駅 eki—station

In Umeda again this afternoon. At the 14th-floor level of the North Gate building of Osaka station is 天空の農園 tenkuu no nouen—a small rooftop “farm” with an amazing view of the surrounding buildings.

The escalator takes you as far as the 11th-floor level, known as 風の広場 kaze no hiroba—wind plaza. From there you can look across at the newly-completed “Grand Front Osaka” buildings. (The Yodogawa river can be seen in the background).

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Here is a close-up of some decorative features on the façade of the glass-and-steel tower section. The architect is Tadao Ando.

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A little further west you can see the distinctive Umeda Sky Building.

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After the 11th floor there are no more escalators, only stairs. This is billed as a “light hiking route”.

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On the 14th floor, the tenkuu no nouen itself contains some vegetable patches and fruit trees.

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There is also a row of solar panels and wind turbines.

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Although it was a bright sunny day, the garden is significantly overshadowed by the 27-floor Osaka Terminal building (ACTY) to the south, and only gets direct sunshine in the morning and evening.

High above our heads, we could see window-cleaners at work on the ACTY building.

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Outside of the garden and around its perimeter, there are attractive and beautifully-maintained flowerbeds. These flowers are called ranunculus.

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Here’s a view of the skyline to the south and west. From left to right, Hilton Hotel, Hilton Plaza West, Herbis Plaza.

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Our reason for visiting Umeda was to go to the Nikon Service Centre on the 8th floor of Hilton Plaza West, to get a lens repaired.

While Yuko was at the counter I used my trusty old Nikon Coolpix to take a few pictures from the window.

The front of Osaka station and the Hilton.

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This classic of 1970s architecture is the 大阪駅前第一ビル Osaka eki-mae building no. 1.

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While waiting for the camera to be fixed, we went to a café called “Roll Madu” in the basement of Herbis Plaza. This ケーキセット ”cake set” (coffee and cake) cost about 850 yen each. It was delicious.

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Note on the word of the day:

The left-hand side of the character for station: 駅  is the character for horse: 馬

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8 thoughts on “駅 eki—station

  1. Great photos! The cake set at the end made me hungry. I miss Japanese cafes and bakeries…
    I remember you posted that your time working in Japan has officially ended– How much longer will you be in Japan?

    1. グランフロント大阪(GrandFrontOsaka)と言う建物です。大阪城から見えるかどうかわかりません。ちょっと遠いだと思います。大阪駅に近いです。

  2. Yodogawa is the name of the river you saw. It ends in -awa which by sheer coincidence is the Irish word for river.

    1. “kawa” is the Japanese for river. Old Japanese might have been “kapa” or similar. Lose the “k” and it’s quite similar to Irish abha.

      By another sheer coincidence, the Vietnamese word for cow is “bo”. And the Persian word “bad” means bad.

  3. By a further coincidence the great river of Germany is the Donau. This also has an ending pronounced the same as the Irish word Abha, meaning river.

    1. That one’s easy – “Au” is cousin to Latin “aqua”, both from Indo-European akwa meaning water. “Abha” is from a different IE root and has a German cousin “Ufer”.

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