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Japan is one of the most densely urbanized nations in the world. Of its 47 prefectures, only 7 have a population of fewer than 1 million. City space is scarce and there is very little urban space. 75 percent of streets in Tokyo are less than 12 feet wide.

Yet in the concrete jungles of Tokyo and Osaka, world leading architects have ingeniously crafted spaces for lovely gardens and greenery. The average life of a building is 15 years, so there is great turnover, and ample opportunity for new designs.

In the heart of Umeda district of Kita-ku, Osaka Japan; stands the magnificent 173 meters Umeda Sky Building (梅田スカイビル). The building is the seventh-tallest building in Osaka City and one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. One of the highlights of the building is the Floating Garden Observatory where you can enjoy the sky and panoramic views.

The building is designed by Japanese architect, Hiroshi Hara (原広司); whose other major works include the Kyoto Station in Kyoto, the Yamato International building in Tokyo, the Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido.

Japan Panorama 17 Osaka Umeda Skyline

Osaka Umeda Skyline
For an admission fee of 700 Yen, enjoy the panoramic view of the City

The Umeda Sky Building was completed in 1993 with a pair of 40-story skyscrapers connected in midair. The towers are connected at the uppermost stories to form the observation deck, whose doughnut shaped roof provides an unobstructed 360-degree view of Osaka and Awaji Island at 170 meters off the ground.

Japan Panorama 19 Osaka Umeda Skyline
Bridges and an escalator crossing the wide atrium-like space in the centre creates a solemn atmosphere to visitors not unlike a cathedral dome

Japan 2010 Panoramic Umeda Sky Building
Lumi Sky Walk

The "floating garden" is particularly beautiful in the night using the unlimited expanse of sky and the rooftop corridor. When the afterglow fades away from the western heavens, Lumi Sky Walk transforms itself into a promenade under the starry sky. The promenade emerges under the starry sky with the Milky Way, Andromeda, aurora and meteors depicted by blue, green and purple phosphorescent stones and sand. The whole corridor is paved with phosphorescent stones that absorb ultraviolet rays by day. By night the phosphorescent stones emit light of their own to produce a fantastic beautiful promenade using the corridor as a canvas.

Love Japan for...
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Umeda Sky Building (梅田スカイビル) Floating Garden
Tully's Coffee Japan - Bean There
Fugu - The Forbidden Fish
Panoramic Japan 2010
HDR Japan 2010
Footprints in Japan

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