The Best Japanese Gardens in Osaka, Japan

Updated: Jul 15

Osaka is an often-overlooked area for Japanese gardens and traditional culture, but having lived there for so many years I thought it was worth sharing an insider’s list the best Japanese gardens in Osaka, Japan.

There are definitely more gardens out there, and I may add to this list as time goes on, but this is a comprehensive enough list to get you on your journey of exploring the essential places.

Most of these gardens are spread out so it will take some train or subway planning to visit them. I have found that I end up appreciating a garden more though if I make a day of visiting that surrounding area as well and get a feel for everything altogether. It is too easy to become templed out or gardened out in Kyoto where you see one after another on a small walking trip.

  1. The Japanese Garden at Expo Park – (Banpaku Koen万博記念公園)

A short trip to northern Osaka let’s you explore a large strolling Japanese garden which features a variety of Japanese garden styles throughout. These gardens are rather newer, being


completed within the last 50 years, at Expo Memorial Park for the World Expo of 1970.

They are designed to introduce foreigners to a variety of Japanese garden styles and feature 4 different styles that blend together. Taji Rokuro is the designer of the Japanese garden and it covers 64 acres of land, much larger than most gardens. It is a Chisen Kaiyu-shiki style garden meaning that it is a strolling garden that meanders around a large pond in the middle.

There is a large building with many seats under a veranda that over looks the large pond. This is a great place to take in the view of the garden, the pond, and the tsuki-yama man-made hills in the background. There also 3 teahouses in the garden but only one is open all year yound. The other two open in November for the Momiji Maple Viewing that takes place in autumn, which is a great time to visit the Expo garden.

How to get to the Japanese Garden at Expo Park

Address 9-3 Senribanpakukoen, Suita, Osaka 565-0826 Tel: 06 6877 7387

Hours

9.30am to 5pm. Closed Wednesdays. Closed from Dec 27th to Jan 7th.

Cost

Adults: 250 yen

Children: 70 yen

The ticket gets you into all of the other gardens at Expo Park.

The Japanese garden is very accessible with a 15-min walk from either the Bampaku Kinen koen or Koen Higashi Guchi Monorail stations.

  1. Keitakuen Garden

This Japanese garden is located right near Tennoji Station and is directly behind the Osaka City Museum of Art and the Osaka Tennoji Zoo. This garden was the residence of the wealthy Sumitomo Family in the Taisho era and is a Chisen Kaiyu-shiki style of strolling garden with a pond in the center.

The Museum, which was originally the residence, was donated to the city and has a great view overlooking the large garden. A famous garden designer called Ueji, or Jihei Ogawa designed it. He was known as the Japanese garden pioneer who brought a wave of modern style Japanese gardens.

How to get to the Japanese Garden at Expo Park

Address 1-108 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji-ku, Osaka (Tennoji Park)

It is a 5-minute walk from all of the Tennoji station lines.

  1. Daisen Koen Japanese Garden

Daisen Koen Japanese Garden

Daisen Koen Japanese Garden

Daisen Park Japanese Garden (大仙公園 日本庭園) is located in Southern Osaka in the city of Sakai. This beautiful Japanese strolling garden is on the same grounds as  Daisen Park and Daisen Kofun (tomb). It is a very large Japanese garden with a variety of different styles of Japanese gardens throughout. It takes about an hour to walk through the entire place.

This type of garden is a Kaiyu-shiki style Japanese strolling garden. Technically it is a “Tsukiyama Rinsen Kaiyushiki” with “mountain” hills, a pond you can stroll around, waterfalls, bridges, and often a flower or bonsai exhibit depending on what time of year you visit.

For more information on this Garden check out my article here.

How to get to the Japanese Garden at Expo Park

Address 590-0820 Daisen Park, Daisennakamachi, Sakai-ku, Sakai-shi, Osaka

It is a 15-minute walk from Mozu Station.

  1. Gokuraku Jodo (Shitennoji Temple Honbo Garden)

Fudaraku Stone Garden

The Japanese Garden in Shitennoji Temple is called the Gokuraku-Jodo Garden, or the Garden of Paradise and is nestled right in the downtown area of Osaka. A flea market is famous on the temple grounds one weekend a month also.

This garden features a path that wanders through a variety of styles of gardens, including a pond and waterfall, teahouses, a larger pond, a dry rock garden called “Fudaraku Garden” etc. This is an often overlooked Japanese garden but one that should not be missed. There are a few teahouses and one is usually open to the public where you can sit down and enjoy some tea and a Japanese snack.

You can check out a more in-depth article with pictures and also a video here.

