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Published on 06.03.2016
Tutenkaku is a symbol of Shinsekai.
After the international trade exhibition in southern Osaka in 1903, its ground had grown as an entertainment district called Shinsekai, literally means new world. Despite its name, this area has escaped from trendy renovations and its atmosphere preserved. Shinsekai is Osaka people’s favourite downtown and, in recent years, attracts tourist worldwide for its unchanged charm; a row of large eccentric shop sighs, noisy crowds, retro bars and glittering neon lights.
Tutenkaku, which means a building that reaches the sky, was built in 1912. At 75m high, it was the highest building in Asia at the time, however, it was lost by fire in 1943. The second Tutenkaku was built in 1956 by local businesses and people as a symbol of Shinsekai.
Billiken and Tutenkaku
Billiken is a charm doll created by an American art teacher and illustrator Florence Pretz in 1908. Shinsekai enshrined him as a spirit of good fortune in 1912 on the ground of an amusement park that once stood here and he became a popular mascot of Shinsekai. The statue, however, went missing when the amusement park was closed in 1925. Billiken was reinstalled at 5th floor of Tutenkaku in 1980. People rub his soles when they wish their luck, therefore his has dents on his soles.
What’s in Tutenkaku?
Enter Tutenkaku from 1st floor and go down to B1. (NB: There are two entrances and only Waku Waku Land entrance has elevator.)
• Studio 210 (an event studio and a meeting point)
• Waku Waku Land (Three pilot shops of the beloved mascots, Kyoro-chan, Hiyoko-chan and Glico)
• Box office (buy a ticket to the observation platform/you need this ticket to access all other floors)
Take the tubular elevator to 2nd floor
• Kinnikuman Museum (manga character memorabilia/ free entry with an observation platform ticket)
• Jan Jan Town (Tutenkaku original souvenir shop)
• Capsule toy vending machines corner
Take the observation elevator to 5th floor
• Golden Observation Platform (Enjoy the view from 87.5m height)
• Billiken and Seven Deities of good fortune statues (make a pilgrimage for your good luck/write your wish on a wooden tablet)
Take the observation elevator or go down the stairs to 4th floor
• Observation Platform (Enjoy the view from 84m height)
• 2 Telescopes
• Golden Indian god Ganesha, the lucky elephant statue
Take the observation elevator to 3rd floor
• Diorama display (Shinsekai 100 years ago)
• Café de Lunna Park
Take the elevator or go down the stairs to 2nd floor where the exit is.
If you are not scare of height
Tutenkaku has one more observation platform above the 5th floor. It’s called ‘Tenbou paradise’ that is an open deck at 94.5m high. Enjoy the 360degree view without obstacles while feeling the wind. Additional fee of 500yen applied. No entry for children under 5 and you need to use stairs.
Address: 1 Chome-18-6 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Osaka
Osaka city subway Sakaisuji line <Ebisu-cho> station Exit 3 (5min), Midousuji line <Doubutuen-mae> station Exit 1 (7min)
Hankai tram way Hankai line <Ebisu-cho> station (3min)
JR Osaka loop line <Shin Imamiya> station East exit (9min)
Nankai main line <Shin Imamiya> station West exit (9min)
*Don’t worry if you get lost. You won’t miss Tutenkaku as it’s the tallest tower in this area. Don’t hesitate asking the direction. Osaka people are very friendly and hopefully they try their best to show your way even they can’t speak English!
Open: All year around between 9.00-21.00 (last entry 20.30)
*Tenbou paradise opens between 10.00 and 18.30 (last entry 18.00) on weekdays and 10.00 and 20.30 (last entry 20.00) on weekends and holidays.
Adult 700yen, University student 500yen, High school and Junior high student 400yen, Elementary school pupil and over 5yeas old 300yen