We lost Thursday somewhere over the Pacific.

Osaka Travel Blog

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Finally we're off!
We left Chicago on Wednesday night and reappeared here in Osaka on Friday morning, bleary eyed and jet lagged. Whoever said "it's a small world" apparently hasn't made that trip!

The flight from O'Hare to Seoul was about 12-1/2 long hours. I had very high expectations of our business class seats due to the Asiana website which shows seating compartments practically as big as my first apartment. Unfortunately, we had an older plane, which was nothing like the ones shown on the website. And I didn't get much sleep along the way -- they kept waking me for feedings. I am not complaining, just reporting the facts. The highlight was the Korean meal, called Bi Bim Bap.
Asiana Airlines' web marketing vs reality.
This is a large bowl of vegetables to which you add rice, sesame oil, and chili paste (it came with instructions). It was excellent, and I am looking forward to returning to Seoul in April to sample more of it!

The Asiana lounge in Seoul was huge and deserted when we arrived at 4 am. There were lots of interesting beverages (labeled in Korean, but with a few English words "Feel Good Vitamin C!")  I tried to sample them all but failed -- too many. I did get my fair share of Vitamin C though. We then retired to individual sleeping rooms, which were fully equipped with super high tech massage chairs, complete with an enormous incomprehensible remote control. I could only take 20 minutes of The Chair, but it was a good kind of pain. Breakfast started around 7, and they served various salads and steamed vegetables (I can tell Korea and I are going to become good friends), eggs, and miscellaneous breads.
Bi Bim Bap. Yum.

Finally our 5 hour wait was over and we boarded the plane - aha! There are those fancy chairs from the website. And just as good as we expected. The flight was only 1-1/2 hours (I wanted it to last longer because of the chairs), but during that short time they managed to served a full meal with real china and linen, wine, and coffee service afterwards. Somehow I ended up with a hamburger/rice omelet, but I wasn't hungry anyway.

Our arrival and customs in Osaka went very smoothly. We even got cash and found the correct train to Namba station with a minimal amount of gawking about. From the station, it was an interesting walk through a covered street mall area to our hotel, the Namba Oriental. I have been to Japan before but forgot what a shock the culture is. Sights, sounds, smells, food: nothing is what you are used to.
We had the Seoul Asiana lounge all to ourselves at 4am.
Steve has never been here, and acted just like the tourists we make fun of in Chicago -- walking slowly, staring up and all about, mouth wide open. Everything was amazing, and I will tell more later.

We checked into the hotel (room: small but adequate, and completely smoke free) and tried to get organized. Steve, my favorite tech geek, connected a cool device that plugs into our Internet connection and creates a wireless signal that we both can use (yes, we have two computers with us). But we really couldn't stay in the room long lest we "take a nap..." so out we went.

It seems every packing tip I found said "don't bring jeans." So I didn't bring jeans. First thing I did in Osaka? Buy a pair of jeans. Amazingly, the first pair I tried on fit perfectly, length and all! This never happens to me.
Seoul airport terminal.
..jeans are hard to find. And since I am, um, slightly larger than than average Japanese woman I thought I'd have no chance here. I just hope I can find room in my bag for them without having to dump too many other things.

At this point we were both sore and exhausted, so we stopped in to an pub for Kirin and Guiness (about $9/pint - yikes!). It tasted great but the smoke was overwhelming, and we didn't last long. Back to the room and the unsuccessful attempt to stay awake until at least 9 pm...

It is 3:30 am as I write this (1:30 pm at home) and I am wide awake and ready for lunch. I read somewhere that every hour of time change causes one day of jet lag. In that case, look for me to become more coherent in these postings somewhere around April 9 :^).

row-zzzzz says:
We've love to take off for 6 months but with girls 14, 12, and 8 ... hmmm ... that may be awhile :(
Posted on: Aug 09, 2008
Sweetski says:
Quote [Whoever said "it's a small world" apparently hasn't made that trip!] You see, that is what I mean by 'excellent writing'!
Posted on: Jun 23, 2008
cmgervais says:
Thank you, I will check it out!
Posted on: Mar 31, 2008
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Finally were off!
Finally we're off!
Asiana Airlines web marketing vs …
Asiana Airlines' web marketing vs…
Bi Bim Bap. Yum.
Bi Bim Bap. Yum.
We had the Seoul Asiana lounge all…
We had the Seoul Asiana lounge al…
Seoul airport terminal.
Seoul airport terminal.
Here at last.
Here at last.
Shopping in Osaka.
Shopping in Osaka.
Popular Japanese fashion: short sk…
Popular Japanese fashion: short s…
Shopping in Osaka.
Shopping in Osaka.
Osaka market.
Osaka market.
Osaka Hotels & Accommodations review
Smack dab in the heart of the Osaka action.
Namba Oriental has a fantastic location in the heart of the shopping/food/nightlife of the south side of town, or Minami area. Reading about this in a… read entire review
photo by: yasuyo