Saturday, December 6, 2014

Osaka: Another Kingdom of Railways

Two sets of the EMU JR West 321 series stand at Osaka Station on the Tokaido Main Line
 
Osaka, which is located some 500 km west of Tokyo, is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan. The population of the area now stands at 18.64 million. More than 1.2 million people commute into Osaka City every day.

Along with Tokyo, the railway network in the Osaka metropolitan area is very extensive and labyrinthine. It is composed of JR West, JR Central, Keihan, Kintetsu, Hankyu, Hanshin, Osaka Municipal Subway and other smaller railways. As a rail fan, I prefer the railways in Osaka to those in Tokyo to be honest. It is because the railways in Osaka have a great variety of trains. The design of the trains is also more unique than that of trains in Tokyo.

If you wish to see how the trains are going in Osaka, please visit JR West's Osaka Station. You will get a glimpse of the railways in Osaka there. This giant station has eleven tracks, where both inter-city express and local commuter trains arrive and depart all day long. More importantly, Osaka Station forms a giant "station complex" in conjunction with adjacent Umeda Station of Hankyu, Hanshin and Osaka Municipal Subway. A total of 26 tracks are seen in the Osaka-Umeda station complex.

I recently visited Osaka with my family. It was a short stay, but I could ride on some Osaka trains to visit reputable sightseeing spots. So, I am going to introduce some of the Osaka trains from next post.

To be continued...

 
Panoramic view of JR West Osaka Station