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Kate and I leave home about 10.30pm the night before we are due to fly out to Japan and drive the 5 hours to Sydney. I stopped halfway for a little nap, but neither of us could sleep as we were too excited! Our flight is due to depart from Sydney just after 6am. We get there with plenty of time to spare. We park in the Blue Emu parking and catch the bus around to the domestic terminal as our first leg of our trip is only going as far as Cairns. We find ourselves something to eat for breakfast and settle in to await our flight.
First up, we arrive in Cairns, where we disembark and switch to the International terminal for our flight to Osaka. It’s a small walk in the open and it’s very humid! We have a 4 hour layover which is pretty boring, to be honest, but I have a little bit of a nap to catch up on the sleep I lost driving to Sydney. After what feels like a really long wait, our Jetstar Dreamliner is ready to board! We are so excited to be on our way!
The flight is very smooth and it feels like it goes quite quickly. The Dreamliner is a fantastic plane, quite comfortable and the food is decent enough. We watch the sun set on the first day of our trip and we know we are getting closer to our destination.
We arrive at Kansai Airport at 7.30pm and in order to get through to customs, we need to catch a shuttle train that takes us from the gate to the main part of the terminal. Once we have been flagged through customs and collect our baggage, we go and get a data sim card. There’s a little outlet at the airport and we pick up a sim each, we put them in and we are ready to navigate to the hotel near Namba Station. We walk over to the airport’s train station and we work out the ticketing machine much quicker than we thought we would. If you haven’t heard of it, you need to get the Hyperdia app for your phone. It has all the relevant train running information. We get our tickets and hurry to the platform.
We catch the wrong train, but it’s ok, as it’s just a slower train as opposed to going to the wrong destination. We get to Namba Station and open up Google Maps to find our way to the hotel. Along the way, I am just walking in absolute awe. I can’t believe that I am actually here in Japan and seeing all these sights with my own two eyes. The colours and lights are amazing. I just want to drink in the atmosphere.
We are staying at Osaka Fujiya Hotel. I found the hotel on Booking.com. It’s small, but comfortable and it’s all we need for our first night here.
After we check in, we decide to head straight back out again and explore Dotonbori. I just have to keep pinching myself that we are here! I had seen the Glico Running Man sign on a travel show years ago, and I had never thought that I’d be here looking at it with my own eyes! Dotonbori really is a feast for the senses!
I had read about Okonomiyaki before I left and I knew I wanted to try them out. So after wandering around a bit, I decided to get some from Dotonbori Konamon Museum. There is a bit of a line up but it doesn’t take long to get them. Bearing in mind, I had no idea what Okonomiyaki actually was before I left for Japan. I found out pretty quickly after my first bite – squid. I was not expecting that and to be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan. There’s six in a box and I eat two before deciding that was enough for me!
Afterwards, Kate decides she would like some ramen noodles, so we find a little restaurant and order some. The shop is so small, but the food is dished up so quickly, the diners cycle through quite quickly.
So that concludes our first day of our trip. The bright lights of Osaka are amazing, but we are absolutely exhausted so we head back to the hotel to sleep. Heavily.