♪♫♪ Uncharted :: Kita Osaka & Chayamachi ♪♫♪

12:35 PM

I like to peg myself as an adventurer who enjoys a healthy leap into the unknown. And that was relatively true until I got a job and loss all sense of happy-fun-times in exchange for always sleepy-tired times. But since I've dropped that, I'm going back to being an explorer. Of sorts.

During the sleepy-times, Shota and I developed a pretty consistent schedule of visiting Namba on weekends until we knew it so well that.. well, we decided we knew it too well. We had a spot for Indian food, several karaoke sweet spots, a spot for desert buffet-ing, and ice cream spot, a spot for a little sports and rec, even a spot for ice skating (as rarely as we do that).

As a result of the monotony, we decided it was time to let go of Namba and branch out a bit. And by branching out I mean moving up 3 or 4 kilometers to Kita Osaka (Northern Osaka) or better known as Umeda. :)

It had never occurred to me that Umeda was the Osaka tourist hot spot until several visits and hearsays from friends and also the delayed realisation that all references to Osaka Station were actually references to the Umeda area (in my mind, Osaka station was Osaka-Uehonmachi station).


Well actually no, not oops. I like my Osaka-Uehonmachi as my anchor point and until Umeda proves itself anchor point worthy in my high-and-mighty imagination, so things shall stay :P

But it's not bad either. :)

Umeda Sky Building(s)
For this visit, we started at a popular tourist spot for the Umeda area, the Umeda Sky Building. Actually, it's two buildings. Connected by those distant walkways (and another walkway closer to the ground). The buildings reach up to forty floors, and I hear they offer some of the best view in Osaka. You'll understand why I wrote "I hear" as opposed to "I think" or "I know that."

Despite what's pictured on the map on it's official website, the Umeda Sky Building is a bit of a walk from the JR, Hankyu and subway station. It took us about 15-20 minutes from the Higashi-Umeda Station, but that is probably the station farthest from the building :x
And we're sloooooow... So basically take our time with a grain of salt. ...:x

Located in one of  the walkways that leads you to the elevators that will take you to the observatory was a lovely display for Tanabata.

I did take photos of each one, but I won't bore you with them here. They'll all be uploaded to the We ♥ Kansai tumblr later on though..! :)

Elevator fare for the Observatory
Shota and I were fully prepared for the full-on awesome that would be the observatory until we saw this sign. →→

I really shouldn't be surprised about seeing signs like this. I mean, after all, if you want nice things (like snazzy observatories), you have to be willing to put down for it. Unfortunately (or fortunately? depending on how you see things), it wasn't in our budget for that day, so we just enjoyed our view from the third floor and headed back downstairs.

We're going to save all the gorgeousness for another empty Sunday (plenty to be had, I'm sure).

I am a little sad we didn't get to see the Tanabata decorations they had on the top floors. Ah well! :)

The smexy.
After the sky building, we decided to wander in search of a little cool-ness.

I think with a lot of Osakan people, Umeda has a very 'bouji' (click here for a definition if you're unfamiliar with the term ;) ) image so it's mostly devoid of the young and penniless (or the economically creative as I like to call them :D). It's definitely cleaner than Namba, with no hobo's to be found. But I figure even an uptight area like Umeda has it's own underground chill spots for the less monetarily endowed.

And I guess that's where Chayamachi is supposed to come in. According to Shota and what he's heard from other Osakan people, it's supposed to be Umeda's equivalent of Ame-mura.

Again, definitely not as dirty as it's southern counterpart, but I guess I could see it. It is close to where HEP5 is located, and that's a well-known youth hotspot, and also the location of Osaka's largest number of purikura machines in one game center. If that doesn't draw in the young folks, I don't know what will.

While I couldn't find any nice streetwear shops like the ones in Ame-mura, I DID find a ESP Custom Guitars shop. And across from that was a music shop selling that smexy Spider-Man guitar. I'd almost ninja gaiden someone for that guitar (I'd definitely ninja gaiden someone for a Batman guitar..).

NU Chayamachi shopping center
After a lot of circle walking, we eventually decided to enter NU Chayamachi, which is, as you have probably already guessed, a shopping center.

Nothing particularly new or exciting in here. HEP5 has a larger variety of shops and a gentler price range. And it can be seen that NU Chayamachi is for that OL/Salaryman group that isn't quite yet ready to retire to Daimaru's/Takashimaya's/Hankyu's/Kintetsu's.

There was a nice music shop with a decent price range for it's instruments, but nothing really outstanding (and really, it's hard to live up to a Spider-man guitar). There was also a Tower Records shop, but finding CDs isn't really a hard thing to do in Japan.

A sweater in summer!? Cray~
I wouldn't be in a rush to bring my friends out to this particular center, but I think Chayamachi still has more to offer.
I shall be back, in a better pair of walking/exploring shoes than ←← those.

I ain't done with you yet Chayamachi!! >:D

I was going to share another shopping center (actually outlet mall) that we checked out, but apparently I couldn't be bothered to photograph anything but the ferris wheel because that was all I found on my camera from that day. OOPS.

If anyone ever asks you to go to RINKU Premium Outlets, just say NO. Unless you really need some sportswear and are certain that they can't be purchased anywhere else for a similar price (and mostly likely, they can). Save yourself the trip and train fare..! Though I would recommend it for Non-Japanese girls who want some nicely fitting jeans for a good price :D

Anyway, hopefully the next post will be salutations from some place with lots of sand and sun..! ;] Take care♥


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