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Kansai Data

Tottori, Fukui, Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, and Tokushima
Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, and Sakai
・Surface area: 44,697 km2(2010)
・Population: 24.703 million (2010)
・District Gross Regional Product:
 974,788 billion yen (FY 2007)
Kansai International Airport, Osaka International Airport (Itami), Kobe Airport, Nanki-Shirahama Airport, Tokushima Airport, Tottori Airport, and Yonago Airport
Ports and Harbors
Tsuruga, Yokkaichi, Maizuru, Sakai-Senboku, Osaka (Hanshin), Kobe (Hanshin), Himeji, Wakayama Shimotsu, Tokushima Komatsushima, Tottori and Sakaiminato
Kansai is located almost in the middle of the Japanese Archipelago, in a sense, at the very heart of the country, and surrounded by the Sea of Japan, the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean. There is a rich variety in the geographical features of the land in the Kansai region, ranging from mountainous regions to plains, and accordingly there is a clear change in nature during the four distinctive seasons. These changes are reflected in the rich diversity of the climate in the Kansai region, from the calm oceanic climate along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea to the interior, with its mountainous regions, where there are greater seasonal changes. Throughout the long history of mankind, with its recurring pattern of prosperity and decline, of all of the urban areas that have risen and fallen, Kansai has prospered for more than a millennium, home to both ancient and modern metropolitan areas, forming a rare virtual storehouse of timeless tradition and culture and always leading Japan towards the future. Vitalizing this vast accumulation of history and culture, the Kansai region has long been a center for cultural exchange between the East and the West, resulting in fusion and the creation of a rich diverse society. The mild climate and the rich four seasons of the region have also led to an abundant spirit in the people living in the region, generating a flexible mind set, and in this free and open natural environment, the local citizens have been active in the creation of new and original industries, leading to the subsequent birth of a new culture. There are a variety of industries in the Kansai region, including the electronics, machinery, steel, chemical, and textile industries, etc., and many international enterprises have bases in the region. There are also many universities and research institutes located in the Kansai region, and close collaboration between industrial, academic, and government organizations has led to the promotion of leading-edge technological research, being conducted now in a multitude of fields, including IT, biotechnology, robotics, and nanotechnology, etc. In addition, the Kansai region plays a leading role in the field of global environmental conservation in Japan.

There are several explanations for the origin of the name "Kansai," one being that it meant the region "west" of the Ousaka historical barrier station in Shiga Prefecture, and another is that it meant the area west of three barrier stations, Arachi in Fukui Prefecture, Fuwa in Gifu Prefecture, and Suzuka in Mie Prefecture.

Photographs supplied by: Tokushima Tourist Association, Nachi Katsuura-cho Tourism Association, Biwako Visitors Bureau