Train journeys through Japan will surely lead you to or through the massive transportation hub that is Osaka and Umeda stations, which, when taken together, are considered the fourth busiest station in the world. The hub and its environs have become an exciting city within a city, so much so that you can eat and shop like a king while still being just a walk away from your next train. In this little city of jovial convenience and comfort, two department stores in particular have been long trusted and beloved by Osakans and those in the wider Kansai region: Hankyu and Hanshin.
Hankyu Umeda Main Store
Spread over 15 floors and welcoming over 50 million visitors annually, Hankyu Umeda Main Store is a beacon of luxury and enjoyment with a history of almost 100 years. The current building was renovated and reopened in 2012, with the added goal of creating enriching cultural experiences. This is particularly evident on the ninth floor, which boasts Shukusai Plaza, an art stage and a gallery, among other facilities. Fashionistas will find over 100 brand-name stores here, from international heavyweights such as Dior to iconic Japanese designers such as Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. Whether you’re after watches, jewelry, bags, shoes, cosmetics, interior design goods or something else entirely, whatever your stylish heart desires can be found at Hankyu Umeda Main Store.
Hanshin Umeda Main Store
A younger sibling to Hankyu, the Hanshin brand dates to the 1930s. The department store’s building, however, is sleek and modern following a thorough renovation. In April 2022, Hanshin celebrated its grand reopening. Spread over 11 floors, Hanshin offers a similar selection of goods, from big names like Muji to smaller brands you’ll be excited to discover. Moreover, limited-time pop-up shops regularly grace the halls of both Hanshin and Hankyu department stores, so depending on the timing of your visit, you may have an even more exceptional variety of stores and merchandise to browse.
Relax and Refuel
Both Hankyu and Hanshin are splendid destinations for foodies, whether you’re looking for comfort foods or thrilling gourmet finds. Hankyu has two floors filled with some 30 restaurants offering a range of different cuisines, including sushi, tempura and other Japanese fare, as well as Chinese, Italian, Korean and Western food. At Hanshin, the culinary adventure starts on the second basement floor, home to a yokocho-style gourmet and bar zone brimming with foodie fun. From there, it moves up to the ninth floor, where you’ll find delicacies such as the okonomiyaki at Tanpopo, which made it into Michelin’s Bib Gourmand guide.