The Japan Mint((独立行政法人 造幣局, Dokuritsu Gyōsei Hōjin Zōheikyoku) is a popular late-hanami spot in Osaka. Their trees generally bloom a couple of weeks later than everywhere else, and are available for viewing in early April for one week only. This year viewing was from April 11 to 17.
Entry is free, inside you follow a roughly 600m walking course while enjoying their 350 trees of 131 varieties – this years nominated blossom was the Matsumae-kotoitozakura which sports 40 to 45 petals.
2014 marks the 131st year of cherry blossom viewing on the grounds, first started by then director-general Kinsuke Endo.
Expect big crowds if you go, this is a really popular event! The fact that it’s a one-way walking route means things keep moving(generally) but people obviously stop for pictures!
These funky lanterns light the route after dark – it’s open until 9pm but gets a bit chilly later on, it is spring after all! I only went in the evening last year, so it was nice to see the trees during the day this time
So many people!
Last year, a total of 849,338,000 coins were minted including 137,892,000 ¥500’s – that’s a lot of money!
We met a guy who’d brought his pet bird along, after getting a couple of pics of it chilling in a tree he put the bird in Emma’s hand so she could feed him, and then on her head!
Towards the end of the route the path splits in two, allowing the trees to arch over and create a canopy of blossom.
The route ends at the Mint’s North gate, the riverside leading back town to Tenmabashi station is filled with stalls selling mostly festival food favourites but there are usually a few games to play too.
During the rest of the year, the Mint is open for tours, giving you the chance to see the coin production process along with their collection of coins from around the world – you also get access to the cherry garden which will be past it’s best but no doubt quieter!
Visit their website at http://www.mint.go.jp/category/eng for more info.