Osaka, Japan 2012 – Day 14-16


I slept very well that night but awoke to the sound of a Canon DSLR shutter taking photos.

Our hotel being in Shinsaibashi area, the Glico man sign in Dotonbori district isn’t too far away and we found ourselves at Don Quijote again for last minute buys with the little money that we held. We decided we wanted cheap but decent food so we went back to Yoshinoya for food. This time I got curry with a softboiled egg for only 540¥. We made our way to Marinomiya station to visit Osaka Castle and meet up with Georgie’s cousin Alvin who we had previously met last week in Hong Kong at their family dinner. Alvin decided last minute he wanted to visit Japan and also see his girlfriend who is living there for a year. We had no way of contacting him since we didn’t have wifi at the Capsule hotel so we just waited for half an hour outside the main gate of the castle before we decided to head in. He told Georgie if we can’t find him, to go on without him as he was planning on walking there.

Once we walked in we noticed a stage with group of people dancing so we decided to take a closer look. I went to the front row for a better view and looked over to my left and found Alvin also watching these performances. Apparently he had arrived 3 hours earlier and anticipated that we would find him in that area which we did. The performances were really good but my favourite performance was the large group of 6-7 year olds in their little black and yellow outfits doing backflips with such ease and energy.

After the performances, we went into Osaka Castle – I personally don’t recommend it. 600¥ to get in, 6 floors but the inside has been renovated and does not look like a castle at all however the perks of this building is the view from the top floor, otherwise not worth it. When we left the castle, we somehow found ourselves inside a gym. It was a samurai/sword training dojo and there was a contest or exam going on so we decided to watch for a bit. We wandered along the rest of Osaka Castle park and since it was only 430-5PM, we walked back to our area in Shinsaibashi. We decided that we had time for a sit down dinner at an izakaya close by with 100¥ a piece menu. It wasn’t that great and I guess we weren’t keeping track of time too well that Alvin looked at his watch and it read 730PM and he abruptly said “you guys should leave now.” We had lost track of time.

Our flight was for 910PM with Peach Aviation and we needed to arrive 30 minutes ahead to check-in. We took the JR line to Kansai airport but didn’t realize how long it would take especially with all the stops. It was our most expensive train/bus ticket at 1030¥. We made it to the Peach check-in counter at 910PM. Needless to say, we missed our flight.

The info counter had told us the next flight back to to HKG was with Cathay Pacific for roughly 2000-2500CAD for a one way last minute. We were all frantic and looking for options.

Our options were:

1 – Buy the $2000+CAD 1 way ticket to HKG to connect to our existing flight home to Toronto

2 – Delay our home-bound flight a day and book Peach again for $385CAD the following night

3 – Fly home from Osaka and pay the equivalent of our roundtrip ticket on a one way.

Luckily we held off a few hours until we got a hold of the travel agent back home we booked our main flight with. Good thing HKG had good wifi connection and Georgina had her tablet and Skype. We got in contact with Josephine our travel agent and she altered our flight from HKG and got it pushed to 24 hours for an addition fee of $100. We then tried to book our flight with peach but at one point we couldn’t enter information in and we panicked. We found a fellow overnight guest who had a laptop and used it to book our flight. We took over a section of the seating area at the airport and stayed overnight since we decided not to leave the airport and spend more money. Good thing we had wifi and found a plug to charge everything.  I felt so drowsy but couldn’t sleep so I would walk around. The best thing about waking up or being up at this time is catching the sunrise. Collectively we had 2022¥ left to spend on food for all of us for the day (trying not to spend any more money besides what whatever yen we had on us). We ended up sticking with Lawsons and grabbing cheap food – onigiri.

Since we missed our flight, I let Kayo know and she messaged back that she was on her way. Before she arrived, there was this African American man in monks clothing (jap style) with a baby strapped to his chest that approach and asked me if I spoke english as I pulled out my earbuds. I was thoroughly baffled but it turns out this man knows Georgina but hadn’t seen her since she was 5 or 10 years old. Jean louis with his 10 month old name Genevieve came to visit us at the Airport after Kayo called him. Jean Louis was Georgina’s neighbour back home. He has been living in Japan for 15 years. He went into the monastery and became a monk but then met his current partner and broke that monk seal however he is planning on going back thus he wears the attire to keep him focused. At this moment, he is a stay-at-home dad but is going to pursue his masters for Economics and continue practicing his samurai sword techniques.

Kayo arrived shortly after coming from her parents house about an hour and half away just to see us off again. She brought these scrumptuous waffles for us as well.

We spent 24 hours at Kansai airport and it finally ended with a somewhat quick flight to Hong Kong airport. We had 12 hours to wait at HKG airport before we could check in to connect to our flight back home to Toronto. We had tons of HKD money leftover so we felt like queens living in the airport and eating without worrying about money. We finally were able to check in at noon and we went for our final meal of the trip pre-14-15 hour flight. Wonton noodles from the food court (not the best broth but good wontons) to end the trip.