The Kinki region lies to the west of Tokai and consists of seven prefectures forming a comparatively narrow area of Honshu, stretching from the Sea of Japan on the north to the Pacific Ocean on the south. It includes Japan's second largest industrialcommercial complex, centered on Osaka and Kobe, and the two former capital cities of Nara and Kyoto, seats of the imperial family from the early eighth century A.D. until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. The area is rich in imperial and cultural history and attracts many Japanese and foreign tourists.
The Osaka Plain is the site of Osaka, Kobe, and a number of intermediate-sized industrial cities, which together form the Hanshin commercial-industrial complex. Since the 1980s, the suburbs of Osaka have been given over to farming, including vegetables, dairy farming, poultry raising, and rice cultivation. These areas were progressively reduced as the cities expanded and residential areas, including numerous so-called "new cities," were built, such as the developments north of Osaka resulting from the Osaka International Exposition (Expo '70) world's fair.
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