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Osaka Guide: Umeda

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    Umeda is a major city center in Osaka with endless dining and shopping options. Check out the gigantic food malls inside the mega department stores, take in the city view from HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL, and ride the floating escalator in the cool slick Sky Building.

    Hankyu Umeda - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    Umeda is the go-to destination for shopping and dining choices in Osaka, with the major transport hubs Osaka Station and Umeda Station, flanked by Hankyu, Hanshin, Daimaru, and other super-sized retail shops.

    Osaka Station 大阪駅

    Osaka Station Umeda - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Osaka Station

    Umeda cemented its place as the center of transportation in Kansai area when Osaka Station open in 1874. Subsequent train and subway lines were added to the area including Umeda Station. A similar comparison for Umeda in Osaka would be Shinjuku in Tokyo.

    6 escalators side by side - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Yes, there is a need for 6 escalators

    Osaka Station went under a major renovation in 2011 and is now composed of South Gate and North Gate Buildings. Besides the many dining and shopping choices, South Gate Building includes the department store Daimaru and the North Gate Building houses Lucua shops as well as a movie theater on the top floor.

    pedestrians walking in underground mall - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    Department Stores in Umeda

    If you are looking to shop in Osaka, then Umeda is where you want to be. There’s no shortage of large department stores surrounding the station. However, there aren’t many tourist attractions in the Umeda area. What we do highly recommend checking out for any foodie is the “depachika,” the food mall underneath the department stores. We really liked the one at Hanshin so you have limited time go check that one out.

    worker arranging food in depachika - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    Hanshin Department Store Umeda 梅田 阪神百貨店

    Hanshin’s history in Umeda goes back to the early 1930s. Like many other department stores in Japan, it’s home to many high-end boutiques, fashionable attires, restaurants, and cafes. However, the best way to peek into the daily Japanese life and what people buy and eat is in the food mall.

    entrance to Hanshin depachika - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    The food mall in Hanshin sells everything from ready-to-go food to delicate desserts, wine, tea, and many other gifts. The packaging and gift wrap for the purchases are exquisite and free of charge.

    Roast pork from Kobe Chinatown shop - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Roast pork from Kobe Chinatown shop

    One of the conveniences the food mall offers is there are many famous stores from the nearby area (Kobe, Kyoto, etc) that will operate a booth there so you don’t have to travel all over to buy them. The photos we’ve shared below is just a small sample and it’s easy to spend an hour checking out all the different foods.

    fruit juice vendor - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Fruit juice and other fruit products
    Kobe croquette - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Croquette ready to be eaten!
    Le Bihan bakery - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Bread and bakery shop
    Honey shop L'ABEILLE - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Honey shop L’ABEILLE
    home cooked style food vendor - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Home-cooked style food
    Unagi and Anago Sushi - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Unagi and Anago Sushi
    grilled and salted fish shop - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Grilled salted fish shop
    Japanese confectionary shop - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Japanese confectionary shop
    Ippodo tea - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Ippodo tea shop – 300 years of history and we love their hojicha and matcha

    Ippodo tea gift sets - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    tsukemono shop - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Tsukemono – Japanese pickled vegetables

    Besides offering their most popular products and items throughout the year, each shop often features seasonal and limited time goods. One of our favorite indulgences during the summer is the white peach jelly. Eating the chilled white peach jelly on a hot summer day is simply too incredible to describe. At $10 per jelly, it’s really pricey so we usually share 2 between 4-6 people.

    white peach jelly - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    White peach jelly
    dessert made from biwa fruit - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Dessert made from biwa fruit
    fruit mizu yokan dessert - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Mizu yokan jelly dessert
    kasutera honey cake from kyoto - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Kasutera honey cake from Kyoto
    kombu shop - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Kombu (kelp) shop

    Hankyu Department Store Umeda 梅田 阪急百貨店

    Another prominent department store in Umeda is Hankyu and it actually merged with Hanshin in 2008. It is the premier department store in the Umeda area. Between its main store along with the HEP NAVIO mens store, the combined retail sq footage is the second largest in Japan.

    covered walkway near Hankyu - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    In the pedestrian walkway along Hankyu, the window display are decorated with incredible detail and changes based on the current theme or season.

    window display at Hankyu - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Window display at Hankyu

    In the Hankyu flagship department store in Umeda, there is also a plethora of food options in depachika.

