Located in Sakai City, south of Osaka, this massive park is arguably the best-uninterrupted expanse of green lawn in the entire Kansai region. Besides the spacious lawn, there’s also a sheep enclosure and a couple of well-designed playgrounds to keep the kids occupied all day.
Oizumi-Ryokuchi Park: I, KENPEI – CC BY-SA 3.0
Oizumi-Ryokuchi Park in Sakai City is a vast tract of green space, and it’s probably one of the best parks in the entire Kansai region. There are apparently over 300,000 trees planted across the 95-hectare park. Enough of those are cherry blossom trees, making it a great hanami spot in the spring. In most seasons, though, it’s just a wonderful place to be on a sunny afternoon with friends and family.
Unsurprisingly, the park is popular with local Sakai residents. It’s a great place to watch people or get involved in something active - whether it’s jogging, walking, rollerblading, or cycling. There’s enough space for soccer matches, baseball games, badminton, picnics, and outdoor barbecues. It makes a very pleasant change from urban Osaka.
The park is a great place for families. One of the largest playgrounds is also home to two of Osaka’s most thrilling slides - it’s an adrenaline rush for both kids and adults alike.
That being said: is the park worth visiting? If you have just a few days in Osaka, it’s probably not worth the trip out of the center of town unless you have kids to entertain or really want to be in a green space.
To reach this park, take the Midosuji Subway Line towards Nakamozu and get off at Shinkanaoka Station. Go through the ticket gates and turn left, following the signs to Oizumi-ryokuchi (大泉緑地). There’s a supermarket on your right as you exit to street level, so stop in for picnic supplies before continuing along the main street towards the park. It’s a 10-minute walk to the park entrance. Once inside, continue to the fountain and take the path that runs just behind it and you’ll soon see the sheep enclosure on your right. The paved trail soon reaches a vast strip of grass lining a large plaza. Turn right here and follow this strip as it merges with a large open meadow of well-maintained turf.
The playground with the scary slides is located just behind the barbeque area towards the left side of the main lawn. One of the slides is a wide expanse of smooth concrete that can accommodate nearly a dozen people at a time. The adjacent slide is the traditional one-seater slide that rises several stories above the ground.
128 Kanaoka-cho, Kita-ku, Sakai-shi, 591-8022
Subway: 12-minute walk from exit 2 of Shinkanaoka Station on the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line.
Official Website (Japanese)
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