Osaka

The floating garden

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I’ve never really understood why the observatory of the Umeda Sky Building is called a floating garden. Translated, I was told that it’s more or less seen as a floating park instead of a what I had imagined to be a lush garden. Here’s a place to go to see the skyline of Osaka. Though it’s not very high, the way it’s built is impressive. The stunning observatory is built between a pair of twin buildings, ‘floating’ 173 meters above ground. It’s not that high relative to other observatories in Tokyo, but I love this place for the experience throughout the journey up and for the view. Hence, I decided to go there again.

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Instead of letting us go straight up, the people behind the observatory really gave us the chance to experience multiple things along the way. We kept on going back from one tower to another to get to the observatory!

From Tower East, we took an escalator to the third floor. Crossed a glass bridge to the opposite, Tower West. A see through glass elevator from the tower took us to the 35th floor. Gives me the chills, riding an elevator that fast, while looking outside. After that, we were supposed to cross and get to Tower East back again, this time, through a see-through escalator (like transparent tubes for hamsters!).

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Got our tickets right after. Glass walls surrounded the 40th floor. There was a small cafe selling beverages there and designated areas for people to enjoy the view — from very modern love seats (named escargot seats) to bar stools. As expected, the area was surrounded by young Japanese couples. Most seats were taken, not leaving much room for Reza, my mom and I. I took them to the 41st floor, where the real thing is, the floating garden!

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The 41st floor is also called the Lumi Sky Walk, the rooftop. A glow in the dark floor which reminded me of the galaxy, welcomed us. Finally, an open-air observatory! There were no real gardens — as explained in this exhibition they had, why the observatory is called as such, something to do with skyscrapers of the future being sky gardens or something like that.

In a way it was like a floating garden of lights.

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Spotted the the Osaka castle.

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Also part of the rooftop, the Lumi Sky Deck, a photo-snapping area for lovers with disco-lit floor.

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View facing the Yodo River.

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Part of the skyscraper district.

Don’t think my pictures do the scenery justice, but Osaka skyline is beautiful. We could see beautiful skyscrapers, bright lights, the Yodo River and the many bridges built to cross it — even very long trains moving across the city. I was happy to be able to bring two people I love here, to enjoy it. Make sure you bring the people you love to Umeda Sky building, too, when you have the chance to.

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