Osaka Station City, Umeda 大阪ステーションシティ 梅田
Umeda Station City in Kita-ku, north central Osaka was completed in 2012, and connected the North Gate Building and South Gate Building of JR Osaka Station by adding a domed roof. The development has done much to revitalize the Umeda district of the city.
The spacious and elegant Toki-no-Hiroba Plaza was designed by Mitohka Eiji, the man behind the "Sakura" shinkansen from Osaka to Kagoshima. As at Nagoya Station, there are a pair of golden and silver clocks, which are popular meeting points.
Mitohka also designed the lovely outdoor Yarawagi-no-niwa Plaza on the 10th floor of the North Gate Building.
North Gate Building
The taller North Gate Building contains office space, a sports club, the multiplex Osaka Station City Cinema, the Isetan Mitsukoshi department store with shopping and restaurants from B2F-10F, the adjacent Lucua shopping complex with around 200 stores as well as restaurants from B1F-10F and three roof garden spaces.
The Yarawagi-no-niwa Plaza (Healing Garden) on the 10th floor is the more popular and is a wide, open plan space for people to relax, enjoy the water feature and gardens as well as enjoy the views out over Osaka city. The Kaze-no-hiroba (Wind Plaza) is a smaller space on the 11th Floor open 7am-midnight.
Tenku-no-noen is a small urban farm on the roof of the North Gate Building on the 14th Floor and is accessed by stairs from the 11th. Tenku-no-noen is open 7am-9pm.
The North Gate Building entrance leads to the Umeda Hankyu Station on your right as you exit.
South Gate Building
The South Gate Building faces on to Hanshin Station and Hanshin department store across the street and contains the Daimaru Department Store from B2F-16F with such popular stores as Pokemon Center, Tokyu Hands and Uniqlo as well as two restaurant floors (Umaimono Plaza) on the 15th and 16th floors open until 11pm. The Hotel Granvia Osaka lobby occupies part of 1F and has rooms from the 19th to 27th floors with great city views. The South Gate Building is also occupied by a large clinic on the 17th floor.
Turn left as you exit the South Gate Building to find a computerized Water Clock (see the video below).
Taiyo-no-hiroba (Sun Plaza), is as the name suggests, the place to catch the sun. The area consists of an open-plan roof garden on the 15th, 16th and 17th floors with more views over the city.
The first floor of the space between the North & South Gate Buildings contains a Tourist Information Center, ATMs, more shopping at Eki Marché and the ticket wickets to the trains.
Interested visitors can take a self-audio guided tour of the station in English, Chinese, Korean or Japanese (500 yen) or a full one hour tour with a Japanese-speaking guide (500 yen).
JR West Free Wifi is available at certain points in the station and there is free Wifi in the whole Daimaru Building.
Trains from Osaka Station City
Umeda Station City connects by underground passage and walkways to Hankyu Umeda Station, Hanshin Umeda Station, Higashi Umeda Station (on the Tanimachi Line of the Osaka subway) and Nishi Umeda Station (on the Yotsubashi Line of the Osaka subway).
Umeda Station City is on the JR Osaka Loop Line which circles the inner part of Osaka and the Tokaido Line with trains to Kyoto and Kobe.
Umeda Station City is also on the Midosuji Line of the Osaka subway system with trains to Shinsaibashi, Namba, and Tennoji Station in Tennoji to the south and Esaka and Shin-Osaka Station to the north, where passengers can change to Shinkansen connections to Tokyo and Nagoya from Shin-Osaka Station.
Hankyu Station is the terminus for the Hankyu Line (with trains on the Kobe Line to Juso and Sannomiya, trains to Ibaraki, Takatsuki, Katsura, Sai-in, Karasuma and Shijo Station on the Kyoto Line, and departures to Toyonaka, Ishibashi and Takarazuka on the Takarazuka Line)
Around Umeda Station City
The massive underground malls beneath Umeda Station connect the stations of the various railway lines and are lined with numerous shops, cafes, stand-up tachinomiya bars and restaurants. The five underground shopping malls are Diamor Osaka, Herbis Osaka, Hankyu Sanbangai, Dojima Underground Shopping Center and Whitey Umeda.
To the north of Osaka Station City and connected to it are the four towers of Grand Front Osaka (グランフラント大阪). Opened in 2013, Grand Front Osaka is part of the larger Umekita development of the railyards north of the station expected to be completed around 2025. The buildings comprise office and residential space, shops, restaurants and the 5-star Intercontinental Hotel. Grand Front Osaka consists of the South Building with its Panasonic Center and North Building including the Knowledge Capital, a design and innovation facility. The other two buildings are a 48 story residential tower and an event hall.
The 11-storey Hep Five Building (Tel: 06 6343 9319) has a popular Ferris wheel (admission 700 yen) with great views of the city and plentiful shopping and dining possibilities. Close to hear is the lively E Street ("East Street") arcade full of restaurants, shops, cafes and bars. Just before you reach HEP Five is the more staid shopping at Hankyu Department Store and the Hankyu Grand Building, a 127m-tall office block.
The twin towers of 173m-high Umeda Sky Building (Tel: 06 6440 3899) are a local landmark and the office complex hosts trade fairs and the annual Osaka beer summit held in October in the square below. There is an observation tower at the top - the Floating Garden - (admission 700 yen) and the Takimi-Koji Alley of recreated traditional 1920s shops in the basement. There is also an urban garden on the site at ground level with wooden walkways and small ponds.
The Umeda area has a number of good cinemas, including the Osaka Station City Cinema (Tel: 06 6346 3215), Umeda Piccadilly (Tel: 06 6315 1414), OS Gekijo Cinema (Tel: 06 6311 2478), and Navio Toho Plex (Tel: 06 6316 1312).
Osaka's main gay area of Doyama-cho and a red-light area are also tucked away in the packed streets to the east of the HEP Five Building, south of Miyakojima-dori.
Hotels near Osaka Station City
There are a number of hotels around the stations congregated in Umeda. Good places to stay near Osaka Station City are the Intercontinental Hotel, Hilton Osaka Hotel, Hearton Hotel, the Hotel Vista Premio Dojima and the Hotel Sunroute Osaka.