Japan Day 1: Osaka Kansai Airport & Ken and Mark Guesthouse

Sep 8, 2016

We were already at the airport three and a half hours before our flight. The plane will depart at 3:00 PM then 8:00 PM (Japan time) would be the arrival time. At first, I thought the 8:00 PM that’s indicated in our ticket is also Manila time so I thought that it would take 5 hours to get to Japan. That’s why at 6:45 PM (Manila), I was just chilling in the plane because I thought we still have one hour before arrival. But the pilot suddenly spoke and announced that we will deplane in about 15 minutes. I got excited and started to fix my things and my hair then wore my shoes.

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Hi cute photobomber 😁

Kansai International Airport

Picked up our rented pocket WiFi from Pupuru. You can return it by dropping it off in any mailbox in Japan. In our case, since we’ll exit Japan from Tokyo, we dropped it off at Narita Airport. Renting pocket WiFi is highly suggested. Worth the extra cost.

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We were already given instructions by Mark (our Airbnb host in Osaka) on how to get to our accommodation. He taught us how to buy tickets and what train line to get into. He told us to get off at Tengachaya station and that he will meet us at the exit. From that station, it will be a 15-minute walk going to our temporary house. One thing that’s great about our accommodation is that the owners don’t live in the house (unlike most of the Airbnb accommodation you’ll find). Ken and Mark have their own house just a few blocks away from the guest house. I guess it’s more comfortable that way. But even if the owners were not around, Mark is accommodating with our inquiries. I’ll just send him a private message if we have any questions on how to get from one place to another and he will respond as quick as he can.

Touristy Moment #1:

So ganito pala yun. Insert bills/coins first, choose how many passengers, then select the ticket amount. Instead of choosing the name of the station you want to go to, you choose the appropriate amount for that specific station. Siguro since sobrang daming train stations, amount na lang yung nilagay kase yung ibang stations naman same fare lang. Baka hindi na magkasya sa screen lahat ng stations.

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The intimidating ticket machine

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Our first train tickets

Downtown Osaka

We had no problems reaching Tengachaya station. Mark was already waiting for us when we got off the train. He didn’t have any pictures of us to recognize our faces but he immediately waved when he saw us (how?). The 15-minute walk from the station to the guest house with our luggages in tow was really tiring. Mark was already discussing some “things to know” while we’re on our way to the house. He speaks good English so there weren’t any problems communicating and he seemed very nice. We were already hungry when we arrived at the guest house and we just wanted to stuff our faces with Japanese food. But Mark had to tour us first around the house, discuss some house rules and help us with our itinerary and stuff (huhu so many things to remember). When Mark was done, it’s finally time to eat!

Our accommodation is in a good location and booking Ken & Mark Guest House was a really good decision. I highly highly recommend it. There is another station near the guest house which is just a 5-minute walk. Around that station, there are McDonald’s, Family Mart, some restaurants (mostly gyudon restos) and a supermarket. It was already 11 PM. Good thing there’s a 24-hour gyudon restaurant nearby. We had our really late dinner there. Before leaving us, Mark taught us how to buy the food tickets.

A quick tour around the neighborhood:

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Available in almost every corner of Japan

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Bikes everywhere

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And of course

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Staple Japanese treats

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Family Mart pastries

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Had to try at least one of these

Touristy Moment #2:

In Japan, most of the restaurants have this food ticket machine where you have to buy the food tickets first, then sit at a table, give the food tickets to the server, and wait for your food. It was kind of intimidating at first but I had gotten used to it because we almost always had to buy food tickets in every restaurant we went to in Japan. And most ticket machines have English translations so you’ll be fine.

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I think I ordered the gyumeshi.

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Food ticket machine

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Clumsy as ever

The gyudon was okay. Nothing special. What I liked was how clean and organized the restaurant was. The servers were also very courteous.

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So fresh and so clean clean…

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Hey temporary neighbors

I had my worries of eating in Japan because I really don’t know how to use chopsticks. I’ve tried using it whenever we eat at ramen places here in Manila but I always end up asking for a fork. 😁 I find it hard to use chopsticks and my hand gets tired from using it. It’s like I’m having hand tremors. But after a few days of using chopsticks in Japan, I learned that you just have to relax. I was really proud of myself when I was able to eat my food with little difficulty. But there were times when I cheat and just use the spoon (which is intended for the soup) to scoop up the rice. Hihi.

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Look at the trying hard chopsticks user (namely me)

Since we arrived in Japan late, we just went straight to bed after our late dinner and had some rest because we were going to Universal Studios in the morning; which meant I would finally get to see the wizarding world of Harry Potter! Yay! Kenneth is not a Harry Potter fan and calls Harry Potter ‘Harry F*cker’. Such a party pooper. Some photos of the guest house:

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House front

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Dying to change to these comfy slippers

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Very very (OC level) tidy living room

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Kitchen area

Toilets in Japan are very very special things. Mark said, “When you go back to the Philippines, you are going to miss our toilets here.” Yep. He’s right. Most of their toilets have automatic bidet, deodorizer, vacuum (to suck out the funky smell), fake flushing sound button (if you’re nagpupururot and want to avoid the humiliation) and buttons to change water temperature, nozzle position, and water pressure. Their really serious about their toilets.

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May massage pa!

USJ day tomorrow!

This is how we spent our 7 days in JaFUN (Sep 8-14, 2016):

  • Daily Expenses (soon)
  • Personal Notes, Tips, Whatchamacallit (soon)
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