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A photo walk of the streets of Osaka, Kita.
Umeda station, which is also JR Osaka station, is just one stop from Shin-Osaka station. Umeda and Kitashinchi area are called “Kita”, which is the gateway to Osaka. Kita means “north” in Japanese, meaning the area is in the north of Osaka.
Kita is a terminal for people traveling to neighboring prefectures and for those coming into the city. Many subway and railway lines converge here. This district is bristled with high-rise building, huge crowds of shoppers, business people, and tourists.
Umeda is one of the most popular shopping districts in Osaka.
Three major department stores: Daimaru, Hankyu and Hanshin, are all located here and each of them is directly connected to the terminal stations of each its parent train companies.
There are also underground malls and covered shopping arcades in Umeda.
Furthermore, the district is the business hub of Osaka. Many offices and the finest hotels stand next to each other in Umeda.
Today, we’re going to Kitashinchi.
Well known among locals, not so with foreigners.
Most streets in this area generally look like this. Its only when night falls that this area comes to life.
Kitashinchi is known as a nightclub and entertainment district of Osaka, like Ginza in Tokyo. There are numerous high-class bars, clubs and ryotei, fancy Japanese style restaurants. This is the place for Japanese businessmen to entertain their clients. This is the area that we’re focusing on, today.
This area, located just south of JR Osaka station, was once an island between the Sonezakigawa and Dojimagawa Rivers, and it was called Sonezaki Shinchi. Now it’s called Kita no Shinchi, or simply Kita Shinchi, and it’s the most famous nightclub and entertainment district of contemporary Osaka, up north.
It’s just like Tokyo’s Ginza: filled with thousands of high-class bars, キャバクラ (hostess clubs), and small restaurants where Japanese businessmen entertain their clients. Narrow streets are brightly lit with flashing neon signs and billboards, and as the night gets deeper the signs become even brighter and more enticing.
In the old days this area was where geisha girls delighted their customers with genteel service, dancing and singing, and that is still very much the air that lingers over this whole place.
Floating Garden Observatory
I did a post about this location not too long ago, here.
Umeda Sky Building has its famous Floating Garden Observatory on the 39th and 40th floor. The observation platform is a bridge connecting the two towers of the building, featuring panoramic view and a doughnut-shaped roof. In addition, the open rooftop offers panoramic views in horizontal direction, enabling visitors to enjoy an unparalleled view.
HEP Five, Kita’s newest symbol, is a shopping complex with specialty shops for young people.
It has a bright red Ferris wheel on its roof. From a gondola at the top of the wheel 106 meters above the ground, a luxurious view of downtown Osaka, the harbor and all the way out to Mount Ikoma is offered.
The nighttime views are particularly spectacular! Even so, in rainy weather!
Adjacent to HEP Five is HEP Navio, a fashionable shopping complex for younger generations.
Deeper inside, you’ll find…
Sega Joypolis! This here, is the Osaka equivalent of the futuristic themed – park in Odaiba, Tokyo. (Which i did covered here not too long ago, too.)
This Indoor amusement park feature the latest video games that both children and adults can enjoy. Joypolis, is operated by game-maker Sega.
This is the one of the largest game center in Japan, and it features attractions that use cutting-edge technology and arcade games, with new ones being added regularly.
With its thrilling attractions and games that boast super realistic computer graphics, Joypolis is certain to captivate both children and adults alike.
More pictures of Kita, Osaka: