If you’ve ever been to Osaka, or have perused through many photos of the place, you’d be familiar with the huge pufferfish lantern that can be spotted when heading towards the Tsutenkaku tower.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions landing a huge blow on local businesses nationwide, restaurant Zuboraya, which specializes in fugu fish (pufferfish) cuisine, is permanently closing its branches in Dotonbori and Shinsekai, which means that it won’t be long before the iconic lantern will be taken down as well.
According to an announcement on the restaurant’s official website, the two branches of Zuboraya, which would have celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, will shut down beginning September 15.
Fortunately, it seems that another business within the area is intent on saving the landmark. Reports say that Hanshinjuken, the company behind Osaka’s onsen (hot springs) theme park Spa World, will be acquiring the pufferfish lantern and installing it in front of the theme park entrance. Spa World is just a 3-minute walk away from Zuboraya so locals and tourists won’t have to get lost trying to find it again.
What’s more, it will still be located in front of the Tsutenkaku tower, so you can still take those breathtaking photos with the two landmarks together!
The decision has yet to be finalized, however. But we’re hoping for a favorable outcome because, without that adorable floating fish, the Shinsekai neighborhood just won’t be the same anymore.
What are your thoughts on this? Share them in the comments.
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