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60-meter-long spiral slide at Osaka's iconic Tsutenkaku Tower to open on May 9

OSAKA -- A 60-meter-long spiral slide at Osaka's symbolic Tsutenkaku Tower is slated to open on May 9, offering visitors a thrilling ride from a height of over 20 meters.

    The new tubular "Tower Slider" is seen around an elevator tower beside main Tsutenkaku Tower in Osaka's Naniwa Ward on April 19, 2022. (Mainichi/Sayuri Toda)

    Tsutenkaku Kanko Co., the company operating the tower in the city's Naniwa Ward, held a media preview for the "Tower Slider" on April 28. The tubular slide with a transparent ceiling installed around the elevator tower beside the main tower starts from the 22-meter-high middle observation deck on the third floor and leads to the first basement floor. The total construction cost was about 300 million yen (approx. $2.3 million).

    Users lie faceup in a special bag, and can slide down to the bottom in roughly 10 seconds while looking up at Tsutenkaku Tower. With the maximum inclination angle at 30 degrees, the new thrilling attraction is likely to gather attention.

    According to the operating company, more than 1 million people had visited Tsutenkaku Tower annually before the COVID-19 pandemic, partly due to increasing numbers of inbound tourists, but the figure plunged to some 220,000 in fiscal 2020 as the coronavirus crisis hit.

    Tsutenkaku Kanko President Ryuko Takai, 47, came up with the new idea, thinking, "We want to attract visitors with something fun that thrills people," as the Shinsekai downtown district around the tower is far less crowded than before.

    People standing 120 centimeters or taller and aged 7 or older can enjoy the slide. In addition to the observation deck admission fee, the ride down the slide costs 1,000 yen (roughly $7.70).

    (Japanese original by Sayuri Toda, Osaka City News Department; video by Ai Kawahira, Osaka Photo Department)

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