Shinsekai (新世界, lit. “New World”) is another one of the many different districts in Osaka (大阪). The main attraction and symbol is the Tsutenkaku Tower, which was built in resemblance of Paris’ Eiffel Tower (it does look quite different though, it’s not on the same level as Tokyo Tower). In fact, the whole northern area of Shinsekai was designed after Paris, with the southern part doing the same with New York.
Don’t expect it to look like those cities though, it is still a Japanese city after all. The name “Shinsekai” fits perfectly as the area was meant to be something new for Osaka’s city scape. And the people loved it! During the early 1900s, a lot of people moved to this newly constructed area which thus lived up in prosperity.
Highlights in Shinsekai
Tsutenkaku Tower is 103 meters tall and has an observation deck at 91 meters of height. While it is certainly not the highest observation deck out there, it’s the best view for this part of the city. The tower is unfortunately not original as it was destroyed during World War II. The current reconstruction dates back to 1956. More info on opening hours and entrance fee below.
Shinsekai in general is a very lively district with many good nightlife activities available. There is also a lovely dish that is very popular here called Kushikatsu (串カツ). It’s similar to Tempura (天ぷら) because it is also buttered and deep-fried, but in addition to that it is presented on a skewer. Kushikatsu comes in more varieties though.
Another highly appreciated point of interest is a big bath house called Spa World. In here, you can find pretty much any form of bath and sauna imaginable. If you’re feeling exhausted from all the walking and exploring, it’s a good idea to take a break here.
"bad" for Japanese Standards?
Despite its prosperous aspects and lively nature, there are bad aspects about Shinsekai too. Keep in mind when I say “bad” that this is measured in Japanese standards, which are very high in terms of safety or quality of life. What is considered bad here, is normal in many other big cities around the world, sadly.
Anyway, to give two examples: Shinsekai has a pretty big homeless population compared to other areas of Osaka. Also, police activity is not the same all around. The southernmost area for example is one of the few areas in all of Japan (日本), where prostitution is sometimes openly visible.
Don’t let that scare you off though. The area is still very safe and especially if you visit during daytime, you will have nothing to worry about.
Generally, I promise that you can enjoy this area just like any other district in Osaka or Tokyo (東京).
Opening Hours & Entrance fees
The Shinsekai area itself is of course public area without closing hours and entrance fees. I will give you that info for the above-mentioned highlights of the area though:
- Generally opened from 9:00 – 21:00 (last entry 20:30)
- The open-air observation deck has different hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (until 20:00 on weekends and holidays)
- There are no closing days throughout the year
- Entrance fee is 700 Yen (5,60€/$6.30; exchange rate as of May 2019) + another 500 Yen (4€/$4.50) for the open-air deck
- Opened every day from 10:00 – 8:45 on the next morning
- Closed sporadically for inspections
- 2400 Yen (19,20€/$21.62) for three hours (2700 (21,60€/$24.32) during peak seasons)
2700/3000 Yen (24€/$27) for an all-day pass (10:00 – 5:00 the following day)
How to get to Shinsekai
Starting from JR Osaka Station (大阪駅), take the Osaka Loop Line (similar to the Yamanote Line in Tokyo) and get off at Shin-Imamiya Station. The ride takes about 23 minutes and costs 180 Yen (1,24€/$1.62).
Shinsekai is a lovely and lively district in southern Osaka. Being constructed in the late 19th/early 20th century, it holds some feeling of nostalgia to it. The Tsutenkaku Tower is a great observation deck to get a beautiful view of the area. If you’re feeling tired from all the input that Osaka has to offer, take a relaxing break at the nearby Spa World.
It’s not far away from Namba, the southern downtown that we talked about in another article before this one. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can easily combine the two.
If you observe the district closely, you can maybe find elements that remind you of Paris or New York as those two cities were taken as an example for Shinsekai.
And that’s it for Shinsekai, I hope you enjoyed it!
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See you there!