With its 300 metres, Abeno Harukas is the tallest skyscraper in Japan (considering that Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Sky Tree are structures and not buildings). This multi-purpose commercial complex with an observation deck is one of the top attractions of Osaka and an unmissable place to visit. Even though the observation platform steals all the glory of this building, there’s more to it than meets the eye. This guide to Abeno Harukas will show you all the options what you can do around here.
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Introduction to Abeno Harukas
The construction of Abeno Harukas began in January 2010 and it saw its grand opening on March 7th 2014. As per January 2022, it is still the tallest building in Japan (Tokyo is planning to build some higher skyscrapers but construction won’t happen for another couple more years). On a bright clear day, you can see from the observation deck as far as to Mount Ikoma, Mount Yoshino, Rokko Mountains, or even Awaji Island.
The name Harukas comes from an old Japanese word harukasu 晴るかす meaning “to clear up, to brighten”.
Abeno Harukas was built with the latest technologies in mind and it has become a leading environmentally-responsible urban project in Osaka. The large glass panels, that are the main feature of the building, let in a lot of natural light, while the open spaces with lots of greenery provide fresh air. The building runs on biogas power generated by energy retrieved through methane fermentation from the building’s kitchen waste.
Harukas 300 Observatory
The observation platform of Abeno Harukas, Harukas 300, occupies the top three floors – from 58th to 60th. The elevator to the top floor leaves from the 16th floor of the building. The whole upper area is surrounded by tall floor-to-ceiling windows that offer dynamic views over the city panorama as well as the mountains in the distance. There isn’t a wrong time to visit Harukas 300. During the daylight, the city underneath you will feel like a diorama and a historical map in one. You can explore ancient Shitennoji Temple and Osaka Castle from the distance. At sunset the whole city sinks into the most beautiful golden light, while at night it becomes alive with millions of sparkly lights.
60th Floor – Main Observatory
The 60th floor, in the approximately 300 metres height, is the arrival place where you will step out of the elevator and see for the first time 360-degree view over Osaka. Because buildings, that are in the close proximity to Abeno Harukas, are nowhere close to be as tall, this is undoubtedly the most epic view on the city.
59th Floor – Souvenir shop
The 59th floor is the exit floor. You will find here a souvenir shop, where you can find merchandise with the official mascot of Abeno Harukas – Abenobea. There’s also a little shrine and public restrooms. The restrooms are also surrounded by the large windows so even from here the view is spectacular.
58th Floor – Restaurant and Sky Garden
The 58th floor is home to Sky Garden, an open space where you can feel fresh air on your face. The main feature is modern wooden deck with a lot of greenery, a café and a restaurant. You can enjoy a drink of your choice and some light snacks with the best views! If you are looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion, Sky Garden has you covered. On the further end of the wooden deck, there are low tables and tatami mats set along the windows. You can order a hot pot which watching the sunset. It is true, that the deck is open, but you don’t have to worry about the cold. There are electric blankets and warm winter kimono jackets for you to keep you nice and warm. Who wouldn’t want to spend an evening like this?
Harukas 300 Tickets
The tickets to observation platform Harukas 300 can be bought at the counter on the 16th floor of Abeno Harukas. The price for an adult is 1500 yen, for teenagers age 12-17 it is 1200 yen, for kids from 6 to 11 years old 700 yen and 500 yen for 4-5 years old. Discounts apply for groups over 15 people.
If you wish to buy tickets from outside Japan, you can do so through one of the partners on their official website here.
The observation platform is open every day from 10:00 to 22:00. The last admission is 30 minutes before closing.
Harukas Observatory Heliport Tour
If you wish to experience, how it feels to be in the open air in the 300 metres height, you can pay extra 500 yen to do a heliport tour on the roof of Abeno Harukas. The tours work on “first-come-first-serve” basis and you can buy the tickets on the 60th floor. There are several time slots for the tour during the day. Prior visiting the heliport, you will be asked to keep your bags in the lockers. You can bring your cameras and phones to take pictures. However, you have to take photos only within the orange lines (pictured below), to prevent accidents.
Edge the Harukas
Edge the Harukas is a thrilling attraction for all the adventure seekers, who would like to try walking along the very edge of the building. You are attached by harness to a safety rail, while walking on a glass bridge in the 300 metres height. This is the first attraction of its kind in Japan.
There are several time slots for the Edge of Harukas during the day. You can fill out the application on the 60th floor. The tour costs extra 2000 yen per person (there are no age-related discounts). The tour lasts about 50 minutes including safety introduction and preparation. You have about 15 minutes outside on the open air.
Unfortunately, as per January 2022, Edge the Harukas is currently discontinued, but they are planning to re-open this experience. For more updated information, check out their website here.
The ticket counter for Harukas 300 is located on the 16th floor, but I’d advise you to spend here a little bit of time and look around before jumping into the elevator. You will find here an art museum, a public garden, and on the floor above a couple of cafes. The garden terrace is a beautiful open place with lots of trees and greenery. The views from the 16th floor are maybe not as majestic as from the 60th, but they are nevertheless spectacular. There are plenty of benches where you can chill, have a drink and enjoy the view. The entry to the garden is free of charge.
Abeno Harukas Art Museum
Another great attraction of the 16th floor is Abeno Harukas Art Museum. The museum doesn’t hold a permanent exhibition, they have changing temporary exhibits of western, oriental, Buddhist or modern art. The tickets can be bought at the counter and price depends on the current exhibit. The museum opens daily at 10 am. During weekends and on public holidays museum closes at 6 pm, while on weekdays it is open until 8 pm.
