1. Shopping in one of the many Department Centres
Umeda, or the Kita district, has many shopping buildings that make up the city centre. Some of the most famous are the Hankyu Department Store and Daimaru Department Store. You will find high-end brands, alongside restaurants, bars and smaller shops. Many of these department stores have multiple stories, including underground levels, so shopping here can take hours. Shop till you drop isn’t just a saying, as it can literally happen inUmeda Department Centres!
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2. Keep an Eye Out for Novelty Stores
Japanese shops already hold a sense of novelty for tourists as the signs and items offered are different to those found at home. Some shops found in the areas listed here are based on a theme or interest, and finding these little gems is so exciting. Kiddy Land Osaka is one of the largest toy stores in Japan. It is definitely one of the most fun as there are mascots walking around, event spaces where you can take photographs and a collection of souvenirs. You can find a Pokemon Centre at the Osaka train station for all your Pokemon needs. Even if you aren’t a fan, coming to see the displays can be a treat for those young at heart. Joshin Super Kids Land Honten is a large anime and manga store for those who are fans. Finally, Covo sells lovely French pop general goods such as stationaries, table wares, ornaments and other cute knick-knacks.
3. Explore the Grand Front Osaka
Another place to go shopping and exploring is the Grand Front Osaka building. It not only holds shops and restaurants, but also residential apartments and a hotel. This location is on this list as an interesting stop inside the building is the Panasonic Centre. This electronic brand has its own showroom, which is decked out with the latest devices and electronics for you to see and interact with. Another experience you might be interested in is the +STYLE Made in Japan. Located in the south wing of the building, you can make your own original bag using a range of coloured materials, strips and belts. It’s a little on the expensive size, but where else can you custom design your own stylish handbag?!
4. Visit the Osaka Station City
Named as one of Japan’s most stylish stations, this location has more to offer than just transport. Here you can explore the goings on of Umeda as the glass roof will let you watch the people below enter and leave from their trains. It also has numerous gardens and farms on the buildings’ rooves if you are wanting to spend a bit of time in nature. Check out its famous water clock in the South Gate building – it’s the only one in the world! Finally, this space also holds numerous stores and restaurants if you feel the need to shop here.
5. Shop at Whity Umeda
Whity Umeda translated means ‘the reborn white city’ after it was renovated in 1987. This shopping mall is in the Umeda district and holds over two hundred shops – but it is all underground! Here you will find clothing stores, cosmetics, shoes, jewellery and more. A fountain in the centre gives off a beautiful ambience in case you want to stop at a nearby restaurant.
6.Ride the Ferris Wheel at the Hankyu Entertainment Park
Imagine if an amusement park was inside a shopping mall. That’s Hankyu Entertainment Park for you. The first thing you see on the outside of the building is the Hep Five Ferris Wheel, where you can experience 360-degree views of Osaka City. Inside, you’ll find a range of shops and amusement facilities. Many enjoy the trendy shops for younger adults, restaurants and the Sega Game Room. You’ll also find many amusing characters inside the building, which includes a large red whale hanging from the ceiling. So is this just an entertainment spot? Is it really a shopping mall? No matter what answers you find, you’ll have fun visiting here!
7. Take Pictures at the Shitennoji Temple
This temple is as beautiful as it is valuable to the people of Osaka. Shitennoji Temple was Japan’s first Buddhist temple and its construction highlights many religious aspects from its positioning, layers included and purpose of enshrining the Four Heavenly Kings of Buddhism. This site was included on this list for its stunning photo prospects (especially when it is lit up at night time), as a place to relax in the busy Osaka city and as an opportunity to see Japanese ancient architecture first-hand.
8. See the Umeda Sky Building at Night
There are two reasons to make a trip to the Umeda Sky Building, and the best time to see it best is at night time. The first reason is to see the Hanging Gardens, a modern take of ‘The Hanging Gardens of Babylon’. Lights and other luminous decorations appear all around, making the tower itself appear alive. From there, you can see the city in 360-degree splendour. Finally, you can see modern architectural styles and materials, as it appears as if this whole building is made out of glass. If you wish, you can explore the shops inside the Umeda Sky Building, which include bars, restaurants and cafes. If you are bringing a loved one here, you can buy a heart shaped padlock to leave at the top of this building. Your love will be as study as this lock, forever enshrined at this romantic destination.
9. Check out the Hankyu Umeda Gallery
This is an interesting point on this list as the exhibits in the gallery change quite often. At any rate, a visit to the Hankyu Umeda Gallery on the ninth floor of the Hankyu Department Store will impress. Previous exhibits include items from Grace Kelly’s personal wardrobe, a Nordic goods exhibition and Valentine chocolate expo that included tastings and samples. The current exhibit during March 2017 is ‘Moser: The Czech Republic’s Venerable Bohemian Glass Studio’. Glass engraving demonstrations will be on display as well as pieces from the collection. Have a look and you might find something awe-inspiring!
10. Pay Your Respects at the Tsuyunoten Shrine
Shrines can be found in little side streets of Japan, but this one accepts prayers from two very different types of believers. The first is local businessmen who want good fortune before making a business deal. The second are young lovers who pay their respects in honour of Sonezaki Shinju. Sonezaki Shinju is a play, similar to Romeo and Juliet, where the lovers couldn’t be together and so committed suicide. This supposedly happened at this shrine in 1703 and a Japanese playwright told their story in his play, the Sonezaki Shinju. Come visit if you want success in a business deal or with your current relationship.
Check out our other lists like kimono and tea ceremony experience in Osaka and 50 Things to do in Osaka, 100 Sights You Can’t Miss While Visiting Osaka, and Things You Have To Do in Shinsaibashi to plan your perfect trip!
1. Shopping in one of the many Department Centres