As I stood on the 60th floor of the Abeno Harukas 300 Observatory , I was caught in a sense of absolute wonder and amusement. I could see a haze of brown rugged mountains and the crystal blue sea in the background, with a postcard perfect bird’s eye view of Downtown Osaka. The Harukas 300 Observatory, perched atop the tallest skyscraper in Japan - the Abeno Harukas houses a departmental store, an art museum, and a hotel. Apart from my home and office, this is perhaps the longest time I have spent in a building!
If you're visiting Osaka, make sure you spend a good few hours at the Harukas 300 Observatory located on the 58th, 59th and 60th floors of Abeno Harukas. It's a rewarding experience!
Abeno Harukas - History Under A Minute
I was told by the manager at my hotel that the word “Harukas” is derived from an old Japanese expression that means “to brighten” or “to clear up”. I would find it quite easy to associate that sense to the building because of a clear, sweeping view of the city I got from it. Abeno Harukas began operations in 2014 and was completed in just 4 years! The design of Abeno Harukas was conceived by Takenaka Corporation with five basement floors in addition to the 60 floors above the ground. They say, Abeno Harukas was not planned as a single building, but designed as if it was a city. With a range of urban functions like a train station, a department store, an art museum, offices, a hotel and an observatory - I believe they have lived to their design intentions.
8 Reasons You Ought To Visit The Harukas 300 Observatory
- Striking view of Tokyo & beyond at the Abeno Harukas 300 Observatory : Being the tallest skyscraper in the city and the country, Harukas 300 Observatory promises an unmatched view of Osaka. I could even see the Osaka Bay and Awaji Island near the horizon. This view alone is reason enough to go all the way up!
- Spectacular light and sound show at night:On the 58th floor, there is a twin tower-like structure which responds to touch by displaying incredible fireworks animation. There is also a projection display that operates at night, which uses the city as the backdrop for a light show.
- Get a chance to tour a helipad :One of the best experiences on my tour of the Harukas 300 Observatory was the helipad on the roof of the building. While you're here, you're at an altitude of over 300 meters, a rush like no other with no walls around and strong winds blowing. I felt quite like the daredevil up there!
- Enjoy a meal at the Sky Garden 300 Cafe :The Sky Garden 300 Cafe, located on the 58th floor has a very impressive setting and gives you the luxury of enjoying a meal while peering at the city's hustle from atop.
- Explore Japan’s largest department store - Kintetsu :The Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Department Store is the largest departmental store in the country, with a total floor area of 1,00,000 square meters. To give you some context, that’s about the size of 300 quick-service restaurants combined. The store includes a wing and a tower and thought I didn't cover even half the store during my visit, you should definitely try!
- Get cultured at the Abeno Harukas Art Museum :The Abeno Harukas Museum is another must-visit attraction in the building. Located on the 16th floor, the museum has rotating exhibitions - promising refreshing and enlightening on every visit.
- Catch an aerial view of the Shinsekai and Shitennoji Temple :The Harukas 300 Observatory also happens to be the best vantage point for a view of the historic Shinsekai distric.
- Click pictures with the adorable Abeno Bear : Abeno Harukas's mascot, an adorable blue bear named Abenobea is a favourite among kids. People queue up to click a picture with Abenobea and you can too! It's the perfect memento of your visit to the Harukas 300 Observatory and grab a miniature version of the mascot too if you'd like.
Abeno Harukas 300 Observatory Tickets
While I was looking for tickets to the Harukas 300 Observatory, I came across this money-saving deal! Like every tourist in Osaka, I planned on visiting the Universal Studios Japan so this combo deal was a steal deal!
PS: This ticket gives you VIP access to Universal Studios Japan!
Read all about visiting Universal Studio Japan
Harukas 300 Observatory Experience In a Nutshell
When I arrived at Abeno Harukas, I was stunned by the grandeur of this building but that was hardly it! The actual journey begins once you reach the 16th floor where the ticket office is. From here on, you hop on a state-of-the-art elevator to the 60th floor in less than a minute! Yes, 60 floors in less than a minute. As soon as you step out of the elevator, you come to face with clear blue skies and a whole lot of staggeringly tall buildings. This floor has glass walls and ceilings, offering the best views of Osaka. Try and spot the Osaka Castle, Tennoji Park, Tsutenkaku Tower, and Universal Studios Japan from here. I managed to!
