Hankyu Umeda is the flagship branch of the Hankyu chain of department stores. This is actually a historic building, because it was here, on the site of the original Hankyu Umeda Railway Station, that the Hankyu Corporation first established the now common Japanese business practice of partnering railway stations with department stores. The station has now moved to a connected site a little further north, but there has been a department store at this location since 1929, and previous to that there was a “Hankyu Mart” on the same site from 1925.
The current building was reopened in 2012 after a 7 year renovation project that saw the addition of a soaring tower block to the original elegant structure and it is now Japan’s biggest department store with a floor space of 84,000 square meters. It certainly makes for an impressive sight on the Umeda skyline and it is worth taking a trip up to the 15th floor Sky Lobby just to check out the view of the city below.
Though originally Hankyu Department Store catered for the mass market, today it focuses mainly on high-end brands and top quality goods. If you are looking for cheaper goods and bargains, then the nearby sister shop of Hanshin Department Store will better cater for your needs. Here are some of the highlights of the Hankyu store.
The Hankyu Umeda Department Store is considered a fashion leader in Western Japan with several floors of international and domestic luxury brands.
From the 1st floor through to the 6th floor the store is dominated by ladies’ fashions, with accessories on the 1st floor, cosmetics on floors 2 – 3, ladies’ wear on floors 3 – 6, and international boutiques on the 5th floor.
Men’s wear and the most fashionable sportswear can be found on the 8th floor.
If you are looking for more traditional clothes then you can find a variety of beautiful kimonos on the 11th floor.
The Event Hall
The event hall occupies a large open atrium on the 9th floor and can be viewed from the 10th, 11th and 12th floors which surround the atrium’s outer edges.
Here you can find a mini-market of special promotions. Fashion shows and other events are held here from time to time, and there is also plenty of seating and a number of cafes so it is a good spot to take a break.
There are 22 restaurants on the 12th floor and 7 restaurants on the 13th floor. These floors have something to suit every taste with every kind of Japanese cuisine represented and French, Italian, Korean, and Chinese restaurants too. The restaurants are open from 11.00 a.m. to 22.00.
Many of the restaurants on the 13th floor have open terraces, and there is also a rooftop garden here part of which is taken up by a beer garden in the summer months.
The Hankyu food halls are in the two basement levels B1 and B2. On the B1 level you can find mouth-watering confectionery, bakeries, delicatessens and bento lunch boxes.
On the B2 level you can find the fresh food market, daily groceries and a very fine range of quality wines, spirits and beers. There is also a “World Craft Beer Bar” here with several micro-brews on tap.
Facilities and Services
The general information desk can be found on the 1st floor, and here staff can help you with enquiries about the store. Wheel chairs and baby strollers can be borrowed here and free Wi-Fi is also available.
On the B1 basement level there is also an excellent Foreign Customer Services center. Here you can find a cloak room, a lost and found service, a currency exchange machine, overseas shipping services, domestic delivery services, interpretation services, and free Wi-Fi.
The Cloak Room is open from 10.00 till 19.30 most days and until 20.30 on Fridays and Saturdays. Items can be stored for a basic rate of 500 yen per item for up to 3 hours, and then 100 yen for each additional hour. However, your deposit will be returned if you spend up to 3,000 yen (including tax) in the store and bring back your receipt.
Tax-free Shopping and Tourist Discounts
Non-resident foreign visitors are entitled to a tax refund if they spend more than 5,000 yen and make their claim on the day of purchase. Simply bring your receipts, passport and the credit card you used to the B1 Foreign Services Center and receive a cash refund. Please be aware that a service fee of 1.1% from the pre-tax price will be deducted from the refund.
A 5% “Guest Coupon” is available for overseas visitors at the 1st floor information desk or at the B1 level Foreign Customer Services center. This discount coupon is available to any foreign visitor who is not normally resident in Japan. Simply show your passport to receive the coupon, and you can still claim tax refunds after using the coupon.
Hotel Delivery Service
If you are staying at any of the following hotels and you spend more than 10,000 yen (excluding tax) in one day at the Hankyu Umeda store, you can have your purchases delivered directly to the hotel’s front desk. Here are the hotels participating in this scheme: the Intercontinental Osaka, the Westin Osaka, Hotel New Hankyu Osaka, the Ritz-Carlton Osaka, Hotel New Hankyu Annex, the Imperial Hotel Osaka, The Hilton Osaka, Hotel New Otani Osaka, Hotel Hankyu International, and the Rihga Royal Hotel.
Hankyu Umeda Department Store Map
Hankyu Umeda Department Store is located to the east of Osaka Station and just south of Hankyu Osaka-Umeda Station.
Sunday to Thursday: 10.00 – 20.00
Friday & Saturday: 10.00 – 21.00
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.