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The Kita (キタ, "North") district, also known as Umeda (梅田), 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 (ミナミ, "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 completed with the opening of the Grand Front Osaka complex in 2013. The second part is scheduled to be completed by 2028.

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 in a redeveloped district north of Osaka Station, Grand Front Osaka consists of multiple, connected high rise buildings and offers 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 9:30 to 22:30
Observatory Admission: 1500 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.

Underground Shopping

Hours: typically 10:00 to 22:00
Below the streets of Umeda sprawls an extensive network of interconnected shopping malls housing literally hundreds of shops and restaurants of all kinds. There is a mix of famous fashion brands and cheaper shops, as well as eateries selling various types of food. The labyrinth also connects to all of the area's department stores and train stations.

Shopping Arcades

Bars and restaurants typically open from 17:00 until after midnight
To the east of Osaka Station lies a network of covered shopping arcades that stretch in different directions. Besides shops, the arcades feature a lot of izakaya, bars and restaurants purveying a variety of Japanese and international cuisines. Whilst many establishments are open during the day, the area really comes to life in the evenings.

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.

Nakazakicho District

Cafes and shops are open all day, typically from around 11:00
This quaint neighborhood to the east of Osaka Station is a warren of narrow streets and alleys lined with cool cafes, craft shops and used clothes stores. Popular with the hipster crowd, the neighborhood is great for relaxing exploration and a cup of coffee after visiting the more bustling commercial area to the west.

Getting there and around

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)
    • Osaka-Umeda Station (Hankyu Railways)
  • Underground:
    • Osaka-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 230 yen.

From Namba Station

8 minutes, 230 yen by Midosuji or Yotsubashi Subway Line.

