My Japan Diary - SG to Osaka to Kyoto
I've decided to update my daily happenings in this blog post so I shall start today before I lose track of what I did/ate/seen.
Day 1 - Arrived in Kansai International Airport on Christmas Day itself feels different. Even on the flight via SQ was much more festive than usual.
Cabin crew were all cheery and welcoming passengers with Xmas greetings to set the mood. Chocolate chip cookies were also handed out after our dinner was served. Me too, dressed up in checkered pink, grey and black dress with a miniature Christmas hat was all prepared to present my best as I landed in the land of JAPAN! Temperature here is 6 degrees when we alighted! Not too cold yet :D
Our first stop will be Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport since we only alighted at close to 10pm (Jpn time). In order not to waste time and having a chance to stay at an airport hotel, why not? Service is impeccable. Our luggages were carried up to our hotel room by a female, she must have really strong arms. Generally, they all know a little bit English so we didn't have too much trouble with checking in. Our room is a double super single with an extra bed for me! There's even an air purifier to regulate the air in the room. My first encounter haha.
Had a quick dinner at First Kitchen, a burger and pasta fast food. It is located at the dining street in the Airport itself. It opens till 24:00. For the late arrivals, Burger King, McDonalds, Lawson and Family Mart are all available 24/7.
Day 2- Hotel breakfast is included. Hours are 6:00 -10:00 at The Brasserie. We ate at 7:30 and the spread is fabulous. Ranging from varieties of eggs to breads to Japanese selection like vegetable curry and miso soup. A typical international spread in short. They even label no pork no lard on some of their dishes to cater to the Muslims! Although I must say their food are generally Muslim-friendly. This is because they cater to quite a good number of avid Japan Muslim travelers.
Check out time is 12:00 so we are going to collect our PuPuRu- our portable wifi hotspot gadget to help us with navigation! :)
We collected our Pu Pu Ru from the arrival hall. Needs a couple of hours of charging before use so we decided to charge it only when we arrive at Hotel Monteray Osaka later on. Here's how it looks like.
So now that it's charged, the usage is very straightforward. Simply press and hold on the 'on' button in front. Connect your gadgets to the device and once prompted on the password, enter the WPA key stated behind and you're all ready to use this pocket wifi everywhere, anywhere!
We also purchased the ICOCA and HARUKA one-day pass at $3,030 per set at the ticket office in front of the train station at Kansai International Airport. In addition, we topped up another 1000 yen to the already existing 1500yen stored value in each card. This ICOCA card can be used in most parts of Kansai including Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and that surely gives you enough coverage for a good trip. We also had the Hanuka card which allows us to take the speed rail from Kansai airport to Shin Osaka in the fastest time possible without stopping at too many stations. At Shin Osaka, we would need to take another line for a stop before arriving at Osaka station.
Before checking out of Hotel Nikko Kansai, we actually sent luggage of ours via their luggage transport service which cost us 1404yen and an extra 300yen for it to be wrapped. They told us that it was going to be delivered the next day only. So we could only use one else most of our things we need will not be available. Hopefully it will arrive tomorrow safely.
Hotel Monteray is only a 5 min walk from Osaka station if you exit by Sakurabashi exit. Walk through Eki Marche and Umesan Kouji and walk straight for another two minutes. You will see a British style designed building that stands out amongst the other architectures around it. We could check it immediately so that gave us time to think of where to go and not having to rush back for checking in.
We decided to go Namba station but our motivation was to eat at Kani Doraku at Dotonburi. This famous crab place is a must try in Osaka. A popular tourist attraction serving crab dishes of various types. They even have their on snacks and takeaway teppanyaki style Kani outside the restaurant. We had a 9000 yen set which comes with a hotpot with some raw Kani and vegetables, some grilled crabs, tempura (a pathetic few pieces), some sashimi style Kani and also the sushi.
We also ordered a boiled rice served with crabs in a wooden ware over fire to cook the rice. The sweetness of the crab was simmered within the rice as they were cooked together. Afterwards, we were supposed to dig the flesh back into the ware, mix them thoroughly with the rice before blending it with some wasabi, spring onions, pickles and soup in tea. It's like an expensive bowl of crab porridge. This cost of 1200yen.
Shinsaibashi is like an army of ants from afar. Shops are side by side everywhere and in every street. I somehow love how messy it is, makes every step exciting and mysterious. We chanced upon Pablo which specializes in cheese tarts and realized there isn't just one shop in Shinsaibashi. We bought the creamy original cheese tart which is the bestseller. Wait till I try it....
We also bought some famous pastry souvenirs for ourselves to sample :)
We came back to Umeda area, parked mama in the room while we went out to hunt for cheap goodies. Supermarkets are the best place to shop after 9pm! Perishables goes at 20% to 50% off. We got some sushi and chicken to have it with our beer. There's this yogurt liquor in a little milk bottle with a cap (see below).
Day 3 will be in USJ so do check me out!