Each area in Osaka has its traits. Shinsaibashi has its shopping street, Namba has popular tourist attractions and cheap goods, and Umeda has an abundance of places for the rich to shop. Umeda is personally my favorite place to be in Osaka, mostly because of its wide variety of places to shop. From department stores to underground walkways lined with hundreds of meters worth of shops, Umeda has it all. This is the place to be if you have the money to spend on high-end brands and good quality items. One of the biggest attractions to shopping in Osaka is that, although the Umeda area is extremely popular, the department stores and high-end shops are less crowded than those in Shinsaibashi. Here you have more of a chance of being able to take your time and shop in peace. There are countless places to shop in the city of Osaka if you have the money to spend. This list will narrow the scope, and focus solely on Umeda. Here are ten of the best places for the rich to shop in Osaka.
Hankyu Umeda Department Store was built in 1929 and was the first terminal department store in the world. This is a popular place in Kansai to shop for fashion to this day and boasts a wide selection of high-end brand shops. There is also one of the largest cosmetics floors in Western Japan. On the third floor, you can buy a large variety of Western and Japanese food and snacks, as well as an impressive assortment of wines. Hankyu Umeda was reformed in 2012, and now has 13 stories, as well as two basement floors. This department store’s shop space alone covers 84,000 square meters and is one of the largest in Japan. There is a duty-free service counter for tourists, as well as a special area where you can easily shop for souvenirs. This is a great place for the rich to shop in Osaka.
Grand Front was opened in 2013 and is a relatively new addition to the Osaka landscape. Here you can find European-style cafes, name-brand stores, many international brands, and world-class restaurants. (One of my personal favorites is Dancing Crab, where you can watch dancing waiters and waitresses while eating your food right off the table with your hands). There is even a Mercedes Benz showroom and a bouldering (indoor rock climbing) center. Grand Front is made up of two towering buildings (North and South) connected by a stylish elevated walkway extended over the road running between them. The buildings have a very futuristic look, which is completed by man-made streams and waterfalls around the ground floor. If you want to do some shopping in Osaka, you can most likely find what you want in one of the 266 shops and 95 restaurants/bars in Grand Front Umeda.
If you are going to Grand Front from JR Osaka Station, you will pass between two giant shopping complexes. Lucua (to the right) and Lucua 1100 (to the left) contains over 220 stores. They are connected by walkways on they B1, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th floors, and on the B2 level and 10th floor they come together completely. These department stores target younger customers. Men and women’s fashion sections are not separated in any way, making this a great place for young couples to shop together. Besides a wide variety of fashion shops, there are also many restaurants and food halls. There is also a joint Tsutaya bookshop and Starbucks were you can enjoy a book and coffee while you take a break from your shopping. These two shopping complexes are a great place to shop in Osaka if you have the cash.
Going Shopping in Umeda #4: Yodobashi Camera Umeda
Next to Grand Front (and behind Lucua) is Yodobashi Umeda, a huge 13 story department store. Floors B2 to 4 is an electronics paradise. On B2 there are games, toys, hobby goods, comics, and a foreign currency exchange. B1 sells computers (as well as equipment and software), telephones, and fax machines (yes, for some weird reason Japan still uses fax machines). The first floor has a large mobile phone section in which you can find a shop for nearly every major service provider in Japan. Here you can also find a variety of daily electronic products, including hair dryers, shavers, and bicycles. The second floor is for cameras, watches, and stationary, and the third sells TVs, and travel and camping gear. The fourth floor holds household and kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, lights, and air conditioners. From the fifth floor and up you can find fashion and clothing stores, and 34 different restaurants and cafes. There is also enough parking space for 1,100 cars. This departments store is easy to access from JR, Midosuji, and Hankyu Stations. Depending on where you are, it is extremely difficult to access Yodobashi from the ground level due to the roads, so I recommend using one of the several extended walkways. If you want to shop for electronics in Osaka, Yodobashi Camera won’t leave you disappointed.
Daimaru is located above the South gate of JR Osaka station, opposite the Lucua complex. This department store franchise is well-known in Western Japan. Here you can find fashion stores, restaurants and cafes, and a basement food hall. It also has a large Tokyu Hands, a home and lifestyle store which sells all kinds of stationery goods. There is also a Sanrio merchandise store where you can buy goods for the popular cartoon character Hello Kitty. A Pokemon Center is on the 13th floor. Daimaru has a good selection for shopping, but my personal recommendation is the food hall on the basement floor. The food here is somewhat expensive, but it all high quality and extremely delicious. If you want to buy good food and have the money to spend, Daimaru is a great place to shop in Osaka.
Hanshin Department Store is a lasting landmark in the Umeda landscape, remaining largely unchanged since the 1950s. This flagship of the Hanshin department store chain is well known for its variety of foods, which are sold on the B1 floor. Another extremely popular store is the Hanshin Tigers souvenir shop on the 8th floor. Unlike Hankyu and Daimaru departments stores, the fashion stores here are more reasonably priced, and often have bargain sales. Here you can also buy kimonos. Hanshin Department Store in Osaka offers a fine selection of fashion shops, but I recommend shopping here for a good selection of food.
Nu Chayamachi is an elegant department store in Chayamachi, located about 5 minutes from Hankyu Umeda Station. Here you can find high-brand fashion, shoe shops, a musical instrument store, and a large Tower Records. This location is a convenient and fashionable place to hang out and shop. Nearby there are many restaurants, a large Loft store, and a Junkudo bookstore, which has the best selection of English books in Kansai. Nu Chayamachi itself is not anywhere near as big as the other department stores listed above, but it’s still worth checking out if you want to shop and spend some money in Osaka.
Herbis Ent is the largest name brand department store in Osaka. Shops such as Gucci, Tiffany, Bulgari, Hugo Boss, and Omega fill the basement and first four floors. There are also aesthetic salons and a bridal shop. The wide open hall in the center of the Plaza, the dim lighting, and the series of illuminated escalators connecting the floors all add to the elegant atmosphere of Herbis Ent. On the 5th floor are a variety of restaurants serving Japanese, Western, and Chinese food. Here you can also find a famous Shiki Theater and the live house “Billboard Live Osaka.” You can walk here through the underground walkways connected to Diamor Osaka and the subway stations. Herbis Ent is the ideal place for the rich to shop in Osaka.
HEP (Hankyu Entertainment Park) Five is one of the most visited fashion boutique buildings in Umeda, receiving close to 17 million visitors annually. The most famous feature of this department store is the large red Ferris wheel on the roof. The highest point of the wheel is 106 meters and is a wonderful place to look out over Osaka, especially at night. Another remarkable and unique feature of HEP Five is a 20-meter red whale extended over the lobby area. There are over 100 stores here where you can shop for fashion and accessories. An amusement center is on the B2, 8th, and 9th floors. HEP Five can be rather crowded, especially on weekends. This is a fun place to go shopping and spend some money in Osaka.
Spreading out from the basement of Daimaru, all the way to JR Kitashinchi station is a fashionable underground shopping complex. Diamor is designed to look like a street in Europe. Giant glass sky windows let natural light into a large atrium area located in the middle. There are four basement streets with four concepts: casual, fashionable, variety, and market. Here you can find over 90 shops selling mostly cosmetics and accessories for women. Diamor is connected to Whitey Umeda, another underground shopping complex, as well as Hanshin and JR Station. It’s easy to get lost in this extensive series of wide tunnels which seem to be connected to every major building between JR Station and Kitashinchi Station. Check out Diamor the next time you want to have a shopping adventure in Osaka.
If you have money and you want to enjoy shopping in Osaka, Umeda is the ideal place to do it. You can find all of these complexes and department stores (and more) within walking distance of the station. Whether you want to buy clothes, bags, accessories, stationery, or food, almost everything you might want can be found here. Umeda is also an ideal place to shop because it is not as crowded as tourism spots such as Namba and Shinsaibashi. Department stores specializing in high-end stores and name brands tend to be more peaceful and relaxing. Here you can enjoy your shopping in peace. If you have money and are looking for good quality places to shop in Umeda, make sure to check out one or more of the best places for the rich to shop in Osaka.