Stellar views from the tallest building in Japan.
Osaka’s shiny monolith Abeno Harukas is the tallest building in Japan, just four meters taller than the Yokohama Landmark Tower. It was completed in March 2014 and was the central feature of a total renovation of the Abeno and Tennoji neighborhoods meant to increase tourism and foot traffic to these oft-ignored areas. Go there for the sweeping views of the city and stay for the shopping and people watching.
Harukas is taken from the old Japanese word harukasu meaning “to brighten or clear up,” which is embodied in the grand, 360-degree view from the building’s observation deck, made up of floor to ceiling glass windows. Officially named Harukas 300, it is located on the top three floors of Abeno Harukas, which stands 300 meters tall and is comprised of 60 stories above ground and five stories below. You can reach the observation deck by way of the elevators on the 16th floor. The 58th floor features the Sky Garden, an open-air space with a cafe and wooden deck, as well as a gift shop and restrooms with their own grand, if unnecessary, view.
The 16th floor features the Abeno Harukas Art Museum and an outdoor garden terrace which is free of charge and features views of central Osaka. The art museum doesn’t have a permanent collection, but rather shows temporary exhibits of both Western and Japanese art.
Abeno Harukas is made up of the New Annex, comprised of Osaka Abenobashi Station and the Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Main Store, and the Eastern Annex, which houses the 5-star, 360-room Tennoji Miyako Hotel. The Kintetsu Main Store is the largest department store in Japan, and its 100,000 square meters of retail space features both upscale designer shops and those that cater to a younger crowd.