★Itami City and America’s capital, joined through cherry blossoms
The nearly 2,000 sakura trees along the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. are a world-famous tourist attraction and home to the largest cherry blossom festival in the United States every year. A gift from Japan more than a century ago celebrating friendship between the two nations, these trees were first raised in Higashino, Itami City, famous even then for advanced horticultural expertise.
This friendship rooted in cherry trees continues to this day, as in 2003 the U.S. returned the favor with “Satogaeri Sakura,” (“Homecoming Sakura”) trees descended from those in Washington, given to Japan to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the initial gift, blooming beautifully year after year at Zugaike Park in Itami City.
↑A bond of friendship between Japan and America, the “Homecoming Sakura”
Address: 5 Mizugaoka, Itami City
Access: From JR Itami Station or Hankyu Itami Station, take the Itami Municipal Bus to the Zugaike stop
In Koyaike Park, beautiful blossoms bloom around this versatile open space.
During certain seasons migratory birds can be seen stopping by Koyaike Pond in the center of the park, making this a popular oasis of nature for wild bird watching.
Just 15-minutes by foot from Zugaike Park, so it’s perfect for a spring stroll.
Address: 3-1 Koyaike, Itami City
Access: From JR Itami Station or Hankyu Itami Station, take the Itami Municipal Bus to Matsugaoka stop or Koyaike Koenmae stop
★Rows of cherry blossom trees along the Tenjin River
A sakura spot in Itami known to those in the know!
Rows of cherry blossom trees stand along the Tenjin River which runs north-south through Itami City, a peaceful place where the arrival of spring is enjoyed by residents as part of their daily lives.
Follow the beckoning cherry blossoms 2km southward from Aramaki Rose Garden to Koyaike Park, a route recommended for the fullest enjoyment of flowers and nature.
↑From Aramaki Rose Garden to Koyaike Park along the Tenjin River
Address: 6-5-50 Aramaki, Itami City
Access: From JR Station or Hankyu Itami Station, take the Itami Municipal Bus to Aramaki Rose Garden stop
★Itami Sky Park
Beyond the runways of Osaka International Airport is Itami Sky Park, a great place to watch the take-off and landing of various aircraft up close. There is much to enjoy here including a vast three-dimensional labyrinth, as well as a wooden deck and terrace where you can kick back and relax while plane spotting, enjoying the spring season in this wide-open space. In Japan, this combination of airplanes and cherry blossoms is a rare pleasure.
↑A Boeing 787 and cherry blossom vie for your attention.
Address: 7-1-1 Morimoto, Itami City
Access: From JR Itami Station, Hankyu Itami Station or Osaka International Airport, take the Itami Municipal Bus to Itami Sky Park Kamisuko stop
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