Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sky Tower

Today is the first day of my weekend (I get Tuesdays and Wednesdays off), so I decided to do a little sight seeing. Since I'd heard of it I decided to go see the Osaka Castle. While I was on the train into Umeda, I read my copy of Lonely Planet Japan and found out that the Osaka History Museum is close to Osaka Castle, and thought that would be a nice double feature. Then I read a little more and found out that the Museum is not open on Tuesdays.

Since at the moment I'm trying to live somewhat frugally, what with only having an advance to live on until mid November (it's enough to get by on, but I can't really do a lot of the tourist thing on it), I decided to leave the castle and museum for Wednesday next week (only one touristy thing a week at the moment). But since I was in Umeda already, I looked to see what else I could do, and found that the Umeda sky tower is only a few blocks from the Hankyu (train) station.

So I made my way over to the Sky Tower. It's a complex of four buildings, one small, one mid sized, and two really tall buildings, plus two gardens and a lot of open space. At the top of the two tall buildings is a viewing area. So after having a look at the gardens on the ground, I paid my Yen to get a lift to the top. The lift starts out inside the building, but after a few stories, is just enclosed in glass, allowing you to see out on the way up. The elevator takes you most of the way up in the western tower, and to get to the observation level you take a glass enclosed escalator up another few stories and across to the eastern tower. Then an inside escalator to the enclosed observation level, which has a very good view (photos are below). The western side has a nice cafe area and a sign telling you when sunset is, and it would be good to see the sunset up there, and maybe hang around a bit longer to see the city at night.

Finally you can take a set of stairs to the very top, which is open to the elements, but doesn't really show you much you can't see from the level below.

Looking out on Osaka from about 147 meters up, you really see just how much of a sprawl it is, with hardly a gap in sight. Except for about a hundred meter wide stretch along the river bank, there was hardly an empty bit of ground that isn't road or railway track.

Anyway, without further ado, here are some of the better pictures (these are much better than the ones from last night, I've played a bit with the settings, and of course the light was better) (OK, maybe some ado).

End Post
Writing time: 1 hour 4 minutes (I got distracted while adding the photos)
Time since last post: 1 day
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love the third picture (10OCT-04.JPG)... Looks sensational! Is that really with your phone camera?

Making me quite jealous - I'm really starting to get itchy feet again...