One of the interesting attractions in Osaka is no other than the futuristic Umeda Sky Building, where visitors can go all the way up to the sky tower and get an amazing 360 degree view of Osaka City.
The Umeda Sky Building is known as the 19th tallest building in the entire Osaka, but the architecture and design makes it stand out from the other buildings here. Consisting of two 40 story towers and connected at the top with an interesting viewing deck, this place serves as one of the must-visit tourist spots in Osaka.
The Umeda Sky Building was built in 1993 by Hiroshi Hara, who also designed the Kyoto Station, and the building stands at 173 meters high. The main two towers consist of mainly offices but it is the Sky Garden on the rooftop that is highly visited by all kinds of tourist, including local Japanese.
To get here, you need to exit the Umeda Station and walk about 10 minutes to the Umeda Sky Building. There is a special entrance at the east entrance of the building which is located on the third floor.
View of the Sky Deck on the 40th floor
Floating Garden Observatory
The Floating Garden Observatory (Kuchu-Teien in Japanese) starts from the 39th floor, where you will arrive. You buy your tickets to go up to the rest of the floors. At this level, you will find general information, a lounge, Chinese restaurant, a souvenir shop and other interesting displays.
On occasion, there are special displays where visitors can purchase locks or notes to fill up and hang on a special dedicated area. Tourist and locals are seen doing this, as it is a way to leave their messages to friends and even loved ones here.
The Sky 39 Souvenir Shop is a popular place to get souvenirs of the Umeda Sky Building. There are various kinds of Japanese souvenirs available here.
Inside the Sky 39 Souvenir Shop of the building
Sky 40 Cafe
From the 39th floor, you can make your way up to the 40th floor where the Sky 40 Cafe is located. This place sells interesting Japanese snacks, coffee, tea and other drinks.
The Sky 40 Cafe also serves an an interesting rest place with stunning views. This means, visitors can order some coffee, tea, snacks and take a table by the window to admire the beautiful city views of Osaka.
The unique elevator up to the 39th floor of the building
Umeda Sky Walk
From the 39th floor, you can go up one level to the most popular place, The Sky Walk which is an open deck area on the roof top of the Umeda building. This is where visitors will walk a complete 360 degrees to see the magnificent views of Osaka City.
Due to the strong winds, it is recommended you keep your hats, caps or even umbrellas away, or you risk letting them fly away. This means, avoid wearing flare skirts too.
The beauty about the Umeda Sky Building is that the views from up here are simply stunning. On a very clear day, you can see as far as Awaji Island, a popular Japanese island in the south west of Osaka.
Sunrise view of Osaka from the Umeda Sky Walk
For photography, it also depends on what type of photography you like. If you go up to the Sky Walk in the morning, you will get beautiful views of Osaka City, its buildings, the Yodo River and the Mount Myoken mountain range in the north.
For sunsets, it is best to arrive up here by around 5.00 PM to get your sunset photos. Most of the time, the sun will set past the Yodo River towards the open sea.
A lot of tourist come here to catch a glimpse of a birds eye view of Osaka and it is recommended to check the weather status before visiting the Umeda Sky Building. Yo would not want to travel ll the way here and it rains.
During winter, the weather can get really cold, so please prepare proper clothing before coming here.
The Lumi Deck where love locks are fastened by couples
This is where couples and lovers come to display their affection by attaching a love lock on the ‘Fence of Vows’. Couples buy locks from the souvenir center or bring their own locks to attach it here. The souvenir shops also does engraving on the locks and the one price is around 1000 Yen per lock.
This can also be done by tourist, so if you are planning to visit the Umeda Sky Building, bring along a lock and attach it here at the Lumi Deck on the Sky Walk area.
Special Love Locks sold at the Sky 39 Souvenir Shop
What else to do around Umeda Sky Building
At the basement of the building, there is a very unique place to eat, called Takimi Koji Gourmet Street. This is known as narrow alleyways that represent an early 20th century Japanese Showa era food street.
Here, you can find over 20 different restaurants selling popular Osaka dishes like Okonomiyaki and the famous octopus Takoyaki. For foreigners, there is a French and Indian restaurant available down here.
If you want to see a nostalgic era of Japan, this is the place to visit. For foodies and Instagrammers, get your smart phones ready as this is the perfect places to get some really nice photos.
View of Osaka Castle from the Sky Deck of the Umeda Sky Building
In the area just nearby the bui9lding, you can find a Japanese Garden, called ‘Chushizen no Mori’ or ‘The Island Garden Forest’ which connects the building to the Westin Hotel.
At one side of the Umeda Sky Building, you will find a green area called the New Satoyama, which is a dedicated area planting trees and flowers, including some endangered species. At the end of this garden, you will come across The Wall of Hope, a 9 meter high and 78 meter long block of greenery.
This garden art piece works great as a photography spot, for those who love the greens.
View of Osaka City from the Umeds Sky Building
German Christmas Bazaar at Umeda Sky Building
During the winter period, and just before Christmas, there is a special German Christmas Bazaar that takes place at the foot of the building. Here, you will find various international stalls selling all sorts of Christmas souvenirs and food.
A giant Christmas tree is decorated with over 100,000 light bulbs and the entire event is free to visit. Try the hot wine and some of the Christmas snacks sold here. This is also one of Osaka’s biggest event for the winter.
The yearly German Christmas Bazaar at the Umeda Sky Building
How to go to Umeda Sky Building?
You can take the subway and stop at various stations, namely the Osaka Station where it is a 10 minute walk to the building. From the Nakatsu Station, it is also around a 10 minute walk to the building.
How long to spend here?
Generally, you can spend around 2-4 hours here, inside the building, at the Sky Walk and around the main area here. Apart from this, you can also visit some other interesting places found around the Umeda Sky Building.
Umeda Sky Building Information
Address: 〒531-0076 1-1-88 Oyodo-naka,
Kita-ku, Osaka City, Osaka
Time: 10:00 AM to 22:30 PM (entrance until 22:00 PM)
A multiple award-winning travel writer, blogger and social media enthusiast. He has been traveling to Japan since 1990 and all over the world for his work. His work has been featured on CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Lonely Planet and many other publications. David writes at: http://malaysia-asia.my and is on social media platforms as @MalaysiaAsia