The Daimaru department store in Umeda occupies a large part of the South Gate Building in Osaka Station City. Daimaru is a well-known name in western Japan with a venerable history going back 300 years, but this particular branch was completely renovated and reopened for business in 2011.
Daimaru prides itself on providing a stress-free and comfortable shopping experience, so the aisles between sections are a little broader than most, and so the shop as a whole is a little less crowded and easier to navigate.
Table of Contents
Like other department stores in Umeda, Daimaru has many floors of fashion boutiques, a dining section, and a basement food hall. However, it also has some other unique content that marks it out as a little different from its competitors. Within Daimaru you can find a branch of the home and lifestyle store Tokyu Hands, a Sanrio store selling merchandize featuring the popular cartoon character Hello Kitty, and a Pokemon Center with all kinds of goods featuring your favorite pocket monsters.
Fashion & Clothing
Ladies’ fashions are catered for on floors 1-7 with ladies wear on floors 1, 5, 6 and 7, cosmetics on floor 2, international boutiques and accessories on floor 3, and shoes, handbags, and lingerie on floor 4.
Men’s wear and be found on the 8th and 9th floors. Sports wear, and travel goods are all on the 8th floor.
A number of other popular chain stores can be found within Daimaru Umeda.
The Sanrio store on the 5th floor sells gifts, stationery, and accessories decorated with popular Japanese cartoon characters like Hello Kitty. This is the biggest Sanrio store in western Japan.
Tokyu Hands on the 11th and 12th floors stocks interior goods, DIY products, and novelty gifts.
Uniqlo on the 13th floor is a globally successful brand of inexpensive casual clothing.
The Pokemon Center on the 13th floor is popular with kids and adults alike and sells a range of over 2,500 Pokemon themed goods, including toys, games, accessories, and stationary.
The 14th floor is Daimaru’s gourmet dining section and has 16 restaurants and cafes serving Japanese, Chinese, French, Spanish and Italian cuisines, mixed buffets, and a grill bar with juicy steaks. Among the Japanese options available are noodles, sushi, tofu, eel on rice, shabu-shabu hotpots, kushi-katsu deep fried meat and vegetables, and Kyoto style cuisine.
Feast Paradise – Food Hall
The Daimaru food hall is called “Feast Paradise” and occupies the B1 and B2 basement levels. The stock is a little more limited in range here than in other stores, and it is not so busy, but the quality is good and the spacious lay-out leads to a more sedate shopping experience.
Sushi, bento style lunch boxes, side dishes and freshly made salads, and confectionery can be found on the B1 level.
The bakery, general grocery store, and the drinks section is on the B2 level.
Services & Facilities
There is an Information Counter on the 1st floor of the east side of Daimaru, and there is a Tax Exemption Counter on the 2nd floor of the east side. At these counters foreign visitors can pick up a 5% discount coupon if they have been in Japan for less than a month. To receive your coupon simply show your passport. Please be aware that this coupon cannot be used for certain goods such as as bargain goods, foods, and certain specialty brands.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the store without any ID or password.
Chinese and English interpreting services are available for foreign tourists. English and Chinese catalogs are also available for some brands. To find out more please enquire at the 1st floor Information Counter.
Foreign visitors who are not resident in Japan are entitled to a tax refund on most goods. To claim your tax refund take your passport, your receipts and any credit card you used to the 2nd floor Tax Exemption Counter. Tax refunds can only be claimed on the same day of purchase.
The following international credit cards can all be used in Daimaru: Visa, Mastercard, JCB, American Express, and UnionPay.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.