Many people would agree that temples, shrines, and castles are the best places to enjoy the Japanese sakura, or cherry blossom. Tourists and natives alike crowd famous castles, such as Osaka Castle, or otherwise humble places Kimi-Dera Temple. Despite this general rule, however, arguably the most famous sakura spot in the Kansai region is Sewaritei, a levy on the border of Osaka and Kyoto. Though this backdrop might sound a bit lackluster, the soft pink puffs of the blossoms stretch far as the eye can see and the gentle sound of the nearby river makes Sewaritei both lovely and relaxing.
As stated, Sewaritei is a levy located where three major rivers, the Katsuira River, the Uji River, and the Kizu River, merge into the Yodo River, which flows into Osaka Bay. More specifically Sewari Tei sits between the Uji and Kizu rivers, and spans a distance of 1.5km. Originally, there were pine trees on either side of the levy, but after they all died, cherry blossoms replaced them. Now Sewaritei always ranks on various lists for the top 5 famous cherry blossom spots in the Kansai region.
The levy is only a 10-minute walk from Keihan Iwashimizu Hachimagu Station, so it’s very easy to find. Iwashimizu Hachimangu, one of the major shrines in Kansai is up the mountain near the station, but during the spring many people head to Sewartitei instead when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. However, since the levy is so long it never feels packed, even at peak season.
A Tunnel of Cherry Blossoms
Almost all the trees along the levy are cherry blossom trees. There are so many trees that it is like walking through a tunnel of pink. You can’t even tell they took some damage from a strong typhoon a few years ago.
At Sewaritei, many people enjoy picnicking beside the river*. The afternoons can get a little busy, so come early in the morning on a weekday if you want to take some pictures and enjoy the flowers virtually by yourself!
* (COVID-19 restrictions currently limit social gathering, though.)