A visit to the Tsūtenkaku tower is a visit to the heart and soul of Osaka. Take an hour or two enjoying the towering, eight-sided construct, the magnificent view it provides and the statue of Billiken, a god of good fortune.
At 209 feet (64 meters) high, the Tsūtenkaku tower was Japan’s tallest tower when it opened in 1912. It was rebuilt and redesigned by the famed Tachu Naito following deconstruction in 1956 to 337 feet (103 meters), and today still stands as a symbol of Osakan resilience and prosperity.
Though the queue to enter may be lengthy, the elevator ride to the top makes it worthwhile. Learn the story of the tower’s construction on information panels and look out the window to observe the city floor dropping away below.
On the fifth floor you’ll find a statue of the famed Billiken, the god of good luck and happiness. Soak up some good fortune by rubbing his feet and making a donation.
From the top enjoy the 360-degree views of the Osaka skyline. Soak in the aerial view of the energetic Osaka downtown area and plan your next stop.
On your way out, browse the fun souvenir store, and take home a tower-shaped water bottle, an origami swan or a miniature version of the happy deity, Billiken.
If you don’t have time to queue up, visit the tower at night when neon lights highlight each of its eight sides in spectacular fashion. Though they are mostly advertisements, the lights make for a perfect beacon to keep your bearings while you explore the downtown area.
After a visit the tower, be sure to grab a meal in the food courts below, explore the peaceful Tennoji Park or head to the nearby Tennoji Zoo to see a diverse range of animal habitats.
Get to the Tsūtenkaku tower via subway routes. It is open year-round between 9am and 9pm and charges a small entry fee with discounts for children and students.