Last week’s post was about Ise Jingu (いせじんぐう / 伊勢神宮), so this week I need to start with う (u). A big thank you to japanaustralia for suggesting ukai (鵜飼 / cormorant fishing), which is a summer favourite in Gifu on the Nagaragawa, and unagi (うなぎ / eel) – a summer dish to help build energy levels to beat the heat. Unagi was a popular choice, also suggested by ラマタ. However, I’ve written about unagi many times before (having lived in Shizuoka), and I don’t have much time for research this week, so I have decided to write a quick post about…
Umeda (うめだ / 梅田)
If you’ve been to Osaka (大阪), chances are you might have been to Umeda (梅田), the main commercial and business district. Umeda Station is a major station in Osaka, and there are also a lot of department stores and hotels in that area, so it’s a good place to stay if you’re in Osaka and need a base.
Although Umeda is not a major tourist destination, if you do find yourself in Umeda there is one attraction that is definitely worth checking out – the Umeda Sky Building (梅田スカイビル / Umeda Sukai Biru).
I’m no architecture expert but, as far as I’m concerned, the Umeda Sky Building is an incredible piece of design work. It was so interesting to look at that I actually found myself lying on the concrete so I could get a better angle to photograph it!
The Umeda Sky Building is made up of two 40-storey towers connected at the top with bridges. The building was designed by Hiroshi Hara (who also designed Kyoto Station), and was completed in 1993. There is a rooftop “Floating Garden Observatory”, from which the view is incredible:
The escalator up is pretty awesome too:
In the basement of the building there is a replica Showa era (1926 – 1989) street, known as the “Takimi Lane of Restaurants“. Described as 「おもしろい、おいしい、なつかしい。」 (“interesting, tasty, nostalgic”), this certainly is an unusual place to visit, but definitely an unmissable stop for foodies!
Umeda is not likely to be high on most people’s lists of tourist spots in Japan, but I do recommend stopping by if you’re in Osaka. I didn’t go to Osaka on my first trip to Japan, but when I went there the following year I fell in love with the city and couldn’t imagine why anyone would miss it off their itinerary!
Umeda (うめだ) ends with だ (da), so next week I will be looking for a noun beginning with “da”. If you have any suggestions, please leave them below and I’ll give you a mention next week! And, don’t forget, no words ending in ん! (^_^)v