Japan trip September 2017

4th Day In Japan. Day Trip To Osaka.

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Getting to Osaka Station

We got up in the morning and ate breakfast.  I asked Abby one more time if she was going to come or not.  She decided not to come with us.  She was only in Japan for four days so she wanted to make the most of it.  I understood.  So Dana and I went to Kyoto station.  We had to ask the information desk on which train to take to Osaka station.  Then we found our train and we were off.

We arrived in Osaka station and we decided to to take another train.  We had to go one more stop and I wasn’t sure how to get to the church by walking.  We don’t have the internet on our phone unless we have Wi-Fi.  We got on one of the trains that we thought we needed.  My screenshot of Google maps said to take the train to one stop and get off.  So We did that.  When we got off and read the sign, we realized we were at the wrong station.  We didn’t understand what we did wrong so we asked the guy that was working the platform how we can get to the station we need.  We found out what we did wrong.  We were on the express train.  We needed the local train.  The express will skip stops and we missed our stop.  Once we figured that out we got on the right train and finally arrived at our destination.

Mustard Seed Church 

The church was right across the station.  We were only a few minutes late.  They were already singing when we got in.  So we found some seats and started to sing along.  They had a projector on the screen that showed the words with English and Japanese.  But when they started singing in Japanese the screen will show Japanese first then English.  I found this a little different compared to Taiwan.  New Life will show English, Chinese, and Romanization.  I can read Romanization and I thought they would have that too.  But at Mustard Seed, they only have Japanese writing and English.  I was sad.  I couldn’t try to sing along very well in Japanese.

After service, we found out that they were having a potluck today.  We lucked out.  We got free food!!  Can’t say no to free food.  We talked to a girl that was from America.  Her name is Julia and she is in the JET program.  What a coincidence.  Dana is trying to get into the JET program and here at the church is someone that is in the program.  We got our food and we sat with Julia and another girl name Vivian.  She is from Taipei, Taiwan.  She is on a work visa for three months working in sales.  We chatted for little bet about Taiwan and how it compares to Japan.  After we were done eating, we asked what we could do nearby.  Julia recommended Dotonbori.  She said there are a lot of shops and food there.  Plenty to do and see around there.  She said it’s near Osaka station.  So now we know what we are going to do now.  Off to Dontonbori.

Dotonbori

We walked back to Osaka station and walked around the station first to see what we could find.  We found so much Delishes food in the area.  We were drooling over all the wax food set up in the display case.  But we just ate and decided to get the parfaits.  It was so good!!!  I love ice cream and Japan is big on eating ice cream and sweets.  Here is a picture of a wax figures parfaits.

After we got done eating desert we walked around some more.  We found Dontonori and I didn’t know what expect.  I didn’t know anything about this shopping area and when we got there I was surprised.  There were so so so much food and shops everywhere.  We walked around for most of the time there.  We saw a big video game arcade place.  Someone was playing Dance Dance Revolution and there was a big crowd watching the guy.  After a few hours of walking we ended up back at the arcade place and he was still going at it.  I was surprised that he was still there and still going strong.

Capsule Toys

We also found a capsule place.  There where so many choices of capsules to pick from.  You could get some anime capsule toys or key chains, small food toys, Halloween Pokemon toys, Hello Kitty keychain or toy, and so on.  I found the Halloween Pokemon toys and just had to have one.  Most capsule toys cost 200yen or 300yen.  It’s a lot of fun and I got addicted real fast.  I found a Sailor Moon keychain capsule machine.  I grew up watching Sailor Moon and just for 200yen, you can get a Sailor Moon keychain.  I figured I would just get one Sailor Moon keychain.  Once the capsule came out of the machine I opened it up and I received Sailor Jupiter.  My favorite character because I love the color green.  Then I wanted another one.  Its only 200yen, it’s no big deal.  Well, by the time I was done I ended up with three Sailor Jupiter’s, two Sailor Mars, two Sailor Venues, one Sailor Moon, and one Luna.  I spent a little over $20 dollars on this.  Haha. I had to walk away before I spent more.  Those capsule machines are addicting.

Food

We started getting hungry again so we walked around for a little bit.  Dana wanted to try this shop that she saw on YouTube. So we walked around for a little bit and we found one of the shops that she has been wanting try.  It was an Okonomiyaki shop.  We sat down next to the bar area and looked at the menu.  It has Japanese and English.  We decided to share our food so she got the Okonomiyaki and I order Takoyaki.  It was so good and filling.  I’m glad we shared our two dishes.  Yum Yum!!!

 

Host Boys!!

After dinner, we walked around some more.  We found a bridge and took some pictures of it.  Then I notice a really big poster on a building that was advertising handsome men and I realized it was a host club.  I only read articles about host and hostess.  Also, seen anime and Japan drama that showed Host and Hostess and what they may or may not do, but I never thought I would see one myself.  Actually, I forgot all about the host clubs in Japan.  Once I saw the picture all my memories about host clubs started flooding back to me.  Usually if you see these signs there is a host club nearby.  I started getting nervous.  I told Dana about the poster and how there might be a host club nearby.  We started walking down another street and there they were.  There were two of them standing near the intersection.  I got really nervous.  I was like, this can not be happening.  I’m seeing them in real life.  It was star stuck.  Realizing these people are real and not just a fantasy.  I got to nerves to keep going so I Dana and I turned around and headed back where we came from.

 

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Host Boys Poster

 

Getting Home

We took the train back to Kyoto.  We were very tired.  We got back to Kyoto around 11.  As we were walking back to our Hostel, I realized, I didn’t know how to get back in.  The staff lock the door at 11.  Dana couldn’t remember either.  We both remember something about using our key card but couldn’t remember where to use it at.  Maybe on the door or some side entrance, we didn’t know.  Once we got to the hostel the staff were still inside.  We were both relieved.  We tried to open the door, but of course, it was locked.  The staff opened the door and told us to use our key cards next time.  We told her we didn’t know where to use the key card at.  She pointed to a padlock on the side wall and showed us how to use it.  Haha. That was a little embarrassing.  But we got in the hostel just fine and got around for bed.

Hope you enjoyed the story.  Sorry for being so behind.  That’s why I’m writing dates at the top of the blog so you will know what day this all took place.  So much has happened and I have so much to write about.  Remember, if you want to see more pictures from the trip to Japan, and get some spoilers from the pictures of what I’ve been up to, just go to my facebook blog page and have a look.  Write again soon, I hope.

 

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.