OSAKA – A tourism promotion body in Osaka began providing free two-day local subway and bus passes on Thursday to foreign visitors unable to return home as scheduled due to the shutdown of Kansai International Airport due to Typhoon Jebi.
According to the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau, any tourist from overseas whose return date was between Tuesday and next Wednesday can receive an “Osaka Amazing Pass,” valid for two straight days, if they show their passports and air tickets at either of two tourist information centers in the city.
The ticket, which usually costs ¥3,300 ($30), enables unlimited rides on all Osaka subway routes, and a large part of the city bus routes.
“We hope the tourists, who have been inconvenienced (by the typhoon earlier this week), will be better able to enjoy Osaka,” said Hiroshi Mizobata, head of the bureau, during a news conference.
The bureau is also offering multilingual telephone guidance services, through which many foreigners have asked questions about how they can depart from Japan and how to get to other airports in the country.
Kansai airport, a key gateway to the Kansai region including Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, has been closed since Tuesday when one of the two runways and the basement floor of its terminal building were flooded by high tides driven by Jebi. Domestic flights at the airport are set to resume Friday.