This is the first in a series of video-based articles about Osaka Station City. It focuses on the plazas within the complex.
Osaka Station City is a vast shopping and transportation complex. It's bookended by the towering North Gate and South Gate Buildings, and with Osaka Station at its heart.
This sprawling development connects multiple rail and subway lines with a bus terminal and incorporates Umeda Station, and is justifiably tagged with the suffix 'City'.
Exploring Osaka Station City: Plazas
Its easy to get lost here. That's because its layout, particularly on the ground and two below ground levels, is notorious for being confusing.
I can personally testify to this. Despite coming here since 2000, I still get lost - virtually every time I use the station!
The North and South buildings include extensive shopping and leisure facilities including department stores, hotels, restaurants, a multiplex cinema, a sports centre, clincs, and a lot more.
If, like me, you're not much into consumption shopping, then the main reason to come here (transportation aside) is to marvel at the astonishing engineering and architecture.
The current configuration opened in 2011. This followed five years of construction and redevelopment of existing buildings and the surrounding area.
Elevated above street level, is Osaka Station itself - on the second floor of the station complex. Which is where our exploring begins.
The film below is shot in real time, with no edits (and without commentary or captions). We travel from the main concourse entrance from the Central gate on Level 2, known as Atrium Plaza.
On the 5th floor we pause to take a look around the expansive bridge, called Toki-no-hiroba Plaza, connecting the North Gate and South Gate buildings.
It is decorated with two very large clocks, one gold, and one silver, and the plaza’s name 'Toki' is written with the characters for 'time' and 'space'. There is a café and bar in the middle of the plaza.
Excellent Views of Umeda Sky Building
We glide up multiple escalators, past the roof gardens on the 11th floor with its impressive views over Osaka city below.
Keep going up to the 12th floor, from where you also have an excellent view of the landmark Umeda Sky Building.
Floating above it all is the huge steel and glass slanted roof of the station. Below are extensive views of the train tracks and eleven platforms.
Even if you have no reason to travel through it, Osaka Station City is genuinely a destination in its own right.
Adding Osaka Station City To Your 'Must See' List
Even if you have no reason to travel through it, Osaka Station City is genuinely a destination in its own right. And not necessarily for the sole purpose of shopping.
Its sparklingly clean surfaces of glass and steel reflect well on the country's orderly and efficient transportation systems, and remarkable civil engineering, that typifies Japan's modern big cities.
If you are in Osaka then I recommend adding Osaka Station City to your 'must-see' list.
What did you think of Osaka Station City? Have you been here? Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
VIDEO: Exploring Osaka Station City: Plazas
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Official Osaka Station City website:
Osaka Station - Osaka Transportation Guide:
JR West Guide to Osaka Station City: