- 3 min read

Utsubo Park, Osaka

Escape urban Osaka in a historic park and rose garden

Osaka, a bustling metropolis which pulses with life at all hours, is a temptress who constantly invites to indulge in hedonism. But sometimes, just sometimes, you find yourself between shops, standing bars, museums and festivals, wanting a moment of peace and reflection. It is at moments like these when you have to make a choice: independent café or outdoor sanctuary. Kansai's clear seasons will almost certainly assist you in the decision, and in the blissful months of spring and autumn - and for any keen to brave the summer heat - Utsubo Park should be immediately added to your list of city escapes.

Tucked back from the main road in Nishi-ku, Utsubo Park started life as a United States airfield then became Osaka's main fish market, until that moved to the Fukushima ward in 1931. Aside from its airstrip shape at 700 by 150 metres, in its current guise you would guess nothing of the park's colourful history. Now, Utsubo is the centre of a hip neighbourhood, bordered by trendy cafés and European restaurants.

The west end of the park is home to the Utsubo Tennis Center, a popular social spot for healthy types which has hosted various tournaments in the past. At the east end of the park extensive rose gardens delight the more leisurely stroller; the roses are best enjoyed in May when the variety of blooms will astound you, as will the number of shutterbugs training their cameras on the rainbow of roses. In spring and autumn the park plays host to planting festivals and, on occasion, musical performances. Visit in summer to make the most of the water feature running through the rose garden, nearly always complete with children clambering and splashing through the waterfall, stream and fountains as picnicking parents look on in amusement. When you've had your fill of fragrant blossoms and frolicking in the water, along the side of the garden you will find a wide tree-lined boulevard, perfect to escape the sun and relax on a bench; you might also come across the park's permanent, and amusingly attired, sculpture residents - who knew you can make corduroy from metal?

Accessible from Honmachi on the Yotsubashi subway line, Utsubo is perfectly located for you to take a rest whilst walking between the hub of Umeda and downtown Namba, or on the way back from Osaka's Central Wholesale Market across the river, perhaps after a brunch at the famed Endo Sushi. If you are lucky enough to be based in the area it is an ideal escape from the office for lunch, and for those exploring Osaka's cultural offerings, Utsubo is in prime position for you to while away the hour between closing at the nearby National Museum of Art and dinner time.

Was this article helpful?
Help us improve the site
Give Feedback

Join the discussion

Charlotte Griffiths Author 9 years ago
Thank you Laura. I've never seen so many different roses, from the classic red roses to multicoloured ones like in the cover photo. It's well worth a visit if you're in Osaka in Spring.
Laura Weaver 9 years ago
Beautiful photography! The roses look really unusual! Very informative article as well, its good to know when its best to visit.

Thank you for your support!

Your feedback has been sent.