When we visited Abeno Harukas, the tallest building in Japan, we expected a good view of Osaka, but we didn’t realise we’d spend three hours enjoying this stunning space.
The skyscraper opened in 2014 and is 300 metres tall with 62 storeys that house a department store, hotel, museum, and the observation deck Harukas 300, which we visited.
The observatory is on the 58th, 59th and 60th floors of the building. Here are some of the things to do at Abeno Harukas 300.
- Main Observation Deck on 60th Floor by Day
- Edge The Harukas
- Gift Shop and Toilets with a View on 59th Floor
- Sky Garden on 58th Floor
- Light & Sound Show
- Main Observation Deck on 60th Floor by Night
- Abeno Harukas 300 Details
- Universal Studios VIP Pass
Main Observation Deck on 60th Floor by Day
Our visit started at the ticket office on the 16th floor from where a cool, futuristic lift whisked us up to the main observation deck on the 60th floor at 288 metres.
From here there are 360º views of Osaka through the huge floor-to-ceiling windows on every side of the building. You can see everything in Osaka—the castle, bay, nearby temples and parks, distant mountains, and the highways that crisscross the third biggest city in Japan (with 2.7 million inhabitants).
We arrived at 4.30pm, about an hour before sunset in February. This was perfect timing as we could see the city by day, at sunset, and best of all, at night when the lights of the city come on.
Everywhere in Japan has a mascot, and you might get the chance to meet Abenobea (Abeno Bear), the official mascot of Harukas 300.
It’s an impressive space full of light and I especially liked the view down to the 58th floor.
Edge The Harukas
As the sun set we did Edge The Harukas, a paid experience that allows you to get even closer to that view.
We were escorted up to the very top of the building where we donned overalls and a harness and followed our guide up to The Edge. We attached our harnesses to a safety rail and climbed up the stairs to a narrow deck on top of a glass fence.
From here we could lean right over the waist height barrier and look down 300 metres below. Simon was rather nervous, but I was too busy enjoying the unobstructed view as the sky turned orange over Osaka Bay. It’s a short but fun experience.
Edge The Harukas costs an extra 1000 yen ($9) on top of the entrance ticket and lasts seven minutes. It includes a photo. You can get tickets from the 60th floor (ID needed). You can’t take anything with you that could fall including watches, jewellery and phones, so leave them in the coin-operated lockers.
Another paid experience (500 yen/ $4.50) is a 30-minute tour of the heliport on the roof of the building. There’s no glass between you and the 360º views here.
You can book a tour at the counter on the 60th floor.
Gift Shop and Toilets with a View on 59th Floor
Floor 59 is worth visiting for the gift shop and the toilets which have a stunning view (not from the cubicles though!).
Sky Garden on 58th Floor
The double height Sky Garden on the 58th floor is a beautiful space that’s open to the sky above.
It’s well worth spending some time on the large wooden deck where you can have a drink or snack surrounded by trees lit up with fairy lights and amazing views of the city.
In winter, low tables are set up right next to the windows with heaters underneath (and warm padded gowns are provided), and you can enjoy warming winter specialities like oden (not vegetarian friendly, sadly). I can’t imagine there’s any restaurant in Osaka with a better view than this.
We took a seat on the other side of the Sky Garden for a snack of french fries (surprisingly well done) and their signature sweet treats— pineapple soft serve ice cream with crunchy pineapple candy (better than Dole Whip!) and Abeno pudding, a creamy dessert topped with marshmallows and chocolate figures of Abenobea. If it’s too cold outside, there’s an indoor section of the cafe.
You can see the full menu on the Harukas 300 website. Vegetarian options are limited so after your visit I recommend the nearby Iduco stand where you can make your own tacoyaki or Okonomiyaki Chitose (which can make a vegetarian okonomiyaki).
The Harukas Heart photo spot is also on the 58th floor.
Light & Sound Show
Once night falls, the Harukas 300 Light & Sound Show takes place on the 60th floor. The exact show differs throughout the year, but when we visited images were projected directly on the windows so that it looked like whales and other creatures were flying across the Osaka nightscape.
There were different shows throughout the floor, some interactive where you could pop bubbles with your hands. The show repeats throughout the night.
There’s also an interactive light show on the large twin towers in the Sky Garden—touch them and multi-coloured fireworks shoot up.
Main Observation Deck on 60th Floor by Night
After we’d seen the light shows, we returned to the 60th Floor to take photos of Osaka at night. I think the view is even better than by day.
Abeno Harukas 300 Details
Harukas 300 is open all year from 9 am to 10 pm. Tickets cost 1500 yen ($13.50) for adults and from 500–1200 yen for children (depending on the age). Children under 3 are free. You can buy tickets on the day (until 9.30pm) at the ticket office on the 16th floor of Abeno Harukas.
You can get there on the Midosuji metro line or JR Osaka Loop train line to Tennoji station. In the station follow signs for the elevator which will take you to the 16th floor. It’s about 10 minutes from the Shinsaibashi/ Dotonburi area where we stayed in an Airbnb. We used Google Maps for route details.
Universal Studios VIP Pass
If you are planning to visit Universal Studios Japan as well (which we highly recommend, especially for Harry Potter fans), you can buy a VIP Wristband for 3850 yen ($35) which gets you into the park slightly earlier through a special entrance, as well as entry to Harukas 300.
You have to pick up the wristbands from Harukas 300 one to five days before you visit Universal. You can buy the VIP Pass on Voyagin.
See our guide to the best Universal Studios Japan rides for more details on visiting the park.
Abeno Harukas Osaka was a fun experience with fantastic views in a beautiful space. We recommend heading up there for sunset and make sure you allow time to enjoy a drink or snack, see the light show, and maybe even walk The Edge.
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Thanks to Harukas 300 and Voyagin who hosted us on our visit.
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