Kansai region

Kansai region
関西地方
Region
Map showing the Kansai region of Japan. It comprises the mid-west area of the island of Honshu.
The Kansai region in Japan
Area
 • Total33,124.82 km2 (12,789.56 sq mi)
Population (1 October 2010)[1]
 • Total22,757,897
 • Density690/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Japanese
GDP (nominal; 2012)[2][3]
 • Total$1 trillion
 • Per capita$42,000
Time zoneUTC+9 (JST)
6 %

The Kansai region (関西地方, Kansai-chihō) or the Kinki region (近畿地方, Kinki-chihō) lies in the southern-central region of Japan's main island Honshū.[4] The region includes the prefectures of Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo and Shiga, sometimes Fukui, Tokushima and Tottori. While the use of the terms "Kansai" and "Kinki" have changed over history, in most modern contexts the use of the two terms is interchangeable. The urban region of Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto (Keihanshin region) is the second-most populated in Japan after the Greater Tokyo Area.

Overview

The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world, with a centre span of 1,991 m

The Kansai region is a cultural center and the historical heart of Japan, with 11% of the nation's land area and 22,757,897 residents as of 2010.[1] The Osaka Plain with the cities of Osaka and Kyoto forms the core of the region, from there the Kansai area stretches west along the Seto Inland Sea towards Kobe and Himeji and east encompassing Lake Biwa, Japan's largest freshwater lake. In the north, the region is bordered by the Sea of Japan, to the south by the Kii Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean, and to the east by the Ibuki Mountains and Ise Bay.[5] Four of Japan's national parks lie within its borders, in whole or in part. The area also contains six of the seven top prefectures in terms of national treasures.[6] Other geographical features include Amanohashidate in Kyoto Prefecture and Awaji Island in Hyōgo.

The Kansai region is often compared with the Kantō region, which lies to its east and consists primarily of Tokyo and the surrounding area. Whereas the Kantō region is symbolic of standardization throughout Japan, the Kansai region displays many more idiosyncrasies – the culture in Kyoto, the mercantilism of Osaka, the history of Nara, or the cosmopolitanism of Kobe – and represents the focus of counterculture in Japan. This East-West rivalry has deep historical roots, particularly from the Edo period. With a samurai population of less than 1% the culture of the merchant city of Osaka stood in sharp contrast to that of Edo, the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate.[7][8][9][10]

Kansai region with prefectures

Many characteristic traits of Kansai people descend from Osaka merchant culture. Catherine Maxwell, an editor for the newsletter Omusubi, writes: "Kansai residents are seen as being pragmatic, entrepreneurial, down-to-earth and possessing a strong sense of humor. Kantō people, on the other hand, are perceived as more sophisticated, reserved and formal, in keeping with Tokyo’s history and modern status as the nation’s capital and largest metropolis."[7][11]

Kansai is known for its food, especially Osaka, as supported by the saying "Kyotoites are ruined by overspending on clothing, Osakans are ruined by overspending on food" (京の着倒れ、大阪の食い倒れ, Kyō no Kidaore, Ōsaka no Kuidaore). Popular Osakan dishes include takoyaki, okonomiyaki, kitsune udon and kushikatsu. Kyoto is considered a mecca of traditional Japanese cuisine like kaiseki. Kansai has many wagyu brands such as Kobe beef and Tajima cattle from Hyōgo, Matsusaka beef from Mie and Ōmi beef from Shiga. Sake is another specialty of the region, the areas of Nada-Gogō and Fushimi produce 45% of all sake in Japan.[12] As opposed to food from Eastern Japan, food in the Kansai area tends to be sweeter, and foods such as nattō tend to be less popular.[7][11]

The dialects of the people from the Kansai region, commonly called Kansai-ben, have their own variations of pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Kansai-ben is the group of dialects spoken in the Kansai area, but is often treated as a dialect in its own right.

Kansai is one of the most prosperous areas for baseball in Japan. Two Nippon Professional Baseball teams, Hanshin Tigers and Orix Buffaloes, are based in Kansai. Koshien Stadium, the home stadium of the Hanshin Tigers, is also famous for the nationwide high school baseball tournaments. In association football, the Kansai Soccer League was founded in 1966 and currently has 16 teams in two divisions. Cerezo Osaka, Gamba Osaka, and Vissel Kobe belong to J. League Division 1 and Kyoto Sanga F.C. belongs to J. League Division 2, the top professional leagues in Japan.[13][14]

Other Languages
العربية: منطقة كانساي
asturianu: Rexón de Kansai
azərbaycanca: Kansay regionu
Bân-lâm-gú: Kinki tē-hng
беларуская: Кансай
català: Kansai
čeština: Kansai
Cymraeg: Kansai
Deutsch: Kinki
Esperanto: Kansajo
Gaeilge: Kansai
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kinki
한국어: 긴키 지방
hrvatski: Kansai, regija
Bahasa Indonesia: Kansai
italiano: Kansai
עברית: קנסאי
Basa Jawa: Kansai
Kapampangan: Kansai labuad
ქართული: კანსაი
latviešu: Kansai reģions
magyar: Kanszai
македонски: Кансај
मराठी: कन्साई
Bahasa Melayu: Kawasan Kansai
Nederlands: Kansai
日本語: 近畿地方
norsk nynorsk: Kansai
پنجابی: کینسائی
polski: Region Kinki
português: Kansai (região)
română: Regiunea Kansai
Runa Simi: Kansai suyu
русский: Кансай
Simple English: Kansai region
slovenčina: Kansai
slovenščina: Kansai
српски / srpski: Кансај
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kansai
Basa Sunda: Wewengkon Kansai
suomi: Kansai
svenska: Kansai
ไทย: คันไซ
Türkçe: Kansai
українська: Регіон Кінкі
Tiếng Việt: Kinki
吴语: 近畿地方
粵語: 近畿地方
中文: 近畿地方