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新世界 Shinsekai

  • Other Walks / City Walking
  • Minami (Shinsaibashi / Nanba) Area
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Minami (Shinsaibashi / Nanba) Area
Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa-ku Osaka-shi, Osaka 556-0002, Japan
  • Other Walks / City Walking
Opening Hours
Open Every Day
Date of post:2015/05/12

The melting pot of old and new

  • City Walking

Shinsekai town is located in the south of Umeda. First developed in the beginning of 1990s as the venue of an exhibition fair, later considered as Osaka's most dangerous place, it has become one of Osaka's major tourist destinations, with the look of an Osaka local town of the Showa period (1926-1989).

Shinsekai means "the new world", and it was designed to become the center of a new tourist attraction in 1912, accompanied by the opening of Tsutenkaku tower and Luna Park (closed in 1923).

To be honest, I haven't hung out in the area often, as it has been known as a place of crime and prostitution since old times. Yet, I have to admit its chaotic atmosphere of the old era to draw travelers' attention. Whether it is good or bad, this area is not the exception of seniors. The local shopping arcade leads to Tsutenkaku which used to be crowded with locals who bought clothes and groceries. Most of them ended up closing down, or getting passed down to the next generation, according to a local lady with who I briefly chatted at the arcade. She added "Shinsekai nowadays is a tourist place crowded with travelers and students on field trips". I do think it's worth visiting even for a short visit. This is why:

Major “kushikatsu” shop area
Thanks to its transformation to a traveler's destination, there are many kushikatsu restaurants in Shinsekai. Kushikatsu is the one of the most popular Osaka local food, deep fired meat, seafood or vegetables on skewers. Some of them have long history such as Darumaya, Tengu and Yaekatsu.

Maize of good and old old atmosphere
The area is not that big, so it's easy to walk around. Once you wander about small alleys, you will come across the real characteristic of local life with old houses, and laundry hanging on the balconies. In addition to many souvenir shops and Kushikatsu restaurants around Tsutenkaku tower, you can glimpse local life by visiting places such as Smart Ball Newstar parlor or Naniwa club theater. There's an interesting knife shop near the theater. Tower Knives Osaka offers you a unique experience of Japanese knives. They sell not only knives, but also have Japanese cooking classes.

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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