Osaka Castle Park

by - Monday, April 16, 2018

Hello guys! I just came from a recent adventure. I went to Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara prefectures and so I thought of doing a travel guide. At first, I thought the 3 days and 2 nights trip is a little too short and a capsule travel guide will do just fine but then as I was writing, I realized that a single post won't do justice to how beautiful Kansai region is (and how image-heavy each post will be). And so it's decided!

We will be doing a sort of series for this trip. Once each highlighted places are posted, I thought maybe, then I should write the main travel guide highlighting accommodation, transportation, and everyday expenses and other tips!

Inside the bullet train

For starters, KANSAI is a region in Japan which consists of Osaka, Nara, Hyogo, Shiga, Wakayama, and Mie Prefectures. Because of the high volume of shopping centers, (and a theme park), temples, castles and shrines, the areas of Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara became one of the highly visited places in Kansai region.

We arrived at Shin-Osaka station at around 08:00am. I booked a hotel that is 5 minutes away from the Midosuji Subway Line. I made it a personal mission to take sakura photos with a castle behind it. My first attempt was the Himeji Castle which failed because I got sick.

For this year's Spring season, it's Osaka Castle. And so I booked the dates the Sakura forecasts predicted to be the full bloom/best viewing week. It pretty much costed me more than I usually spend on accommodations but it's totally fine because I loved the location so much. After leaving our luggage in Yodoyabashi, we went ahead to Osaka Castle Park.

The elusive cherry blossom did its tricks again! It bloomed 2 weeks earlier than the usual. It usually blooms during my mom's birth week (2nd week of April). I can't totally vouch that it's always the second week but it's usually, usually, April. I thought it will show up one week earlier so I booked the first week of April -- guess what, it went full bloom in March! HAHA #epicfail
Gokuraku Bridge - the entrance from the North side

Osaka Castle Park is very accessible as it can be reach by subway, JR and various train lines. Upon reaching Umeda subway, we transfer to Osaka for the Osaka Loop Line and got off at Osakajokoen Station. It's going to be a lot of walking from there so be sure to get some refreshments and snacks. We bought bottled waters and sausages on sticks in a small Lawson pop-up convenience store.

Helpful information can be found here: AccessTourist Guide Book (pdf)

OSAKA CASTLE, finally! I used to just see you in pictures but I'm here finally!

As expected, while Osaka Castle looks like this on the outside, I heard that the interior is a modern museum ('with an elevator', said a friend). I've been to different castles and I honestly am not a fan of modernized interiors, I love castles designed to look as old as they are (check Himeji Castle). Aside from mom not being a museum-person, the queue was long that day so it was a pass for us.

Entrance to the castle costs ¥600 (288 php) but the entire castle park is free of charge.

People enjoying a couple of late blooming sakuras.

I got myself a strawberry x vanilla soft cream

As you can see, the cherry blossoms are no longer as pink and dense here. Overall, it was still a great experience because I learned a couple of things about cherry blossoms. Did you know that Hokkaido is the latest to experience full bloom Sakuras? Maybe May-June when the temperature rises. The quick it gets warmer, the quicker the cherry blossom blooms!

🌸10 Things You Need To Know When Traveling To Japan
🌸 Best Time To Visit Japan

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