Osaka (大阪市 Ōsaka-shi)
Kansai International Airport
Osaka is served by two airports outside the city.
Osaka International Airport (IATA:ITM), on the border of the cities of Itami and Toyonaka, houses most of the domestic services, some international cargo flights, and international VIP charters from and to the metropolitan region.
Date Sister Port
Osaka's international ferry connections are far greater than Tokyo's, mostly due to geography. There are international ferries that leave Osaka for Shanghai, Korea, and until recently Taiwan. Osaka's domestic ferry services include regular service to ports such as Shimonoseki, Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Okinawa.
Port of Osaka
Shipping plays the crucial role for the freight coming in and out of the area nationally and internationally, and Greater Osaka areas exports and imported raw materials span the globe, with no one port dominating. Though the port of Kobe was in the 1970s the busiest in the world by containers handled, it no longer ranks among the top twenty worldwide. Kansai area is home to 5 existing LNG terminals.
Greater Osaka has a very extensive network of railway lines, comparable to that of Greater Tokyo. Main rail terminals in the city include, Umeda, Namba, Tennoji, Kyobashi, and Yodoyabashi.
JR Central and JR West operate high-speed trains on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line. Shin-Osaka Station is the Shinkansen terminal in Osaka. This station is connected to Osaka Station at Umeda by the JR Kyoto Line and the subway Midosuji Line. All Shinkansen trains including Nozomi stop at Shin-Osaka Station and provide access to other major cities in Japan, such as Kyoto, Nagoya, Yokohama and Tokyo to the east, and Kobe, Okayama, Hiroshima, Kitakyushu and Fukuoka to the west. In spring 2011, JR West and JR Kyushu will introduce new Shinkansen services, Sakura, linking Osaka with Kumamoto, Kagoshima, and other cities in central and south Kyushu.
The Chuo Shinkansen using JR-Maglev system will be extended to Shin-Osaka so that passengers can transfer to the existing Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line.
JR Osaka Loop Line
Both JR West and private lines connect Osaka and its suburbs. The commuter rail network of JR West is called the Urban Network. Major stations on the JR Osaka Loop Line include Osaka (Umeda), Tennoji, Tsuruhashi, and Kyobashi. JR West competes with such private rail operators as Keihan Electric Railway, Hankyu Railway, Hanshin Railway, Kintetsu Corporation, and Nankai Electric Railway. The Keihan and Hankyu lines connect to Kyoto; the Hanshin and Hankyu lines connect to Kobe; the Kintetsu lines connect to Nara, Yoshino, Ise and Nagoya; and the Nankai lines connect to Osaka's southern suburbs and Kansai International Airport as well as Wakayama and Mt. Koya. Many lines in Greater Osaka accept either ICOCA or PiTaPa contactless smart cards for payment.
The Osaka Municipal Subway system is a part of Osaka's extensive rapid transit system. The Metro system alone ranks 8th in the world by annual passenger ridership, serving over 912 million people annually (a quarter of Greater Osaka Rail System's 4 billion annual riders), despite being only 8 of more than 70 lines in the metro area.
Regular bus services are provided by Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau (the City Bus), as well as by group companies of Hankyu, Hanshin and Kintetsu. The City runs a dense network covering much parts of the city. The fare for the regular buses is a flat rate of 200 Yen, or 100 Yen for the smaller Red Bus looplines operated within segmented areas of the city. The other bus companies provide their services in supplement to their railway networks.
Places of interest
Tourist attractions include:
Universal Studios Japan
Nakanoshima Park: About 10.6 ha. In the vicinity of the City Hall
Temples, shrines, and other historical sites
Hideyoshi's Osaka Castle (大阪城), destroyed in 1868 and rebuilt in 1931.
Doyama-cho - a homosexual District
Public elementary and junior high schools in Osaka are operated by the city of Osaka. Its supervisory organization on educational matters is Osaka City Board of Education. Likewise, public high schools are operated by Osaka Prefectural Board of Education. Osaka city once had a large number of universities high schools, but because of growing campuses and the need for larger area, many chose to move to the suburbs, including Osaka University.
Kansai University (関西大学)
International Institute for Children's Literature, Osaka
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