Day 1 – Japan

So, laziness, or insanely smart, I’m going to try and ‘recycle’ some of my emails to blog posts.  It has been noted that my email style is a little ‘punchier’ than my blog content… so I suppose we’ll see if it’s loved or hated!!

At Sydney Airport

So… other than bruising my hand on one of the lesbian’s hand luggage falling over (matches her wife’s), seeing my boss and his wife, I’m all good.Had my maccas hot cakes, seen an awesome red/ruby coloured longchamp – checked, it’s made in China, but my blue one I’m carrying is thankfully French made.

The 'traditional' McDonald's hotcakes at the airport! (They filled my bottle too!)
The ‘traditional’ McDonald’s hotcakes at the airport! (They filled my bottle too!)
Plane food!
Plane food!
Tour might KILL (or teach me) patience… We’ll see.
New Osaka Hotel
I have wifi. I’m tired and it’s past bedtime and I’ve missed one meal. Room is tiny but private so this (semi) nudist is happy.
Plane was old but from Tokyo to Osaka was shiny and new and as big with first class! Who needs first class for a 45 min journey!?
Not so New - New Osaka Hotel... Shin Osaka = New Osaka, as in the suburb. Rookie error
Not so New – New Osaka Hotel… Shin Osaka = New Osaka, as in the suburb. Rookie error
Sat next I 21 year old on way here, annoyed me. Rookie traveller he is!!
Food! I need food! No money in yen though.
Day 2 about to begin, we head to the sister city Suita and stay with home stays for two nights! The lesbians are staying together cause otherwise they refused to home stay.
Little J is the inexperienced 21 yo got left behind in the busy streets of Osaka after seeing the dragon boats . He’s a pretty entitled mummy’s boy so more or less blamed us for losing him not himself for his inability to follow the green fish wind sock that Hiro our guide whips out (definitely gay me thinks!)
G the leader is a bit dottery, so the lesbians and I whipped him into shape so we eat prior to midnight. You should see the gifts he’s got for our homestay families – yikes!!
There’s an older couple, four kids and grand kids called L&G. Apart from the lesbians they seem the most relatable for me. They’ve travelled heaps. She’s a bit disagreeable with big issues, or just contrary (after I mentioned the diversity of fashions the Japanese wear). Greg is far more fun and appreciates my engineer mind!
There’s a whinge-a-belle  who’s a vego cause she can’t chew. She takes 10 minutes of fretting to buy a vending machine drink, worried she won’t like it, and of course in the end didn’t. She should have got water but she doesn’t like mineral water, chose green tea. Anyone would think the $2 decision was mission critical! The lesbians and I split to ensure we wouldn’t enjoy her company at dinner after seeing her lengthy discussion at lunch!
The team - outside the Kobe Earthquake Museum
The team – outside the Kobe Earthquake Museum
There’s sisters her, in strata check business, constantly laughing. E’s 27 and definitely the more unhinged one but K keeps her sorted. Thy have locked themselves out If their room more than once already!
Then they Z, a Russian born in Iran who got refugee status in Australia after ww2. She’s a red wine drinker and whilst a little spacey, switched on generally! J is 32 never travelled but it doesn’t show. He has mannerisms and intonation like Teo but far more generous. The twins and I had cash flow problems the first night and Jordan readily volunteered to cover us. That being said despite reports to the contrary, international credit cards works but cash is king!
The tv is all in Japanese but in watching it nonetheless. Puts me in the mood for the day ahead. Sorta sad I couldn’t find a music station at least 🙁
Yesterday we went to a castle/fort in the rain, then to Osaka history museum which was ok but very little English.
Osaka Castle - b picture (blame it on the weather?)
Osaka Castle – bad picture (blame it on the weather?)
Lastly we went to the aquarium which I want enthusiastic about but ended up loving! For a girl scared of swimming with fish, a 30cm Perspex barrier between us is ideal! There were penguins and dolphins but the killer whale was sick and AWOL. There were SO many toddlers there but also young dating couples. Despite this business I saw heaps! There was also the worlds biggest gift store!! (If you care for fish, I have about 10 posts worth of photos!
Baby seat in the toliet cubicle
Baby seat in the toliet cubicle
This country is incredibly kid friendly. Most toliet stalls have a wall mounted baby holder to sit there while mum pees. Then most ladies bathrooms have a small low mounted urinal for little boys!  Even sinks are at lower levels. Staks of men’s rooms also show they have baby change facilities too. They are also uber blind aware – Braille on stair hand rails in addition to tactiles everywhere. Even pay phones mounted lower. Every public toliet also has old person rails in the stalls and around at least one sink. I think I recall reading about the aging population: they’ve certainly embraced the changes needed!
Dragon boating - incidentally as we passed over on a bridge.
Dragon boating – incidentally as we passed over on a bridge.
Ok time to zip up and head to the foyer. Smallest bag in the group for the trip – most will leave the bulk of their stuff here during our homestay but I can take most of mine 😀
There you go – first days of my trip!

6 Replies to “Day 1 – Japan”

  1. Lol – much more of the 'real' Sarah seems to come out in the emails! I must admit, I quite like reading the 'real' story with all the different personalities in a group like that.

    I *love* those baby seats in the ladies'. I wish they had something similar on airplanes. I remember a number of times I travelled with Baby J. and I had to get somebody to hold him so I could go to the loo – nowhere to put the baby! And that is brilliant that the mens' rooms also have baby change facilities.

    1. It does – it was just to my nearest and dearest, so I know how I can pitch things to their sensibilities…

      The baby seats were EVERYWHERE (and great for handbags!) Oh babies, I watched a woman in the sushi place here in Sydney on Friday, and she needed the waitress to watch the baby whilst she took the toddler to the bathroom. IN the end, the toddler went with the waitress. My heart went out to her (she was awaiting her husband's arrival, but toddler toilet time does not!) it's a different issue, but another example of us not really being geared to parents, especially single ones!

  2. Was relieved when you said "the lesbians" were relatable; a bit concerned that by labelling them, it meant something negative. Also amusing that you think of a 21-year-old as a young tyke 🙂 But you are right – it's all about travel experience and entitlement, rather than age. I can just picture you all in your work shirts, following the wind sock!

    Did you buy anything cute in Japan like Hello Kitty?

  3. I love how you name people by traits or descriptions. But makes me think how you'd name me: the bossy one! The loud one!

    Brilliant that the Japanese have thought of different groups – parents, elderly, disabled – with public utilities. Wonder how long before we catch up? I remember being amazed, decade or more ago, at the baby seat in the toilet at the Australian Zoo. I put it down to Mrs Steve Irwin being American and more in touch with customer service, more concerned for customers and having those little touches hat Australans ignore. I mean, really, most Aussie public toilets are a disgrace.

  4. I loved the informal tone of this post – and you made me laugh several times! The Japanese TV sounds interesting. Sometimes the premise of a show will be copied here in the US and they'll show clips from the original Japanese one, and wow, they are often quite bizarre to me.

    I'm impressed by your plane food! The last time I was fed a meal on a plane it was just half a meatball sandwich, and even on our flight to California last month, we were only offered a snack bag of pretzels or peanuts.

    1. I'm pleased to hear you laughed!

      Plane food on international flights with the majority of airlines is still pretty good! Even when we flew to Vietnam, we prebooked some food, and it was pretty good to be honest – this was with a low cost carrier.

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