Hankyu Department Store & Osake-Umeda Station, Umeda, Osaka, 1929.

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Grand opening, Hankyu Department Store, Umeda, Osaka, 1929. “The largest department store in Osaka, located [on] the most convenient block.” A large vertical marquee joined to the department store advertises the location of the Hankyu express train station (for Kobe) inside the building.

See also:
Mino-o [Minoh] Park Entrance, Osaka, c. 1915. (Colorized)
Takarazuka Hotel, Takarazuka Baths & the Takarazuka Grand Theatre, Takarazuka, c. 1920-1930.
Matsuya (Asakuksa) Department Store & Tobu Railway, c. 1930.

“In 1925, Hankyu Market — the predecessor of Hankyu Department Store — opened in Umeda as a directly-managed market division of Hankyu Corporation (then Hanshin KyukoRailway Company) under Ichizo Kobayashi.

“Then, in April 1929, Hankyu Department Store was established as the world’s first railway terminal department store. With two floors underground and eight above-ground, the large Hankyu Department Store attracted shoppers from all over the country.

“Many Japanese department stores of that time began as kimono shops, and no department store anywhere else in the world was directly operated by a railway company.

“Although today it is not unusual to see department stores near railway stations around the world, Hankyu Department Store was the very first, establishing Osaka’s Umeda area as an important part of shopping history.

“In April 1947, Hankyu Department Store separated from Hankyu Corporation to become Hankyu Department Stores, Inc. (currently Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores, Inc.) and grew to include department stores throughout both the Kansai and Kanto regions.”


“The Hankyu Electric Railway Umeda terminal station”, Osaka, c. 1930. The terminal was attached to the Hankyu department store building. The left platform loaded trains bound for Kobe; the right platform for trains bound for Mino-o and Takarazuka, two recreational destinations developed by entrepreneur Kobayashi Ichizō.

“Kobayashi Ichizō was a Japanese industrialist and politician. He is best known as the founder of Hankyu Railway, the Takarazuka Revue, and Toho.

“After a 14-year career at the Mitsui Bank, he founded Mino-o Arima Electric Railway Company in 1907. The company was renamed Hanshin Kyūkō Railway Company (Hankyu) in 1918.

“At Hankyu, Kobayashi made his success with the innovative management of the railway in a less-populated region by developing residential areas and amusement parks along the railway line, including Mino-o Park in 1907, the Takarazuka Revue in 1913, and the Hankyu professional baseball team in 1936. Such a business model established by Kobayashi would be followed by other railway companies in Japan.

“The Hankyu railway served this recreational empire from a terminal in Osaka at Umeda. The Osaka-Umeda station first opened on March 10, 1910 as a ground-level station.”


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