The “New World” of Osaka, Shinsekai is illuminated at night by its symbol of Tsutenkaku, an iconic Eiffel Tower replica boasting wonderful observatory views of Osaka City from the top. From below, the Shinsekai neighborhood remains untouched from its former days as an amusement park, now glowing with neon lights and 20th-century nostalgia. Shinsekai oozes coolness for its vintage shops and underground bars, while people gather in Jan Jan Yokocho to play go and shoji (Japanese chess) amongst rooms of retro arcade games and the sound of gacha gacha balls, popping with old school surprise. To the southeast, Tennoji Park houses the Osaka Museum of Art and Tennoji Zoo, but at its heart, Shinsekai is filled with cheap restaurants and authentic izakayas, and is the best place to taste the casual Osaka cuisine, kushikatsu or kushiage. These deep-fried skewers of miscellaneous meat, fish, and vegetables are addictive and panko-crumbed, ordered by the stick with a thickened soy sauce (but be warned, strictly no double-dipping). Many of Shinsekai’s kushikatsu restaurants are open 24-hours for a deep-fried fix around the clock.
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