The Tsutenkaku observation tower is the symbol of Osaka's iconic Shinsekai district. Right next door is the coiled snake-like TOWER SLIDER, which just opened in May 2022.
The 60-meter slide runs from 22 meters above ground into a basement, and takes just 10 seconds to descend! We visited the TOWER SLIDER to discover just how thrilling it really is!
What Is Tsutenkaku?
Shinsekai is one of the most popular sightseeing destinations in Osaka. In 1912, a steel tower was erected in the style of the Eiffel Tower over an imitation of the Arc de Triomphe. Being 64 meters tall, it was the largest of its kind in Asia, and was thus named "Tsutenkaku," meaning "connecting to the heavens."
It was unfortunately destroyed in fire but was rebuilt after much demand from locals in 1956. To this day, it stands as a beloved symbol of Osaka. The second-generation Tsutenkaku is 103 meters, making it 39 meters taller than the original.
Tsutenkaku can be easily reached after a 3-minute walk from Ebisucho Station on the Osaka Metro. From the #3 Exit, it'll appear before your eyes, making it impossible to get lost.
Tsutenkaku has 5 floors and a basement (the springboard observation deck is outside). On the 5th floor, you can witness jaw-dropping panoramic views of Osaka, and see the statue of Billiken, which is said to bring luck when you touch the soles of its feet. The other floors hold a variety of shopping facilities.
Being one of Osaka's most famous attractions, the tower remains open at night and beautifully illuminated, allowing for views of the Osakan cityscape after dark. The round neon lights at the top also serve as a weather forecasting station, revealing tomorrow's weather through a combination of colors.
TOWER SLIDER - Tsutenkaku's Newest Attraction!
The 60-meter-long "TOWER SLIDER" runs down the east elevator tower in a spiral shape from the middle observation deck on the 3rd floor of Tsutenkaku into the first basement floor. It's designed to make Tsutenkaku into a more interactive and fun experience, rather than just a simple observation tower.
The ride entrance has support pillars, and can be used safely as an evacuation route in the event of an earthquake or other disaster. It is also seismically isolated with a spring-out structure, making it extraordinarily safe.
It costs 1,000 yen for high school students to those aged 65, and 500 yen for elementary and junior high school students. Only those between elementary school age and 65 can ride, and junior high school students and below will need the signature of a guardian.
Those shorter than 120cm or who weigh more than 100kg are also declined from riding. People under the influence of alcohol are also banned.
Experiencing the TOWER SLIDER For Ourselves!
First, buy a TOWER SLIDER ticket from the basement of Tsutenkaku. Here you can also find the free-to-enter Tsutenkaku WAKUWAKU Land, an outlet for a maker of food products related to Kansai.
After the ride, we recommend returning to look for a souvenir. In addition to cash, credit cards and the iD, PiTaPa, and WAON cashless payment systems can be used for both the ticket and at WAKUWAKU Land.
There are pamphlets available at the B1F reception and near the elevator on the 2F in languages such as English, Chinese, and more. Some staff can also speak English and Chinese, and each floor is equipped with the translation machine POCKETALK, making communication a breeze.
After signing the agreement form, which is available in English, put your belongings in the lockers. To be safe, we definitely recommend storing your camera and phone too. The lockers are free to use, so you don't have to worry about extra payments.
After taking care of your belongings, the staff will give you a helmet and a special "sliding bag." Bring these on the elevator up to the 2nd floor.
Once you've reached the 2nd floor via the elevator, head to the 3rd floor by taking the spiral staircase. To the side of the staircase is a poster showing the correct pose to take when sliding - cross your hands over your chest, widen your legs, and look at the tips of your toes. Needless to say, we were feeling pretty excited by this point!
We finally made it to the starting line! While waiting for my turn, I put on my helmet. As each person in front descended, their screams and cheers echoed from within. I was feeling a strange mix of anticipation and fear.
Finally, my turn had come! I lay down on the starting point, put my legs into the pocket of the sliding bag, straightened my body, and raised my head slightly. Wave to the camera at the top and say "I'm off!" and go!
As advertised, it took just 10 seconds to slide down the 22-meter drop to earth. With a 30° incline, around the same as a normal hill in ski jumping, you'll gain speed very quickly. Racing down the sleek, metallic tube, it perfectly reflects the name of the neighborhood around it – Shinsekai, which means "New World" in Japanese.
Seeing Tsutenkaku from virtually every angle, fresh surprises came as I entered the "Dark Zone," which is illuminated by flashy LEDs in pinks, yellows, and more. This flashiness perfectly captures the bright, fun character of Osaka!
Relishing the adrenaline rush of this rollercoaster-like ride, it felt like only a moment before I reached the goal. The colorful end point was designed to resemble a certain famous game by Nintendo - I think you can guess which!
Download your very own TOWER SLIDER Video!
Best of all, the TOWER SLIDER allows you to download a video of your own sliding experience onto your device! You can get the QR code next to the ticket booth, which you can then freely upload to social media. There's no doubt your friends will want to visit Osaka even more after seeing your video!
TOWER SLIDER, Osaka's newest attraction, lets you relish the excitement of pure speed! Along with the attraction itself, you'll also be able to see a new side to the iconic Tsutenkaku and feel like you've entered the Matrix! For those who are bored with simple views, TOWER SLIDER is the ultimate way to get both stunning scenery and unforgettable thrills!
Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken / Sanitizer installed / Disinfected after each guest leaves / Ventilation measures in place / Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature / Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell / Guests are required to wear masks
Written by: Efeel
*This article is accurate as of June 2022. Confirm the latest information on official websites before making plans.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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