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The Kita (k, "North") district, also known as Umeda (~c), is one of Osaka's two main city centers. It is located around the large station complex that comprises Osaka and Umeda Stations. Kita's counterpart is Minami (, "South") around Namba Station. Besides being Osaka's busiest transportation hub and a bustling business district, Kita also offers an abundance of shopping, dining, lodging and entertainment, including several department stores and an expansive network of underground shopping malls.

The Umeda district has been undergoing a major facelift over the past years, and more improvements are scheduled to happen. JR Osaka Station was recently transformed from one of Japan's darkest and most cramped into one of the country's most pleasant. Furthermore, the expansive freight rail yard north of the station is being redeveloped into a new, modern city district. A first part of the huge redevelopment project was recently completed with the opening of the Grand Front Osaka complex.

Osaka Station City

Shops: typically 10:00 to 20:00
Restaurants: typically 11:00 to 23:00
Opened in spring 2011, Osaka Station City is the transportation, shopping, entertainment and business complex that surrounds and includes JR Osaka Station. The station's lavish new design is represented by a giant glass roof high above the train platforms.

Grand Front Osaka

Shops: typically 10:00 to 21:00
Restaurants: typically 11:00 to 23:00
Opened in 2013, Grand Front Osaka is a newly developed district north of Osaka Station. Consisting of multiple, connected high rise buildings, the complex offer a wide variety of shops and restaurants, as well as offices, residential space, small parks and the Intercontinental Hotel Osaka. It is the first part of the Umekita redevelopment plan that will eventually see the entire former rail yard north of Osaka Station change into a modern city district.

Umeda Sky Building

Observatory Hours: daily 10:00 to 22:30
Observatory Admission: 1000 yen
Northwest of Osaka Station is Shin Umeda City, a building complex centering around the Umeda Sky Building, a spectacular 173 meter tall skyscraper opened in 1993 with an open-air observation deck on its roof. The skyscraper next to the Umeda Sky Building houses the Westin Osaka hotel.

Department Stores

Hours: typically 10:00 to 20:00
There are a number of major department stores in the Kita area including Hankyu, Hanshin, Daimaru and Isetan Mitsukoshi. Some of the stores share their names with the local train companies as the trains and department stores belong to the same company groups.

HEP (Hankyu Entertainment Park)

Shops: Daily 11:00 to 21:00
Ferris wheel and restaurants: until 23:00
HEP is a large shopping and entertainment complex consisting of the HEP FIVE and HEP Navio buildings, east of the Hankyu department store. HEP FIVE features a red Ferris wheel emerging from its roof, while the entire complex houses over 300 shops and restaurants.

Yodobashi Camera Umeda

Hours: Daily 9:30 to 22:00
This gigantic branch of the Tokyo based electronics retailer stocks almost every current item by the major camera manufacturers. Besides cameras you can find almost anything electronic, while the top floor offers restaurants with nice views of the city.

Kitashinchi District

Kitashinchi comes to life after 18:00
For those who find the newly developed dining areas of Osaka Station City and Grand Front Osaka a little too modern and sterile, the Kitashinchi entertainment district, located south of and within walking distance of Osaka Station, provides a good alternative with its hundreds of restaurants, bars and night clubs.


The Osaka/Umeda station complex is the busiest in western Japan, shared by four different railway companies. It consists of multiple separate stations:

  • Above ground:
    • Osaka Station (Japan Railways)
    • Hankyu Umeda Station (Hankyu Railways)
  • Underground:
    • Hanshin Umeda Station (Hanshin Railways)
    • Umeda Station (Midosuji Subway Line)
    • Nishi-Umeda Station (Yotsubashi Subway Line)
    • Higashi-Umeda Station (Tanimachi Subway Line)

From Shin-Osaka Station

4 minutes, 160 yen by frequently departing JR trains. Alternatively, the Midosuji Subway Line takes 6 minutes and costs 240 yen.

From Namba Station

8 minutes, 240 yen by Midosuji or Yotsubashi Subway Line.

How to get to and around Osaka

Hotels around Osaka

Recommended Hotels
Hilton Osaka Hotel
Very convenient high-class hotel just across from JR Osaka Station.
Agoda Booking
Hotel Granvia Osaka
Very conveniently located inside JR Osaka Station City.
Agoda Booking
Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport
Directly connected to the terminal building, this is the most convenient hotel at Kansai Airport.
Agoda Booking
InterContinental Hotel Osaka
Beautiful hotel recently opened near JR Osaka Station in the convenient Umekita district.
Agoda Booking
J-Hoppers Osaka Guesthouse
Popular and inexpensive hostel about a 15 minute walk from JR Osaka Station.
Remm Shin-Osaka
Recently opened business hotel conveniently located inside JR Shin-Osaka Station.
Agoda Booking
Swissotel Nankai Osaka
Well established, leading hotel conveniently located above Nankai Namba Station.
Agoda Booking
The Ritz-Carlton Osaka Hotel
Often considered Osaka's leading luxury hotel, located a short walk from JR Osaka Station.

Tours and Experiences

Page last updated: February 10, 2017