This is the Hanshin Expressway going through the Gate Tower Building in Osaka. The highway never touches the building also called the „Beehive“. It passes between the fifth through seventh floor. If you are inside and want to go to the top floors, the elevator passes through the highway floors without stopping. Floor 4 is followed by floor 8. Amazingly the highway hardly affects business inside the office space, as the owners installed noise-proofing walls and flooring on all floors.
How could this happen? The land had been held since the 1860s by a wood and charcoal business. As other energy resources got popular, the business went down but the land remained in the ownership of the company. Those in charge decided to develop office space on the land after the old buildings were demolished. At the same time the Hanshin Expressway was also in its final stages of planning – and guess where it went? And as we all know, small buildings are not as lucrative in terms of rent as a very large skyscraper with 16 floors and the original landowners would not give up their plans. It took five years of negotiation.
It was the first building in Japan that went through a skyscraper. Build by a very traditional business, the Sato Kogyo Co. They also Implemented flood prevention in the 1860’s, built the National Museum of Singapore or a school building in Malaysia.
I shot this picture on one of the many viewing platforms that exist in Osaka: The Umeda Sky Building. A lot of these big skyscrapers have lounges where you can shoot pictures, but not all are suited for doing so, because they are lit from within. 1 or 2 lights inside the building and with the reflection on the window, there can’t be a good pic.
The Umeda Sky Building is different. Behind the 360 view from the windows there are barely lights, but its one of the biggest attractions in Osaka, so the viewing platform is always full of tourists and a lot of japanese couples. They also have nice seats directly at the windows, where you can watch the night lights with you’re hubby. And its allowed to go on the rooftop without additional payment. I have a picture from the top view here:
This is the Sky Building from the front entry:
Umeda Sky Building Facts:
- height: 173m
- “Floating Garden Observatory” on the 39th floor
- Entry Fee 800 Yen
Gate Tower Building Facts:
- height: 71,9m
- floors: 16 above ground
- 2 underground and 1 penthouse
If you can’t get enough of nighttime pictures from Asia, check out these shots:
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