Kita (City North)키타
The charming gateway to the north is still growing and evolving
The northern part of Osaka City surrounding Umeda, Kita is widely regarded to be at the forefront of trends in fashion, amusement and art. Known as the "gateway to Kansai", the Ume-kita area is continually developing to maintain its reputation as a world-class commercial district. Osaka Station City was built at JR Osaka Station, creating a vibrant hub around this important transportation center. In 2013, Grand Front Osaka opened as one of the largest shopping centers in the country, as well as a center of information, with luxury hotels and high-rise apartment buildings.
A fusion of the trendy and the retro
With the remodeling of JR Osaka Station, Umeda has become livelier than ever. The dynamically designed train station, with its domed-shaped ceiling and eight different plazas, offers countless places for meeting friends or taking a break. And the adjoining Osaka Station City, always bustling with people coming to enjoy shopping, dining and movies, includes malls like JR Osaka Mitsukoshi Isetan and Lucua that stock the latest in women's fashions.
Recently, even the city's most iconic historical buildings have been given a fresh lift. The Hankyu Umeda Department Store was the world's first department store to be built at a railway terminal when it opened in 1929. In November 2012, it reopened after an extensive seven-year rebuilding project that created 84,000 square meters of sparkling new places to enjoy shopping and dining.
Don't miss the most popular sightseeing spots!
The heavenly Floating Garden Observatory in the Umeda Sky Building offers a breathtaking view from 173 meters in the air, making it a popular sightseeing destination by day and romantic date spot by night. And speaking of views, you can look out across all of Osaka City from the HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel. A short stroll away from the centre of Umeda is Nakazakicho, a trendy neighbourhood where narrow alleyways are lined with traditional wooden town houses that have been artfully converted into fashionable shops and cafes.
Dojima Riverside, growing in popularity
Hotarumachi looks out over the Dojima River, one of the waterways that made Osaka into an aqua metropolis. With the recent opening of cafes, restaurants and the Dojima CrossWalk shopping center, the area is emerging as a vibrant destination. It helps too that the Osaka National Museum of Art and the Osaka Science Museum are just a stone's throw away. And while you're in the area, you have to taste the Dojima roll, a popular cream-filled cake that originated right here at the Mon Cher store.
Experience art - fun for adults
HERBIS PLAZA ENT in Nishi-umeda features luxury brands and shops for customers with refined tastes. At the Osaka Shiki Theatre on the 7th floor, the Shiki Theatre Company puts on full-scale musicals year-round. And if you like music, the Osaka Shiki Theatre concerts in the same building are sure to please. Spend a stylish evening enjoying drinks and listening to quality performances by both Japanese and foreign artists. Also be sure to check out Sankei Hall BREEZE next door, where they hold many concerts and exciting plays.
Enjoy retro Osaka
Tsuyunoten Shrine (also known as Ohatsu Tenjin) can be found on Ohatsu Tenjin Street to the east of JR Osaka Station. This shrine, standing peacefully in the corner of a shopping district, was the setting for Monzaemon Chikamatsu's Love Suicides at Sonezaki. The ancient temple of Osaka Temmangu Shrine, built in the year 949, is also near JR Osaka Station. Many people come here to pray for success in their studies and the performing arts, because the god of learning, Sugawara no Michizane, stopped here on his way to being demoted to Dazaifu (a regional government official). The rakugo hall Temma Tenjin Hanjoutei is also on the grounds of Osaka Tenmangu, keeping rakugo fans entertained daily. Monzenmachi includes Tenjinbashisuji shopping street, the longest covered shopping Street in Japan that takes 40 minutes to walk down. On Oimatsu Dohri Street you can also soak up the working-class atmosphere of days gone by as you shop for antiques and old works of art.