Utsubo Koen – Osaka’s Best Parks
Roses in every shade and shape imaginable right in the heart of the city! Like a page from an English gardening magazine or a scene from Alice in Wonderland, Osaka’s Utsubo Koen is truly an urban oasis. At first glance, the size of the park is a bit deceiving but as you begin to walk around you soon realize that it is much larger than it looks.
The reason for this is its unique history once being used as an airplane runway by the United States during WWII. After the war, the space was rebuilt into a park and today contains approximately 160 different species of roses and free to the public all year around. In addition to the April – May Rose Garden, the park also holds a sculpture exhibition from mid-October to November. Both are definitely worth a visit as are the tennis courts located on the western side of the park. There are 16 courts in all but they do tend to fill up quickly so if you intend to play, it’s best to reserve.
Adrienne and I visited during the second week of May in hopes of catching the end of rose season. We definitely weren’t alone as the park was filled with locals and families taking pictures of flowers, cooling down by taking a dip in the small stoney stream and just enjoying the scene. All in all, Utsubo Koen is perfect for everyone to enjoy all year around. (Spring – roses galore, summer – cool down with a dip, autumn/winter – check out the sculpture exhibitions and of course the tennis courts!)
After walking around Utsubo Koen, we decided to eat at an Indian restaurant that opens directly on to the park. Click here to read more about what we thought about Canté Grande.
Good to Know
We visited the park during the second week of May and almost all of the flowers had already reached their peak, so we highly recommend going in late April or the first few days of May to see the flowers at their best. Picnics in the area are welcome as long as you respect park and take your rubbish home with you, BBQs however are prohibited.
Utsubo Koen is located a 9 minute walk northeast from Honmachi Station (Subway Chu-o Line/ Yotsubashi Line) and a 13 minute walk west from Awaza Station (Subway Chu-o Line).
Nishi-ku, Utsubo Honmachi, 2 Chome, Osaka, 〒550-0004