Tsutenkaku Tower in Osaka

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One of the interesting places to visit in Osaka is the Tsutenkaku Tower, which is a short tower standing only at 103 meters high. This unique tower is also found in the Shinsekai district of Osaka, where you can find a lot of local Osaka style street food.

Tsutenkaku Tower was built in 1912 and similarities between the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe can be seen in the design here. Originally it was built at a height of only 64 meters tall but during the second world war, the tower was damaged and then disassembled.

After the war, the Japanese people requested that the tower be rebuilt, and a new tower was constructed and opened again in 1956 with the new height of 103 meters tall. The translation of Tsutenkaku to English is “Tower Reaching Heaven”.

Billiken Statue of Osaka

However, one of the unique features on the fifth floor at the Tsutenkaku Tower is no other that the famous Billiken Shrine. This is also known as a deity or God of Happiness, which originates from America. It also has a funny tag line which is “Things as they ought to be”.

Billiken souvenirs sold in the tower

Strange as it is, the Billiken doll was originally brought to Osaka from America in 1910 to be put inside an amusement park located just next to the tower. After the park closed in 1923, the Billiken wooden doll was missing and efforts to replicate another doll was done in the late 1970’s. It was then put in the Tsutenkaku Tower as a symbol of luck.

People from all over Japan visit the tower to pay homage to Billiken and put a coin in the donation box. After that, they rub the sole (feet) of the Billiken statue to make their wishes come true. This trend eventually caught on with tourist and nowadays, visitors that come here will do the same thing as what the locals do.

Tsutenkaku Observatory

The highlight is heading up to the main observatory of the tower, and you need to purchase a ticket at the entrance of the tower. Once up here, visitors can have a pretty good view of Osaka city and the surroundings of Shinsekai.

The Tsutenkaku Observatory where visitors can see the entire Osaka city

There are coin operated binoculars for those who want a better view and visitors can walk a complete 360 degrees around the observatory to see the entire Osaka city.

In 2015, a new open-air observatory was opened to the public where you can walk outside the tower with a harness attached to you. This will cost you additional 500 Yen. In total, there are only five floors to this tower, where every floor has its own attraction.

Kinnikuman Museum

An original photo showing what the Tsutenkaku Tower looked like in the 1920’s

This anime museum is located on the 2nd floor which is dedicated to a popular manga character. For manga lovers, this is not to be missed. The Kinnikuman museum also doubles as one of the must-visit souvenir spots of the tower.

If you move on to the third floor, you will find a mini information area where you can see the original model of the Tsutenkaku and Luna Park and also various photographs. This will let you see how things were back in the early 1900s.


On the third floor, you will also come across Glico-ya, which sells a lot of rare Glico items. From the chocolate sticks to all kinds of other snacks and candy, they are all available here. So if you are a huge Glico fan, this place is not to be missed.

Tsutenkaku Theater

Japanese popular sweets and chocolates for sale at Waku Waku Land

This theater is located in the basement of the tower and offers special performances of rakugo (comic storytelling), manzai (comical conversation), and local enka (traditional Japanese songs) singers on weekends.

Waku Waku Land

This attraction showcases the best of Japanese food, snacks and souvenirs. You can find the popular Osaka snacks and sweets being sold at Waku Waku Land, which is also located in the basement area of the tower.

It is also said that the special souvenirs here cannot be found anywhere else in Japan, so if you are looking for something unique, this is the place to get it for your loved ones, relatives or friends.

Tsutenkaku Information

Tsutenkaku Address:

Ebisu-higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka, Osaka

Opening Hours:

Main tower: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Open-air deck: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Admission Fee:

Adults: 700 yen (Additional 500 Yen for Open Air Deck)

Children: 300 yen (children)

Lobby area: free entrance

When you buy the Tsutenkaku tickets, they will also give you additional information

How to go to Tsutenkaku?

The best way is to take the Osaka subway and the nearest station is the Dobutsuen-mae Station, which is only a 2-minute walk from Shinsekai or the Shin-Imamiya Station, which is 4 minutes away.

For those who get the Osaka Amazing Pass, there are special discounts available for you when you visit the Tsutenkaku Tower and many other attractions around Osaka. Do consider this pass.

What else to do around Tsutenkaku Tower?

For the first time visitor here, there is actually a lot to explore here. The Shinsekai area is quite well known for their local Japanese street food, shopping and entertainment. Around the main tower area, you can find lots of shops selling Billiken souvenirs.

There is also the JanJan Yokocho which is a covered shopping arcade with a good mix of shops, restaurants and of course, the famous Pachinko parlors. If you explore here, you must try the famous Kushikatsu, which are deep fried breaded chicken or vegetables on sticks.

Around the Shinsekai area, there are lots of shops and restaurants to explore

Nearby there is also a zoo called the Tennoji Zoo, if you love animals or want to see what a Japanese zoo looks like. And for those who want an amazing Japanese spa experience, try Spa World, which is one of the largest public spas or baths in Japan. There are Asian and European themed spas which are gender separated.

In general, we recommend you visit Tsutenkaku or Shinsekai on a weekday and go early to avoid the crowds. Plus, you can get a better view of Osaka city from the top of the Tsutenkaku Tower. After that, you can explore the Shinsekai area for shopping or food, before moving off to another part of Osaka. Overall, about 2-4 hours here is more than enough to spend here.

David Hogan Jr
David Hogan Jr
A multiple award-winning travel writer, blogger and social media enthusiast. He has been traveling to Japan since 1990 and all over the world for his work. His work has been featured on CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Lonely Planet and many other publications. David writes at: http://malaysia-asia.my and is on social media platforms as @MalaysiaAsia

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