Osaka is a huge city, almost 1 million more people live in Osaka than in my entire country! And like all big cities over the world it has its skyscrapers, and we visited one of them today, the Umeda Sky Building. It is the seventh-tallest building in the city and one of the most recognizable landmarks. The Umeda Sky Building is 173 meters tall, and was completed in 1993. It consists of two 40-story towers connected with bridges and long escalators and at the top with a huge rooftop observatory called The Floating Garden Observatory.
Even though some of these Dutchies (including myself) are afraid of heights we were determined to go to the top and admire Osaka from high above. Of course the way up was in one of those see-through elevators with a nice view of your climb up into the air. I used to be petrified of riding glass elevators, I remember being way too scared to get into the elevator at the Westin hotel in Atlanta 4 years ago. But living in Japan for over a year has made me overcome that fear (somewhat) as glass elevators on the outside of buildings are too common in Japan, and sometimes you don’t even have a choice like in the Tokyo Dome hotel (using the stairs was only allowed in emergencies). These days, I enjoy glass elevators as nice sightseeing opportunities, just like the observatories on top of extremely tall buildings.
Hundreds of clicks on our digital cameras later, we were getting hungry. We decided not to hang out in the skyscraper until sundown (although it would have been a beautiful view) because I promised the parents another round of karaoke after dinner, which they were really excited about. But first we were going for dinner at Kushiya in Umeda. I’ve been to this restaurant chain several times ever since Yasu introduced me to it in Nagoya and was happy to finally be able to introduce my family to it. They liked it a lot of course, I mean 90 minutes of frying (and eating) as much food as you can and drinking as much as you can is always a good thing.
As promised karaoke was our after dinner treat. Gy and I have been going to karaoke at crappy Jankara in Tsukamoto every night since Saturday, making our voices are virtually non-existent at this stage, especially after blowing up one of the speakers by singing Europe’s Final Countdown to high tonight. But this is never going to stop us from doing karaoke over and over again, so we were more than happy to join the parents at fancy Shidax in Umeda. And the parents were very happy to be behind a microphone again. We all love karaoke and have decided to do some serious free time (karaoke for many hours for a fixed low price) on their last day in Japan.