Osaka expressway emptied as world leaders gather in the city of millions.

World leaders are currently gathering in Japan for this year’s G20 summit. 2019 marks the first time for the multinational organization to hold the large-scale conference in Japan, but the meeting isn’t taking place in the capital city of Tokyo.

Instead, the summit is being held in Osaka, but the city should still be able to accommodate an event of such magnitude. After all, Osaka is Japan’s third-largest city, with its population of over 2.6 million people trailing only Tokyo and Yokohama. But you’d never guess how many people live in Osaka from photos of the town on June 27, one day before the conference opened.

As a security measure, extensive sections of the Hanshin Expressway, which runs through Osaka, have been closed down while the summit is going on. So while locals are used to seeing the expressway lanes filled with commuters, delivery trucks, and other motorists, ahead of the summit thy were completely empty, save for a few police vehicles on patrol, like the ones in the video below.

It’s surreal to see one of Japan’s busiest cities looking so still and empty, so much so that it almost feels like looking at a CG model of Osaka as opposed to the actual town.

Online reactions have included:

“The expressway looks so inviting. I want to ride my bicycle on it.”
“There’s something satisfying to it, like all the clutter has been put away.”
“It looks like a diorama.”
“It’s like the course select screen on [driving video game] Gran Turismo.”

The G20 summit is scheduled to run through June 29, so Osaka can expect ghost town-level emptiness on the expressway for a little longer, and with the possibility of a typhoon coming to town this weekend, the sidewalks might end up deserted too.

Sources: Jin, IT Media
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