Umeda Floating Garden Observatory and My Complicated Relationship with Heights

First time I learned of the floating garden observatory was from the Kansai Thru Pass model course.  “Garden” and “observatory” are so magnetic for me that I definitely marked this place as a must-see.  So on the last day of my Japan trip, Umeda Floating Garden was my second to the last stop.

The Sky Building is said to be one of the most famous landmarks of Umeda’s north district, but even getting out of Umeda Station from the right exit was really challenging despite the loads of signs everywhere.  But I kept telling myself to enjoy the place anyway; besides it’s a faaaaaar cry from our MRT stations here in Manila.  Just waaaay out.

Umeda Station – a spacious, oddly comforting maze

I also got help from local train station staff who handed me a small map going to the observatory.  The building turns out to be another 10 minutes worth of walking, which includes crossing a long underpass.  Challenge accepted!

I was greeted with this nice view a few steps after emerging from the underpass.  Then I finally got to the Sky Building.

The sidewalk is lined with gingko trees.  They’re pretty!

The Sky Building apparently hosts a lot of offices so I got a bit skeptic as to whether I was really at the right place.  I eventually found a sign leading to the observatory.  At the third floor of the building, I paid an entrance fee (JPY800 I think?) and then I rode the elevator.

And the elevator had a view. Of the city.  And it shows you the altitude, not the floor level.  Oh I’ve never been more terrified in my life.  There was no turning back.  So from 4F – 35F, I kept my eyes pretty much closed, so no pics and honestly, I don’t mind.

So I survived the first wave and I thought I could calm down.  Until I realized I had to ride this. mid. air. escalator.  For the second time that day, I asked myself, “What have I gotten myself into?”

Hanging in mid-air, 4 storeys high. Terror in its solid form.

There was just me and another lady on the escalator.  When we finally reached  the 39th floor, she asked me if I was okay.  She could probably feel my nerves throughout the escalator ride of terror!

Stage 2 cleared; on to the prize!

Was I terrified of heights? I did on the climb.  Am I going back?  Absolutely!  Here’s why:

Rumi Sky Walk, I’m coming back for you. (Image is from here.)

So, ’til then, 空中庭園!



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