Shinsekai literally means in Japanese The new World.
Retro-futuristic in appearance with neon lights and 3D signs, Shinsekai’s creation dates back to 1903, the year the city of Osaka received the National Industrial Exhibition. After this Shinsekai was designed as a neighborhood where all kinds of attractions, bars and restaurants were found.
In 1912 in the north, its greatest exponent and tourist attraction the Tsutenkaku Tower, which was previously the entrance to Osaka’s Luna Park, was built with a unique architectural design that seemed as if the Eiffel Tower had risen over the Arc de Triomphe .
For the development of the southern area, the New York island of Coney Island was chosen.
In 1943 the Tsutenkaku tower suffered a serious fire, for which it was dismantled and its steel was reused as armament for the Second World War.
Due to the poverty left by the war, the area dwindled and was almost abandoned. In 1956 the tower was rebuilt making it resistant to earthquakes and typhoons. It became a symbol of New World progress. The neighborhood was renovated again and although for many years it was associated with a dangerous area, little by little it has been recovering and is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city.
Shinsekai is very interesting to venture out to explore. The atmosphere is like a retro look that gives the feeling of having returned to the full Showa period (years 1926-1989).
Below is a list of places to visit while in Shinsekai:
The Tsutenkaku Tower
At 108 m high it is one of the icons of Osaka and is the focal point of the Shinsekai area. There are 7 different floors in the building. On the upper floors, the tower has 2 gazebos that offer a spectacular view of the surroundings and an outdoor garden. It also has restaurants and shops souvenirs.
One of the biggest attractions of the Tsutenkakuo Tower is its lighting that, although it can only be enjoyed at night, the lights led of the tower vary in color as the seasons change.
Traditional Japanese Bath Spa World
The famous Spa World, is a thermal water complex where you can enjoy a traditional japanese bath. Although not like a traditional Onsen, Spa World can be an ideal option to enjoy a relaxing thermal bath.
Jan Jan Yokocho
Janjan Yokocho is a popular street that is full of gourmet B (cheap and delicious) foods.
Other top attractions include Isshinji Temple, Shitennoji Temple, Tennoji Zoo, pachinko salons, adult cinemas, and theaters.
As a curious fact, the Shinsekai neighborhood has an official mascot, a kind of goblin called Billiken. According to tradition, if you rub your hands with the Billiken’s feet you will have very good luck.
So before leaving Shinsekai don’t forget to rub Billiken’s feet to bring good luck with you!