Osaka Ali enjoys a prime shopping experience as much as the next lad. Although not yet having the pleasure, he was tempted to peruse the shops and gardens of the enticing downtown complex known as “Namba Parks”. Envisioned and planned by world famous shopping mall designer John Jerde of Venice, California, the marquee advertisement at the Nankai train station concourse made for attractive thoughts of a visit.
The shopping mall is built on the former grounds of Osaka stadium. The image is of an curvaceous, multi-level space. The curves and colors remind one of the undulating surfaces of a Southwestern American canyon, carved by ancient watercourse. But this is no ancient geological marvel. It is the result of an architecture and construction project that came to fruition in 2002.
Since its completion, the Namba Parks shopping center seems to have lost none of its charm. It boasts a rich collection of fashion boutiques, shops, cinemas and food galore. It seems the Namba Parks restaurant collection includes a Kua’aina (クア・アイナ) franchise, rumored to serve up a mean hawaiian-style burger.
But the main attraction for O.A. is the babylon-style roof gardens accessible to the public. It seems the designers wanted to bring nature into the congested city. That is a welcomed move as far as Osaka Ali is concerned. Nature, shopping, entertainment and food all in one elegantly crafted package is what Namba Parks is for you to enjoy.
Has anyone visited this lovely place?
To find Namba Parks, take the train to Namba Station, Nankai Line (難波駅 [南海] 大阪府). From the station head southeast. Take the crosswalk, then the access path and finally up the pedestrian overpass escalator. http://www.nambaparks.com/access/index.html