Osaka’s Shinsekai – A Japanese Town Frozen In Time

Posted By yonghow on July 3rd, 2013

The decrepit but quaint town of Shinsekai ( ironically meaning “The New World” in Japanese ) was definitely one of the highlights during my recent stay in Osaka. After the visit to Katsuya Terada’s 10 Ten Retrospective exhibition in Kyoto, my friend Kunrong suggested we head down to Osaka for some sightseeing. His workplace Platinum Games is located in the heart of Osaka City.

(above) A Shotengai largely devoid of human traffic. Walking through Shinsekai is like getting zapped back in time to the middle of the Showa period.

If you find the landscape and structures oddly familiar, it might be because you’ve seen the psychedelic version of it in Michael Aria’s animated film Tekkon Kinkreet, where the filmmakers referenced for many of the beautiful background art plates.

(above & below) The Tsutenkaku Tower offers a stunning view of Osaka city. The drizzle that day made the sights even more moody.

(above) I felt like I was in a life action version of Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost In The Shell film when walking down this street.

Posted in Japan, Photography, Travel

7 Responses to “Osaka’s Shinsekai – A Japanese Town Frozen In Time”


The whole place looks very retro futuristic.


It’s incredible how art can affect our perception of places (and things in general). Normally I’m not very fond of huge, crowded cities (although this “retro modern” city must be really fascinating), but every time I see pictures of a japanese city I feel really moved and touched, I wish I could be there (sooner or later I will). These places have been transfigured in animation movies, so they are no more “normal places”.


Wow, the real Treasure Town!


Thank you, I loved this post.


I’ve never been there, but immediately recognized it from Tatsumi Yoshihiro’s works from the 60s and 70s. If you’ve never read his post-war “gekiga” you really need to check it out!


Brandon – Therein lies the charm I think. :]

rabbleboy – The real deal ! :]

Josh – Gonna check that out, thanks for the heads up !


Mario just say it: “These places have been transfigured in animation movies, so they are no more “normal places”.

I have the chance to visited Osaka last december, the gloomy atmosphere was almost the same that in your photos, but indeed give the city a melancholic atmosphere that i liked so much.

I missed Shinsekai for some reason, seems like the ideal place to eat something delicious… did you eat something there Mr. Yonghow? Also nerby it´s
Nipponbashi that i heard was like the Akihabara of Osaka.

Great post! 😀