Shinsekai (新世界, lit. "New World") is a district in Osaka that was developed before the war and then neglected in the decades afterwards. At the district's center stands Tsutenkaku Tower, the nostalgia-evoking symbol of Shinsekai.

The area was developed into its current layout following the success of the 1903 National Industrial Exposition, which brought over five million people to the neighborhood within just five months. Shortly after the expo closed its doors, work began to improve and update Shinsekai.

Paris was chosen as the model for Shinsekai's northern half, while the southern portion was built to imitate Coney Island in New York. Tsutenkaku Tower was constructed in 1912 after Paris' Eiffel Tower. Although it was scrapped during WWII, the tower was reconstructed soon afterwards in 1956. The current tower is 103 meters high, with the main observatory at a height of 91 meters. A new open-air deck on top of the main observatory was opened in late 2015.

Another noted attraction is kushikatsu, one of Osaka's best known specialties. It is a dish, composed of various skewered, battered and deep fried foods. Varieties on offer range from chicken and beef, to pumpkin and asparagus, to the banana and ice cream dessert varieties. Many of Shinsekai's kushikatsu restaurants are open 24 hours, but only truly come alive when the lights come on at night.

Kushikatsu

Shinsekai is also home to Spa World, a huge bath complex with a large number of pools on a European themed floor and an Asian themed floor (enjoyed naked and gender separated). The floors are switched between genders each month. Natural hot spring water is pumped up from far below the earth's surface.

Today, Shinsekai has a reputation as one of Japan's more seedy and dangerous neighborhoods, a fact that is more reflective of the country's high standard of safety than anything else. Nevertheless, there is a sizeable homeless population around Shinsekai, and the neighborhood south of the JR railway tracks is one of the few areas in Japan where open prostitution occurs without much police interference.

Access

Shinsekai is a short walk from Shin-Imamiya Station on the JR Loop Line, Dobutsuen-mae Station on the Midosuji and Sakaisuji Subway Lines, and Ebisucho Station on the Sakaisuji Subway Line.

How to get to and around Osaka

Hours & Fees

Tsutenkaku Tower

Hours

9:00 to 21:00 (entry until 20:30)
Open-air deck from 10:00 to 18:00 (until 20:00 on weekends and holidays)

Closed

No closing days

Admission

700 yen (additional 500 yen for the open-air deck)

Spa World

Hours

10:00am to 8:45am (on the following morning)

Closed

Infrequent, irregular closures for inspection

Admission

2400 yen for three hours (2700 yen during peak seasons)
300 yen extra for all-day pass (10:00 to 5:00 following day)

Hotels around Osaka

Recommended Hotels
Hilton Osaka Hotel
Very convenient high-class hotel just across from JR Osaka Station.
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Hotel Granvia Osaka
Very conveniently located inside JR Osaka Station City.
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Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport
Directly connected to the terminal building, this is the most convenient hotel at Kansai Airport.
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InterContinental Hotel Osaka
Beautiful hotel recently opened near JR Osaka Station in the convenient Umekita district.
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J-Hoppers Osaka Guesthouse
Popular and inexpensive hostel about a 15 minute walk from JR Osaka Station.
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Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
Located on the upper floors of Japan's tallest building, this hotel offer fabulous views over the city.
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Remm Shin-Osaka
Recently opened business hotel conveniently located inside JR Shin-Osaka Station.
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Swissotel Nankai Osaka
Well established, leading hotel conveniently located above Nankai Namba Station.
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The Ritz-Carlton Osaka Hotel
Often considered Osaka's leading luxury hotel, located a short walk from JR Osaka Station.
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