Perhaps Osaka’s equivalent to the youth capital of Tokyo Shibuya, Umeda is a pretty safe bet if you are in the market for some good food and shopping. Unavoidably at the centre of it all is the iconic red big-wheel rising out of the top of HEP Five.
HEP Five is an interesting youth orientated department store that keeps a healthy mix of the western brands on the lower levels and Japanese brands as you go higher, passing the iconic whale suspended between the escalators as you go.
Further up still you have a solid selection of reasonably priced restaurants. My absolute run-away recommendation is Colorful Waffle Fulfle on the 7th Floor, which serves obscenely gorgeous ice cream and waffles on hot stone slabs in a pretty psychedelic environment.
Higher still you will find a game centre and Sega Joyopolis with indoor theme park rides – I dare you to take on the ghost walk – terrifying. Finally right at the top is the aforementioned big-wheel which as long as you can handle your heights will offer you outstanding views of Osaka all the way to the coast.
I can’t help but feel that this is a somewhat redundant recommendation as absolutely everyone who visits Osaka will go through Hep Five but I do urge you to pay it a visit if you want all your entertainment firmly in one place.