Japan~We made it there!
We flew to Japan on Hawaiian Airlines and landed at Kansai Airport in Osaka. The plane ride was comfortable despite the feet that appeared next to my seat. The movies were available to all passengers so I watched Burnt that I had just heard about from a colleague of mine. I never seem to have the time to watch movies and I love food so I enjoyed that movie very much. I also watched a lot of the food show episodes that Hawaiian Airlines provided as part of the entertainment. I was prepping myself for all the great food I was going to get to partake of in Japan.
Once we landed, we smoothly got through customs and then easily got tickets for the Haruka train that took us from the airport to Shin Osaka station which was right next to our Courtyard Marriott Shin Osaka Hotel. It was a very easy process and manageable even with the luggage and sleepy children that we had. After arriving at the train station, we found the hotel quickly and easily, checked in, dropped the bags off and headed right back to the station for some dinner. Train stations in Japan are a great source of combini (convenience stores), restaurants, and shopping. If you can secure a hotel near a train station, you are all set.We found an izakaya and got some chirashi, chicken karaage, french fries, hosomaki, yakisoba, and a couple of draft beers. It was about 10 p.m. in Japan (3 a.m. Hawaii time) and the kids were beat and ready to go to bed so we didn’t stay very long.
After the kids and husband went to bed, I opened up the packet containing the rental pocket wifi I ordered. This was my first time using a pocket wifi. I rented it through the Japan Rail Pass website. It was easy and convenient and it was waiting for me at the hotel upon check in. I charged it up, connected it to our phones and we were then able to connect to the internet for the entire trip. We could iMessage people (but not text), could not make phone calls, but could email. For people without iMessage, I could use Facebook Messenger to send messages. Most of all, it was convenient to use for looking up information like maps, business info, Yelp, etc. while I was traveling. I was the keeper of the pocket wifi. That means that if my husband wanted to connect to wifi, he had to be near me. We wouldn’t be able to go to two different places and iMessage each other. That was just as well as this was a family trip and we were happy to spend time together as a family. When we were done with the pocket wifi, the return was just as convenient. I just put it into the pouch that was sent to me with the packet and mailed it back through postal service the day I left.
Anyway, our plan for the first full day in Japan was to get up at 5 a.m. the next morning to go on an adventure with a Hilo friend of mine to a place called Koyasan. (Koyasan blog post coming soon.) So, I went to bed and fell asleep comfortably and quickly, only to be awakened by the alarm on the hotel clock which for some reason was set to ring at 12 midnight. Ugh! I hate when that happens. I was able to get back to sleep and thought that I would sleep until the 5 a.m. alarm went off but instead, my strong internal body clock alarm went off and I woke up at 2:30 a.m. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I quietly did some research to prep for the upcoming day while waiting for the rest of the family to wake up.
All in all, I was happy that my Japanese language skills came back pretty easily. I was able to get around, read a menu, order food~all that I need to survive. I think this will be another great trip to Japan.