The Japan Times

Spiral slide comes to iconic Osaka attraction

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A 60-meter-long spiral slide attached to the iconic Tsutenkaku Tower in the city of Osaka opened to the public Monday, giving riders a chance to experience a roughly 10-second thrill while enjoying a view of the area.

The new attraction, named Tower Slider, takes people from the third floor of the observatio­n tower at 22 meters above ground to the first basement floor. About 40 people lined up before the ride’s opening at the 108-meter-high tower, a famous tourist spot whose surroundin­g area is known for its retro atmosphere.

Shingo Hayakawa, a 54-year-old man who was the first to ride the tube-shaped slide, said, “It was thrilling as I felt my body swirl.”

Kaho Kitamura, a 23-year-old Osaka resident, also went down the slide lying on her back, with her legs inside a special bag provided by the venue.

The tube slide swirls around the structure’s elevator tower, and its ceiling portion is transparen­t, allowing riders to catch a glimpse of the tower as well as the surroundin­g area. However, Kitamura said, “I had no time to enjoy the view.”

She added she hopes that the ride will make the tower, a local landmark, more popular.

With the number of visitors to the tower in fiscal 2021 dropping to around 30% of that in fiscal 2019 due to the coronaviru­s pandemic, the tower’s operator Tsutenkaku Kanko Co. is hoping the slide will be a “catalyst” for the local economy.

“We want to preserve this town and its tradition” by restructur­ing what is traditiona­l with the changing times, said Ryuko Takai, president of the Osaka-based company.

The original Tsutenkaku Tower was built in 1912, inspired by the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It was dismantled after a fire broke out in 1943 and was rebuilt in 1956, according to the operator.

 ?? KYODO ?? A 60-meter slide at Osaka’s Tsutenkaku Tower was opened on Monday.
KYODO A 60-meter slide at Osaka’s Tsutenkaku Tower was opened on Monday.

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