Winter Travels 2019 – Osaka (Day 1)

Classes have finished for me, and as students prepare for their final exams, I decided to take a short trip. Not yet sure where I will be next year, and whether or not I will be in this neck of the woods (i.e. Asia), so I am trying to visit places I want to visit but still have not done so. I have done most of the places I want to go to in Asia already, hence my trip to the US at the end of this month.

Yet there are still places to explore. I opted for Osaka, Japan. I have been to Japan before – as recently as last year – and a long time ago as well, but neither time did I visit Osaka. It was only going to be a short trip, as I do not have a lot of money, but nonetheless it is always nice to get away and explore new places.

I flew out on Wednesday afternoon. Japan is one hour ahead of China, and landed on time. Passport check was reasonably quick too. I did get searched and was asked to check my luggage, though that might have been because I was a lone traveller with no check-in bags. I found the information desk at the airport, bought a ticket for the train, then headed into central Osaka. The airport, Kansai International Airport, is on an artificial island, so as the plane comes into land, you fly over all the boats bobbing along in the water.

The shopping and central parts of Osaka had free public wifi, as did the subway stations (though not on the trains themselves). The train from the airport arrived at Namba station, and on leaving the station, I realised I had forgotten my print-out of the map which had the location of the hotel. Using the free wifi, I found where it was and headed to the tourist information centre, who pointed me towards the subway, and also told me which lines to take. My location seemed very straight forward; only two stops. So, I took the subway and arrived at the stop without too much hassle. Leaving the subway station meant no wifi, and I walked about ten minutes before I came to a junction I did not remember from the map. Checking my phone (although I had no wifi, I had the map page open on my phone), I realised I was going in the wrong direction. Turning around, I made it back to the subway station and continued in the right direction. The hotel was on a side street, just off the main road. Because it was a grid system, it was relatively easy to fine the street (I could count the number of road junctions). On arriving at the hotel, however, I was told it was the wrong branch! Thankfully, the branch I was staying at was just a little further down the main road. They rang ahead and let them know I was on my way. I found the correct branch and checked in.

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