Grand Front Osaka is a massive commercial complex on the north side of Osaka Station which was built and opened on the site of a disused former railyard in 2013. The complex consists of a sequence of four towers which stretch out in a direct line from Osaka Station’s North Gate Building.
The first of these is the South Building which is essentially a shopping mall. Then there is the North Building which has two towers; one contains a large “infotainment” venue called “Knowledge Capital” and the next tower is occupied by the Intercontinental Hotel Osaka. The final tower in the sequence is a residential building named the “Owner’s Tower”. In this article we will introduce the services, shops, and dining facilities available in the first two towers of Grand Front Osaka.
The South Building
The South Building of Grand Front Osaka is connected to Osaka Station by a walkway at the 2nd floor level. There are information counters inside the entrance at both the 2nd floor and 1st floor levels.
A large section of the lower floors in this building are occupied by the Panasonic Center which is basically a home improvement and interior design store. This store occupies part of the basement level and the 1st and 2nd floors.
The center showcases the latest Panasonic products and suggests ways in which they can be used to brighten up your home interior. Be sure also to check out the interactive showroom where you can experiment with different room types and lighting effects.
Other than the Panasonic Center floors 1 – 6 are largely occupied with men’s and ladies’ fashion stores. There is also a large bookstore on the 6th floor with stationary, CDs, and DVDs. Here are some highlights.
Floors 8 and 9 are the Umekita Dining section. Here you can find 36 different restaurants, cafes and bars serving sushi, tempura, deep fried kushiage kebabs, Osaka style okonomiyaki pancakes, Okinawan dishes, an oyster bar, Italian pasta, Chinese cuisine, Korean barbecue, a French Bistro and American style seafood.
There is also an exterior terrace garden on the 9th floor with views over Osaka Station and the Umeda Sky Building.
The North Building
The North Building is directly connected to the South Building by a 2nd floor walkway that crosses the road between. The first tower of this building is mostly devoted to an “intellectual entertainment ” area called Knowledge Capital.
The facility is built around the central Knowledge Plaza which is used for a variety of interactive workshops and events. Around this on multiple levels are 21 showrooms in which a wide variety of companies exhibit their newest products and most cutting edge technologies.
There is also a Knowledge Theater on the 4th floor which can be used either for stage performances or business presentations.
In addition to Knowledge Capital there is another restaurant and bar section on the 9th floor which is called the Umekita Floor. This is not to be confused with the similarly named Umekita Dining section in the South Building. While Umekita Dining closes at 23.00, the Umekita Floor is an all-night venue that stays open till 4.00 in the morning.
Between the 6th and 9th floors the building is occupied with offices, but there are also a series of very nicely laid out terrace gardens on the upper floors which you can access from the 9th floor.
Grand Front Osaka has parking for 330 cars in the B2 basement level of the South Building from 9.00 – 24.00 and the B3 level of the North Building from 7.00 – 24.00. The fee for parking is 600 yen for the first hour and thereafter 300 yen every 30 minutes.
Grand Front Osaka is directly connected to the north gate of Osaka Station by a 2nd floor walkway.
Shops: 10.00 – 21.00
Panasonic Center: 10.00 – 20.00
Knowledge Capital: 10.00 – 21.00
Umekita Dining (South Building): 11:00 – 23.00
Umekita Floor (North Building): 10.00 – 04.00
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.