Translated by Lester Somera
5 Things To Do In Umeda, Osaka
Written by タグチ
Umeda is the main transport hub of Osaka, with plenty of shopping, dining, and lodging options. Here are 5 recommendations on things to enjoy when you visit, including tasty Osaka food, like okonomiyaki and takoyaki, and the beautiful Umeda Sky Building.
Umeda - Ideal Lodging and Great Shopping in Osaka
Ⓒ Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau
The area of Umeda refers to the northern part of the Osaka business quarter, known as Kita, in contrast to the Minami area home to Namba and Shinsaibashi. It is a central hub for transportation, with JR Osaka Station, private railways that go to Kobe and Kyoto, and the Umeda subway station, which connects all subway lines.
The Hilton Osaka and other hotels are located in Umeda, and airport limousine buses arrive and depart from multiple spots in area, making it perfect as a transit point for travelers. There are many department stores and dining establishments around the station, along with old station buildings and underground shopping arcades, making it convenient for try gourmet cuisine and shopping.
The entire area is connected by underground tunnels and crossing bridges, so you can explore each facility without getting wet from rain. This time, let’s look at five specially selected things you need to do in the Umeda area.
1. Search for Souvenirs at Shopping Spots
Ⓒ Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau
Umeda is bristling with commercial complexes, housing three major department stores and many shopping malls. Centered around JR Osaka Station are Lucua and Lucua 1100 which are linked to the station on the north side, and Grand Front Osaka even further north.
Drop in to find trendy items from brand-name boutiques and stores popular with young generations all over the world. On the eastern side of Grand Front Osaka, you can visit Yodobashi Camera.
In their basement areas, which sell foodstuffs, they have exclusive Osaka items, so look for souvenirs here. On the east side of the station, the Hankyu Department Store is equipped with cosmetics stores and stores selling desserts and sweets.
2. Enjoy the Diverse Osaka Food Scene
JR Osaka Station and all the Umeda Stations are connected by a maze of passages and underground tunnels. If you continue along those paths, you will come across restaurant areas and underground shopping arcades.
If you want to enjoy cheap and delicious Osaka cuisine, head to these places frequented by locals. Shin-Umeda Shokudogai, Hankyu Sanbangai and Whity Umeda have a diverse array of establishments including standing bars, kushikatsu restaurants, takoyaki vendors.
At juice stands and retro coffee shops, you can enjoy the Osaka staple of mixed juice. At Kitashinchi, the spacious quarter south of JR Osaka Station, you can enjoy high-class food like the world-renowned Kobe beef.
This nightlife area has rows of izakayas, restaurants and bars. You can look for restaurants specializing in grilled meat, meat bars and even high-class yakiniku restaurants here.
Popular local ramen establishments are also concentrated in the Umeda area. The tonkotsu ramen pioneer Hakata Ippudo and Osaka-founded Dotonbori Shinza are known around the country. Local favorites Yosuko Ramen and Ramen Kotan are visited by many people after a night of drinking and become quite crowded at night. Let’s look at two representative Osaka dishes that you can taste in the Umeda area.
Okonomiyaki is, without a doubt, something you must try in Osaka. While it can be found all around Japan, okonomiyaki here is unique with its plentiful ingredients variations, including meat and fish, mixed into batter and cooked together until fluffy.
Staples include negiyaki, containing beef tendon and onions, and butatama, containing pork belly and egg. There are many popular okonomiyaki restaurants in the Umeda area, so be sure to check them out.
Made by pouring batter onto a hot plate and rotating the batter balls as they cook, takoyaki is one of Osaka’s famous foods. Known as the innovator of takoyaki, Aizuya has branches at the food quarter at the Osaka Station Sakuraguchi entrance and the Umeda Sankoji path.
At Whity Umeda you can try out ikayaki, a simple kind of okonomiyaki containing squid tentacles, made in a special press and folded over, which can be eaten with one hand. You can also eat Akashiyaki, which takoyaki steeped in dashi stock atTakohachi.
Some places also have spaces to eat the takoyaki inside the store, so you can enjoy the food while it’s warm. However, be careful not to burn yourself, as the crispy outer layer, and the gooey insides of the takoyaki can be very hot.
3. Take a Stroll in the Sky at the Umeda Sky Building
The Umeda Sky Building is about ten minutes away from JR Osaka Station on foot. The unique shape of this sightseeing spot attracts visitors from all over the world.
The top sections of two skyscrapers are connected by a circular corridor, and you can get up to the corridor through a direct elevator or the escalator. The open-air corridor, 173 meters above the ground, offers a 360-degree panoramic view.
At night, the floor underfoot lights up, making it appear as if you were walking on the Milky Way, creating a magical landscape together with the Osaka cityscape below.
4. Ride the HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel
HEP FIVE is a multipurpose commercial complex popular with young generations, with a landmark red Ferris wheel on its roof. Visitors here can enjoy amusement and shopping, along with the Ferris wheel.
A 15-minute ride is 600 yen, and the Ferris wheel reaches a height of 103 meters above the ground, providing a view of the entire Umeda area stretching all the way to Osaka Harbor. You can also get your picture taken for a fee as a keepsake of your trip.
5. Snacking at Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai
Ⓒ Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau
Stretch your legs and travel a little outside of the Umeda area to experience local lifestyle at Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai. This shotengai, or shopping street, is said to be Japan’s longest, stretching out for 2.6 kilometers!
Rows of standing sushi places and cheap restaurants, historic tea houses and knife shops, as well as inexpensive and popular stores make up Tenjinbashisuji.
There are plenty of foods available for takeout like croquettes, kushikatsu, wagashi sweets, so walk and eat as you enjoy chatting with the shopkeepers.
Address: Osaka, Osaka, Kita, Tenjinbashi Google Map
Access: Right by Tenjinbashisuji 6-chome Station (Tanimachi, Sakai, Hankyu Lines) or Temma Station (Osaka Loop Line)
Discover Umeda with a Map in Hand
There are lots of stations in the Umeda area, including Osaka Station and Umeda Station, creating confusion for any first-timers. At the same time, there is also a thrill in wandering through corridors and stairwells and finding hidden gems and unique stores.
Station information booths are located in JR Osaka Station in front of the Central Gate and in the subway Umeda Station, so take a map for peace of mind.
Enjoy a quintessentially Osaka experience in the ever-evolving Umeda area.