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Umeda Sky Building is among Osaka’s most famous landmarks. It’s also a popular attraction, thanks to its rooftop observatory, Kūchū Teien. The views from the observatory over the city are spectacular, day or night — though most people like to go in the evening.

What is Umeda Sky Building known for?

Artsy shot of the architecture of the Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Building is also known for its unique design. | Photo by Getty Images

Umeda Sky Building is best known for its panoramic views over Osaka from 170 meters (558 ft) above ground level. While it’s by no means Osaka’s tallest building — that would be Abeno Harukas — it does have the coolest observatory set up.

The building is actually two separate, 40-story towers, connected only on the top floors — and by one terrifying-looking bridge that is only used in emergencies.

The observatory, Kūchū Teien (in English, Floating Garden) is on the roof and includes an open-air deck. To reach it, you get to ride a four-story escalator that crosses the space between the towers — inside a transparent tube.

Completed in 1993, Umeda Sky Building was designed by Hiroshi Hara, who also designed Kyoto Station. It looks a bit like a futuristic Arc de Triomphe, made with reflective Legos. It’s also a good example of the bold-statement monumental architecture that was commissioned during Japan’s bubble economy in the 1980s.

Umeda Sky Building love locks

pink, heart-shaped pad lock with two names engraved at Umeda Sky Building
In recent years, love locks have become super popular at Umeda Sky Building. | Photo by Klook

Umeda Sky Building is a popular date spot. A few years ago, the observatory gift shop started selling heart-shaped locks that you can have engraved. There’s a spot on the roof deck for couples/friends to lock them, or you can take it home as a souvenir.

Update: The love locks have become so popular that the gift shop at the observatory no longer sells them. Now, if you want to do the love lock thing, you need to purchase a package online through Klook and reserve your love lock in advance.

When is the best time to visit?

Umeda Sky Building has unobstructed views to the west, making it a popular Osaka sunset destination. This is also likely to be the most crowded time. If you do plan to go for sunset, buy your tickets online in advance so you don’t have to queue.

If seeing the architecture is important to you, then we recommend going during the day. If not, then go for the night view.

View of Osaka at night from the Umeda Sky Building
Osaka at night, as seen from Umeda Sky Building. | Photo by Getty Images

How to buy tickets

Tickets cost ¥1,500 and can be purchased online or on site. The price is the same; in fact, you can sometimes get promo deals or special offers online.

Pro-tip: If you take a highway bus to/from Osaka, you might find yourself at Umeda Sky Building anyway — the Osaka terminal for Willer Bus is here. Our advice: pair an evening visit to the observatory before a night bus onward to your next destination.

Getting to Umeda Sky Building

The best way to get to Umeda Sky Building is via the underground pedestrian walkway that goes under the JR tracks. Be warned that it’s not as easy to get to as you might expect, considering it is both a major attraction and clearly visible.

As with anything in the vicinity of Osaka Station, if you’re coming by train, make sure you take the correct exit out of the station.

Depending on the line you take, you’ll want to choose one of these three exits:

  • JR Osaka Station: North Central Exit
  • Osaka Metro Midosuji Line: Exit 5
  • Osaka Umeda Station: Chayamachi Exit

Then aim for Grand Front Osaka; the entrance to the pedestrian walkway is just past it, in between the North and South Bldgs. In theory Umeda Sky Building is a 10–15 minute walk from the station, but we recommend giving yourself a little extra time.

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