Just last month (March 2013), I traveled to Japan for the first time in my life. 🙂 Needless to say, it was a memorable experience! The fiance and I visited both Osaka and Tokyo, and while I loved Tokyo’s Sanrio Puroland, I have to say that I love Osaka and its people more.
We arrived at Osaka’s Kansai International Airport on 19th March 2013 in the morning and took the train shuttle to the Arrival Hall.
* Flight via Jetstar: S$897.20 for two pax (return) – Not the cheapest though!
* Exchange rate was about S$1 : 74 yen
I’d done my research and knew what had to be purchased at the Airport…
First, we bought the Osaka Unlimited Pass [2,700 yen for 2 days] from the Travel Desk on Level 1 (Terminal 1). Then we went to get tickets to the Doraemon museum [1,000 yen] from the Lawson Convenience Store on the second floor. The tickets had to be purchased via the Loppi machine within the store but everything was in Japanese! I had to ask one of the cashier staff to help me decipher what’s on the screen. It was a pain, really! Because tickets to the Studio Ghibli museum were sold out for all of the timings I had prepared, then most of the tickets to Doraemon were sold out too. Even the staff got frustrated with the system.
But we finally got the tickets we wanted and we headed to both Daiso (everything at 105 yen) and then a fast food restaurant called First Kitchen. I have to state this upfront: I do not eat fast food in Singapore, but when I am overseas, well, I make exceptions! 😀 Anyway, we paid 500 yen for a set meal and shared it. This would be the case for many meals in Japan – we’d either order a large set to share or order two different mains and then switch plates halfway through. We call it “half and half” but that’s just one silly thing we do as a couple. 😀
After filling our bellies, we decided to head to Rinku Premium Outlets – we spotted an advertisement on the train shuttle service towards the Airport Arrival Hall and decided that since it seemed rather near, we should check it out too.
There’s a shuttle bus service between the Airport and Rinku Premium Outlets for 100 yen each way – the bus stop is right outside the terminal. Here’s a tip: When you get there, head over to the customer service counter to get a tourist discount booklet before you buy anything ok? 😉 Because everything at the Outlets was (strangely) expensive, we simply ate at the foodcourt, utilizing a 10% discount coupon from the above-mentioned booklet and left.
Right at the entrance to Godiva:
We took the JR [1030 yen] to Tennoji then switched trains to Tenmabashi [230 yen]. From Exit 3 of the Tenmabashi Station, we turned right and RIGHT before us, just a few steps away, was our first hotel… Hotel Keihan Tenmabashi.
It was quite a shock to discover that their toilets are SUPER SMALL. It’s just a tiny washbasin cramped between a small bathtub and the toilet seat. Also, the room becomes VERY HOT at night because of the heater (sorry, no aircon this season) and the staff had to be called in to unlock and open the window! Thankfully, their service is very prompt, as if they had been lying in wait outside our hotel room.
The night’s stay cost S$74.20 so I really shouldn’t complain, eh? 😉
I love the hotel’s proximity to the Railway Mall though. I made a serendipitous discovery there – there’s a Hallmark/Camomilla Milano store there! As you probably know, I’m a fan of Camomilla Milano’s accessories, especially their Hello Kitty collections. So, to find a store there in Japan, when I least expect it, was great! I bought a Hallmark Hello Kitty bag that was on sale, at just 1995 yen or about S$27! 🙂 The fiance also bought some shirts at a men’s store, at 4725 yen for 3 shirts.
We also visited Daiso once again (HUGE store there) and bought some superb mochi ice cream! How come Daiso Singapore doesn’t sell ice cream?! 😛
We bought some takeaway sushi and bento sets and headed back to our hotel for a very lazy dinner indeed. And oh… some yummy strawberries for breakfast. 😀
And that’s the end of Day One in Japan. 😀