2012 - 2013

Day 1

Arriving in Osaka

We made it!

The plan was to get to bed early, so we could leave our place at 3:30AM to get our 6:00AM flight from Melbourne. Jonathan was getting is own way there and he arrived half an hour before us, while Rob was going to drive to our place, leave his car there and get a taxi with us at 3:30AM.

We were all ready at 3:30AM and the taxi arrived right on time, we were just waiting for Rob to arrive. We loaded up our bags and then I got a call from Rob - he was lost, and instead of just being lost in our suburb, he was half an hour away!
We couldn’t wait from him to arrive at our place, so we tried to offer suggestions for Rob but we had to leave if we were going to make our flight. Rob ended up driving through quite a few suburbs and ended up getting a lift from his dad. Surprisingly, he arrived not that long after us, which is quite impressive considering the detours and panicking before hand.

We checked in our luggage and went to get some breakfast, but even that took longer than expected, so by the time Rob and Jon had there meal, they had 5 minutes to eat it before our plane was boarding. We ended up getting on during the final call!

We arrived at Cairns and had to collect our baggage from the domestic terminal and check it in to the international terminal. Unfortunately they couldn’t be checked right through from Melbourne to Osaka, but it was ok because we had a 3 hour stop over there, so plenty of time to kill!

My luggage has already been a bit damaged over the years, one zipper has broken, and some of the plastic was missing, but it was still going strong. Unfortunately while we were in line to check in at Cairns, the handle broke off! So I think its safe to say it’s done its fair share of travelling and I’m ready for a new one! Dragging it by a strap is not very fun!

After what seemed like a long flight, we finally arrived at Osaka and got some food… yea we got western food, we were all tired, it was a ‘safe’ option for everyone and we all wanted to see how different Japanese Macca’s was like.

After that we found the train station. Before the trip I used Google Maps to find the best route from the airport to our hotel via public transport. The route I found was going to cost about $6, but had 2 change overs, but when we got to the station, there was another train network (Nankai) that had a direct route to Namba, where our hotel is, and it only cost us $12, which is still pretty cheap for a 35 minute train ride.
The train looked really cool too! It kind of had a steam punk feel to it and it was incredibly smooth! The inside was pretty good too, the seats had heaters under them and the seats could be rotated 180 degress with a foot pedal. It was a nice introduction to the awesome Japanese train system!

After walking through the rainy streets of Osaka, we found the building of our hotel ok, but getting in was a bit more difficult. The hotel shares the building with other businesses as well, including an art gallery, and they all have very similar names!

We finally found the hotel reception desk, it happened to be on level 22, but the elevators were a little hidden, and I’m sure there were plenty of signs, but they were mostly in Japanese!
The hotel is really nice! I haven’t actually taken many photos yet, but I will soon!
We checked in and then went for a quick walk down the street to get some supplies before calling it a night. Most of us had gone for quite a while without much sleep, so we were looking forward to getting to a real bed!