How to get to and around Osaka

Hotels around Osaka

    • Kaneyoshi Ryokan
      A modern Japanese inn in Dotombori. the center of Osaka. 2 subway stations nearby. Close to many shops and Osaka Castle.
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    • InterContinental Hotel Osaka, an IHG Hotel
      Luxury
      Only a 5-minute walk from JR Osaka Train Station, InterContinental Osaka is located at the newly developed Grand Front Osaka. This 5-star hotel boasts 5 dining options, a 24-hour fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool. Free WiFi is available at the entire property and guests can enjoy refreshing massages during their luxurious stay. Umeda Station on the Midosuji Line is a 7-minute stroll from the hotel. The spacious air-conditioned rooms feature a flat-screen satellite TV, minibar, safety deposit box and large work desk area. The en suite bathroom comes with glass windows, while bathrobes, tooth brush sets and free bath amenities are provided. Laundry and dry cleaning services are offered at the front desk. Morning newspapers are provided daily and local travel tips are offered at the concierge desk. Offering views of Osaka city from the 20th floor, Pierre restaurant serves exquisite contemporary French dishes. All Day Dining serves a buffet with various international dishes, while light tapas dishes and drinks are available at Adee Bar and Lounge. Osaka InterContinental Hotel is a 10-minute drive from Osaka Castle and a 20-minute drive from Universal Studios Japan. Shin Osaka Station and Namba Station are both a 15-minute train ride away. Kansai International Airport is a 60-minute express train ride from JR Osaka Station.
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    • The Ritz-Carlton Osaka
      Luxury
      Featuring a classic European-style decor, The Ritz-Carlton Osaka is conveniently located just a 7-minute walk from JR Osaka Station and a 5-minute walk from Nishi-Umeda Subway Station. This hotel boasts 5 dining options including a Michelin starred French restaurant, as well as a large meeting room. Elegantly decorated, spacious rooms are all located on the 24th floor and above. Rooms feature a stunning view of varying heights. Guests staying in the Club rooms have access to the exclusive Club Lounge. JR Shin Osaka Shinkansen (bullet train) Station is a 3-minute train ride from JR Osaka Station. Lively Namba and Dotonbori area can be reached within a 7-minute subway ride.
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    • Harmonie Embrassee
      Mid-range
      Situated in Osaka, Harmonie Embrassee offers free WiFi access throughout the property. This 4-star accommodation is located just a 3-minute walk from Hankyu Umeda Station and a 10-minute walk from JR Osaka Station. Each spacious room have a modern decor with a wardrobe and flat-screen TV. Guests can find an electric kettle, refrigerator and coffee machine in all rooms. Each bathroom is equipped with a bath and shower. Guests will find bathrobes as well as a hairdryer and free toiletries. Luggage storage service is available for guest's convenience. Trouser press service is available for free. A Full English/Irish breakfast is served daily at the property. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant featuring French cuisine as well as an on-site cafe overlooking a garden terrace and city views. Namba Station is a 17-minute train ride away. Tsutenkaku is a 30-minute walk and train ride away. Shitennoji is 33 minutes away by walk and train from the hotel. Osaka Itami Airport is a 30-minute train ride, while Kansai International Airport is a 70-minute bus ride away from Harmonie Embrassee.
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    • Hotel Hankyu International
      Luxury
      At the heart of the lively Umeda area, Hotel Hankyu International features spacious rooms with free WiFi and wired internet, panoramic views and free video-on-demand movies. It offers 9 restaurants, a business centre and concierge service. The elegant rooms are all located on the 26th floor or higher, providing beautiful city view of Osaka. Each is furnished with an LCD TV with satellite channels and a minibar. An air humidifier/purifier is available, while a computer can be rented. Video-on-demand service is offered for free. Bath amenities, hairdryers and toothbrushes are provided. Hotel Hankyu International is a 3-minute walk from Umeda Station. It is a 30-minute train ride from Osaka Castle and Universal Studios Japan. Four department stores (Hankyu, Hanshin, Daimaru and Mitsukoshi-Isetan) and the famous Yodobashi electronic shop are within a 10-minute walk. Nakatsu Subway Station on the Midosuji Line is a 3-minute stroll, while JR Osaka Station is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Kyoto is a 40-minute train ride away. Guests can unwind in the sauna or enjoy a book in the library. A massage service is also on offer, and a fitness centre can be accessed for an extra fee. Alternatively, guests can visit Arima Hot Springs located an hour's bus ride away. The bus for Arima Hot Springs stops near the hotel entrance. The property offers a Japanese culture workshop. Hotel Hankyu International has French, Chinese and Japanese restaurants. Bar Ceres boasts 6 metre-high ceilings with chandeliers.
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    • BON Condominium Umeda
      Luxury
      Situated in Osaka, BON Condominium Umeda features city views and free WiFi, 400 metres from Seibi Park and 400 metres from EST Osaka - Umeda. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Hankyu Men's Osaka, Tsunashikiten Shrine Otabisha and Catholic Osaka Umeda Church. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 11 km from BON Condominium Umeda.
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    • Bijou Suites Sorriso
      Mid-range
      Set in Osaka, near Koji Kinutani Tenku Art Museum, Umeda Sky Building and Kuchu Teien Observatory, Bijou Suites Sorriso features free WiFi. All units here are air-conditioned and feature a flat-screen TV, a living room with a sofa, a well-equipped kitchen with a dining area, and a private bathroom with hot tub, a hairdryer and free toiletries. A microwave and fridge are also featured, as well as a kettle. Popular points of interest near the apartment include Namban Culture Center, Uraeyasaka Shrine and Nishiumeda Square. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 10 km from Bijou Suites Sorriso.
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    • Hotel Hankyu RESPIRE OSAKA
      Luxury
      Hotel Hankyu RESPIRE OSAKA has a restaurant, fitness centre, a bar and garden in Osaka. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Free WiFi is available and private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. A buffet breakfast is available every morning at the hotel. Hotel Hankyu RESPIRE OSAKA offers a sun terrace. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Grand Front Osaka, Knowledge Capital and Lucua Osaka. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 10 km from Hotel Hankyu RESPIRE OSAKA.
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    • The Westin Osaka
      Luxury
      Featuring an acupuncture salon, 4 dining options and spacious rooms with city views, the Westin Osaka is just 5 minutes from Osaka Station on the free shuttle. Each softly lit, soundproofed room has a pleasant modern decor and features a satellite LCD TV and a minibar. Panoramic windows let in plenty of light and show off the skyline views of Osaka. The marble en suite bathroom has a separate bath and shower stall, and deluxe bath amenities. The Westin is right next to the Umeda Sky Building, with its Floating Garden Observatory. It is a 20-minute taxi ride to Osaka Castle and the Dotonbori shopping area. The on-site fitness centre can be accessed for a fee, and includes a sauna, hot tub, running track and fitness room in addition to the indoor pool. The concierge and 24-hour front desk stand ready to assist you. Decorated in Sukiya style, Japanese restaurant Hanano has individual corners for sushi, teppanyaki and tempura. Stunning Ming-style decor and authentic Cantonese specialties are on offer at Imperial Palace. Amadeus serves western cuisine. Blue Bar pours cool cocktails in the evenings.
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    • Minn Umeda-North
      Budget-friendly
      Providing free WiFi, Minn Umeda-North is located in Osaka, 600 metres from Uraeyasaka Shrine and 700 metres from Kochiin Temple. This property is situated a short distance from attractions such as Nishiumeda Square, Herbis Plaza, and Herbis Plaza ENT. The property is non-smoking and is set 7 km from TKP Garden City Higashi Umeda. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk. At the hotel every room is equipped with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Popular points of interest near Minn Umeda-North include Jizoji Temple, Ryotokuin Temple and Umeda Sky Building. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 11 km from the accommodation.
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    • Hotel Monterey Le Frere Osaka
      Luxury
      Well set in the Osaka Station, Umeda, Yodoyabashi, Hommachi district of Osaka, Hotel Monterey Le Frere Osaka is located 100 metres from Sonezaki Ebisu Shrine, 200 metres from Kitanosaurus and 400 metres from E-ma. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking is available on site. A buffet breakfast is available daily at the hotel. Hotel Monterey Le Frere Osaka offers a sauna. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Tsuyu no Tenjinja Shrine, Honden-ji Temple and Hokai-ji Temple. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 11 km from Hotel Monterey Le Frere Osaka.
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