Harukas 300 (ハルカス300) (Engl.)

There isn’t a taller one (presently)…

Harukas 300 (ハルカス300)

Eine deutsche Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier.
A German version of this posting you can find here.

…at least not in Japan. Until recently the Landmark Tower in Yokohama was the tallest building of the country (295.8 metres) (not the tallest built structure – from 1958 to 2011 that title went to the Tōkyō Tower with its 333 metres of height; and since 2011 it is the Tōkyō Sky Tree with its astonishing 634 metres of height that deserves this honour), but since the “Abeno Harukas” building in Ōsaka (大阪 / おおさか) reached its final height of 300 metres in 2012 is has outranked the Landmark Tower in that respect. Since autum 2013 the lower floors of the “Abeno Harukas” have already been used, but only since March 7th 2014 also the top floors are open to the public (the two topmost floors have one core function only: they are observation decks).
A quite respectable achievement, if one considers that construction was begun in 2010 only.

The interlaced facade consists of glass only. The whole tower itself is getting narrower towards its top – seen from street level it looks like the the top floors are offering nothing but very confined space on a rectangular base. But in fact, even the top floors are quite spacious.

The word “Harukasu” is said to derive from an old Japanese expression meaning “to brighten, to clear up” – the light-flooded architecture follows this motto (or vice-versa).

Be that as it may, I’d love to bore you a little while longer with some statistics (everybody loves them, don’t they?). At the time of posting this article the building was ranking as follows:
– Tallest buildings of the world: Rank 80
– Tallest buildings of Asia: Rank 36
– Tallest buildings of Japan: Rank 1
– Tallest buildings of Ōsaka: Rank 1 (well, obviously…)

The building is equipped with 56 elevators that reach a top speed of 22 km/h (just for the sake of comparison: The elevators at the Landmark Tower in Yokohama have a top speed of breathtaking 45 km/h) and connect the five underground and 60 overground floors.

Additionally, the building also offers 360 hotel rooms (and the highest location of a hotel suite in Japan – on the 55th floor of the “Marriott Hotel”), but just measly 190 parking lots. The latter is easily explained by the fact that the “Abeno Harukas” is just part of a larger ensemble around the important railway station of Tennōji (天王寺 / てんおうじ) – Japan is, after all, a “railway country” and not an “automobile country”. And that’s why it also doesn’t come as a surprise, that the owner of the building is the Kintetsu Corporation (“Kinki Nippon Tetsudō K.K.” (近畿日本鉄道株式会社 / きんきにっぽんてつどうかぶしきがいしゃ), to be precise). If you know a little of the Japanese language, you also know that “Tetsudō” (鉄道) stands for “railway”.

When making your way up to the observations decks of the building, and that is what this posting is about in the first place, you will find that the actual gate is on the 16th floor. From here elevators bring you up to the 60th floor without stopover. But spending a little while on the 16th floor is certainly worthwhile. Not only because this floor also houses the “Abeno Harukas Art Museum” (with temporary exhibitions of Japanese, Western and modern art), but also because you’ll find an amazing roof garden here that offers quite a view over parts of the city of Ōsaka.

Nevertheless, the ultimate observation decks are the top floor (60th floor) with its glass-enclosed 360° panoramic view and the floor below (the 58th floor), an open-air outdoor plaza in a three story atrium structure, where one can rest beneath the green of trees and let one’s eyes wander across the endless expanse of the city. And what a view that is! It’s hard to believe that Ōsaka is really “just” the third-biggest city in Japan. Seen from this “elevated point of view” one feels compelled to swear that this city has no end. And in fact, the metropolitan area of Ōsaka with its more than 17 million inhabitants is one of the largest in the world (presently ranking 14th – just to submerge into the world of statistics for one more time). But, naturally, it is not just the endless space of a gigantic settlement area that can be marveled at from here, it is also the many details nearby one can discover from this breathtakingly lofty height.

How to get there:

Take one of the numerous trains of the JR lines or the Kintetsu lines, or the subways of the Midosuji linie (御堂筋線 / みどうすじせん) respectively, to Tennōji (天王寺 / てんのうじ).
Or take the Uemachi line of the Hankai tramway (阪堺電車上町線 / はんかいでんしゃうえまちせん) to Tennōji Ekimae (天王寺駅前 / てんのうじえきまえ)

Opening hours:

The whole year through from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm (last entry at 9.20 pm).

Admission fee:

Same-day tickets:

  • Adults (from 18 years of age): 1,500 Yen*
  • Junior High/High School Students (12 to 17 years of age): 1,200 Yen
  • Elementary School Students (6 to 11 years of age): 700 Yen
  • Children of 4 and more years of age: 400 Yen
  • Children of less than 4 years of age: free

Disabled persons and an accompanying person pay half prices.
Groups of 15 and more persons receive a 10% discount.
Student groups of 15 and more persons receive a 20% discount.

* Students only pay the fee for Junior High and High School students, even if they are already 18 years old.

The tickets do not permit a return to the observation decks once they have been left.
There is no refund for tickets already purchased.

Please observe that tickets need to be purchased at a ticket counter on the 2nd floor of the complex – please follow the signs to find this counter!

Reserved Tickets:

  • Adults (from 18 years of age): 2,000 Yen (Disabled Persons: 1,250 Yen)*
  • Junior High/High School Students (12 to 17 years of age): 1,700 Yen (Disabled Persons: 1,100 Yen)
  • Elementary School Students (6 to 11 years of age): 1,200 Yen (Disabled Persons: 850 Yen)
  • Children of 4 and more years of age: 1,000 Yen (Disabled Persons: 750 Yen)
  • Children of less than 4 years of age: free

* Students only pay the fee for Junior High and High School students, even if they are already 18 years old.

The tickets do not permit a return to the observation decks once they have been left.
There is no refund for tickets already purchased.

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One Response to Harukas 300 (ハルカス300) (Engl.)

  1. […] englische Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier. An English version of this posting you can find […]

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