Nation’s largest underground mall opens

OSAKA — Crysta Nagahori, the nation’s largest underground shopping mall, was opened to the public May 21 in Chuo Ward here.

The 81,800-sq.-meter mall, with 100 outlets and parking space for 1,030 cars, was jointly developed by the Osaka Municipal Government and Osaka Nagahori Development Inc. at a cost of 82.7 billion yen. Roughly 730 meters in length, the mall is equipped with a lighted and audible emergency guidance system for people with weak eyesight or hearing difficulties.

The 24-hour parking lot, located below the mall, has a unique toll system, in which a machine at the entrance automatically reads a vehicle’s license plate and lets registered cars pass freely. In another effort to ease the flow of traffic in and out of the garage, the firm has set up 18 toll payment machines inside the mall so customers can pay before going back to their cars.