11/09/2020

Osaka's Famous Landmark: The Tsutenkaku Tower

When it comes to famous towers in Japan, standing proud in Osaka is the rebuilt and redesigned Tsutenkaku Tower. A time-honored second generation tower with an abundance of beauty and history, it increasingly attracts foreign tourists, provides a magnificent view, and remains one of the symbols of Osaka.

Japan is rich in spectacular landscapes and seascapes for tourists who want to escape the hustles and bustles of city life. It also offers unique cultural experiences that reflect the simplicity and elegance that Japan offers, like the mouthwatering Japanese cuisine that uses only the freshest ingredients of the season. Japan also boasts of many architectural glories; one of them is Osaka's famous landmarks, the Tsutenkaku Tower. Let’s take a look at what the Tsutenkaku Tower is and why it is regarded as one of Japan’s most beloved architectural landmarks.  


Table of Contents


Tsutenkaku Tower

The Tsutenkaku Tower was built in the early 1900s at Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, Japan. The architectural design of the tower mimicked the famous Eiffel Tower and Arc du Triomphe in Paris, France. For the Japanese, it symbolized the “new age” that Japan was striving for at that time. Because the Tsutenkaku Tower was also one of the tallest infrastructures in the entirety of Asia during that era at 64 m, it attracted a lot of people - both locals and tourists who were starstruck at its magnificent structure.

During World War II, a fire wreaked havoc in the tower, causing its ruins, and steel from the tower was melted and used for the war. Even after the war, the people of Osaka still recognized the importance of the Tsutenkaku Tower and requested for it to be reconstructed. The construction of the new tower was completed during the 1950s.

Activities to look out for

A fun activity for both tourists and locals is to check the Tsutenkaku observatory. The climb itself is a fun activity for everyone! The ticket booth is located in the basement of the tower, where you can buy your tickets for 800 yen for adults and 400 yen for children older than five years old. Once paid, people can use the elevator to go up to the observatory deck. The deck offers a breathtaking and unique view of Osaka and offers a glimpse of Abeno Harukas, Japan’s highest skyscraper as well as many other Osaka structures. 

People who are willing to pay an extra 500 yen can go to the open-air observatory, the Tenbo Paradise. Since this unique observatory is open-air, people who can access this can feel the cool Osaka wind while marveling at the breathtaking Osaka scenery. (Please note that this area is only accessible by stairs.) This observatory is also a famous place for men to propose! For just 10,000 yen, you can reserve the whole observatory for 30 minutes and place a romantic set-up to impress your future wife-to-be. 

※ Tsutenkaku Tower Official Site, "Business Information" 
※ Tsutenkaku Tower Official Site, "Special outdoor observatory "Tenbo Paradise"/Bounce out observatory "TIP THE TSUTENKAKU"" 

Another attraction near the Tsutenkaku is the Biliken Statue poised at the entrance of the Tsutenkaku observatory. With his trademark playful pointy smile and pose, this deity is the god of good fortune. Locals and tourists worship and pray to the Biliken Statue for a wide array of reasons - from good business to passing an important exam. 

Foreigners who would want to take a break from sightseeing Osaka can take a quick bite at Cafe de Luna Park. The Cafe offers a wide variety of artful pastries and milk drinks while tourists can enjoy the Osaka scenery. It’s a perfect way to end a whole day of walking around Osaka for sightseeing. 

Tourists can also buy limited edition souvenirs to commemorate your magical trip before heading back to their hotel. The Tsutenkaku tower also has a quaint souvenir shop that offers unique items in the shape of the Tsutenkaku tower as well as Biliken-themed items. These are great items to have for yourself or as a gift for your loved ones as keepsakes!

Explore the nearby area

There are also nearby tourist attractions in the Tsutenkaku tower area. Here’s a couple of them:

JanJan Yokocho arcades and shopping streets in Shinsekai

If you want a taste of Japan's history, then the Janjan Yokocho Street is the place to be! The design is reminiscent of old and traditional Japan with its design and lanterns, where each stall has traditional Japanese Noren curtain just like the olden times! Situated in between the stalls and restaurants are the famous old-school Japanese arcade machines where one can just grab a coin, insert it, and play the game to their heart's content (or until they run out of coins of course). You can also find Biliken all over this area.

The shopping streets also offer affordable food. A special local dish served in the streets of the Shinsekai District is the Kushikatsu, a fried food made out of meat and vegetables usually served on a skewer.  This is considered one of the district's tastiest street foods, so be sure not to miss it if you visit the area! (But pay attention to the rules - don’t double-dip in the sauce!)

Osaka's Spa World is just around the corner

Another popular attraction in Osaka is the Osaka Spa World which is one of Japan’s most famous hot spring theme park. It offers a wide variety of bath areas such as saunas, water slides, and several swimming pools - perfect for a dip during the scorching hot Japanese summer and for warming up during the chilly winters. The Osaka Spa is most famous for its Onsen Bath, which has two themes: a European theme and an Asian theme, separated by gender depending on the month. Here, people can enjoy a traditional Japanese bath with a great view depending on the theme of your choice. The entrance fee is 1300 yen for middle school students and above and includes the baths, swimming pools and amenities. 

※Spa World, “Pricing

Getting to the site

Getting to the Tsutenkaku tower is now easier than ever as it is very close to the different stations like the JR Loop line and other subway lines like the following:

  • Ebisucho Station (Take the Sakaisuji Line on the Osaka Metro and get off at this station; it is only 3-minute walk to your destination)

  • Dobutsuen-mae Station (From Osaka, Umeda Station, Namba or Shinsaibashi, catch the Midosuji Subway and get off at this station: it’s a 10-minute walk to get to the Tsutenkaku Tower)

  • Shinsekai and Shin-Imamiya Station (10-minute walk from these stations)

Once you’re in the area, you can’t miss it the tall tower, especially at night when it’s lit up in neon colors!

Summary

With everything that Japan has to offer, Osaka definitely tops the list! The iconic Tsutenkaku Tower is an iconic landmark that offers a wide variety of activities that explores both unique activities and historical information for both locals and tourists alike. If you have a chance to be in the Osaka area, make sure you have a chance to visit the Tsutenkaku tower!

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