Looking right outside our office I can see the Tsutenkaku tower standing proudly in the middle of the rundown and ironically named Shinsekai (new world) district. A hundred years ago hailed as the most modern part of Osaka, it's now often said to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the whole of Japan. Please bear in mind that is also relatively to Japan being one of the safest countries in the world. Infact Osaka is actually ranked number 3 on safest cities worldwide!
The current Tsutenkaku tower is actually the second reincarnation of the tower. Rebuild in 1956 after the original one was teared down following a fire in 1943. And while the original tower was build alongside an amusement park, called Luna Park, the park is now long gone and it's surroundings replaced with countless old restaurants, pachinko parlors and souvenir-shops.
While Shinsekai is a bit touristy the neighborhood has it's charm and worth a visit if you happen to come by Osaka. And don't forget to try out Kushikatsu, the cheap and delicious Osakan food famous in the area.
Meat, seafood or vegatables scewered on a bamboo stick, battered and then deep fried.