When Tsūten-kaku was first built in 1912, it was, at 63m high, the second tallest structure in Asia and the pride of Osaka. Damaged by fire in 1943, it was rebuilt in 1956 (following popular demand) with a new 103m-high steel-frame tower that now serves as a retro symbol of Shin-Sekai. There's an observation deck on the 5th floor.

The rebuilt tower was designed by Tachū Naitō – the same engineer who would later design Tokyo Tower. Note at certain times it does hold monkey performances inside near the entrance, which some visitors may find disturbing.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Osaka attractions

1. Shin-Sekai

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A century ago, Shin-Sekai ('new world') was home to an amusement park that defined cutting edge. Now this entertainment district mixes down-at-heel with…

2. Billiken

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Ever-smiling (and a bit creepy looking) Billiken sits, toes out, like a golden Kewpie doll on a pedestal reading 'The God of Things as they Ought to Be'…

3. Imamiya Ebisu-jinja

0.29 MILES

Nicknamed 'Ebessan', this famous shrine is said to have been founded by Japan's most revered historical figure, the priest-prince Shotoku-taishi, c AD 600…

4. Shitennō-ji

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Shitennō-ji is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan, said to be founded (in 593) by priest-prince Shotoku-taishi (who first spread Buddhism in…

5. Honbō-teien

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This strolling garden in the northeast corner of Shitennō-ji illustrates a Buddhist parable of overcoming earthly hell to arrive at paradise, symbolised…

6. Abeno Harukas Art Museum

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This state-of-the art museum inside Abeno Harukas hosts temporary shows that vary wildly, including, so far, Renaissance painting and tantric Buddhist…

7. Abeno Harukas

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This César Pelli–designed tower, which opened in March 2014, is Japan's tallest building (300m, 60 storeys). The observatory on the 16th floor is free,…

8. Kuromon Ichiba

0.94 MILES

An Osaka landmark for over a century, this 600m-long market is in equal parts a functioning market and a tourist attraction. Vendors selling fresh fish,…