ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Japan: Osaka Namba Parks

Updated on August 12, 2017

I'm interested in urban garden developments, such as Madrid Rio or the New York High Line, so I was most interested in visiting Osaka's own urban garden, Namba Parks, which happened to be next door to my hotel.

The Namba Parks project started in 2000 and construction completed in 2003. After 10 years, the trees and plants are mature enough to be awe inspiring

Aereal view of Namba Parks
Aereal view of Namba Parks | Source

All the photos in this article are mine unless otherwise stated. No need to steal them, either, just ask and I will provide in all their full pixeled glory.

Urban Garden Made of Concrete

Namba Parks in Osaka is actually the only green space of any substance in the big city of Osaka, besides Osaka Caste's grounds. It recycles more O2 than any other row of trees or gardens anywhere else in the city.

Considering how small it is, compared to Osaka Castel grounds, it proves the fact that these green corners in big cities are not only very nice, but extremely environmental friendly.

Thermography, courtesy of Namba Parks. Photo by C. Zeballos
Thermography, courtesy of Namba Parks. Photo by C. Zeballos | Source

The image shows the microclimate generated by the park around the Namba area. Green depicts clean oxygen. The red areas are the railways and a beltway. Namba Station, by the way, is not only one of the biggest train and subway stations in Osaka, but also a commercial conglomerate that would put to shame the biggest and bestest.

In truth, this garden was conceived to somewhat tackle Osaka's hugely dense urban center. We could say it definitely did the trick.

My stroll around Namba Parks

There is much around the internet about this particular urban development project, which to date has won 5 prizes, from good architecture and environment design, to open air space retail area. It's not difficult to research it and inform yourself if you're so inclined, so I'll just throw in bits and pieces of the official story here.

Personally, I was thrilled with the mixture of elegant concrete and nature. The many layers in the park, built on top of a mall, form "slopes" where the trees and flowers rest.

One can access the gardens without any need to enter the mall, but from within the mall there are exits to the greenery from the fifth floor up. There are open pathways, but also multitude of nooks and crannies, some of which would make you seriously doubt you're on top of a "building", so much they resemble any regular garden.

I can imagine it's a very popular spot in summer. As it were, very early spring, many of the restaurant terraces on or overlooking the gardens were closed. Had they been open, I don't think I could have resisted, cold or not.

Grand Canyon

Namba Parks is characterized by its constant elliptical shapes, and a purposeful resemblance to the walls of the Grand Canyon.

To that effect, the walls in the central areas are layered in colors simulating the secular sedimentation on the walls of the Colorado river.

There isn't a single square angle in the whole park, the one constant shape all over the structure are curves. As I said, this is on purpose. The architect Jon Jerde, chose this theme and stuck to it consistently, much as he was somewhat criticized at the time, especially for drawing inspiration from the Grand Canyon. As if that display of nature wasn't something one should be inspired with!

The eight floor layered garden has a space for live shows, and as many other urban gardens nowadays, a space reserved for personal vegetable gardens.

One of the peculiar traits of the garden is that it sits just next to a 30 story sky scrapper, and the railway. It's kind of funny how one finds themselves in the middle of a fully green space, looking out, left and right, to the utmost representations of urbanity.

Curiously enough, the peace in the gardens is full and absolute, nothings disrupts the inner tranquility, not the trains nor the cars speeding by, and most certainly not the tower that raises just next to it.

Besides it being a green relief in a city where green is scarce at best, this layered park entices one to follow the curvy pathways from grooves of trees, to flowery lawns, to waterfalls, to observatories, to wooden and rocky benches alike...

Some extra photos

© 2012 Elena.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Madrid

      That's the Swissotel Nankai Osaka, views to the parks are fantastic as you can see. And the views to the city on the other side are not bad at all either :-)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      where is the best place to photograph namba parks? i'd love to try to take that aerial shot at the beginning of this article!

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Madrid

      Thanks, Bmm!

    • Bmm209 profile image


      8 years ago from California,U.S.A

      Beautiful pictures! This is a great looking garden. I want to visit there! ^_^

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Madrid

      Cheers, Laurel, my pleasure entirely! Oasis is quite the adequate word for Namba Parks indeed.

    • Laurel Brunvoll profile image

      Laurel Brunvoll 

      8 years ago

      Fabulous urban garden! What an oasis -- I'm so glad to know more about this wonderful project! Thanks for sharing, Elena!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)