Tsūtenkaku (通天閣 Tsūtenkaku) is a tower in Osaka, Japan. It is a well-known landmark and shows advertisements for Hitachi, Ltd. The tower is 103 meters tall. The main observation deck is 91 meters above the ground. The three characters in the name mean "Reaching Heaven Tower". It is in Shinsekai, part of Naniwa Ward. Tsūtenkaku Kanko Co., Ltd. owns the tower.
History[change | change source]
The current tower is the second tower on the site. The original tower was built in 1912. The design was based on the Eiffel Tower. The tower had an cable car that connected it to a nearby amusement park called Luna Park. The original was 64 meters tall. It was the second tallest building in Asia at that time. It quickly became one of the most popular locations in the city. Visitors came from all over.
There was a fire in 1943 which severely damaged the tower. It was not repaired. The tower was taken apart and the steel was used to make things for World War II.
After the war, citizens wanted to rebuild the popular tower. A private company called Tsūtenkaku Kanko Co. Ltd. was set up for this purpose. They hired Tachu Naito to design it. He was nicknamed Japan's "Father of Towers". The new tower opened in 1956.
Signs[change | change source]
In 1957, Hitachi started putting neon sign advertisements on the tower. The ads have usually been changed every 5 or 6 years. Hitachi last changed the signs in 2006. New signs are scheduled for autumn 2011. The new signs will use LED lights, not neon. Other lights on the tower also show weather information.
Access[change | change source]
- JR West, Osaka Loop Line and Yamatoji Line, Shin-Imamiya Station, East Exit (10 minute walk)
- Nankai Railway, Nankai Main Line and Koya Line, Shin-Imamiya Station, East Exit (10 minute walk)
- Osaka Municipal Subway Sakaisuji Line (brown line), Ebisuchō Station, Exit 3 (3 minute walk)
- Osaka Municipal Subway Midosuji Line (red line), Dobutsuen-mae Station, Exit 5 (10 minute walk)
- Hankai Tramway, Hankai Line, Ebisucho Station (3 minute walk)
Photos of the tower today[change | change source]
Photos of the original tower[change | change source]
View from Shinsekai, 1920