Hamadera Park, One of Osaka’s Best Parks!
One of the largest and most popular parks in Osaka is Hamadera Park in south Sakai City. Hamadera Park is famous not only for its size, but for all the pine trees that cover the park. This park is true local favorite and even sports two swimming pools, tennis courts, baseball fields, and rose garden with 300 different kinds of roses!
The History of Hamadera Park
Hamadera Park is located on what was once Takashi no Hama, or Takashi Beach. Takashi no Hama was traditionally famous for its gorgeous white sand and pine trees. There is even a poem about Takashi Hama in the famous poem anthology, Manyoshu.
In the 13th century, Hamadera, literally meaning “beach temple” was built near Takashi no Hama, and is where the “hamadera” of Hamadera Park comes from.
Because of its long history, Hamadera Park is full of stories. For example, during the Meiji Period, the government considered cutting down the pine trees in order to create more farmland. But when the first Secretary of the Interior, Okubo Toshimichi, went to visit the park, he was so touched by how beautiful it was he ordered not to cut down the trees.
In addition, Hamadera Park is one of the very first public parks in Japan.
Also during the Meiji Period, the city added a large beach to Hamadera Park. The beach became very popular with residence, but during the Russo-Japanese War, it became a wartime prison for captured Russian soldiers. Then after WWII, the American military seized the park for their own use.
Today, the beach is gone, due to the large factories on the man-made island, just across from the park.
Despite the factories being there, Hamadera Park is still a very popular park. Perhaps somewhat reminiscent of the swimming that use to take place here are two large pools. In addition, to the pools are large flower gardens and plenty of space where you can grill outdoors for free. In many ways, the park is a much need mini-vacation for everyone in the area.
Nearby Hamadera Koen Station is also really impressive.
The designer of Hamadera Koen Station is none other than Tatsuno Kingo — the same man who designed Tokyo Station, Osaka City Central Hall, and other many famous buildings throughout Japan. Built in 1907, this station is the oldest wooden private train station in the country.
Once you get to Hamadera Park, you will quickly notice all the pine trees. There are roughly 5,500 pine trees throughout the park.
There are also tons of cherry blossom trees in Hamadera that make the park particularly lovely in the spring.
There is a little amusement park for kids, where you can enjoy a go-kart and a kiddie train ride! You have to pay for it, but it is very popular with younger children.
Right next to the pool is the Hamadera Swimming School, built in 1906. This school is the origin of synchronized swimming in Japan.
Though the beach is gone now, there are competitive rowing events held at the park.
Hamadera Botanical Garden
The park has a large rose garden with 300 kinds of roses. The garden has two sections: a Japanese and a European rose gardens and it very pretty during May when the gardens are in full bloom. The garden is open from 10 AM to 5 PM and closed on Tuesday.
In the park is perhaps something you would never pay attention to. This small plant is a Hamaderaso. Native to North America, it somehow made its way to Japan and now only exists in Hamadera in the entire country.
Information: Hamadera Park
2-Hamaderakoencho, Nishi-ku, Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture
Hamadera Park is only 20 minutes south of Nankai Namba Station via the Nankai Main Line. Also, the Hanakai Line tram at Tenno-ji Station goes right in front of the park entrance, but it takes 40 minutes. Though the tram is slower, it is much cheaper than the Nankai, as it is only 200 yen from Tenno-ji to the park.
8 thoughts on “Hamadera Park, One of Osaka’s Best Parks!”
In the history of the Hamadera Park, it mentions the U.S. seizing the park. In 1954, as a child of an U.S. Army soldier, I lived in a housing park, called Hamadera. Some of my fondest memories are of living there, and visiting the village, and meeting the Japanese people. Was that housing development located in this beautiful park? I remember that there was a swimming beach on the side of the park opposite from the village. Thank you!
Wow! Seems like you really did live in Hamadera during its occupation by the US! There is only one Hamadera in Japan near a beach that used to be occupied by the US military, and this is it. Pretty cool.
I also lived in Hamadera as a child of a US Soldier from 1954-1955. I have been looking for pictures for a long time. Sadly I now have found out that this community, where we lived, is no longer there. I also remember a beach on the other side of a fence by our house. Fond memories.
I also lived in Hamadera Park housing area in 1956 to 57. I remember climbing the pine trees and watching the people on the beach. There was a fence that separated the beach from the housing area. To allow access to the beach there was a fenced walkway from the village to the beach through the park. You had to leave the park and go to the village to get to the beach.
I lived in Hamadera Park from I believe late 1948 or early 1949 until after the start of the Korean War in 1950. I was age 4-6. I attended Kindergarten there. Our address was 204D Hamadera Park. I remember it because it was the first address I was required to learn. I remember the beach. Our trips were generally to downtown Osaka where the 25th Infantry Division HQ and the PX were.
I was also there with my family! During the Korean War my dad was stationed there as a captain in the US Army dental cour
I also lived in military housing in Hamadera park in 1954 and 1955. We originally had apartment but after a time we’re moved into a single house on Hamadera that had large sandbox. My kindergarten class was at the far end of the sandbox. There was a fence to the beach and I remember along with other small children chasing after the DD2 sprayer. We had an owl in a tree between our house and the fenced off beach. I spent a lot of time catching butterflies and catching crabs that were very common on our side of the beach. We had a maid named Tyco who knew judo and would demonstrate judo to us. No one messed with Tyco. She seemed to be in her early 20’s. I found a 25 yen note near the kindergarten. I was so excited by my Dad said it was worth about 25 cents then. We were friends with a military social worker the Brainards. I was able to get a reference from him when I was applying to medical school. It was such a nice place and when we left my Kindergarten teacher made a stapled together book of words she had taught me to read. Might have been the best time of my life. My mother bought 24 carry gold rings from a man selling them in the housing area. I still have it. It was a lot softer metal than gold we have now
We sailed to Japan on a ship my mother and at that time 4 children. The military began flying military dependents later so that we flew back to Hawaii then San Francisco. We wore our clothes backwards when we crossed the international date line on the trip to Japan. It was a big party all day. My sister stayed in our cabin all day because she wouldn’t wear her clothes backwards
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