Don’t know where to go when your shopaholic friends are hunting for bargains in Osaka Station? For a non-shopaholic like me, you want to head directly to the 10th Floor of the North Gate building. You will find yourself in Yawaragi no Niwa (Yawaragi Japanese Garden). The park is a collage of traditional Japanese garden with cherry blossoms, oaks and maple trees. The garden is a fusion of contemporary and traditional design. Sure to leave you feeling calm and fresh.
Just last May, 2011 Osaka Station was given a facelift, and indeed it was more than met my eyes. Not only now it has a very modern and chic look with multi-storied shopping complexes and renovated bus terminal, Osaka Station City is also doing its part to make Osaka Station green. Osaka Station City consists of the North Gate Bldg and South Gate Bldg, sandwiching the existing JR Osaka Station.
Wait~ your indulgence for greenery doesn’t stop here, this is in fact just a beginning. On the 11th floor, there is Kaze no Hiroba(literally meaning “wind square”). I like this place very much as all you can feel all your senses stimulated. Enjoy the breeze while get a good view of Osaka Station from here, or just sit under one of the yellow colored “tents” with its roof moving with the wind. Or smell the roses and listen to the sound of water flowing from the many little water ponds. Occasionally, you can hear children laughing, adding to the blissfulness of the whole area.
But my favorite would still be the Tenku no Noen farm天空の農園(Farm in the sky) on the 14th floor. Yes, Farm! Well, the only way up there is by taking the stairs, but it is really worth the climb.
Here you can get an array of plants from vegetables, to fruits and herbs to even a paddy field patch. Depending on the season, indeed it is a feast for your eyes (and maybe your appetite) with the red tomatoes or blueberries from the patch.
For those of you who are not getting enough of green doses, you can head to the South Gate Building. From the 15th to 17th floor, you will find yourself in Taiyou no Hiroba (太陽の広場, Sun’s square). With the sun showering into the Spanish style patio, feel energized with nature’s energy and greenery in this open air space. In the summer day on the 15th floor terrace, multi colored flowers covers the square releasing refreshing scents, a perfect place to take a siesta.
At night, this place is lighted up with solar powered lights, and the best place to head to would be the observation deck on the 17th floor. From here, you can have a very good view of Osaka Station and its surroundings and rest on the wooden bench to take a rest. On normal days, I would try to minimize my stay in Osaka Station. But now, I can find a reason to come and actually relax while waiting for my friends to finish their shopping spree!