Two Sundays ago, I rode Osaka’s most recently-opened (Christmas Eve!) subway line, the Imazatosuji. It takes some pressure off the massive Midosuji Line (the busiest in the world, according to Guinness), links the drab, sad little midtown Sennichimae Line to a few other east/westbound lines (thereby giving the guys who work there a reason for living), and provides, as I found out, a means of escape for the poor souls in the hitherto unheard-of Itakano, to the northeast.
It is always a treat to see a public place in Osaka which is clean and fresh (and more to the point smells clean and fresh, like the whole thing has just been unwrapped). The carriages are smaller than those of the main line trains, but not as cramped as those of the unpronounceable Nagahori-Tsurumi-Ryukuchi Line (or 長堀鶴見緑地線, which was originally built as a glorified shuttle-bus to the long-forgotten Flower Expo of 1990; they had to do something with it, so they extended it further west and made a not-very-convenient subway line out of it).
Here are some photos I took. Note the plexiglass walls and sliding doors to prevent “personal injury” (the same style as the shuttle trains at Kansai Airport). In the fullness of time, we’ll probably see that on all the lines, and not a moment too soon. Besides the Japanese info, note the signage in English, Korean and Chinese, an acknowledgement (slowly conceded) that Koreans and Chinese live in the vicinity, use public transport (and their taxes help build it) and have done so for a very long time.
Sadly, I can’t think of any reason that I’ll ever use it again, but here’s hoping somebody will.