How to get to the Japanese Garden at Shitennoji Temple

Address Shitennoji Temple Honbo、〒543-0051 Osaka, Tennoji Ward, Shitennoji, 1 Chome−11−18

It is an 8-minte walk from Shitennoji Yuhigaoka Station.

  1. “Shishiku-en” at Minami-midou Temple Garden

This Japanese garden is smack dab in the middle of Mido-suji, a main street in downtown Osaka. It is part of a Shinshu Buddhist temple and features a Karesansui rock garden and small pond called “Shishikuen.”

At the end of the Edo period it is believed that the famous poet Matsuo Basho built this garden and wrote a few poems here. It has sort of become sacred grounds to poetry lovers across Japan.

How to get to the Japanese Garden at Minami-Midou

Address:

Nanba Betsuin (Minamimido) Temple, 4 Chome-1-11 Kyutaromachi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 541-0056

It is a 6-minute walk from the Honmachi Subway Station on the Yotsubashi / Chuo Line.

  1. Taiko-en Garden

Taiko-en Garden

This Japanese garden was built as a luxurious residence of the famous Fujita Denzaburo, an economic powerhouse in the Kansai area. Nearby you can also visit the Fujita Museum.

This large strolling garden surrounds a pond and has a very large stone bridge and views of the garden in every season. The garden is best visited while eating or drinking at one of the their restaurants or cafes that overlook the garden. There is also a hotel attached that you can stay at.

How to get to the Taish-en Garden

Address:

9-10 Amijimachō, Miyakojima-ku, Osaka, 534-0026

1 minute on foot from Osakajo-Kitazume Station   (No. 3 Exit) on the JR Tozai Line 7 minutes walk from Keihan Kyobashi Station (Katamachi Exit) 5 minutes walk from Kyobashi Station (No. 2 Exit)   on the Nagahori-Tsurumi-Ryokuchi Subway Line

  1. “Shuseki-tei” Hokoku Shrine’s Rock Garden

This modern Karesansui rock garden was built by the famous garden designer Shigemori Mirei. He has a very unique and bold style that not everyone appreciates, but he does have a distinct artistic element to his Japanese garden style.

This shrine is dedicated to the Toyotomi clan (Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Toyotomi Hideyori, and Toyotomi Hidenaga) and resides inside the Osaka Castle Park.

How to get to the Shuseki-tei Garden

Address:

Shuseki tei Garden, 2-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002

It is a short walk from Morinomiya Station or also about a 20 minute walk from Osaka-Jo Koen Station.

  1. Kishiwada Castle Garden (Hachijin Garden)

Hachijin Garden

This garden is in southern Osaka in Kishiwada, which is also famous for a Danjiri parade through the streets. This Japanese garden, known as “Hachijin Garden” is another example of the creative garden designer Shigemori Mirei and was designated a National Scenic Spot in 2014.

You can climb the castle and look out over the city and also get a birds eye view of the Karesansui rock garden below. Mirei designs with unique stone patterns and shapes with bold rocks protruding out od the gravel. It forms a “Garden of Eight, or Hachijin” Completed in 1954, you can see the rock formations place the generals in the center and on top, and then you have the sky, wind, clouds, birds, snakes, dragons, and the tigers at the ends.

  1. Gofuso Garden

There is also another strolling garden directly next to the castle grounds called “Gofuso.” There is a new tea house built there and you can walk the garden for free. Gankou is the restaurant name and they have taken over this historical space and offer great food (they have done this in other areas as well too, like the Gankou near Kami Station, in Hirano-ku).

How to get to the Kishiwada Castle Garden

Address:

Kishiwada Castle, 9-9番1号 Kishikicho, Kishiwada, Osaka 596-0073

It is about a 10-minute walk from Kishiwada Station.

  1. Rinsho-ji Temple Garden

This Japanese garden is also in southern Osaka, Sennan, near the Kansai International Airport. It is a hillside garden built by the bold garden designer Shigemori Mirei and countains flowing mounds of azaleas.

He makes use of a variety of flowing shapes and the pond as well has an interesting shape with hedges defining the space.

How to get to the Garden

Address:

Rinshoji, 395 Shindachiokanaka, Sennan, Osaka 590-0523

It is about a 20-minute walk from the Izumi-Sunagawa Station.

I hope you enjoyed this list of some of the best Japanese gardens in Osaka, Japan. If you would like to explore more Japanese gardens or modern rustic home and garden ideas visit us at ShizenStyle.

If you are interested in some Japanese garden tools to work on your garden at home have a look at my recommendations page here.

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