Hanshin (阪神?, “Ōsaka-Kōbe”), derived from the second kanji from Ōsaka (大阪?) and the first kanji from Kōbe (神戸?) (but in on-reading instead of kun-reading), refers generally to the area between Osaka and Kobe in the Kansai region of Japan.
In the context of a region of Hyogo Prefecture, the term is used to refer to the 8 small municipalities (Amagasaki, Ashiya, Inagawa, Itami, Kawanishi, Nishinomiya, Sanda and Takarazuka) located close to the northern coast of Osaka Bay between the two large cities of Kobe and Osaka. In some contexts, the eastern wards of Kobe (Higashinada and Nada) and Nishiyodagawa Ward of Osaka are also included.
The word is used in the name of the following entities or structures in the combined metropolitan area:
- Hanshin Industrial Region
- Hanshin Department Store, a chain of stores
- Hanshin Electric Railway, a company
- Hanshin Main Line, a railway line
- Hanshin Expressway, a network of tolled highways covering the region
- Hanshin Racecourse, a horse racetrack
- Hanshin Tigers, a professional baseball team in Nishinomiya
- Great Hanshin earthquake, in Kōbe, 1995
- Keihanshin, a macro-region including Kyōto (Kei-) and Hanshin
- Hanshinkan Modernism, the cultural and arts movement in the region during the early 20th century.
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