Back to Osaka – 大阪に帰る

Osaka, May大阪 5月

After saying goodbye to the Kikuchi Family and the Jinpuu staff, I headed for Tokyo Station, and took a Shinkansen to Osaka. Golden Week was about to start, and because of that, the Tanaka Family and I would travel to Shōdoshima Island.


Golden Week has a great impact on already crowded stations; everybody wants to travel at the same day, and queues are tremendous. Thank God, Kumi had helped me to send my luggage to the Tanakas, so I didn’t have to carry it!


When the Shinkansen arrived in Osaka, my sadness had almost disappeared, and I was ready to face some new adventures; we began our holiday at a sushi carousel with Mikiko, Otoosan and Ojiisan. It’s been a year since the last time we met. In the evening, we had dinner with the whole gang; I was happy to be with my Japanese family again!


Otoosan and Ojiisan
Back at the house
Cold soba noodles

Sakuya Konohana Kan Botanical Garden – 咲くやこの花館 植物園

Osaka, April大阪、4月

For a gardening maniac and house plant lover this botanical garden is a must-see. The conservatory is one of Japan’s largest; they have 15.000 plants to explore, and the flowers are blooming all around the year.


The two-storey metal framed glass building was built in 1990, and it’s divided for sections, where you can wander through different climates and their plantation. One of their main attractions is the water lily pool with its astonishing color variety and leaves of the giant water lilies.


For a gardening student like me, this was a perfect attraction. Otoosan, Eri and I circled around the massive building dazed by the strong scent of the tropical flowers. Outside temperature was high enough, but inside the rainforest, where the merciless sun shone through the glass ceiling, was hot and humid like a sauna. We wandered through Cactus hall and Alpine house, which had a more pleasant climate; it’s always under 20 degrees.


The outside garden was in full bloom, the water fountain’s droplets shone like small pieces of glass in the sunshine. There I could spot some familiar species like lavender and violet, but also new acquaintances. The garden was a joy for one’s senses; the sight and its colours, the scent of flowers lingering in the warm breeze.


Otoosan and me

Sakuya Konohana Kan

2-163 Ryokuchikoen, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka

咲くやこの花館 植物園

〒538-0036 大阪府大阪市鶴見区緑地公園2丁目163番

The Tanaka Family – 田中家の人々

Ojiisan, Eri, Mikiko and Chihiro

Osaka, April大阪、4月

When we first met, Chihiro was a university student in Gothenburg, Sweden. Christmas holidays were approaching, which can be pretty depressing when you are alone in a foreign country, so I invited her to Finland. From that started our friendship; she has visited us several times, basically every time she comes to Europa and vice versa.


This was my first time to visit their home, which had a massive renovation during the last year. It was a stylish two-storey house in a quiet neighbourhood with a small garden and a field. The head of the family was 86-year-old Ojiisan, who cultivated the field and enjoyed his retirement days.


His son, Otoosan and his wife Mikiko worked full days, Mikiko as an entrepreneur and Otoosan at the city office. Chihiro worked at her mother’s company, and her siblings Eri and Sho were university students. Also, Eri and Sho has visited us in Finland. Despite the busy schedule of the family, they always find time to cook and enjoy food together.


At the garden
The nearby canal

The Cherry Blossoms – 桜

Osaka, April大阪, 4月

One’s feelings are not easily put into words when after a long, cold Finnish winter you suddenly arrive to this; a warm breeze on your jet lagged face, pale skin exposed from beneath the winter clothes – Oh, hello, sun!


This was my first Sakura no-toorinuke. It differs from hanami mostly because of the rules: no eating, smoking or touching the flowers. The Tanaka sisters and I followed the mass of people while chatting and taking pictures.


This was the last day of the Japan Mint Bureau’s cherry blossom viewing. They open their gates to the public for a week every April at the sakura’s prime time. The garden has approximately 350 trees, and they also have rare varieties you cannot find anywhere else. The 560-meter long alley was established in 1883, and it’s certainly worth a visit.


Not just the pink beauty, there is something for the food lovers too. During the event, the street near Okawa River has all kinds of festival food to offer: okonomiyaki, taiaki, takoyaki, and choco bananas. Dishes one can only dream in Finland. And they are practically free, so you better go with an empty stomach!

造幣局とその隣を流れる大川の花見スポットの魅力はピンク色の美しさだけではない。くいしんぼうにもうれしい。 イベント期間中、フードフェスティバルのようになっており、お好み焼き、たい焼き、たこ焼き、チョコバナナ、フィンランドでは夢のような食べ物が並ぶ。しかもタダ同然だから腹ペコで行くべきなのだ!

Japan Mint Head Office

1-79, Temma 1-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0043, Japan

独立行政法人 日本造幣局

〒530-0043 大阪府大阪市北区天満1丁目1-79