14 June 2014
We started our day with the breakfast of champions, a beef and pork congee and some Vitasoy chocolate milk. Even Adam is amazed that he enjoys congee for breakfast. I guess it has been so long since he has had cereal and the two western style breakfast we had here were just horrible.
Today we were heading to Japan, and it was a long travel day for us which included the bus to the airport, an almost four hour plane ride (one of the longest if you exclude our long haul SFO to Auckland; only the flight to Bali was longer) and a train ride from KIX airport (I think Adam got a little excited when he saw the airports initials spelled out a breakfast cereal) to Osaka. But this was the first time in a long time where we flew and it felt like we were traveling in the states. Here they actually made you remove your laptop from your bag and when we landed everyone actually stayed seated until the seat belt sign went off. It was beyond weird and we have been flying about 3 times per month!
While at Hong Kong Airport our gate was just a few down from a flight that was on its way to Chicago. As we were walking by to our gate the flight was boarding and I was once again mesmerized by the group and as Adam said you ‘look so enthralled.’ Americans in large groups just look so damn foreign to me.
After our flight landed we grabbed our baggage and found our way to the train station to head to downtown Osaka. We had a good laugh as there isn’t just one train that goes from the airport to downtown, there are a total of three different options. We can’t even get a trolley to go a few miles to the airport in San Diego, yet here they have 3 different trains that go downtown. The best introduction to the efficiency of Japan had to be us watching the clock as our train, scheduled to leave at 5:55, and the doors of the train were closing at 5:54 and 55 seconds so that we could depart at the correct time down to the second. We looked at each other and had a Wizard of Oz “we’re not in Kansas” anymore moment except it was “we’re not in SE Asia anymore.”
Once we got downtown we checked into our hotel, dropped off our bags and dove into the neon lights and street food around Dotombori Arcade. We found a tako-yaki stall (battered octopus balls) that had a long line which we quickly jumped into and quickly we were burning our mouths on the delicious little puffs of goodness. After that satisfied our immediate hunger we wandered through the arcade for a while before of course sitting down to grab some ramen.
Today’s Travel: Hong Kong to Kansai (KIX) Japan on Peach Airlines
Accommodations: Nest Hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi. While I was expecting a tiny room, it turns out this room was bigger than what we had in Hong Kong. In the bathroom there was a separate space for the toilet and shower (and there is even Shiseido face wash) and the entry way had a small closet too. The double bed was comfy and adjacent to it was a small desk and just behind the bed was a shelf which allowed for some additional storage. With the metro stop literally at the hotel front door and restaurants and shops lining the side streets leading to the main arcade in town just across the street, this was an excellent location for our short stay in Osaka. Plus we had a very fancy liquor store/western food shop and of course across the street a seven eleven which provide a quick, tasty and easy breakfast.