How much longer?

Osaka Travel Blog

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First day in Japan and find a classic street in Japan. This is actually in the suburbs of Japan.
So we land at Kansai International Airport just outside Osaka and all goes well too start.  We as long as you do not include the fact that I left some things in overhead on the plane and my wife (now ex and from now on called Akiko) had to beg to get back onto the plane to reclaim one of our bags.  10 minutes later I am looking at a very long line at immigration for non Japanese citizens.  Akiko cruises through the Japanese passport holders line and goes off to get something to eat.  I slowly work my way through the line and watch as several people are sent back into the line because they have not completed some form correctly so I expect the worse.  However I must have a very trustworthy look as like every time I go through a international border the agent  says nothing to me and just stamps my passport and I am off.
I just loved the small trucks in Japan. One piece of wood and truck is full. I now see them up in Whistler BC as the city is using them to haul salt for the sidewalks.
  A few minutes later I am all my luggage and we are in the middle of my first JR station at the airport. 

If you hear one thing about JR is that their trains are always on time, but of course because I am tired and badly jet lagged this is the one exception.  There has been some sort of minor accident and out train is almost one hour late.  Finally everything get sorted out and we head on to a way over crowded train and away we go.  I am hoping it will be a short trip but it is now Akiko finally feels it is safe enough to tell me the trip will be over an hour and will take two more trains and a bus ride.  Yikes.

Finally we are off the bus in a city called Takatsuki, just outside of Osaka.  A short walk through a interesting neighbourhood and we are at Akikos family home.   I am quickly swamped by her relatives and my very limited Japanese is overwhelmed.  After lots of hand signals and smiles I manage to communicate that I really need to take a short nap and I will say hello later. 
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Finally I do a trip outside of North America.  My wife takes me to her home country and we wander around western Japan for the whole of December 2004.  Highlights include Osaka, Kyoto, Nagano, Tokyo, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Miyajima and Kobe.  If you love good food then you must visit Japan, I ate so well and surprisingly fairly cheaply.  Easy to get templed out especially around Kyoto.  Make sure you buy your Japan Rail pass before you leave home as it will save you buckets of yen and allows you even take the ultra cool shinkansen (bullet train).  Just be prepared to use cash as we found many places did not take plastic.

This trip begins one day several weeks before the trip when I was still living in Calgary.  I thought I found the deal of the century when I bought two tickets on United that were a couple of hundred dollars cheaper then any other ones I had seen advertised.  The only trouble was the flight was not direct from Vancouver but required a plane change in San Fransisco after a 2.5 hour flight from Vancouver.  I only realized my mistake once we had been on the flight from SF and I could see that we were flying right over Vancouver again.  So 6 hours of flying and waiting in airports and I was exactly 33000 feet above where I had started earlier that day.  It sure a very long day even longer.

First day in Japan and find a clas…
First day in Japan and find a cla…
I just loved the small trucks in J…
I just loved the small trucks in …
photo by: yasuyo