Kyoto-Osaka Series Day 1 (October 20, 2015)
Departure from Manila
On the day that I was heading to Japan, my family was not around to bring me to the airport because they were out travelling so I had to book a cab two days before the trip through Toyota’s TAI Taxi Service which proved secure and reliable. I arrived in NAIA Terminal 1, two hours before the departure, which gave me time to eat brunch and work a bit. The ventilation in the terminal was quite poor as I remember sweating. This was exactly the reason why I had to pack my blazer away as the heat would just irritate me.
Arrival in KIX
I left Manila aboard PAL PR0408 at 2PM and arrived in Osaka’s airport, Kansai International Airport (KIX) at 7PM (Japan time). Note that Japan is 1 hour ahead of Philippines. Reg and I decided to meet up in the airport where his flight arrived at 4PM so we could go to Kyoto together. My usual paranoid self was very anxious because I could not get my phone to work neither could I connect to the free WiFi while I was in the immigration. This meant that I might encounter a problem in case I could not find Reg in the meeting point. Luckily, after going around in panic as I could not find Reg in McDonald’s, I found Reg in the lounge across McDonald’s in his usual chill disposition.
I dropped my stuff first and changed some money. I realized later on that the best location to change money was actually in the airport in Japan. Japan is not like Thailand where money changers are in almost every corner or mall.
Reg and I had no time to waste because the hostel had a strict time that guests will only be entertained to check in at 10 p.m. It was around 8 p.m. then and we knew that the trip from Osaka to Kyoto would take additional 75 minutes based on research. We could not afford to make mistakes when we booked our train tickets to Kyoto.
Booking Tickets from Osaka to Kyoto Station
It was a good thing that Reg was able to survey the place before I arrived. If I recall correctly, we took either Exit D or E from the 2nd Floor to go to the Haruka platform. We crossed the concourse and entered the JR Kansai Airport Station. It was a massive train station that definitely marks the country’s progressive state.
Reg and I headed to the booking office, showed our passport and return ticket, and purchased the special train ticket for tourists. It was about 3030 Yen, inclusive of a trip from Haruka to Kyoto, ICOCO card with 500 deposit + 1500 prepaid for bus and JR train trips.
When we headed to the tracks, Reg and I realized that the train cars were sharing tracks so it was critical for us to know the exact car we were supposed to ride. Passengers must understand that the schedule is reflected on the digital board that informs people of the exact time of departure. Reg and I almost made a mistake in riding the wrong car. Good thing we were quick to our feet and found an officer to verify. We learned our lesson to ask every step of the way when in doubt.
The Ride from Osaka to Kyoto
Upon entering the train, people lodged their bags in a common area by the door. My Filipino self got anxious about this idea as this culture was not accepted in the Philippines. I had to remind myself that I was in Japan and people are more trustworthy. Reg and I found a spot where we could easily read the updates on the wall to know when we were going down, 75 minutes later.
My mom took a trip recently in Osaka and found later on that taking a cab from the airport to Kyoto would cost about PhP18,000. It is really important to understand the best transportation options in countries you are travelling.
Searching for our Hostel
Reg and I could not figure out how to find the hostel, The Guesthouse Kyoto, in the train station’s map. There weren’t any more officers around neither was our GPS working. After asking some locals, we finally found our way. We lugged our baggage and arrived in the hostel at 10:30PM. At this point, I had no alternative plan if ever the hosts were not there to entertain us. Fortunately, they were patiently waiting and I just found comfort in the cozy hostel.
I was amazed at how cleanliness was highly valued. Upon entering the premise, the wheels of our luggage were wiped and carried by hand to the 3rd Floor. I was feeling bad about making the host carry my heavy bag but I could not do it myself. I was just thankful that Reg was there to help me out.
Reg and I slept soundly that evening after a long day of travel, looking forward to an exciting day ahead!
To see other related entries, visit this link.
Guest House Kyoto, 401-1 Teppo-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan (Tel: +81-75-200-8657; Check-in: 3PM-10PM)
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