If you’re struggling to find places to visit in Osaka, check out the best things to do in Umeda. As the main transportation hub in Osaka, Umeda has transformed itself into the biggest retail and entertainment destination in northern Japan.
“Umeda” means “plum field” and the area used to be agricultural land. The city has built up around it, and now the area is full of towering buildings and expansive shopping centres. The urban district is full of fun things to do, food to taste, and landmarks to explore. With a variety of Umeda attractions to visit, you may not know where to start your journey.
Not sure where to go in Umeda? Find a few ideas and plan your trip with this guide to the best places to visit in Umeda…
Table of Contents
- What to do in Umeda: Top attractions & best places to visit
- Shop for inexpensive goods at Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai
- View the Skyline of Osaka from atop Umeda Sky Building
- See the Skyline from another angle at HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel
- Explore department stores around JR Osaka Station
- Explore the Underground City
- Experience local nightlife around Kitashinchi
- Discover Pikachu collectibles at Pokémon Center
- Experience local culture at Ohatsu Tenjin Shrine
- Best hotels in Umeda
What to do in Umeda: Top attractions & best places to visit
Shop for inexpensive goods at Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai
Some of the best things to do in Umeda include shopping and dining. You can find plenty of both at Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai.
The street is lined with sushi places, tea houses, affordable restaurants, and dozens of shops. Walk, eat, and browse for souvenirs in this sprawling shopping area. You won’t find any high-end shops. The stores on this shopping street are mostly small, family-owned shops.
The popular, covered shopping street stretches for 2.6 kilometres. It’s considered the longest shopping street in Japan. It takes the average tourist about 40 minutes to walk the entire length of the street, so give yourself time to browse.
View the Skyline of Osaka from atop Umeda Sky Building
Travelling to the top of the Umeda Sky Building is one of the best things to do in Umeda. It’s a short walk from the main Osaka Station, making it one of the first things to see in Umeda.
The building includes two large towers with an observation platform connected between the towers. The Floating Garden is the rooftop observatory, with views of most of Umeda’s skyline. It’s 170-metres above the ground, allowing you to see all the way to Awaji Island.
As one of the top points of interest in Umeda, the Sky Building receives lots of visitors. Expect a long wait if you’re travelling during a busy tourist season.
See the Skyline from another angle at HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel
The Umeda Sky Building is one of two Umeda points of interest where you can view the skyline. For a different perspective, ride the HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel. The ride lasts about 15 minutes and provides sweeping views of the district, including parts of Osaka Harbor.
The Ferris wheel is part of the HEP FIVE complex. Hankyu Entertainment Park (HEP) contains several buildings full of clothing stores, restaurants, cinemas, and various amusement zones. You could easily spend an entire afternoon exploring the shops before going on an evening ride above the city in the Ferris wheel.
Explore department stores around JR Osaka Station
If you’re looking for things to do in Osaka, spend the morning or afternoon around JR Osaka Station in Umeda. As with many districts in Japan, the main shopping spots and top tourist attractions in Umeda are around the train station.
After stepping off the train or bus, visit Grand Front Osaka in front of the station. The large building offers a little bit of everything, including clothing stores, coffee shops, and restaurants.
If you’re travelling with kids, stop at Kids Plaza Osaka. It’s a large children’s museum with fun interactive exhibits. You’ll also find a science centre and a Mint Museum nearby.
Explore the Underground City
The Underground City is another popular shopping destination and one of the best places to visit in Umeda. It’s connected to JR Osaka Station and a variety of malls and department stores.
The Underground City started as an underpass for the train station. It’s now a heavily commercialised collection of tunnels and underground malls. You can travel below most of the district without setting a foot on the surface.
The huge complex has everything a tourist needs, including places to eat and an endless supply of shops. Luckily, most of the signs and directions include English translations.
Experience local nightlife around Kitashinchi
Need help deciding where to go in Umeda for late-night entertainment? Visit Kitashinchi. It’s the traditional red-light district, but it’s become more family-friendly in recent years.
If you visit during the day, you can find a wide selection of shops and restaurants. During the evening, it’s one of the most vibrant spots in the district. Kitashinchi has hundreds of bars and lounges, each with distinct atmospheres and menus.
Kitashinchi mostly caters to business travellers. You’ll often see groups of Japanese businessmen entertaining clients or stumbling out of the karaoke bars. It’s an entertaining place to go, especially if you enjoy the nightlife.
Discover Pikachu collectibles at Pokémon Center
Located on the 13th floor of a department store, the Pokémon Center is an interesting addition to the top Umeda points of interest. The entire sales floor is dedicated to Pokémon. You can find every conceivable toy, game, or collectible related to Pikachu and other Pokémon creatures.
The store is a five-minute walk from JR Osaka Station. It’s also a crowded spot, full of Pokémon fans of all ages. While it’s mostly a large theme shop, you’ll also find a few arcade machines and several interactive displays.
If you want to know what to do in Umeda while the kids explore the Pokémon Center, grab a coffee from one of the shops on the same floor. When you’re done checking out the Pokémon swag, visit some of the shops on the lower floors.
Experience local culture at Ohatsu Tenjin Shrine
Your Umeda sightseeing tour should include at least one cultural site and Ohatsu Tenjin Shrine is the top choice. It’s a popular attraction for tourists and locals, due to its traditional architecture and the legend behind the shrine.
Built over 1300 years ago, the shrine includes several buildings at the end of the Ohatsu Tenjin Shopping Arcade. It’s also the site of an infamous double suicide, later immortalised in a puppet play in 1703.
The shrine is a peaceful place to visit in the centre of the bustling district. Take a break from the crowds and shopping to enjoy the tranquillity of this cultural site. If you visit during the first Friday of the month, you’ll also find a sprawling flea market.
Best hotels in Umeda
With convenient transportation links to the rest of the city and the region, choosing to stay in one of the best hotels in Umeda is a great idea for your Osaka trip. Umeda is particularly well-suited to luxury travellers as some of the best luxury hotels in Osaka call Umeda home.
- Hotel Monterey Le Frere Osaka: Located close to several of the top cultural attractions in Umeda, this 4-star hotel is an excellent choice for mid-range travellers on the hunt for Osaka’s spiritual side. Rooms here a cosy but quiet.
- Conrad Osaka: Quite possibly the hippest luxury hotel in Osaka, this 5-star offers spacious modern rooms with a notable dash of elegant style. The health and wellness facilities here are top-notch.
- Ritz-Carlton Osaka: As one of the city’s top luxury choices, this elegant 5-star hotel pulls out all the stops for the perfect stay in Umeda. From its tremendous skyline views to its host of amenities including swimming pools, restaurants, and fitness/spa facilities, staying here will be a highlight of your trip to Japan.