March 26, 2023

Osaka Station City offers shopping, dining, people-watching, and transportation all under one roof

Japan\’s Osaka Station\’s slightly confusing floor plan becomes clearer with a guided tour or audio guide at the North Gate information center.
Few places are as abuzz with activity as a city’s train stations and Japan’s Osaka Station, north of the city center, is no exception. But even if train travel isn’t on your agenda, the recently renovated complex makes a prime place to shop, dine, and watch the Japanese go about their daily lives.

Ceilinged entirely in glass, the light-drenched structure boasts a wide bridge called Toki no Hiroba (Time and Space Plaza)that connects the North and South concourses, satisfying both form and function. Watching all of the comings-and-goings from Toki no Hiroba is mesmerizing–as is the Water Clock at the station’s south entrance. Part clock, part fountain, part work of art, the display reveals the time through an illuminated dot-matrix image formed from water droplets.

The eight different plazas, positioned among the two main concourses, were designed with different concepts in mind–water, greenery, time, ecology, and information – and each features a clock that speaks to its concept. The North Gate building is home to a department store, specialty retailers, restaurants, a cinema, a fitness club, a wedding hall, and offices, while the South Gate building houses restaurants, a department store, a hotel, and even a clinic. There’s even more–including grocery stores, pharmacies, and coffee shops–at the underground station level.

When you’ve had enough retail therapy or could use a breath of fresh air, step onto the North Building’s rooftop (off the 10th and 11th floors) for a peaceful wander through the Healing Garden, the Wind Plaza, or the Sky Farm, where fruits and vegetables are grown.

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