Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
Osaka From Above: Umeda Sky Building's Floating Garden Observatory
The Umeda Sky Building's Floating Garden Observatory in Umeda, Osaka is a major sightseeing spot. Find out everything you need to know for a great trip, from basic information on the Sky Building to the what to do at the Floating Garden Observatory.
Written by Keisuke Yamada
Umeda Sky Building - Take in Stunning Views
The daytime view of Osaka from Umeda Sky Building
The Umeda Sky Building, located close to Osaka and Umeda stations in Osaka's Kita area, is a famous skyscraper and sightseeing destination. Visitors can not only enjoy a view but also the building's unique architecture and the Floating Garden Observatory located on its highest floor, where guests can take in the surrounding areas on a spacious deck with beautifully-landscaped flowers and trees.
Continue reading to learn what to do and what to expect when visiting this major, must-see Osaka landmark.
About the Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Building is a high-rise building that was completed in March 1993. At 173 meters high, it has 40 floors above ground as well as two underground. It is a world-renowned landmark, as the British newspaper, "The Times," chose it as one of the top twenty buildings in the world.
Two towers, the Tower East and Tower West, are connected at the top by the circular Floating Garden Observatory, where guests can see views of the city and surroundings of Osaka both day and night.
Head to the Floating Garden Observatory for Views
From the Floating Garden Observatory, or Kuchu Teien Observatory, you can overlook the city of Umeda and Osaka from above.
Visitors will board the elevator to the top from the 3rd floor. The elevator, which takes you to the 35th floor, is paneled with windows and see-through on all sides. As the elevator rises, the city around you will seem to become smaller and smaller.
From the 35th floor, you will transfer to a see-through escalator tube that will take you to the entrance of the garden on the 39th floor. You can come up to here free of charge.
Visitors purchase tickets for the observatory on the 39th floor. Tickets for adults cost 1,500 yen, and tickets for children aged 4 through 12 are 700 yen.
The observatory is located on the 40th floor.
From here, you can overlook the Umeda area and its surroundings during the day, and see a breathtaking view at night. The night view was even chosen as part of the "Top 100 Night Views" in Japan for its beauty and romance. It's often crowded in the afternoon, though.
There are also chairs and a glass counter by the window, where you can relax while you enjoy the view. From here you can also see trains passing by below. We especially recommend this seat to train lovers.
Umeda Sky Building at night. Picture courtesy of Umeda Sky Building
This is the open-air rooftop, known as the Sky Walk. Highly unusual for high-rise buildings, it's an observatory deck where you can actually walk outside. You can feel the breeze as you enjoy an unobstructed view of Osaka.
This is an example of what you might see during the daylight hours of the day.
The view transforms at sundown as you are treated to a truly amazing sunset.
More Things to Do at Umeda Sky Building
Be sure to read at the exhibits with information on the history of Umeda Sky Building and how it was built.
This is an area known as the "Fence of Vows" on the roof area. The wire fence has five different colors. Here visitors can fasten "Heart Locks" onto the fence as a romantic or friendly gesture. You can engrave your name or your anniversary date on a lock to create your own unique Heart Lock, which makes this a popular spot for couples.
On the 40th floor, there is a bar area with various adult and non-alcoholic beverages. Visitors can relax with a drink while they take in the scenery.
Visitors looking for something more substantial can head to the basement level and first floor of the building, where there are many restaurants, cafes, and bars. Guests can enjoy refreshments or a meal after going up and viewing the scenery at the observatory.
Go to Umeda Sky Building
From the top Umeda Sky Building, you will have a commanding view of northern Osaka and the nearby areas. You can observe airplanes fly by and trains operating by Umeda Station. Every day offers a different unique view. Many seasonal events are held at the Umeda Sky Building regularly, including for Christmas and New Year's. You can enjoy the exciting events as well as the spectacular view from the observatory.