Kansai Airport. Construction history and current state

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Kansai Airport. Construction history and current state
Kansai Airport. Construction history and current state

Kansai International Airport is located on an artificial island in the center of Osaka Bay, just off the coast of Honshu. The airport was opened in 1994 in order to reduce the load on the existing airport.

Reason for building the airport

September 4, 1994, Kansai Airport was inaugurated. The main terminal building was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. Since its opening, the airport has entered the Guinness Book of Records as the owner of the longest passenger terminal in the world. The length of the main building is 1.7 km.

The reason for building the airport on an artificial island is simple: the designers took into account the sad experience of building the Tokyo International Airport, when mass protests began due to the start of work in the countryside. Not wanting to repeat past mistakes, the authorities decided to build an artificial island off the coast. The emergence of a new airport was supposed to increase the flow of investmentto the prefecture, revitalize the region's business life, and relieve congestion at neighboring airports.

Kansai airport runway

Construction of Kansai Airport

The construction of the artificial island began in 1987. By 1989, the construction of the stone base of the island was completed. During the construction, 180 million cubic meters of soil were used.

The massive construction site involved 10,000 workers who spent more than 10,000,000 working hours on site in three years. However, it was not without exceptions. During the selection of construction companies and the competition for work, a scandal erupted.

American companies have accused the Japanese government of rigging the results of the competition in favor of local contractors. The story continued when, after the airport opened, foreign airlines said they were being disadvantaged in favor of local carriers by not providing enough take-off and landing slots.

Kansai airport terminal

Technical difficulties during construction

The project has become one of the most expensive in the history of airfield construction. It took 20 years to plan and design, three years to build, and the investment was $15,000,000,000 at 1991 prices

However, it was not possible to take into account all the difficulties in the construction of the airport. Although the island was originally expected to settle by two meters, by 1999 the settlement was in the order of 8 meters, much more than predicted. Despite this, Kansai International Airport remainsone of the most impressive architectural projects built in the 1990s and one of the busiest airports in Japan.

Exterior of Kansai Airport

How to get to Japan

Until recently, Japan was one of the exotic countries for Russians. This was due to the special attitude of the Japanese government to the issuance of visas to Russian citizens. However, the visa policy of the Land of the Rising Sun is diverse. For example, citizens of 53 countries can enter the country for up to 90 days without a visa.

Citizens of seven countries, including Austria, Great Britain and Germany, can enter Japan without a visa for three months, but upon arrival, extend the validity of the residence permit to six months. Citizens of Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia enjoy the right to visa-free entry to Japan for a period not exceeding 14 days.

As for the citizens of Russia, until recently, a number of strict conditions were required to obtain a visa. The tourist was required to provide a travel voucher with a full description of the route, places of residence, sights to be visited in the plans, an indication of the purpose of the visit.

However, since 2017, obtaining a visa has become much easier. Today, to obtain a tourist visa, a completed visa application form, a foreign passport, a copy of an internal passport, a document confirming the ability to pay for the trip and booking air tickets are required. At the same time, the visa is issued without paying the Consular fee, which makes it especially attractive.

View of Osaka

Osaka City Landmarks

Despite the fact that Kansai International Airport, located in Osaka, is served by numerous airlines, it will not be possible to get to it from Russia by direct flight. Most often, a transfer is required in Tokyo, however, the cheapest way to get to the city will be a route with one of the Chinese airlines and a change in Beijing.

Although tours from Moscow to Japan are still in demand among Russians, self-organized travel has become increasingly popular lately. It may seem that Japan is a very expensive country. However, accommodation in a capsule hotel is about $20 per night. This price is comparable to a hostel in Milan.

Osaka's many attractions include the 16th-century medieval castle, the National Art Museum, the Oriental Pottery Museum, and the History Museum. The Bunraku National Theater and Kabuki theaters are also very popular with tourists. But a tourist will not be able to pass by numerous Buddhist and Shinto shrines.

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