From the 60th floor, you can grab tickets for the Edge of the Harukas experience. This takes you to a platform on the roof of the Abeno Harukas that has no walls or ceiling. You will be secured to the rails with a harness and you can lean and look below if you're brave enough. You can also choose to go for the Helipad Tour. This 30-minute tour takes you to the summit of the building for 20 minutes and lets you experience the wind at a height of over 300 meters.
After this, you can visit the 59th floor that has a souvenir shop and Abenobea, the Abeno Haruka mascot. After all of these gorgeous views, take a breather and grab a bite at the Sky Garden Cafe on the 58th floor. You can spend as much as 3 hours at the Harukas 300 Observatory if you plan to take part in all the activities.
Best Time To Visit The Abeno Harukas 300 Observatory
As with all observatories, the best time to visit the Harukas 300 is when the skies are clear, most likely during summers and spring. Thanks to the subtropical climate in Osaka, most of the year sees clear skies except the months of May, June & July. It's best recommended to visit during the day as it provides better visibility near the horizon.
Getting To Abeno Harukas
Here's how you can reach Abeno Harukas
- By Train: Take the Japan Rail (JR) to Tennoji Station
- By Subway: Take the Midosuji (Red) Line to Tenniji Station
- By Car: There is no parking space at the Abeno Harukas but cabs in the city can bring you directly to the site.
- By Bus: Take the Limousine bus from the airport and get down at the bus stop located between the Tennoji Station and Kintetsu Osaka-Abenobashi Station
Abeno Harukas Observatory Opening Hours
The Abeno Harukas Observatory Opening Hours are from 6:30 AM to 12:00 AM daily. The Observatory is open year round.
Insider Tips For Visiting Harukas 300 Observatory
- Tickets to the Harukas 300 Observatory are cheaper online, than on-site. Bookings open two months in advance and an advance ticket lets you spend more time enjoying the sights than queueing up. I would recommend using Headout's HARUKAS 300 Observatory with USJ Special Entry Ticket is a steal deal. You even get 10% cashback!
- Make sure you grab the Pineapple soft serve at the Sky Garden Cafe. This soft serve is a collaboration between the cafe and a famous local confectionery - a real treat!
- Though this may sound weird, make a trip to the washroom on the 59th floor of the Harukas 300 Observatory. The floor to ceiling glass panel makes this visit worth its weirdness.
- Check out the Depachika or the basement food floor of the Kintetsu Department Store, which has an amazing variety of Japanese specialty food items.
Abeno Harukas 300 Observatory Reviews
A surprisingly high observation deck. I went on a clear day and was very impressed with the view. I believe you could see the entire Osaka from up there. Stayed for a good couple of hours to take it all in while enjoying some snacks and drinks. It was also reasonably priced and not crowded which I really appreciated. Certainly a better experience than similar observation decks in Tokyo.
TravelTrips12 , Tripadvisor 2019
Very nice 360° view of the area. If you're lucky, you can observe sunset and moon rise. Nice open yard at 58th floor with some self service restaurants for a drink and some nibbles, while you continue to enjoy the view.
Lemontea22 , Tripadvisor 2019
Read more Harukas 300 reviews on Tripadvisor.
Abeno Harukas 300 Observatory - Frequently Asked Questions
How much time should I set aside for a visit to the Harukas 300 Observatory?
People typically spend 45 minutes to 2 hours at the Observatory. If you intend to visit the department store, museum and cafe - factor in the extra few hours.
Is there a limit on the amount of time one can spend inside the Harukas 300 Observatory?
While your ticket has a particular time-slot you have to enter at, once inside, you can spend as much time as you'd like.
Is the Harukas 300 Observatory open all days of the year?
Yes! The Harukas Observatory is open all year round.
Are there reduced ticket prices for children and senior citizens at Harukas 300?
Yes. Children below the age of 3 enjoy free admission. There are reduced prices for kids under 18 years, depending on their age-group. Unfortunately, there are no reduced prices for kids.
Are there any disability discounts available for Harukas 300?
Disability discounts are available only for disability certificates issued in Japan.
Are there lockers and baggage storage at Harukas 300?
There are limited coin lockers for, however, the usage is restricted only to those entering the observatory.
Is there a smoking lounge at Harukas 300?
Yes, there is a dedicated smoking lounge on the 58th floor.