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March 01 2013

Grand Front Osaka - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Grand Front Osaka, Kita, Osaka

If you enjoy modern architecture, Osaka is becoming a must-see destination. Besides the brand new tallest building in Japan - Abeno Harukas or the beautiful Umeda Sky Building, many other skyscrapers are currently being built: among them, a whole complex in the Umeda area, called Grand Front Osaka.

In my photo, from left to right, you can see the Grand Front Osaka Block C (174.2 meters), the next two are the Block B North (154 meters) and South Tower (175.2 meters) and the Grand Front Osaka Block A (179.5 meters, the 10th tallest building in Osaka), all planned to be finished this year. The three buildings will house shops, restaurants, hotels, residential areas and offices, will use solar power generation, reclaimed water and will feature green roofs…

October 23 2012

Japanese architecture - Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and a Travel Tip - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Kaiyukan Aquarium, Osaka

Osaka is a city with many architecturally interesting buildings and amongst them the Aquarium Kaiyukan certainly stands out. Inaugurated in 1990, Aquarium Kaiyukan was designed by Peter Chermayeff LLC, an American company specialized in aquarium architecture. The best angle to admire its shape is from… above and the nearby Tempozan Ferris Wheel offers the best opportunity for this (as you can see from this photo).

Travel tip: If you like to visit it (and I warmly recommend it), you can buy the Osaka KAIYU Ticket (2400 yen) a pass valid for one day, which offers entrance to the museum (which by itself costs 2000 yen) and unlimited rides on subway lines, new tram lines and city buses in Osaka city. Plus 50% discount to 30 other attractions, like the Tempozan Ferris Wheel mentioned above (which costs 700 yen) or the Osaka Bay Cruise Santa Maria (which is 1500 yen).

August 27 2012

Sailing in Osaka bay and a travel tip - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Universal Studios Japan, Osaka

Of the many amusements in Osaka Bay, the most tempting for me was a ride with Santa Maria, a ship replica of the famous Santa María de la Inmaculada Concepción, the flagship used by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to discover America.

Actually, the Santa Maria from Osaka Bay is powered by modern engines and it is twice as big as the original one - but it has to be, since it carries… a lot more explorers (^_^).
So, I explored the Osaka Bay and I discovered… a bit of America, of course: the Universal Studios theme park…

Travel tip: Santa Maria leaves every hour from 11 AM from the pier next to the Kaiyukan Aquarium, located 5 minutes walk from the Osakako Subway Station. The trip takes 50 minutes and the price is 1600 yen.
There’s also a night cruise (for which you’ll need a prior reservation) which takes one hour and 45 minutes and costs 2500 yen.

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