Grand Front Osaka offers world-class restaurants, international brand stores and other great additions that make this a must when in Osaka.
The Umeda business district of Osaka has quite a bit to offer international visitors including the massive Grand Front Osaka commercial complex. Easily reached from the main train station of Osaka, it’s a super convenient and extensive shopping precinct that will overwhelm you with options. Because of its large size, complex layout and over 260 stores to choose from, some find Grand Front Osaka a little confusing at first. So, to help you have a stress-free visit and get the most out of your time there, allow us to guide you about.
Brief Background to Grand Front Osaka
The Grand Front complex opened in April 2013 as the first stage of several for the Umekita redevelopment project. Sitting on the north side of Osaka station, this project’s aim is to transform the disused freight rail yard there into a vibrant and enticing commercial district. The project is due to fully open to the public in 2025.
Due to its substantial size, the layout of Grand Front Osaka can be a bit confusing at first glance. The complex is spread across four buildings, the South Building, the North Building, an event hall and a residential tower. There’s also considerable outdoor space between the buildings as well, with multiple rooftop terrace gardens and greenery down at street level.
In terms of public interest, the South and North Buildings are where you’ll be visiting and are connected to each other by a raised walkway. The South Building of Grand Front is very much a shopping mall with a skyscraper on top. It’s the first building you’re likely to see as it’s connected by an elevated walkway to the JR Osaka Station.
As for the North Building, it features two skyscrapers and offers a mix of stores, restaurants and the Knowledge Capital facility. Of the skyscrapers, two are full of offices and one is home to the Intercontinental Hotel Osaka.
<h2 id="What_Do_Grand_Front_Osaka">What to Do at Grand Front Osaka</h2>
No matter what your interests are or how much time you have free, there’s bound to be something at Grand Front Osaka that suits you. While primarily a place for shopping, this commercial complex does have a few other tricks up its sleeve.
With 266 shops to choose from inside the buildings of the Grand Front Osaka, there’s plenty of shopping to be done here. Many of these shops can be found across the first six floors of the South Building, selling everything from fashion and home décor to books and entertainment products.
Because of the importance of the complex, many of the flagship stores for familiar international brands in West Japan are located here. Then there’s the huge Panasonic Center, which stretches across three floors and is dedicated to everything Panasonic, including new technologies arriving on the market.
The next most common reason to visit Grand Front after its shopping is to experience its fantastic assortment of places to eat. Around 95 restaurants, cafes and bars call the complex home, ensuring there’s always somewhere new to try. A large number of the establishments are found up on floors 8 and 9 of the South Building, providing international cuisine alongside eateries serving up sushi, tempura and okonomiyaki pancakes.
Probably the most unusual venue inside the Grand Front Osaka is the Knowledge Capital space in the North Building. This facility is designed to help foster creativity and learning among business professionals and the community. It’s a highly conceptual space and full of information, making it perfect for those that are naturally curious.
Whether you need a break from shopping, want some fresh air or are curious to see the view, it’s worth heading to one of the rooftop terraces at Grand Front. Offering up lush greenery and benches, they’re a nice place to sit for a spell. The terrace garden on the 9th floor of the South Building also has some good views of the Umeda Sky Building.
Tips for Visiting Grand Front Osaka with the JR Pass
- Grand Front Osaka is extremely easy to reach as it’s directly connected to JR Osaka Station by a walkway. You can also use the Osaka Metro to reach the shopping complex by travelling to the Umeda metro station.
- The stores of Grand Front Osaka are generally open from 10:00 until 21:00, while restaurants are usually open from 11:00 to 23:00.
- Those interested in seeing more of Osaka should take a look at these guides to the Umeda and Namba.