Abeno Harukas Restaurants
The floors 12th to 14th of Abeno Harukas are dedicated to restaurants and eateries. There are plenty of choices – Japanese, western, Chinese, bars, cafes and izakayas dedicated to the local dishes of Osaka. You can check the whole list of restaurants here. Alternatively, there are many different cafes and restaurants in the Tennoji Park just across the road of Abeno Harukas. Some of them have outdoor terraces.
Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
Abeno Harukas is also home to luxury Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel. The hotel’s lobby is located on the 19th floor. The 360 rooms of the hotel spread from the 33rd to 55th floor, while the 57th floor is dedicated to hotel’s restaurants.
Kintetsu Department Store
Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Department Store is the largest department store in Japan. With its 100,000 square metres it occupies thirteen floors of the main tower (from basement B2 and B1 to the 11th floor), as well as the wing building. In the tower you will find mainly international brands of clothes and accessories, two floors are dedicated to furniture and interior design and the basement is occupied by food and delicacy shops.
In the wing building, there’s a whole section marked as ‘Solaha’, which is marketed for teenagers and younger customers. There’s one floor dedicated to travel good and sports, and another one for electronics. In the wing building, there’s also ‘Foreign Customers Salon’, a tourist information centre designated by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). They can provide you with tourist information from all over Japan in several languages. There’s a free Wi-Fi, international power outlets, currency exchange and luggage storage for customers.
The tower and wing building are connected by passages and escalators. The department store is open daily from 10 am to 8:30 pm.
How to get to Abeno Harukas
Abeno Harukas is directly connected to the major Osaka terminal linking seven train and subway lines. It stands on top of Kintetsu Osaka Abenobashi station that is conveniently located right next to the Tennoji station. You can get here easily from anywhere in Osaka, Nara or Kyoto within an hour, with any of these train lines: Haruka, Kuroshio, Hanwa, Osaka Loop Line, Yamatoji, Midosuji, Tanimachi and Kintetsu.
What to do around Abeno Harukas
Abeno Harukas is located on the south-east of Osaka in the area where Tennoji and Abeno districts border. This neighbourhood is very lively and it has been redeveloped in recent years. Here’s some inspiration what you can do within walking distance from Abeno Harukas.
Tennoji Park lies right at the foot of Abeno Harukas. The main feature of the park is a large lawn, where people love to relax and hang out. The lawn is lined with young gingko and cherry trees that provide some shade on a sunny day. There are many cafes and restaurants in the park serving both western and Japanese cuisine. In some of them, you can order a ‘picnic lunch’, which means the restaurant will pack you hamper with a blanket and you can have your meal outside on the fresh air.
On the other side of Tennoji Park you will find an entrance to Tennoji Zoo. Tennoji Zoo may not be a very big in size, but it is the 3rd oldest zoo in Japan. It was opened on the 1st of January 1915 and it has been in operation ever since. The savannah exhibits are the main feature of the zoo because they are arranged in a way that it seems like herbivorous and carnivorous animals are sharing the same space. There’s also an underwater viewing pool with hippos swimming with fish and a tropical jungle zone.
Opening hours and admission fees
The zoo is open every day, except of Mondays, from 9:30 till 5 pm on weekdays and till 6 pm on the weekends and public holidays. The entrance fee for adults it 500 yen and for kids 200 yen.
Shitennoji Temple is the oldest officially administrated Buddhist Temple in Japan. It was founded in 593 A.D. by Prince Shotoku, who supported introduction of Buddhism in Japan. Over the centuries, unfortunately, the temple burned down several times, but its current design is the direct copy of the original building from the 6th century.
Every month around 21st-22nd, there is a market happening within the outer temple grounds. If you would like to visit the inner area with 5-storey pagoda and the main hall, you will have to pay 300 yen. Shitennoji is open every day from 8:30 am to 4 pm (national holidays may affect these hours). It is 1 km away from Abeno Harukas (about 15-minute walk).
Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts
Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts is located in a beautiful old residence of Sumitomo family at the edge of Tennoji Park. It has been opened since 1936 and it conserves important cultural properties. At the moment, you will find over 8000 important works of Japanese and Chinese artists in their permanent exhibition, but the museum regularly hosts temporary exhibits from all around the world.
Opening hours and admission fees
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 till 5 pm, with the last admission at 4:30 pm. The tickets for adults are 300 yen, and 200 yen for high school students (younger kids can enter for free). There might be extra fee for the temporary exhibitions.
Right behind the art museum, there’s a small landscaped zen garden with beautiful pond and picturesque tea house. As soon as you walk into Keitakuen Garden, you will forget that there’s a busy world out there. It provides a little peace and quiet in the lively city.
The teahouse over the lake provides great views on the garden. You cannot actually order a tea there, it more of a resting area, but there’s a vending machine where you can buy some drinks.
The entrance fee to the garden is mere 150 yen and it is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 5 pm (the last admission is at 4:30 pm).
From Abeno Harukas and from Tennoji Park, you can see a structure that loosely resembles the Eiffel Tower. It is called Tsutenkaku and it is the pride of Shinsekai, a lively retro neighbourhood only about 1.5 km away from the Tennoji station. There are plenty of restaurants serving local dishes, game parlours and shops, not to mention the fact that Tsutenkaku has its own observation platforms. Read more about Shinsekai in our article about Tsutenkaku Tower here, or in our 5-day Osaka itinerary here.