The sakura blossoms might have run their course, but for anyone around Osaka, a new flower season is just beginning that shouldn’t be missed. Before the summer heat really settles in along Osaka Bay, you can enjoy the sights and smells of 2.5 million lilies in full and colorful bloom. The lilies at Osaka Maishima Yurien Garden were planted in 2013, and have become a popular late spring attraction to visit for people all over Japan. Contrasting beautifully against the blue sea of the bay, this rainbow of bright and fragrant lilies makes for a stunning way to spend a spring afternoon.
Visitors can take a stroll around the garden lined with rows upon rows of enchanting lilies while taking multiple breaks for pictures and daydreaming. Though it would be the perfect place for a picnic, many of the garden paths have signs that restrict eating and no outside food is allowed in the park. Luckily, however, there are various dining options with eating areas that provide a picnic-like atmosphere and delicious treats. Of course, traditional Japanese foods like takoyaki, curry and rice, and yakitori are available, but don’t forget to try out some of the more unique, lily-inspired options. Try a cone of sweet, lily flavored soft serve ice cream, a lily bud cream croquette, a fried lily bulb fish cake skewer, or even add some lily bulbs to your cold summer soba noodles for a seasonal burst of flavor!
Unlike the cherry blossoms of April, which tend to last only around one week at each location, Maishima’s lilies last from late May to early July, leaving lots of time for you to enjoy their beauty. Nearing the end of the season in late June, the flowers begin dying off and the temperatures start to rise, so earlier visits are generally better. The garden is open 7 days a week with extended hours on weekends that make it possible to enjoy the flowers at sunset. Rumor has it that they’ve added another 500,000 seeds to the garden this year, which only increases the magnitude of beauty for this must-see event!
Location: 2 Hokukoryokuchi, Konohana-ku, Osaka 554-0042
Open: May 28, 2016 – July 3, 2016
Weekdays: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Weekends: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Admission: Adults – ¥1,200, Children – ¥300
Website (Japanese): http://yurien.com/