While traveling Osaka, I had the honor of viewing the most beautiful sunsets waning into the night sky. Most tourists seeking vantage points for beautiful Osaka sunsets visit Umeda Sky building garden or Hep-Five. While Umeda Sky building or big wheels in Osaka are great for a night view, I believe Cosmo Tower is the best observatory in Osaka.
Cosmo Tower stands 252 meters tall, which makes it the highest observatory in Osaka near the seashore. This tower is near the train station called 'Trade Center Mae'. Though quite far form the center of Osaka, Cosmo Tower is worth the trip, providing the best views of both downtown and the harbor area from one location. If you are looking to take a picture of Osaka from one place, Cosmo Tower provides 360 degree panoramic views of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Kansai International Airport, and even the Kyocera Dome. The elevator is see-through, allowing photographs on the way up, and best of all, provides free seats for all guests.
Compared to other observatories in Osaka, Cosmo Tower has several advantages. It is the highest sky lounge in Osaka. The second highest tower, Umeda Sky building, stands only about 179 meters high. The Trade Center, located in the tower area, serves as one of the biggest shopping centers in Osaka.
The Tower is absolutely photographer friendly, allowing tripod setups in a large viewing area for uninterrupted observation. Though the entry fee is not cheap, you can take advantage of promotions if you have Osaka Unlimited Pass. Many tourists already know that many observatory has tight hours of operation. For example, some observatories close at 20:00, which could be bad if you want to experience night views. However, Cosmo Tower is open until 22:00, allowing longer stays than other observatories, which I fully appreciated.
For amazing eats, the Korean restaurant in Cosmo Tower is a great stop in. I visited several Korean restaurants in Osaka, and from my personal experience, the restaurant in Cosmo Tower is most authentic. Even though it is quite expensive, it could be a refreshing and totally new experience. Also there are many good restaurants including Japanese, Chinese, even French cuisine located in the tower, and makes for a memorable experience when combined with the beautiful view.
The sunsets of Osaka are quite beautiful, and from my experiences at the Cosmo Tower, there is no better place from which to experience the Osaka harbor and modern downtown area at night.