Gate Tower Building (Osaka, Japan)

Gate Tower Building

Gate Tower Building is popular across the world differently. It is not the tallest building in the world, it is not the sexiest building in Japan or it is not the building where Justin Bieber has an office. In fact an expressway passes through it and this is something worth seeing when you visit the Osaka city in Japan next time.

What is Gate Tower Building

The Gate Tower Building is an office building with sixteen floors. It has a circular cross section in the fifth, sixth and seventh floors through which the Hanshin Expressway passes without making any contact to the building. It passes through as a bridge and is equipped with such structures that protect from noise and vibration.

Elevator in the building passes from 4th to 8th floor without stopping in between. The 5th, 6th and 7th floors consist of elevators, stairways and machinery. The building has a helipad too on the roof.

Gate Tower Building

It is to note the Hanshin Expressway is a tenant of the three floors.

Where is Gate Tower Building

The Gate Tower Building is in the Fukushima-Ku ward of Osaka city. Below is the exact address of it:

5-4-21 Fukushima, Fukushima-Ku, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture

The Hanshin Expressway

Operated by Hanshin Expressway Company Limited, the Hanshin Expressway is a network of expressways surrounding Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. It is a 239.3 kilometers network.

Gate Tower Building


The futuristic-looking, strangest looking building is in fact the product of a compromise between the government and landowners. The property rights were held by a wood and charcoal business since the early Meiji period, an era in Japan that extended from 23 October 1868 to 30 July 1912 and corresponded with Emperor Meiji reign. Redevelopment of the area was approved in 1983 and permits for building were refused as a highway was already planned. However, the landowners refused to give up and for five years negotiations continued with the Hanshin Expressway corporation until current situation was reached.

In 1989 the highway laws, city planning laws, city redevelopment laws as well as building codes were revised to allow buildings and highways to develop in the same space.

Construction of the Gate Tower Building was completed in 1992.

Gate Tower Building

Features of Gate Tower Building

The Gate Tower Building is 71.9 meters in height and covers a total floor area of 7,956 square meters. The site area is 2,353 square meters and construction area is 760 square meters. It is made of reinforced concrete and steel frame. Due to its shape and traffic going in and coming out of it the building is nicknamed as The Beehive. It was built for office purpose.

The building was designed by Azusa Sekkei and Yamamoto-Nishihara Kenchiku Sekkei Jimushō, and the builder was Satō Kōgyō Co. Ltd.

The Bottom line

As highways and express ways in Japan are still built underground, the Gate Tower Building in Osaka is a rare case as traffic passing through a building is extremely rare in the country. It is a strange building and so you won’t afford to miss seeing it when you visit Japan.