Translated by Lester Somera
Ride the Tempozan Ferris Wheel For a Sky-High View of Osaka
Written by Keisuke Yamada
The Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel, located next to Osaka's popular Kaiyukan aquarium, offers amazing aerial views of the Osaka area.
Skyscrapers and observation platforms are popular places for tourists to get a better look at the city they are visiting. However, from these sorts of places, you can only get a view from a specific height.
On the other hand, when you ride an amusement park Ferris wheel, you can enjoy an entirely different aerial view from a variety of angles and heights.
Today we will introduce you to an enormous Ferris wheel in Osaka, over 100 meters in diameter.
An Unbroken View of Osaka City From a Giant Ferris Wheel
The Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel is located inside Osaka’s leading leisure spot, the Tempozan Harbor Village.
With a height of 112.5 meters and a diameter of more than 100 meters, one full circuit on Japan’s biggest Ferris wheel takes about 17 minutes. Since opening on July 12th, 1997, the Ferris wheel has been beloved by locals as a symbol of the Tempozan Harbor Village.
The designs on all the Ferris wheel’s gondolas are being changed according to the weather report for the following day, featuring suns, clouds or umbrellas. People who live around the Ferris wheel use it as a forecast bulletin board.
The appeal of Ferris wheels is the chance to see amazing scenery from above. The impression of Osaka City from 112.5 meters in the air is totally different from the one you get at ground level.
Let’s Take a Ride on the Ferris Wheel
We will explain how to get on the ride, and what scenery awaits you at the top of the wheel.
First, buy a ticket at the booth located at the top of the stairs.
The booth has Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean information displays, so read the explanations carefully before buying your ticket.
A ticket is 800 yen, and groups of more than 20 people can get a discount.
There is a staff counter near the ticket machine, so ask someone directly if you have any questions or you don’t understand something.
Go up the next flight of stairs, and you’ll arrive at a waiting area. There is one thing here that you should be aware of.
That is the option to choose your gondola.
At the Tempozan Ferris Wheel, in addition to the 56 regular gondolas, there are four “see-through cabins,” whose floors have been made transparent.
This is one of those see-through cabins. As they are very popular, you’ll usually have to wait if you want to ride in one. Let a staff member know if you are interested.
Osaka from Above - The Scenery from Various Heights and Angles
When you get on your gondola, it will move in the direction of the sea. While you might not actually be floating above the sea, the sight of the waves directly under your eyes will certainly give you that feeling.
If the timing is right, a pleasure cruise might be passing underneath, too.
Past the bridge, you can see Universal Studios Japan. The central spire is the Harry Potter-themed attraction.
You can also see the Kyocera Dome Osaka in the distance.
Finally, as the Kaiyūkan aquarium comes into view, your 17-minute sky journey draws to a close.
What do you think? When we actually rode the Tempozan Ferris Wheel, we could see even further than we had expected; we had unobstructed views of Osaka City, the Kansai International Airport, and Mt. Rokkō in Hyogo prefecture, among other places. By the way, a popular one-day itinerary for tourists is to go to Universal Studios Japan, head to the Ferris wheel, then finish off the day at the Kaiyūkan aquarium. If you are in the area, how about taking a ride on a gondola?
Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel
Address: Osaka, Minato-ku, Chikkō 3-11-8
Operating hours: 10:00 - 22:00 (Tickets sold until 21:30)
Fixed holidays: the same as the Kaiyūkan
Credit cards accepted: No
Foreign language support: None
Closest station and access: Five minutes from Osaka-Minato Station (via Chūō Line on the Subway)
Price: 800 yen
Phone number: 06-6576-6222
Official homepage: Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel