Discount retailer Don Quijote Co. unveiled a renovated Ferris wheel Monday in Osaka’s Dotonbori shopping district.
The Ferris wheel, knocked out of commission by a technical failure about 10 years ago, was shown to the media before the start of commercial operations Friday.
The wheel, placed on the outer wall of the Don Quijote store in the popular shopping area, is decorated with a giant image of Ebisu, the god of business prosperity.
The store chain hopes the Ferris wheel will be a new tourist attraction in the area, which has become popular among foreign visitors in recent years.
Rides last about 15 minutes. The wheel faces a river, and visitors can also observe Japan’s tallest skyscraper, Abeno Harukas, from it’s highest point about 77 meters above the street.
The company has refurbished the ride’s mechanical components and changed the interior design of the 32 cabins, which seat four. Tickets will cost ¥600. It will operate from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. year round, except when rough weather poses a safety hazard.
More than 4,000 people applied to ride the Ferris wheel during a test run Wednesday, in 200 groups, according to the company.
“By entertaining both foreign tourists and locals, we hope to contribute to the revitalization of the community,” said Yasuyuki Sakamoto, chief of Don Quijote’s western Japan sales promotion section.