Looking for an atmospheric and relaxing observation deck to view Osaka’s skyline? Many of those familiar with Osaka will think Umeda Sky Building is the place to go. However, with its constant throng of tourists and lack of outdoor seating, it’s not very appealing to those who simply want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the cityscape bathed in the glorious colours of the sunset.
Here is a ProTip for you: open rooftop gardens. Here are two secret locations in Osaka featuring beautiful zen gardens, grand view of the sunset, and sweeping panorama of the city sans the tourists.
You don’t have to stray far from JR Osaka City Station to find your perfect little nook. Within the station is Lucua 1100, a 10-storey mall complex with a beautiful two-level rooftop zen garden. Yawaragi-no-niwa Garden, as it is known, features plenty of outdoor seating, beautiful views of the city and easy access to cafes and restaurants a few steps away. From the JR arrival platforms, take the escalator to the 3rd floor Bridge exit, then take the very steep and dizzying escalator past the Tourist Information counter and head up to the 10th floor where your quiet retreat awaits.
Another strategic location for sunset watching is Grand Front Osaka. This 4-tower high-rise is connected to Osaka City JR Station also via the 3rd floor Bridge Exit. Grand Front features several rooftop gardens but the North Terrace Garden offers the best viewing opportunity for those looking for sweeping views of the city, beautiful seating, strategically placed gardens and big enough space for lazy strolls. This terrace garden is situated in the open rooftop connecting Towers B and C. Get there during the evening golden hour to witness the glorious colours of the setting sun and the flickering city lights waking up. If you are lucky, you just might be treated to a moonrise bonus somewhere in the horizon. The photo above of a supermoon rising was taken from the North Terrace Garden of Grand Front Osaka.