A woman looking out from the rooftop of a tall skyscraper over city lights below © 2011 Jordan Harper. All rights reserved.

City heights

Day 14 — 11 August 2010

Our final full day in Osaka. Last chance to do some more shopping…

Despite our hotel being located in Umeda, we had yet to actually scale the heights of the imposing Umeda Sky building. Completed in 1993, the building consists of two towers connected by escalators on the 34th floor and an observation deck (The Floating Garden Observatory) on the roof. It was originally conceived as the first of many towers that were to connected to each other via walkways situated high above ground level, creating a giant sky community (the City of Air). Unfortunately for the futurists, the idea of a city in the sky never took off and the project has not expanded beyond the two towers.

Despite being over 170m high (with 40 floors), it’s still only the twelfth-tallest building in Osaka (it’s not even in the top 50 in Japan) but that doesn’t stop the views from the roof being spectacular. To the north and west we saw storm clouds rolling in from the sea over the mountains, to the south and east the full expanse of Japan’s third largest city. As the sun-set, Osaka lit-up and so (thanks to the ultra-violet lighting on the roof) did Liz’s dress. A thoroughly nice way to spend our final evening in a wonderful city.

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