Hot new "towns" open in Tokyo and Osaka-- Hot new facilities open in Eastern and Western Japan, where visitors can freely enjoy a "town walk"! 2014.04.

New commercial facilities and places featuring fun experiences are springing up in various cities throughout Japan. Such facilities come in great variety, from large-scale shopping amenities to small facilities specializing in various themes. In particular, two "towns" that appeared in Tokyo and Osaka in March 2014 -- ABENO HARUKAS in Osaka and COREDO Muromachi in Nihonbashi, Tokyo -- are attracting attention. What kind of "towns" are these? Let's have a look.

Enjoy a sky walk at 300 m above the ground

When you look up from the ground, you see the Osaka sky reflected on giant glass walls. White clouds move along the walls that shine as they reflect the bright sunlight. This stately building that cuts through the sky, ABENO HARUKAS, is the tallest building in Japan, with a height of 300 m above ground. Your anticipation naturally grows as you wonder what views await you from the top of the building.
 
Your question can actually be answered. The 58th through 60th floors at the top form the observatory HARUKAS 300, which is open to the public. The 60th floor -- the top floor -- is a 360-degree observation deck that forms a 175 m loop. Since the deck is enclosed with glass walls from the floor to the ceiling, you can experience a sensation of walking through the air as you move alongside its walls. Moreover, a portion of the floor on the west side is made of glass, and you can enjoy the thrill of looking down. There are not many high-rise buildings around HARUKAS 300, allowing you a panoramic view of Osaka that looks like a 3D map. It is located within 30 minutes of Kansai International Airport, and access to seven train lines is available at nearby Tennoji or Abenobashi Stations, making it a perfect starting point for a sightseeing tour of Osaka.
 
There are many things to see inside HARUKAS 300, including a store that sells goods related to HARUKAS 300 on the 59th floor and an open-air plaza on the 58th floor where you can feel the outside air. Another you might want to visit is the restroom that commands a superb view of the city. For your information, HARUKAS 300 is part of a walking course led by "Abeno Bear", an ABENO HARUKAS mascot. If you are lucky, you can have your photo taken with him.
 

A "multifaceted town" that you can enjoy according to your taste

The main part of ABENO HARUKAS is a complex facility that combines a hotel, a museum, a department store and offices. It is a "multifaceted town" where people with various purposes gather. What is noteworthy about it is that all the facilities and communities cooperate to provide services that benefit visitors. For instance, the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel located on the 38th to 55th floors opens up its observatory to guests free of charge before business hours, in addition to making available in a shop inside its store traditional craft products and other products selected by Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Main Store, which located on floors B2 through 14. Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Main Store also sells limited-edition products such as collaborative products with comic entertainers who represent Osaka and holds experience-based events such as hand towel dyeing, in cooperation with the local community from time to time.
 
Another attraction of the "multifaceted town" is that it allows you to spend time freely according to your taste. After checking out the latest fashions in Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Main Store, you can have lunch at the restaurant on the upper floor as you enjoy the view from the window, or you can appreciate works of art in the museum and then relax in the open-air garden or the observation deck.
 
Another recommendation is combining your visit with a tour of the area surrounding ABENO HARUKAS. Abeno, where ABENO HARUKAS is located, is an area that has more of an old downtown atmosphere than other towns in Osaka. Restaurants that have been built by renovating 50 to 60 year-old Japanese style row houses, retro-looking trams, and the Tsutenkaku tower, a the symbol of Osaka, that allow you to experience a side of Osaka that contrasts with the state-of-the-art ABENO HARUKAS are within walking distance.
 
ABENO HARUKAS
Address: 1-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno-ku, Osaka, Japan
Access: Directly above Osaka-Abenobashi Station on the Kintetsu Minami-Osaka Line, Tennoji Station on the West Japan Railway Osaka Loop Line, Kansai Main Line, Hanwa Line, and Osaka Municipal Subway, and Tennoji-Ekimae Station on the Hankai Uemachi Line


 

"Cities connected to the local community" that inherit Edo culture

If ABENO HARUKAS is a multifaceted town, COREDO Muromachi 2 and 3, which opened in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, can be called "towns connected to the local community". Nihonbashi is a city where culture and commerce have flourished for nearly 400 years. Even today, there are long-established stores that have been in business for over 300 years and stores that carry on the craftsmanship of olden times.
 
COREDO Muromachi 2 and 3 are facilities in which the appeals of craftsmanship and food from various places in Japan are mixed with the history and traditions of the Nihonbashi area. With the inclusion of COREDO Muromachi, which opened in October 2010, all three COREDO facilities strongly emphasize "Japanese" style through their exterior design using entrance curtains or oil lamps. Their interior designs, such as walls on which traditional Japanese patterns are printed, also create a relaxing atmosphere similar to that found in classic Japanese homes. Moreover, attention is paid to details such as smoking spaces with tables with a cast metal-like texture, on which ceramic ash trays are placed.
 

Full of places where you can get to know and experience Nihonbashi

Dedication to the Japanese style of COREDO Muromachi can be observed in the selection of stores. There are many long-established stores from various areas in Japan, as well as stores offering foods or particular items from areas throughout Japan, including a store selling dashi broth that is essential to Japanese cooking. "Kyorakutei", located on the third floor of COREDO Muromachi 3 is a wide space with 30 tatami mats where events for experiencing traditional Japanese culture or traditions, such as kimonos or tea ceremonies, are regularly held. In COREDO Muromachi 2, you'll find TOHO CHINEMAS Nihonbashi, with its large screens extending to the right and left-side walls, which was the first cinema complex to open in Nihonbashi. COREDO Muromachi 2 and 3 have restaurants that stay open late into the night, enabling you to finish up your Nihonbashi tour by enjoying dinner after catching a hit movie.
 
The Nihonbashi Information Center in the B1F of COREDO Muromachi provides information on sightseeing spots, stores, events, and other up-to-date information about Nihonbashi as a concierge service. A Japanese-style cafe designed in Nihonbashi style and a souvenir store are also located alongside it. Concierges from Canada, the United States, and Spain, as well as concierges who can speak Chinese are available to provide assistance. Why don't you stop by at the start of your Nihonbashi tour?
 
COREDO Muromachi 2
Address: 2-3-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Open hours: Differs between stores.
Closed on: May 25th, 2014 (Sun)
Access: Tokyo Metro Ginza Line/Hanzomon Line Mitsukoshi-mae Station Exit A6/A4
Directly connected to JR Sobu Rapid Line Shin-Nihonbashi Station


 
COREDO Muromachi 3
Address: 1-5-5 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Open hours: Differs between stores.
Closed on: May 25th, 2014 (Sun)
Access: Tokyo Metro Ginza Line/Hanzomon Line Mitsukoshi-mae Station Exit A6/A4
Directly connected to JR Sobu Rapid Line [Shin-Nihonbashi] Station


 
Nihonbashi Information Center
Address: COREDO Muromachi, B1F, 2-2-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3242-0010
Open hours: 10:00 - 21:00
Access: Directly connected to Tokyo Metro Mitsukoshi-mae Station


 

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