Tsutenkaku Tower Tours

Vintage fun comes to Osaka in the shape of the Tsutenkaku, Osaka’s answer to the Eiffel Tower. Tsutenkaku, translated into "tower reaching heaven," reaches 338 feet (103 meters) high, making it one of the tallest buildings in Asia when it was built in 1912.

Beautifully illuminated and outlined in neon by night, the tower has a decidedly kitsch but cute 1950s futuristic look. Take the elevator to the observation deck on the summit’s fifth level to visit the popular good luck symbol, Billiken, the God of Happiness. A popular American doll in the early 1900s, Billiken was enshrined in the nearby Luna Park, but went missing when the park closed in 1923. To revive the tower and park, a replica was put in the tower and is considered a good luck symbol. Each year thousands of visitors place a coin in his donation box and rub the soles of his feet to make their wishes come true.

Tsutenkaku also boasts some other cool features. The neon lights at the top of the tower are also a weather vane and will predict the next day's forecast. And the clock located on the east side of the building is huge - 18 feet (5.5 meters) across and weighing about 55lbs (25kg). There is also a theater and a few toy museums located within!

Practical Info

Surrounded by pachinko parlors, theaters and raffish restaurants, the tower is in the south of Osaka in the retro entertainment district of Shinsekai.

The closest stations are Ebisucho and Dobutsuen-mae.

Address: 1-18-6 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka 556-0002, Japan
Hours: Open daily 9am - 9pm
Admission: Adults: ¥ 600, Children: ¥ 300
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