Himalayan blue poppies, tropical water lilies, native South American cacti, shang ri-la from the Alpines… Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park is the only place in Osaka where you can find so many varieties of flowers in one place. This park is as famous as the Osaka Expo Park and boasts of having the biggest greenhouse facility in Japan. The reason for the diversity of flowers and plants here is that this was the original site for the International Flower Expo, held more than 20 years ago. What’s more, I love Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park not only for the abundance of flowers but also various facilities for a fun and relaxing day. Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park is very convenient as the park entrance is at the exit of Tsurumi Ryokuchi subway station and merely a station away from Tsurumi Mitsui Outlet Store.
As you enter the park, you will be greeted with a fountain and beautifully lined Redwoods. I would suggest you to pack your own lunch when you visit the park. Of course there are also restaurants in the park, but what better place to enjoy your lunch sitting on the lawn or on one of the benches by the pond. It is simply blissful to sit by the pond, watching the ducks swim and lotus in bloom during summer. The park is so big that you can also see people cycling and playing ball-games on this vast 120 hectare piece of land.
Sakuyakono Hanakan is the main attraction here and its greenhouse facility is home to a diverse of plants from various climates. Indeed, there are about 15,000 flowers and plants from about 60 countries, of 2600 different species. Sakuyakono Hanakan is divided into four different zones, namely the Humid Tropical Plant House, Tropical Flowering Trees and Shrubs, Succulent Plant House and the Alpine House. My personal favorite is the Alpine House, as the name suggests, there are displays of rare plants and flowers such as blue poppies and shang-ri las from areas up to 5700m in altitude from the Himalayan and Alps.
You can come anytime of the year to enjoy the seasonal blooms on the park compound, even outside Sakuyakono Hanakan, In spring, Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park is not only beautiful with its sakura, but the tulip farm (with a windmill) is also the main reason people come here to have a little experience of the Netherlands. In summer, a unique variety of fragrant roses bloom in the rose garden and in autumn, cute Chinese Trumpet Vines are there to welcome you at the many corners of the parks. And of course in winter, who can forget the elegant camellia, also famously known as the Japanese rose.
Indeed, there are more to Tsurumi Park than meets the eyes. There is a 90m observatory tower that gives you a view of Osaka city and the beautiful landscape of Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park. Within the park compound, you can also find other facilities such as a camping and barbeque site, sports center, Japanese garden and tea house, international garden, rose garden, children’s playground, pools with man-made wave, tennis court, golf course and even a ground for horseback-riding. Imagine so many facilities you can choose from in a single area. No wonder this is a favorite destination even among the locals. Not only adults can enjoy the beautiful nature, children will love running and playing on the lawn or swimming in the pool.
One thing worth noting is that this park was originally the disposal site for ashes from incineration waste and leftover soil from subway construction. But today, even so many years after the expo, Tsurumi Ryokumi Park is still well maintained place and loved by people of all ages.