Kansai International Airport is Japan’s second most important international airport, located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay, approximately 23 miles southwest of Osaka Station. The airport was opened in 1994 to relieve overcrowding at Osaka International Airport, which is located in the densely-populated suburbs of Itami and Toyonaka surrounded by buildings and therefore could not be expanded. A man-made island, 4 km long and 2.5 km wide, was proposed.
Construction started in 1987. A sea wall was created made of rock and 48,000 concrete blocks. Three mountains were excavated for 21,000,000 cubic meter of landfill. 10,000 workers put in nearly 10 million work hours over three years. They used eighty ships that were needed to complete the 30-meter layer of earth over the sea floor and inside the sea wall. A three kilometer bridge connects the island to the mainland. Pretty unfathomable huh?
(image via charasmaticplanet)
The total cost of Kansai Airport is estimated to be $20 billion. This includes land recovery, two runways, terminal and facilities. Most additional costs were initially due to the island beginning to sink, due to the soft soils of Osaka Bay. After construction the rate of sinking was considered so severe that the airport was widely criticized as an engineering disaster. Despite these early misfortunes, the Kansai International Airport is actually seen as a great engineering achievement. In 2001, the airport was named one of ten structures given the “Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium” award by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Osaka, Japan is famous for good eating: the phrase kuidaore (eat ’til you drop) was coined to describe Osakans’ love for good food. Osaka is also a good place to experience a modern Japanese city. While the food and culture may be exquisite, Osaka isn’t the most particularly attractive city; it’s an endless expanse of concrete boxes and miles and miles of highways. But the city manages to rise above the lack of beauty and exerts a unique charm. Nighttime is when the streets come alive with residents and tourists alike with plenty of promise of tasty food and good times.
(Images Via tripadvisor.com)
Have you flown through Kansai International Airport?