Speaking of Osaka, Walk the Streets of Super Retro Shinsekai
Osaka is the second largest city in Japan. In recent years, the number of tourists has been increasing, as many are searching for a different appeal from Tokyo. Osaka has many faces, such as historical spots like Osaka Castle, Osaka Tenmangu Shrine, and Shitennoji Temple, as well as state-of-the-art buildings like Abeno Harukas and Umeda Sky Building. You can feel the warmth of the people at a traditional shopping street, or spend the whole day at Universal Studios Japan. Osaka is great because there are so many ways to enjoy it.
When sightseeing in Osaka, touring the newest trending spots is good, but we recommend visiting the favorites that scream, “This is Osaka.” One appeal of Osaka is “the fusion of global and local.” Osaka is a city where trading with overseas countries has prospered since long ago, allowing information to come into the city before others. With their inborn flexibility, the people of Osaka absorbed the culture from outside and combined it with their own, creating an original culture unique to Osaka.
“Shinsekai” is Osaka’s most famous street where visitors can enjoy such an atmosphere of the city. It is actually said to have been created with the image of the cityscape of Paris. Many flashing signs are on display, and shops targeted at the general public are crammed together, and it’s difficult to find similarities to Paris. However, the “Tsutenkaku” tower standing in the center was modeled after the Eifel Tower, and from the observatory, you can see that the surrounding roads are spread out in a radial pattern like in Paris. The city has taken on the local color so much that you can’t find a resemblance to Paris at a glance, and that is what is so unique about Osaka.
A god called “Billiken” is enshrined at Tsutenkaku. We recommend you try stroking the bottom of the Billiken’s feet, as it is said that this will bring good fortune. The “Osho Monument” enshrined at the foot of Tsutenkaku is also worth seeing.
Another Osaka-like sightseeing spot you don’t want to miss is “SpaWorld Onsen from around the World.” It is a onsen hot spring facility that is open 24 hours a day. It offers not only the standard Japanese-style bath, but also various baths resembling famous hot springs from around the world. The amusement complex also has pools and a food court, and even a hotel. It is rare even within Japan for such a large-scale onsen facility to be found in an urban area. Of the countless tourist attractions in Osaka, visiting the most standard and Osaka-like sightseeing spots will give you an idea about the charm and depth of Osaka.