Full bloom at the Uji River

Hanami Hotspots on the Keihan Line

Some of the best cherry blossom views in Kansai!

Full bloom at the Uji River
Ash   - 6 min read

Living or staying near the Keihan Main Line, the private railway connecting Osaka with Kyoto? You have plentiful options for your cherry blossom season! The areas features some of the most beautiful parks and gardens in Kansai, that are at their prime during hanami season. Let’s take a look at some of your options, starting from the southbound end of the line.

Japan Mint Osaka Head Office

(Tenmabashi Station)

A very famous location for sakura aficionados. The grounds of the Mint are only open to the public for one week every year, at the height of the short cherry blossom season. In 2012, the opening dates are from April 17th to April 23rd. Called sakura no torinuke, this tree-lined lane features more than 125 varieties of sakura. Each season, one type of blossom is chosen as the “blossom of the year” and celebrated.

Kema Sakuranomiya Koen

​(Tenmabashi Station)

Kema Sakuranomiya Koen is prominent enough to merit a station named after it on the JR Loop Line - fortunately for Keihanians, we have our own station very close by. There are thousands of cherry trees and plenty of space, plus, the Okawa River provides a great, relaxing backdrop for your picnic. If you find Osakajo-koen too crowded, Sakuranomiya will probably be the perfect place for you.


(Kyobashi Station)

Kyobashi is the closest Keihan access for this very popular spot - probably the most popular hanami spot in Osaka. It boasts over 4300 trees and a breathtaking nighttime illumination. Few parks in Osaka offer yozakura, with trees specially lit for evening hanami viewing, but Osakajo-koen does it on a grand scale. Access to the main park is free, but admission to Nishinomaru Garden costs 350 yen. Great photo opportunities pretty much anywhere in this park.

Sakura Square

(Nishisanso Station)

One hundred and ninety yoshino cherry trees have been newly planted in this small park near Moriguchi. Some of them are supported in a basin of water, like a giant flower arranging, and a constructed waterfall tops off the experience. The trees are lit at night. You can’t enjoy a picnic here, but the Square is lovely nonetheless in an ikebana sort of way - very Japanese, and very unique!

Hirakata Park

(Hirakata-koen Station)

Three hundred trees adorn Hirakata Park, and the experience may not be your typical hanami, but the garden they offer is beautiful to stroll in, and it’s a good way to enjoy a day at the amusement park! Follow the blossoms up the path to the Ferris wheel. Picnics are permitted here as well. Yodogawa Riverbank Park Yawata-shi About at the halfway point of the Keihan Main Line, this park, 10 minutes north of Yawata Station, features large and gorgeous light pink yoshino cherry trees with plenty of space to bloom in. The Yawata Sakura Festival is also held here during the season.

Uji River

(Uji Station, via Chūshojima station)

Uji is just slightly off the beaten path, as it requires a change from Keihan’s Main Line to the Uji Line. The experience of hanami at Uji, however, is one that is well worth it. Unlike the big-city parks, you aren’t likely to find vendors or crowds at the river, but the peace and quiet is worth the trip. Fans of The Tale of Genji will enjoy this picturesque spot, a setting for scenes in the latter half of the novel. Be careful to bring enough supplies to enjoy Uji, however - the nearby convenience stores don’t offer much.

Maruyama Koen

(Shijo Station)

Maruyama park's biggest draw is its huge weeping cherry tree, illuminated at night, and this park is popular enough to say that it’s probably the most well-known cherry blossom location in Kyoto City. There are over 800 other cherry trees in this park, packed neatly into a relatively small space. Worth the visit but beware of the huge crowds during peak times! Gion Shirakawa Shijo Station The ever-popular yozakura is also present here, on Shirakawa street in Gion, lining the Shirakawa Canal. Gion’s picturesque backdrop is great for nighttime strolling, though for a picnic, you may want to visit one of the parks instead.

Heian Shrine

(Sanjo Station)

Heian Shrine’s claim to fame is the large number of weeping cherry trees (yaebeni shidare) - these trees take a few extra days to reach full bloom, but are well worth the wait. Heian Shrine is one of the best spots in Kyoto to see these trees, which are not a common type of sakura.

This is just a small selection of areas accessible by Keihan - be sure to explore some of your own! Like the sound of these spots but not a Keihan traveller? This line has very nice trains that range from limited express to local, so it’s more than possible to ride them quite long distances. Keihan fares tend to be higher than some of the other private railways in Osaka, but their trains are comfortable and fast. Be sure that the stop you want to get off at it serviced by the next train before you get on - most of the locations on this list are on the “big” stops, but always check before you board. Enjoy the cherry blossom season!


Ash @opelaceles

When I was young, I dreamed of going overseas and having a grand adventure. By the time I was in university studying Japanese, I knew that place would be Japan. After three years teaching and learning Kansai-ben in the one and only Osaka, I returned to Canada. I've enjoyed blogging and writing s...