Osaka’s Gate Tower Building is an amazing sight to see because … well, how should I put this? A highway goes through the building.
It literally does, and there is a story behind it.
In this episode, John not only goes inside to see where the elevator takes him, he also drives through it — in a Lotus Seven. We’ll also go up the Umeda Sky Building and catch some fantastic angles of the city, skyline and Gate Tower Building.
Here it is from the building owner.
It’s basically a land rights dispute with a sort of happy ending.
The property was owned by a business (coal and wood company) since the early Meiji era but when business declined, so did the buildings in the 1970s. The area was approved to be redeveloped in 1983 but the property holder refused to give up the land, even though new building permits had been refused to him. The highway corporation and the property owner negotiated for 5 years and what you see today is their compromise. Highways usually buy the land they’re on but a new law in 1989 allowed the possibility of having two owners on the same spot, really meant for highways to go underground but hey – let’s get creative.
The highway is the legal tenant of floors 5 through 7.
The current building tenant on the other floors is TKP.
WHERE IS THE BUILDING WITH THE HIGHWAY THROUGH IT?
Closest Station: JR Fukushima Station
It’s one stop away from JR Osaka Station on the Loop Line.
Special thank you to TKP and the building owners for allowing me to film inside the building.
Thank you to Yasui-san from F-1 BIN Co. for driving me through the building in his LOTUS SEVEN (1996)
Umeda Sky Building:
This video and the images were taken by John Daub on location and with permission from the tenants. Use of the video is not permitted without consent of creator. For use of this video or clips, please contact John through the ONLY in JAPAN YouTube channel.
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This show has been created and produced by John Daub ジョン・ドーブ. He’s been living and working in Japan for over 18 years and regularly reports on TV for Japan’s International Channel.