Come with us as we walk through what it takes to hang out over the edge of a skyscraper.

When you think about Japan’s tallest structures, famous towers like Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree in the country’s capital instantly spring to mind. However, the country’s tallest building, located in Osaka, also demands attention, and the 60-storey, 300-metre (984-foot) high Abeno Harukas building is now inviting visitors to come and stroll along the very edge of its rooftop, as part of a new attraction called “Edge The Harukas”.

▼ See the tip of the building all the way up there in the middle of the sky?
That’s where we’ll be hanging out today, literally.

K. Masami, our thrill-seeking SoraNews24 Japanese-language reporter, was one of the first to “Edge the Harukas” when it opened on 7 March, and despite being nervous about the whole thing, the staff assured her that all it involved was walking.

Putting one foot in front of the other might seem like an easy enough task, but doing it at the top of a skyscraper with the wind rushing through your hair is another thing entirely. Still, Masami had come this far and she wasn’t going to back down now, so she followed the guide’s instructions and donned one of the red jumpsuits by the window.

Then she picked up a pair of rental shoes, seeing as participants aren’t allowed to wear heels due to safety reasons. In Japan, shoe sizes are measured in centimetres, but if you haven’t lined a ruler up against your foot recently, the staff will be able to help you find your size.

▼ Items like heels, jackets and scarves can be stored on shelves until your return.

After meeting the appropriate dress requirements for the rooftop tour, Masami picked up a harness, which is used to tether participants to the building during their walk outside, which can get windy given its height.

Then it was time to step outside with the other members in her allocated group, where they received a rundown of the procedure that lay ahead of them.

During the safety talk, Masami couldn’t help but notice the huge sign nearby that seemed to be challenging her and testing her bravado.

▼ So…you think you can handle 300 metres?

Rather than feel intimidated, Masami felt a huge rush of adrenalin wash over her as she took her first steps up to the viewing platform.

▼ Being attached to the handrail by her safety harness helped to calm her nerves.

And then she was up on the viewing platform, where she remembered the instructions she’d received to put one foot in front of the other so that everyone behind her in the group could join her in enjoying the view.

Strangely enough, the fear she’d felt before quickly dissipated as Masami found herself carried away with the incredible view laid out in front of her. She felt like a bird perched high above the city, only with a safety harness to protect her from falling.

As she was getting comfortable, the tour guide encouraged everyone to put their hands out above the city and commemorative photos were taken to help mark the occasion. At this moment, Masami realised that the taller you are, the more your body would hang over the edge, adding to the thrill.

Masami was all smiles at this point, until the guides instructed everyone to stand with their backs to the view and raise their hands in a big exclamatory “Banzai” fashion together. She instantly froze, as her muscles rejected the idea of turning her gaze away from land and up towards the sky. Like turning your back on a huge wave, this seemed like a terrible idea.

After working up some courage and bracing herself during the countdown, Masami managed to turn around and bring her hands into the air for a fleeting moment, digging her lower back firmly into the railing to reassure herself that she wasn’t about to fly away on a gust of wind.

And then the tour was over and Masami descended the stairs. Like after any death-defying experience, Masami felt instantly rejuvenated, and her adrenaline-high took her over to the bar where she picked up a special collaborative drink.

▼ The Lemon Tea “Edge the Sky Blue” and tropical-flavoured “Edge the Sunset” drinks cost 550 yen each.

As Masami sipped her drink, she recalled the events of the day and pondered over whether or not Edge The Harukas would become a must-see attraction for visitors to Osaka City. As an experience she won’t ever forget, with stunning views and a feeling of calm exhilaration after the tour, Masami thinks this is definitely worth a visit and has everything it needs to become a signature attraction for visitors to the area.

Edge the Harukas costs 1,000 yen ($9.30) per person, in addition to the observatory’s 1,500 yen admission fee per adult, and participants need to be taller than 146 centimetres and no taller than 199 centimetres in order to take part. The attraction closes in the case of snow and stormy weather, so be sure to check if the tour is being held before making your way there.

Given that Osaka and Tokyo enjoy a healthy rivalry, we can only hope that an experience like this might appear atop of Tokyo’s planned tallest wooden skyscraper in the future too. At 333 metres in height, that would be an experience Masami would love to try!

Attraction Information
EDGE THE HARUKAS / エッジ・ザ・ハルカス
Address: Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Abeno-ku, Abenosuji 1-1-43
Hours: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Photos © SoraNews24