Shinsekai Market area is a fascinating area to wander around with lots of brightly coloured restaurants, food stalls, as well as a few tourist gift shops. One can get there by getting off at Ebisucho subway stop, the closest to the area. Shinsekai does not feel touristy and has that retro feeling, different from other areas of Osaka. In fact, the area looks like a run down town that has lost it’s former glory. There are many vacant shoplots, and shops that do operate, opens well past lunch time. This area probably comes ‘alive’ at night to cater for visitors coming for dinner.
Shinsekai biggest attraction has always been the iconic Tsutenkaku Tower constructed in 1912. It was modeled after Paris’ Eiffel Tower and is 103 meters high. If not for the free entrance to the Tsutenkaku Tower using the Osaka Amazing Pass (OAP), there would probably not be many visitors coming here. On the 5th floor, at 91 meters is the main observatory level which offers view of the city which sadly isn’t really spectacular. An open air deck on top of the main observatory was opened in late 2015 and this requires separate ticket to enter which is not covered by the OAP. When we were at the tower, there was a queue for the elevator up and the waiting area was stuffy. The tower itself is packed with souvenir shops and amusements arcades.
However, Shinsekai offers numerous picturesque photo spots especially around the restaurant areas where reataurants try to outdo each other with their colourful frontage decoration. This provide fantastic photo spots for the avid photographers. If you are not a photographer looking for some picturesque spot, then it is in our opinion, you could probably consider giving Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower a miss.