Shinsekai is an entertainment district located
about 1 km northwest of Ten'noji station.
There are many restaurants of Kushi-age (Kushi-Katsu), pachinko (Japanese pinball) parlors, game arcades, and many other various shops.
Shinsekai is a rectangular area about 300 meters from east to west and
about 500 meters from north to south.
In 1903, the national industrial exhibition was held in this area.
After that, an amusement park "Luna Park" was constructed in the southern half of the site, and Tsutenkaku Tower was built in the center of the site in 1912.
And radial roads were set up from Tsutenkaku in the northern half of the site like Paris.
So many movie theaters, playhouses, restaurants were opened around
Shinsekai in the 1910s.
Also Ten'noji Zoo was opened in 1915 to the east of Shinsekai.
Shinsekai became a great amusement center in Osaka.
But the population of Luna Park remained stagnant, so it was closed in
In 1945, Shinsekai was destroyed by air raids in the World War II.
After the war, this area developed as an entertainment district again.
For a while, it had decayed, but the old atmosphere has regained popularity recently.
Shinsekai has an unique symbol, "Billiken".
Billiken is a charm doll, and it was created by an American art teacher and illustrator, Ms. Florence Pretz in 1908.
It became popular all over the world, and a statue was set up in Luna Park in 1912.
When Luna Park was closed, the Billiken had been lost.
In 1979, wooden Billiken was recreated by a sculptor, and has been set up in Tsutenkaku.
It is said that stroking gently its sole of the foot makes you happy.
It is an observatory tower standing in the center of Shinsekai, and is
one of the symbols of Osaka.
It is 100 meters high, and the current tower was built in 1956. (The original tower was built in 1912, and was destroyed by fire in 1943.)
We can go up to the observatory by elevator.