Japan

Floating Garden at Umeda Sky Building | Osaka

The great thing about visiting Japan at the end of the year are the Christmas festivities they hold!

Although Christianity is not a majority religion in Japan, for some reason it’s still very popular with the Japanese people – illuminations and markets and Christmas sales or special Christmas set menus are everywhere!

I guess any reason to do something fun is a good reason? 😛

When we first stepped into the Umeda sky building square, we weren’t expecting so many people. For a moment I thought we had arrived at the wrong place! There was music, food and drink stalls, souvenir stalls, and even a merry-go-round for little kids!

Giant illuminating xmas tree at umeda sky building
Giant illuminated tree – the lights brighten and dim!

Giant illuminating xmas tree umeda sky building 2
The tree is just so pretty! <3
Below the tree, there is a path where you can walk in and see under the tree. That doesn’t sound particularly interesting right? Well, because they hung manmade mistletoes along the path, you could walk through with your significant other and “kiss under the mistletoe”.

Was Harry Potter a huge influence on the Japanese’s perception of Christmas? x’D

 

The market was very lively! Lights everywhere, and plenty of people sitting around, shopping, exploring, and enjoying the specialty foods and drinks available. There was even a Santa playing a harp later on in the evening!

festivities at the xmas market umeda sky building
So many people in the square eating and drinking xmassy and German things like mulled wine and pretzels!
There were also seating areas! Not many, but we managed to snag some space on a bench to enjoy our mulled wine. We got to keep the matte glass mug too as souvenir – it has a print of the Umeda Sky Building with Christmas motifs xD

more people in the market square umeda sky building
For a country that doesn’t celebrate xmas in the traditional sense, Japan has even more Christmas cheer than NZ x____x;
Finally, we went up to the actual observatory.

The two slanted pillars coming out from the circle are actually the escalators up to the observatory. People who are scared of heights probably should not go on here.It made me highly uncomfortable going up and down from the Sky Garden, and I felt vertigo several times – maybe because I was filming the escalator ride but anyway, it was extremely uncomfortable. Also did not help that the escalator is barely 1 person wide, which is REALLY small and I’m claustrophobic >>;

view of sky observatory from ground level umeda sky building
View of the sky observatory area from the square
There was a temporary event on where you write a wish on a star and tie it to one of the many trees and hangings around the indoor area of the observatory. Additionally, the observatory sold couple locks.

umeda sky building heart lock
Milking the tourists
They’re pretty cute! However, astoundingly pricey.

customized engraving on heart lock umeda sky building
The lock is pretty cute though! Even has customized engraving!
Bf and I took photos in their designated couple photo area with all the heart lockets behind us, but it was a pretty poor photo cause we’re so un-photogenic and unprepared OTL

Anyhow, there were heaps of locks!! I wonder how often their maintenance crew need to go around and cut locks off….>> << >>  WE ALL KNOW IT HAPPENS RIGHT?

Now, on to the actual views from the observatory!

This isn’t a popular observatory for no reason! The views are truly magnificent!

views from umeda sky building 3
Magnificent city views
The sky garden is an outdoor circular path (as you can see on the observatory from the bottom) which has little coloured stones paving the path (UV glow under blacklight). It’s very refreshing walking so high up and outdoor! What a magnificent office for those that work in the Umeda sky building!

views from umeda sky building 2
more cityscape – so bright!!

So – is the Umeda sky building worth visiting? I think for the 20 minute or so walk from Umeda station, this observatory is pretty convenient. Plus, the views are amazing! I would highly recommend visiting when there’s an event on – though even without the market, this observatory is unique enough to be worth a visit!

I took videos during this trip, but as my laptop is low on memory, I will have to edit and upload a compilation later! Video will be added to this post when it is up!