JPN02: To Osaka, we go!

When Air Asia X launched its new route to Osaka somewhere in 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2011, we were just trying our luck to see if we could secure any cheap tickets. Little did we know, we did! Without much hesitation, Satkuru got ourselves two tickets.

Then only we were thinking if we could make this trip as dirt cheap as we did for our previous trip. Slim chance, as the cheapest accommodation we could find would cost us at least RM100 per person, not per room! Not to mention a bowl of noodles would cost us RM20-RM30.

Then the proposal came in. With wedding budget coming in our way, we really thought a lot and wondering if we did the right choice of going to Osaka.

While we were still thinking, we proceed with lots reading, itinerary drafting, accommodation booking, visa application at the Japanese embassy, and keeping a close eye on the Yen currency against Ringgit.

The moment Yen dropped, we immediately took out our savings and changed into Yen. During the itinerary drafting, I drafted too on the amount of money we’ll be using for our trip. I calculated that we’ll be using about RM3000 per person, with little souvenir back home. We both know we can’t afford to change more as we need to keep some for the wedding.

Well, the thinking stopped the moment we changed our money. Of course, we started thinking again when I fell sick the weekend before flying. I felt sick during Chinese New Year and it dragged until then. In fact it dragged until now, as I’m writing this post. *cough cough*

On 7th February we boarded flight D7 3056 to Kansai International Airport at 2.45pm. Thankfully, my sick subsided but I armed myself with lots medications in my bag. We didn’t pre-book our seat for our flight to Osaka and to our pleasant surprise, we got the whole row to ourselves!

Satkuru filled up the disembarkation and embarkation form for both of us.

I gladly stretched my legs over to the next seat. The journey was smooth; Satkuru fell asleep while I indulged in Travel 3Sixty magazine.

:D

We did pre-book our meal, but we opted to have them for dinner. However halfway flying, our tummies growled and we decided to have tea time! 

The blueberry muffin wasn’t that great, and I forced it down my throat because I didn’t want to waste any food. *__*

When our flight captain announced that we will be arriving 25 minutes earlier than expected, we were ecstatic. From the plane’s window, beautiful neon and warm lights can be seen clearly and I couldn’t help but to admire the lovely sight.

Finally we landed and boarded the sky bus to the main terminal. As I walked towards the immigration, I was feeling jittery as my previous experience at the immigration counter wasn’t that smooth.

I recognized the officer whom was having a hard time getting my fingerprints the last trip and was pleased to know that the line I queued at didn’t go to him, lol!

My turn came and I calmly passed my passport and embarkation form to the officer. Then he asked me to place both index fingers on the machine.

First time, the machine rejected me. The officer stood up, asking me to try again as he observed the way I placed my fingers.

Again, my fingerprints rejected.

He mentioned something and naturally I showed him both palms. He had a close look at my fingers and then went back to his seat. He then asked me to press the machine again – this time, looking at his computer.

Surprising, no buzz went off and I somehow believe that he manually approved my unclear fingerprints. He handled over my passport and I thanked him profusely for his kind act.

We went down to get our luggage and then went to look for JR office to get our ticket. We were walking towards the escalator when Satkuru suddenly spotted this Rent-a-mobile booth at the airport. As we were deliberating on to get a mobile phone for 800 yen a day, we were approached by an airport police (he showed us his badge) where he politely asked for our passports for ‘survey’.

Knowing that we didn’t do any wrong, we gave him our passports and he jotted down our names and passport numbers. Then he thanked us for our cooperation. After he left we were still discussing if to get a mobile phone. Didn’t know why we didn’t and we continued looking for the JR office.

I stopped by to ask at the information counter but was given a rather cold answer. I wanted to press on more but Satkuru told me judging from his body language he will only give the same answer therefore no point asking. So we took the escalator up to level 2, headed out and embraced the super cold weather.

We went to the building opposite the airport and saw many ticket machines. We paused and looked at the big map above the ticket machines. Then I looked on the right and saw the Nankai Rapi:t signboard. I remembered writing something about Nankai in the itinerary so I immediately took out our itinerary.

Thankfully the Japanese embassy forced us to prepare a very thorough itinerary, it really saved our time in determining what train to take. Satkuru went to the counter and bought 2 Nankai train tickets for 890 yen each.

Then we went to look for the JR office. The office is situated right in front of us, but we weren’t sure if that’s the place to go so we asked the lady officer opposite the JR office. She pointed Satkuru to the JR office which we immediately went in there.

There was already a line in front of the counters when we entered, but the officers are fast and efficient that we didn’t have to wait long. We purchased 2 JR One Day Kansai Area Passes to be activated on the last day of our trip. The officer asked for our passports before asking us to sign some document and telling us the price, 4000 yen in total. He placed a blue tray in front of us, which naturally we placed our bills on the tray. He asked us to keep the passes and use it only on 15th February. He also told us rather than putting the ticket into the slot machines; we were required to show the pass to the officer standing at the side only. Thanking him, we dragged our luggage out of the JR office.

Satkuru asked, “So… all the tickets we should be getting, we got them already right?”

I nodded my head and off we went through the slot machine with our Nankai train ticket we purchased earlier. We went down the stairs and there were two trains waiting on both sides. Unsure on which trains to take, we peeped at the carriage seats before deciding to walk into the left one.

At the end of the carriage, there’s a compartment for luggage and we placed our bulky luggage there.

Even inside the train, I was telling Satkuru if we were in the correct train. His argument was this train looks like our KLIA Expressway train, and the other one looks like subway train. Since the ticket we purchased from the station shows the word Nankai Rapi:t, so we should be in the correct train.

But we were wrong. Halfway, we were asked by a pretty conductor on our tickets. We showed her our ticket but were told that that’s not the limited express ticket. Funny thing is, she looked at me and spoke in Japanese which I showed her my puzzled face. She then realised that I’m not Japanese and quickly changed to English. Her English is very good and she explained to us that we need to show her another ticket which is bigger in size. We told her we didn’t have that and she gave us two options. She asked politely if we would want to get to another train at the next station or pay 1000 yen to continue on this ride.

I was so prepared to get down and board the other train, but Satkuru said it was getting late and we needed to get to the hotel as soon as possible. So, he directly replied, we’re gonna pay.

She replied Thank you and gave us two additional tickets which we held on dearly for the rest of our ride. Lol!

Our ride took us to Nankai-Namba station and my goodness, after getting from the train only I realised we sat in such an awesome looking train! It really looks like one of the bots in Transformer with that beautiful midnight blue paint. I asked Satkuru to take photo of me with the train but that cow said, ‘we’re late already. Faster walk!’