that, Yao City has held a bon dancing “Kawachi Ondo” festival every summer in the park. Inn 2017, citizens set a new Guiness record for the largest number of people dancing in union as 2872 people were wearing yukata kimonos and did not make mistakes in the dance. It was an important job to carry on the Japanese tradition.

Flower garden / Bon Dancing Festival

Final Note

Osaka is a bit of a concrete jungle and can be stressful with the number of people.  If you feel the pressure of society, please remember that these areas exist for us to relax and be able to distance ourselves from reality. As cliché as it sounds, but we should never forget to “stop and smell the flowers.”

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