A century ago, Shin-Sekai ('new world') was home to an amusement park that defined cutting edge. Now this entertainment district mixes down-on-its-heels with retro cool. It's centred around the crusty, trusty, 103m-high steel-frame tower Tsūten-kaku – built 1912, rebuilt 1956 – and surrounded by ancient pachinko and mahjong parlours that draw some truly down-and-out characters. At the same time, Shin-Sekai draws plenty of visitors for nostalgia and cheap eateries behind over-the-top signage, especially for kushikatsu (deep-fried meat and vegetables on skewers).
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