November 5, 2014
I’ve been waiting for this to trip to happen for months (years, even, if you count the number of times I’ve fantasized of going to Japan) and I’m not even excited.
All I’ve been focused on the past few days is getting everything ready—packing my things and making sure everything in the house is set once I leave. I even did the laundry this morning.
I can’t sleep anymore so I’m spending the remaining flight time writing today’s entry on the plane. Allan manifests his excitement by being stressed. Ruther is pretty laidback. I wonder how Butch, who will be flying from Taiwan, is feeling. Earlier we sent him a picture of us three before we turned off our phones.
The pilot just announced that we’re about to land so I’ll have to stop writing. I’m still not pumped up. I guess I’ll be once I’m through immigration. Then I can finally stop worrying.
Upon arrival at Kansai, we learned that Butch’s flight got pushed back. Our agreement was that we will go ahead without him if he gets delayed for more than an hour. We messaged him through Viber before we left and lost the free Wi-Fi at the airport.
The bus that would take us near our hotel was at Terminal 1, bus stop 5. This bus dropped us off at Osaka Station near Hotel New Hankyu.
We were clueless on how to get to our hotel. But still, we refused to take a taxi. Allan dragged us to the front of Osaka Station to take pictures and, luckily, there we found a locality map showing Hotel Kinki. Allan took a photo of the map using his phone and we used it as our guide.
By that time, I was finally giddy with excitement. I was outside the streets of Japan and potentially getting lost in the cold autumn night.
We walked for thirty to forty minutes, all the while dragging our luggage. We almost missed Hotel Kinki, because though you could glimpse it from the sidewalk, it wasn’t exactly on it. I’m proud to say I was the one who spotted it.
The area around Hotel Kinki was like a low-key red light district. But it felt safe; we weren’t harassed when we explored the alleys.
We learned that you need an ID to verify if you’re of age to buy cigarettes from a vending machine. A Japanese man who saw our confusion inserted himself in our huddle and tapped his wallet on the machine and out came Allan’s pack. We also discovered a Coco Ichibanya Curry during our stroll which made Allan really happy because eating at Coco Curry was one of his goals in Japan. And then Butch arrived and joined us at the restaurant. We were finally complete.
Our room, where I’m writing, is clean and spacious enough. It has a lot of power outlets. But the best thing about it is the separate toilet and shower. Very convenient for Butch and me because it will save preparation time in the morning.
It’s almost 2 a.m. and I set my alarm at 6 a.m.
Tomorrow Later, we’ll be exploring Kyoto, where I’ll have my Memoirs of a Geisha moment at Fushimi Inari Shrine.