For those who have read some of the other posts on this blog, you may have noticed me mention the Nakanoshima Rose Garden a couple of times... I'm finally posting about this great place today!
I read recently that Nakanoshima Park was actually Osaka's first public park, founded in 1891, and I can definitely see why its still popular today. The park holds the well-known Nakanoshima Rose Garden (which you'll see pictures of shortly), in addition to a few other places such as Osaka City Central Public Hall (1918) and Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library (1904), which are both interesting buildings in terms of architecture not commonly found in Japan.
The roses at this park bloom twice a year - around mid May and mid October, however, as with anything involving nature, its completely dependent on the weather. Even without the roses in full bloom, the park is still a nice place to visit for a picnic or to have a wander. The park sits on an island between two rivers and is a peaceful place to relax. If you manage to time your visit to the rose garden perfectly, you'll be able to witness some great colors, smells and sights. The garden hosts around 4,000 rose bushes and around 310 different rose species. As you walk along the path you can find the years the roses were cultivated written on the stone pathway, and the names of the roses appear clearly in the garden beds. Some of the roses date back to the 1800s!
At the end of each year the city usually puts on an illumination in the area, decorating the area with all types of colorful decorations. Some years there's even a huge projection mapping display on the front of the Osaka City Central Public Hall. At that time of year I like to make the walk from Nakanoshima Park along Midosuji and down to Namba, as the large stretch of road is lit up beautifully with colorful lights in the gingko trees. If you haven't done enough walking by that time, you can continue on and visit the outdoor garden at Namba Parks, which is also illuminated for a couple of months at the end of the year.
Nakanoshima Park and Rose Garden is super easy to get to from Kitahama station or Yodoyobashi stations on the subway, and is close to some great cafes such as Garb Weeks and Brooklyn Roasting Company, both of which I recommend.
Click on the images to expand.
Suggested access: Kitahama station, Yodoyabashi station.
Address in English: 1 Chome-1 Nakanoshima, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0005
Name in Japanese: 中之島公園
Address in Japanese: 〒530-0005 大阪府大阪市北区中之島１丁目１
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