This is part of an ongoing travelogue. To start at the very beginning, click here.
From Osaka Castle, we took the north western exit out to the city. The subway station was pretty far off, and we didn’t feel like walking so far and taking a long ride across the city to Umekita, so we flagged a taxi. In Osaka, the rate is almost the same as Kyoto.
So the cab took us all the way to Umeda building. Had we taken the subway, we had to walk quite a distance from Osaka station to the building.
Umeda Sky Building is located in a business district called Umeda or Kita (‘North’) near Osaka station, which is one of the biggest transportation hubs in the city. Besides the Sky Building, this place is also home to shopping malls like Hankyu, Hanshin, Daimaru and Isetan Mitsukoshi, an entertainment park (Hankyu Entertainment Park) and commercial buildings that have their own shopping malls like Grand Front Osaka and Osaka Station.
But our main objective is to visit the Floating Garden Observatory, located atop the Sky Building. It is an unmistakable structure.
In the plaza area, there is a German Christmas food fair going on, lots of food and beer for sale.
To get to the observatory, just follow signs. First you need to take the escalator to Level 4 (I think), then take the speed escalator to the ticketing office at level 39th. From there you will take a very long and scenic escalator to the top of the building.
The observatory is a ring around the top of the building, affording a 360 degree panorama view of the whole city. If the weather is windy, it can get pretty cold and uncomfortable, but fortunately the weather was excellent today.
From there you can see how large and sprawling Osaka is.
Other than the observatory, there is a restaurant here, and the usual gift store.
After the observatory, we proceeded to Takimi Koji Underground Eat Street, the basement foodcourt below the Umeda Sky Building. It is modeled to look like an Osaka village from the Taisho period in the 1910’s and 20’s.
There aren’t many restaurants here, so we chose this one with an attractive set lunch deal. For once, there isn’t an English menu, but we could tell from their pictures.