Hanami in Shukugawa & Osaka

Before I catch up with some overdue posts, I wanted to upload these to celebrate what has turned out to be a very resilient sakura season — despite almost 4 straight days of gloomy, rainy weather while they were in full bloom, the majority of trees around Kobe and Osaka managed to hang onto their blossoms long enough for people to enjoy them in the sun a few days later!

I have the good fortune to live across from such a lovely sakura tree

One of my favourite Instagram pictures was taken underneath that tree

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Shukugawa

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I adore how the grandma is wearing a matching shirt to the cherry blossoms!

I was on the way to the Osaka Mint Bureau (this year’s new hanami spot) when the train stopped at Shukugawa, and I realized I’d never uploaded the pictures I took there last spring, so here they are!

The Shukugawa River framed by sakura

One of the trees that caught my eye as I walked away from Shukugawa Station

The view of the sakura tree from the other side of the stream

The view from underneath the sakura tree

Another old tree that you could get really close to take pictures

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Osaka Mint Bureau

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The view from the bridge across from Temmabashi Station

I’ve known for a few years now that the Osaka Mint Bureau opens their doors to the public for free during peak sakura season, but for one reason or another I had never made it out there. This year though, I was chasing the sun (it had rained all weekend) so on a Thursday evening after work I set out to on the trip to Osaka.

No worries about getting lost — lots of signs, traffic police, and a big crowd to lead the way

The Mint Bureau is located (at least) 15 mins. walking distance from three different stations: Temmabashi (Tanimachi subway line), Osaka Tenmangu (JR line), and Kyobashi (Keihan line). I recommend the Temmabashi route — you’re only allowed to walk through the Bureau from south to north (one-way) for crowd control purposes, and also the station has a lot of useful signs to help you find your way!

Golden hour along Temmabashi

Detouring along the road beside the Osaka Mint Bureau

Countless yatai, or food stalls, along the riverside

Food and drinks are not allowed on the Bureau’s grounds, but on the road parallel to it (next to the river) are countless food stalls surrounded by sakura trees. If you are hungry, I would recommend detouring down that area first, before walking through the Bureau’s gates.

A matcha tea stall under the sakura

I was too tired to go through all the stalls, but they looked really lively at night!

The crowd was significant, even on a Thursday, but people were encouraged to keep moving so it never felt claustrophobic. Some trees had already finished blooming, while others were still at their peak — there are many varieties of cherry blossom trees on the grounds, so it’s hard to be completely disappointed Β during your visit!

I shot with my 45mm lens, which was perfect for this kind of outing

Beautiful…

Yaezakura has more than the usual five petals, and it’s also the variety that gets preserved and used in Japanese sweets

The Mint Bureau is open from 10 AM –Β 9 PM during their sakura event.Β As the sun set, the lamps come on and give the trees a different atmosphere

Watching people from different walks of life all trying to do the same thing…

Sakura at night

Overall, I’m glad I finally made the trek to the Osaka Mint Bureau! Now I have one more place to add to my hanami list!

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