Favorites English(US) USD

See Osaka from up high, from the first ever Ferris Wheel integrated into a building

See Osaka from up high, from the first ever Ferris Wheel integrated into a building

2021-07-27 Management office

Basic Information

The HEP FIVE Ferris wheel is a large red Ferris wheel located in the commercial complex called "HEP", which consists of "HEP FIVE" and "HEP NAVIO", located in Kakudacho, Kita-ku, Osaka.
The name "HEP" is an acronym for Hankyu Entertainment Park, and the building was built in 1998 as a apparel and fashion megamall, with three basement floors and ten stories above ground. It houses around 170 fashion stores, as well as general stores and restaurants.
On the rooftop of the HEP FIVE building is the world's first building-integrated bright red Ferris wheel. The air-conditioned gondolas offer a comfortable year all year around, making it quite a popular attraction among domestic and foreign visitors alike. One part of the wheel passes through the surrounding commercial buildings, making the ride quite a memorable experience. The Ferris wheel is approximately 106 meters tall, making it the tallest Ferris wheel integrated into a building. It has 52 gondolas and one ride takes approximately 15 minutes. Depending on the weather, you can even see as far as the Akashi Strait.
The ride costs only 600 yen and it is also conveniently located just a five-minute walk from Umeda and Shin-Osaka stations, making it a great inclusion on any itinerary.

The view from 106m above ground

The view from the top of the wheel at 106 meters is simply breathtaking. Not only can you see such iconic sights of Osaka like the castle and the Abeno Harukas skyscraper, but also the Rokko and Ikoma Mountains or the Akashi Strait. The appearance of the city and the sight before you changes drastically depending on the time of the day, offering a spectacular view at night as well as during the day. The gondolas carry up to 4 passengers at the same time and play music via the speakers on board, further adding to the atmosphere.
Since you can enjoy a panoramic view of Osaka as well as food and shopping in one place, HEP is quite popular not just among tourists but also the locals. Originally there were plans to build a theme park in the facility, however due to noise concerns and other complications the plans were ultimately changed into the construction of the Ferris wheel. Since the wheel is located above a street it is not possible to open the windows due to concerns of injuries caused by dropping items. As a result all gondolas are fully ventilated and air conditioned.
In the recent years the Ferris wheel has become more and more popular among the foreign visitors, but it is still very common to see the locals and especially young couples taking a ride.

Amazing night view

The Ferris wheel itself is illuminated at night, however the view of the neon-lit city from the gondolas is absolutely amazing. With such an amazing background taking a commemorative picture is an absolute must. You can plug your phone into the audio jacks provided and play your own music to create a truly unique experience just for you. For those who would like to commemorate the occasion there are photographs available at the exit once you get off the ride (1000JPY per 1 picture). Of course, the ride is just as stunning at sunset. However please keep in mind that a lot of people aim for this sweet spot when the sun is setting over the horizon, so it might be a bit tricky to catch a ride as opposed to the later hours.
Admissions end at 22:45, but the shops at HEP start to close at 21:00 so it gets much more quiet after that. If you are aiming for a bit of romantic time without the noisy crowds, the later hours might just be the perfect choice for you.

Entertainment and art

In the stairwell at the entrance of the first floor, there is a large red whale art installation named NATURETAINMENT SHOW, produced by artist Tatsuya Ishii. The whales were so big that they were placed in the building before the building construction was completed. The mother whale has a mouth full of teeth and the baby whale is smiling. As surreal as the statues are, the eyes appear very real, almost as if the whales were alive.
Their author Tatsuya Ishii is a Japanese pop musician, a member and main vocalist of Yomei Club. He is also a well known film director and art director. The bright red Ferris wheel and the bright red whale bear the iconic color of HEP and they fit quite well with the vivid and colorful culture of Osaka.

A whole day of fun and enjoyment

HEP FIVE is home not just to the HEP FIVE Ferris wheel, but also to more than 170 popular stores, including fashion manufacturers and general merchandise stores not available anywhere else in Osaka. It is a five-minute walk from Umeda and Shin-Osaka stations, making it quite easy to access. With so many restaurants and stores under one roof, you can enjoy yourself all day long. There is also HEP NAVIO right next to it, a popular multifunctional commercial complex more focused on entertainment. Here you can find a Disney store, a specialty store for Sanrio characters, and even an official Crayon Shin-chan store. The largest Purikura corner in the world, the game center and even a fortune-telling corner can all be found here, offering entertainment options for those not that keen on shopping.
Pom's Tree, one of the most popular restaurants, specializes in omelets and offers about 60 different kinds of omelets to choose from. It gets very crowded at lunch time, so we recommend you time your visit accordingly. On the 8th floor is the HEP HALL, where live comedy performances as well as theater and music performances are held.

Fun for the whole family

Strollers are available for rent on the first floor, and on the fourth floor there facilities aimed specifically at toddlers and their needs, for example a fully private nursing room. There is also a rest room with a baby cot, stores and restaurants with kid's menus and kid's chairs, so you can bring your children with you without a single worry. The Disney Store, the Sanrio Character Shop, and the Crayon Shin-chan Official Shop are designed in a children-friendly fashion. For example the latter is designed to look like the Nohara family's favorite department store, Action Department Store, so familiar from the original manga and anime. There is also a Shueisha official store featuring the serialized manga of Weekly Shonen Jump, and a separate store dedicated to the Jump World. There is also the Namco area with lots of games available.

In the vicinity

HEP FIVE is located a five-minute walk from Umeda and Osaka stations. In its vicinity you can find many shopping malls and fashion-oriented complexes such as HEP NAVIO, Umeda Sky Building, Hankyu Umeda Main Store, Umeda Est, and Hankyu Sanbangai.
HEP NAVIO has quite a peculiar design, resembling the bow of a ship. It has two basement floors and ten floors above ground, and contains many shops for men. With around 300 brands, HEP NAVIO is a place for men seeking to buy clothes.
There is also a direct elevator from the first floor to TOHO Cinemas Umeda, which is a great place to watch a movie. HEP NAVIO also features many restaurants, making it a perfect spot for a date.

The Umeda Sky Building has a hanging garden observatory, offering a spectacular view of the city. It is a popular spot for young people, and it is also recommended to visit together with the HEP FIVE Ferris wheel.
Umeda Est is more geared toward young women, with many fashion stores, restaurants and cafes. Hankyu Sanbangai is an underground facility, with an artificial river and about 270 stores and famous cafes.

<Venue Information>

Venue Name: HEP FIVE Ferris Wheel
Business Hours: 11:00 - 22:45 (may vary due to circumstances)
Regular Closing Days: None
Address: 〒530-0017 Osaka, Kita Ward, Kakudacho 5-15 HEP FIVE 7F
Access: 3 minutes from Hankyu Umeda Station, 5 minutes from Hanshin Umeda Station, 4 minutes from JR Osaka Station Midosuji Exit, 5 minutes from Midosuji and Tanimachi Subway Line Umeda Station

  • Tour Osaka’s Sightseeing Spots with the “Osaka e-Pass” 1-Day Pass

    Osaka City Kita Area(Umeda, Fukushima, Temma)

    Recommended for familiesRecommended for couplesRecommended for groupsLone Wolves Welcome!Small GroupTraveling with the GirlsTrip with the GuysTo Make MemoriesCan't Decide!Mentioned in Magazines

Management office

Author of this article

Management office

Recommended articles