2016 Japan winter trip (day 1)

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January 23

5:56 am – Got up

9:24 am – Off to the airport
Brought the following items (checklist):

  • a backpack with 4 shirts, 2 shorts, 6 underwear, 3 face towels, a hoodie, a handkerchief, toiletries, first aid stuff, 朱印, laptop, camera, phone, 2 powerbanks, passport (duh)
  • some sort of cloth container with hiking shoes, hiking shorts/pants, 5 socks, a raincoat, rashguard, leggings, gloves
  • and worn items: a shirt, jeans, a sock, underwear, glasses, a handkerchief, sneakers, watch, wallet

10:12 am – Airport
I’ve always been this early on all my trips.

12:32 pm – Passed immigration check
Weird, somehow I got through without paying the 550 terminal fee. I asked one of the immigration people and he said it was probably already included in the airfare.

Edit: I checked the receipt and the 550 was already included.

Also, holy shit, bottled tea cost seventy-fuckin-five pesos.

2:37 pm – Seated on plane
Boarded early.

3:13 pm – Plane moved
Probably about to line up for take off. I’m not sure, wasn’t really paying attention.

3:40 pm – Plane took off

7:54 pm – Touchdown KIX
It was a smooth flight. Not once did the fasten seat belt sign light up (except for the required instances during takeoff and landing). And yes, I was awake the whole time.

8:20 pm – Lined up at immigration
Because I was one of the last few to leave the plane, I ended up at the rear end of a 4-layer snake line.

8:49 pm – Passed immigration check
Something unusual happened with my passport. I couldn’t really understand what the two immigration officers were talking about. All I saw was him typing my middle name.

Also, cooold.

9:09 pm – Train to Shin-imamiya
I was supposed to wait as long as possible if I could catch the star wars train but decided not to because I was already very hungry. I probably didn’t notice this before, but the part below the seats have heaters. I could feel the warmth on my calves.

10:09 pm – Stupid GPS
Stupid thing can’t find my location. Good thing I brought a compass – a real one.

10:33 pm – Hotel Wako, room 702

It was colder than last April. In less than 30 minutes time both hands were getting numb.

This is new: I had to leave my shoes at the shelf near the entrance and use the provided slippers when inside the building.

11:02 pm – The search for a convenience store
A restart fixed the GPS problem.

11:32 pm – Back at the hotel
As it turns out, this hotel is very close to a hotel I previously stayed at. Bought supplies for tomorrow’s hike – mostly food. Guess which one of these I’ll eat for dinner.

Oh and I guess FamilyMart is having some sort of Ultraman promotion. The guy from the convenience store asked me to stick my hand in a box and pick something from inside it. Couldn’t totally understand what was written on the box but I saw the number 700. I’m guessing 700 yen would be the minimum amount purchased in order to ‘play’. So I picked one, showed it to him and viola, free noodles.

I also took a picture of one of the beautifully designed manholes. I think its an image of Osaka castle.


Interacted with more people than usual today:

1. my brother – the usual “mm” as he left for work
2. manong taxi driver – “manong, naia 3”, then around 45 minutes later, “salamat”
3. wendys person – ordered chicken
4. travel tax person – paid 1620
5. currency exchange person – got me some yen
6. naia immigration officer 1 – smiled, then “thank you”
7. naia immigration officer 2 – asked where to pay terminal fee
8. random store person – bought the very expensive bottled iced tea
9. cebupac person – gave my boarding pass
10. my seatmate – chatted about climbing Mt. Fuji
11. kix immigration officer – smiled, then “ありがとう”
12. kansai airport station person – “すみません、この電車はしんいまみやへ行きますか” then “ありがとう”
13. hotel person – checked in
14. convenience store person – bought supplies

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