Japan trip September 2017

First day in Japan

September 14th, 2017. Thursday

I made it!!!!!  I was a little worried that my flight was going to get canceled because of the typhoon but everything went ok.  My flight left on time and we flew over the typhoon with very little turbulence.  My flight was about three hours and I landed in KIX (Kansai, Osaka) airport.

Once I landed in Japan the first thing I noticed was the security checkpoint where foreigners have to go through.  There was a lot of people and I thought I would be there for two hours.  But I got through everything in 30 minutes.  They had about 9 people there working on checking us though.  It was very efficient and fast.  No problems.

SIM Card Fail. 

Next, I wanted to check out the bus tickets.  I read online that the bus from Kansai airport to Kyoto station comes every 30 minutes, but then I saw a SIM Card stand and decided to check it out. I wasn’t planning on getting one.  I was just going to use the free WiFi from my hostel, coffee shops, and 7-11.  I went over and talked to them about getting a SIM card.  You can get a SIM card for one month for 5,000yen or for one week for 300yen.  You can have a demo on your phone to make sure the SIM card will work and check out the internet speed.  Everything worked fine during the demo and they did tell me there wouldn’t be any refunds.  So I paid for the SIM card and they help me to get it sit up.  Five minutes later my phone shut down and restarted itself.  Thinking, no big deal.  My phone does that sometimes.  Another five minutes, it happens again, then again, then again.  By this time I was already on the bus heading to Kyoto.  I just switched out my SIM cards and haven’t had a problem since.  But back to the original problem.  So now I’m back to my original ideal.  Free WiFi at my hostel, coffee shops, and 7-11.  And 5,000yen less.

Bus Ride To Kyoto Station

Everyone was so nice to me at the station.  I went to the window to buy a ticket and she said I could use the machine on the wall because it has English.  Keep in mind, I was told that nothing will be in English in Japan.  So I was happy with that.  Got my bus ticket and got in line for the bus.  There were two lines for the bus.  I didn’t know wish line to get in, but both lines were for the bus too Kyoto Station.  So I just got on the left line.  Turned out one line was for more than one person or groups, and the line was for single riders.  So I guessed right.  The bus driver was helpful to me.  He only knew a little English and spoke Japanese the whole time.  Luckily he was using body language with me so I could figure out what he was saying.  The only thing I found strange was he asked me if I was ok with sitting on a lower seat.  I thought he meant the floor because the bus was full and the only place left was the aisle way.  I didn’t think much of it.  I said ok it was fine, thinking I was going to sit on the floor, and I get on the bus and it dawned on me what he meant by a lower seat.  On the left side of the bus are these side seats that you pull down to sit in the aisle way.  I went to the one that was in front of another woman.  My first attempt to get the seat down was a big fail.  I had no idea what I was doing and I was so nerves that I couldn’t think.  Apparently, it was a lot easier then I thought. The other Japanese people on the bus saw me struggle and three people, left, right, and in front of me ended up helping me all at the same time.  There is a latch on the side of the seat that you push to unlock the seat and it comes down.  Then you left up the small back part for the seat.  Now you have a small seat in the aisle way that is connected to the seat next to it.  I was so embarrassed.

 

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This is what the inside of the bus looks like with the side seats that you can pull down.

 

Arriving At My Hostel

 

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LE9 Hostel in Kyoto. 

 

I booked a Hostel called The Lower East Nine.  I booked this one because it was a 10-minute walk from Kyoto Station and one-minute walk from the subway. When I arrived at my hostel, there was another girl waiting there.  She was checking in. When I arrived I told the guy I was checking in.  He decided to wait on telling the other girl the rules because it would be easier for him to tell us both at the same time.  So I filled out my paperwork and he explained the rules to us.  Then we both went to our rooms and settled in.  The girl name is Abby and we started talking to each other.  She was only in Kyoto for four days and was going to Osaka for one day.  Turns out she is an English teacher in Bangjing for an orphanage in the countryside.  She has to do a visa run from time to time and this was one of those times.  What I found even more interesting is that she is also from Indiana and her parents are from Auburn In.  My hometown.  I haven’t met anyone from Indiana since Thailand.  It’s a rare thing to happen as a traveler to find someone from Indiana.  Most people I met come from California, N.Y., Boston, Texas, and Chicago.  So we got along really well and we decided to plane trips together for tomorrow.  We plane to go see Nijo-Jo Castle, a pig shrine, Kyoto Imperial Palace, and Gion area.  Should be a great day.  🙂

We went out to eat and found a shopping mall that was close to the Hostel.  The other small restaurants didn’t seem to be open yet at 7pm.  Or if they were open, there was no one inside.  We looked around at some restaurants and looked at the menus that they had outside of each restaurant.  Most places we looked at were priced around 500yen to 1,000yen.  Not so bad.  We found one that we both wanted to try.  It was a restaurant that served Okonomiyaki. So we tried it out and it was very delicious!  Loved it!!  I would highly recommend eating this when you are in Japan.  I can’t really describe the taste of it.  It’s just amazing!!

 

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Okonomiyaki!!!  Yum!!!

 

As we started to whine down, we went back to our hostel and went to bed.  The bed is so comfortable.  It was pretty easy to fall asleep.

Hope you enjoyed my story so far about my trip.  More exciting things to come.  I meet a new friend in the hostel, small day trips in Kyoto and Osaka, and more embarrassing stories to come.