Best Hanami Spots in Kansai

ByJustin Hanus
Feb 29, 2024

Best Hanami Spots in Kansai

Hanami is an annual event unique to Japan. The word means “flower viewing” and it relates to the springtime blooming of the flowers on cherry blossom trees (sakura) across Japan. Every year around late March to early April, regions all across the country have their Hanami season that is the best time to see the flowers bloom. Many parks and public spots hold festivals. People can also arrange their own informal Hanami events, holding picnics or parties.

This year, peak bloom across Kansai is expected to fall between the 24th of March and the 2nd of April. Here are a few of the best Hanami spots in the region. Be warned, however, as some of the most popular sites can get busy quickly.

Philosopher’s Walk, Kyoto

One of the most popular Hanami routes in Kansai, the Philosopher’s Walk is a 2-kilometer path running between the Silver Pavilion and the Nanzenji neighborhood in Kyoto. It gets its name from the fact that it was a popular walk for famed Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida and is lined with around 3,000 cherry blossom trees. Because of this, it makes a perfect location for a Hanami stroll or, if you prefer, an impromptu picnic pitch if you can find a suitable spot. There are also several restaurants and cafes along the path, so you can enjoy a relaxing meal or snack at this scenic time of year.


Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle is known as one of the best castles in Japan and is famed as a Hanami location in the city. Built in the 16th century, it has endured as a beautiful tourist attraction that contrasts with the modernity of the city. There are approximately 3,000 sakura trees within the castle’s grounds, with the best spot being the Nishinomaru Garden where visitors can picnic under the radiant pink Somei Yoshino trees. The castle opens in the evening during Hanami season to provide a stunning lighting display.


Sumaura Park, Kobe

This picturesque park in Kobe city is situated between the heights of Mt. Hachibuse and the gorgeous Suma Beach. One of the great advantages of heading here for Hanami is the spectacular views on offer, which include Osaka Bay and the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. This is a Hanami spot slightly less crowded than some of the others but there is an abundance of trees on display, both cherry and plum blossom, and no shortage of picnic opportunities. The park also has amusement facilities for kids.

Website: (Japanese)

Mt. Yoshino, Nara

One of Nara’s key tourist attractions, Yoshino’s mountain park space is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spread over 9 kilometers of land, there are over 30,000 cherry blossom trees here. The mountain is split into four separate areas, each featuring a different type of pink or white sakura tree. Walking enthusiasts can combine Hanami experiences with great hiking opportunities that also take in temples, shrines and ropeways.

Website: (Japanese)

Zairon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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