Tsutenkaku Tower, standing at 103 meters tall, is an unmistakable symbol of Osaka and located in the Shinsekai area. The towering 8-sided structure’s facade is characterized by its exposed steel beams and Eiffel Tower-esque appearance. Visitors and residents alike flock to its observation deck for stunning panoramic views of the area.
Tsutenkaku, originally built in 1912 at 63 meters tall, was renowned for its impressive height, making it one of the tallest structures in Asia at the time. The structure’s appearance was modeled after famous French architecture, with the tower portion matching the Eiffel Tower and the base reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe. The tower was erected as a centerpiece of the bustling area and was attached to the popular amusement park, Luna Park, via a cable car. Unfortunately, the tower was damaged in 1943 by a fire and later dismantled for its steel during WWII. Years later in 1956, after locals campaigned for a new tower, the current Tsutenkaku was constructed at a taller 103 meters tall and designed by famous architect Tachu Naito, who also designed Tokyo Tower. You can view photos, videos, and a diorama of the original tower and Luna Park on Tsutenkaku’s third floor.
Presently, Tsutenkaku stands as a beacon of the lively area and is a must see spot if you are visiting the Shinsekai. During the day, the structure stands silver against the sky, while at night it shines bright neon thanks to its numerous LED lights that change color with the seasons. The tower is open year-round from 10:00 to 20:00 with admission until 19:30. General observatory tickets cost 900 JPY for adults (high school students and above) and 400 JPY for infants 5 years old and over and junior high and elementary school students. For an additional 300 JPY (adults) or 200 JPY (children and young adults), you can visit Tenbo Paradise and Tip The Tsutenkaku. Listed below are some highlights to help guide your adventures.
Explore the Surrounding Area
While in the area, be sure to check out the Shinsekai neighborhood for its local wares, delicious eats, and lively atmosphere. Stroll along JanJan Yokocho (JanJan Alley), a covered shopping street, and enjoy the clothes stores, arcade games, and kushikatsu restaurants, which are known for their fried skewers of breaded meat and vegetables. The street is also populated by multiple Shogi, Japanese chess, salons. For a break from the bustling Osaka streets, visit nearby Tennoji Park for a relaxing walk.
Given the tower’s height, Tsutenkaku’s observation deck is one of its most prominent offerings. After purchasing a ticket in the tower’s basement, travel up 88 meters above ground to the fourth floor. From the enclosed observation deck, witness mesmerizing views of the Osaka City skyline, including the impressive Abeno Harukas skyscraper, Tennoji Park, and Tennoji Zoo.
For an additional fee, visit Tenbo Paradise on the fifth floor, an outdoor observation platform. Compare the sprawling daytime panorama to the sparkling sea of lights at night. Attached to Tenbo Paradise is a small platform called Tip The Tsutenkaku that extends out from the tower with a see-through floor. Test your wits, and experience the sensation of floating nearly 93 meters above ground as you stand on the clear floor. The observation deck is open from 10:00 to 19:30, with the last entry at 19:15.
In addition to the observatory, the fifth floor also houses a statue of Osaka’s mascot, Billiken. Billiken is known for his wide smile, golden color, and seated posture with his legs pointed forward. The happy deity was created in 1908 by an American illustrator and first displayed in Osaka’s Luna Park in 1912. Today, visitors line up for a chance to touch his feet, which are said to bring good fortune. Be sure to stop by the cheeriful god for some good luck during your visit!
The five-story structure is overflowing with shops, perfect for picking up souvenirs. Not only does the second level include Osaka-inspired souvenirs, but it also has an exhibit of the manga and anime character, Kinnikuman. Here, you can purchase merchandise related to the muscular character!
For Japanese food-related souvenirs, visit Wakuwaku Land on the basement floor. Wakuwaku Land is the perfect spot to peruse if you have some downtime after purchasing your ticket for the observation deck. The area brings together famous food manufacturers, including Kyoro-chan’s LOL Lolly Shop, Glico-ya, and Chicken Ramen Hyoko-chan Shop. Observe the store’s cute mascots and pick up some delicious treats. On the same floor is STUDIO210, where you can enjoy performances to pass the time.
At the top of Tsutenkaku is a large light that shines differently depending on the weather forecast for the next day. Best seen at night, the round light consists of two sections that light up with a combination of white, orange, or blue to match the forecast. Learn about the different meanings to fully appreciate the sight. For instance, if the top of the light is white and the bottom is blue, then the next day will be sunny with rain later in the day.
4-minute walk from Ebisucho Station on the Osaka Metro Sakaisuji Line.
7-minute walk from Dobutsuen-mae Station from the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line.
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