Kita in Japanese means north, so the district of Kita is the northern part of central Osaka. Kita is well known for its huge and energetic shopping district. The area is jam packed with skyscrapers, shopping malls, huge department stores and a large range of restaurants, cafes and entertainment halls. Kita is home to what was Japan’s first underground shopping mall, as well as Osaka Station; JR line’s largest train terminal in Japan.
The area has some of Osaka’s most striking architecture including the cylindrical shaped Maru Biru and the Umeda Sky Biru. The Umeda Sky Biru is commonly known as the Umeda Sky Building. This building is made up of two 40 storey towers connected by a sky bridge and escalators that cross its huge open atrium to a floating garden 170 metres above the ground.
Hep 5 is one of the new shopping complexes in Kita, it has one of Japan’s largest ferris wheels on the top of its roof that is very popular with young lovers.
Osaka’s cultural home sits on the edge of Kita on the island that sits in the river that separates the districts of Kita from the central and southern sections of the city. Known as Nakanoshima, this island has several museums including the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, National Museum of Art, the Science Museum as well as the Osaka Performing Arts Centre. The Osaka-jo Castle and Osaka City Museum are situated a few blocks east of the Kita district.