J for Japan
Another early morning, up at 6.20am and ready for a 6.30am taxi to the airport. The airport was only about 10 minutes away. And cost 5k won. It was deserted.
I’m taking another domestic flight, this time to a city on the south coast – Busan. Flying is so efficient here. They open the gate 10 minutes before the flight is supposed to leave. Everyone arranges themselves in a queue. You board a bus. And then the plane. Everyone sits down efficiently and you go. On time. I can’t work out why it’s so much more efficient than Europe – but may be partly to do with the lack of hand luggage here. So none of the delays caused by people carrying massive suitcases as hand luggage and not being able to fit them over head.
It was just 30 minutes to Busan. Luggage arrived barely 5 minutes later. A 5 minute walk over to the international terminal and now a long wait.
It was 9.30am and my next plane was at 1pm.
I busied myself editing photos before check in. Check in, scanning and passport was all super quick. I found a 7-11 to spend my last bits of money and sat and waited. Again, super efficiency and we were off 10 minutes early! For the 1 hour flight to Osaka.
I set myself a silly challenge a few years ago – I wanted to go to a country beginning with every letter of the alphabet. I’m only missing two letters; J and Q. (I have accepted I will never get Y – Yemen is the only country). So here we are – Japan!
We landed half an hour early! Crazy. Passport didn’t take too long – but long enough that my bag had been pulled off the carousel and was waiting for me on the ground. I couldn’t find an ATM anywhere. So headed over to the train station and hoped there would be on there.
There was, but it was Japanese cards only.
So I joined the train ticket queue anyway hoping I could pay by card. Turns out I was in the wrong queue. So went over to the ticket machines. Wouldn’t take card. Argh! So confusing.
I eventually found an ATM, back in the main airport. Bought a ticket and found the train.
The train left at 3pm. It’s 70 minutes long. I am so fed up now. Sitting all day long.
We eventually arrived at Osaka train station. It was huge! But I managed to find the exit that I wanted and my hotel was only a 2 minute walk away. After leaving my bags, I went back outside to have a look around. It was so confusing. One train station lead into another and another and another. Literally 4 train stations in the same place. All underground shopping areas and like a maze.
I bought some food – a cooked sweet potato (!) for now, and a mochi ball and bread for tomorrow. I could easily travel around Japan by myself. But I don’t have much time here and it’s more fun with other people, so I’m joining a group trip for the next couple of days – and we met at 6pm. We went for dinner at the nearby ramen street. I can’t eat ramen – all the soup part is made from dead animals. So I had some rice. And and early night.