    Hankyu department store sign - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Hankyu department store

    The food mall at Hankyu is focused on Japanese and Western confectionary as well as ready to go Japanese dishes and meals. The feeling there is different from Hanshin’s depachika, with a higher ceiling and a more refined feeling. However, there are a lot fewer options with a smaller number of vendors compared to Hanshin.

    Food mall depachika at Hankyu - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Food mall depachika at Hankyu

    The walkways at Hankyu are much wider between the vendors and not as crowded.

    Food mall depachika at Hankyu - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    Food mall depachika at Hankyu - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    There are plenty of shopping choices at the department store. If you are specifically looking for men’s fashion, head on over to HEP NAVIO

    exterior of Osaka Hanyku department store
    HEP Navio (men’s fashion store)

    HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL ヘップファイブ観覧車

    Now we got the shopping out of the way, let’s check out some landmarks around Umeda. One of the most popular landmarks is the red HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL on top of HEP FIVE (Hankyu Entertainment Park) building.

    HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL on top of HEP FIVE building - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    The HEP FIVE building is targeted at a younger demographic with over 170 stores. It gets an impressive 14 million visitors per year.

    Giant whale sculpture by Tatsuya Ishii - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Giant whale sculpture by Tatsuya Ishii (former vocalist for Kome Kome Club)

    Although the Ferris wheel is not particularly high, you get a great bird-eye view of the Umeda area. The cost is 600 yen per rider and children five and under are free.

    Entrance to HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    view of Osaka Station
    view of Osaka Station

    view of Osaka skyline from HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    view of Osaka skyline from HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    children playing with cutout of Instagram - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Click Like!

    Umeda Sky Building 梅田スカイビル

    Another landmark in Umeda is Sky Building. It’s an observatory platform connecting two buildings. The building looks like an upside down U. It’s quite a futuristic experience as visitors go up an elevator shaft that’s mostly glass. After arriving at the top, you then go up the escalator that’s suspended in the air.

    Umeda Sky Building - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Umeda Sky Building

    If you are limited on time during your trip to Osaka then skip the Sky Building. The elevator ride and the escalator was the most fun part and there are other places to get better views.

    Nami with child in s stroller going up escalator in Sky Building - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    A very young Nami with our son

    Dining Option in Umeda

    So, we will not give any recommendations for dining in the Umeda area at this time. Why you might ask? There are over 6,000 restaurants choices within 1 km (roughly 1/2 mile) of Umeda Station according to Tabelog. You can probably find whatever food you desire around there, so explore and be adventurous! During our visit to Umeda, we had dinner at Mamesuke.

    Mamesuke 個室居酒屋 豆助 梅田マルビル店

    We were able to meet up with Nami’s family for dinner at Mamesuku near Umeda. Mamesuke is an Izakaya restaurant with an extensive menu. What’s convenient about it is that there are plenty of semi-private rooms. It’s great for big groups as they can fit between 4 – 40 people. This is rare in Japan as most restaurants have a hard time accepting a large number of people due to the limited space.

    the kitchen at Mamesuke restaurant - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    The food at Mamesuke was quite good and they had a few interesting dishes. One of them is their famous gluten skewers. The grilled gluten skewers are topped with various sauces including chili mayo, cheese, and five different types of miso including yuzu and tomato.

    Grilled gluten skewers at Mamesuke - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Grilled gluten skewers
    Deep fried asparagus with nori - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Deep fried asparagus with nori
    "Cloudy" sashimi platter with dry ice at Mamesuke - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    “Cloudy” sashimi platter with dry ice
    Fried fish bone - Osaka Guide: Umeda |
    Fried fishbone

    Thank you for reading our quick guide to the Umeda area in Osaka. It’s a great place to spend the afternoon browsing through the stores and grabbing a bit to eat at the many restaurant choices nearby. If time allows, take the HEP FIVE FERRIS WHEEL or go up the glass elevator in Sky Building. We’ll see you in our next post – Tempozan.

    Hankyu at night - Osaka Guide: Umeda |

    Just One Cookbook Osaka Guides

    1. Tsutenkaku Tower and Shinsekai District 新世界・通天閣
    2. Dotonbori & Namba 道頓堀・難波
    3. Kuromon Ichiba Market and Kitchenware Street 黒門市場・千日前道具屋筋商店街
    4. America Village & Shinsaibashi アメリカ村・心斎橋筋
    5. Osaka Castle 大阪城
    6. Umeda 梅田
    7. Tempozan 天保山
    8. USJ ユニバーサルスタジオジャパン
    9. Expocity エキスポシティー

    If you’re interested in our travel guides on Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Kyushu, and more, please click here.

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