Up in the clouds
On the 16th of December 2016, I went to Japan with my sister Patrice and my mother. It was a sudden plan, and I caused it.
I have been longing to go there since I was a teenager. I was a weeabo–there I admit it! I LOVE everything related to Japan. I self-study Hiragana & Katakana (I’m still working on my Kanji). I was so obsessed with animes, mangas, Jpop, Japanese dramas, Japanese foods, and the Japanese culture. I even went to anime convention (when it was still underground). Notice the past tense? I am not that into it anymore, but there is still a part of me that continues the fondness of it. My fangirl level on the scale of 1-10 was 11 back then; now it’s like 7.
From Kansai Airport to Osaka, we took the JR Line. Our hotel is in Tsuruhashi. Tsuruhashi Station direct JR Line costs 1060 yen. There is an English translation in every train ticket machines in Japan. At the airport, the places can also be searched at the train ticket machines.
For less hassle when buying tickets, you should know the exact fare. There are maps showing the fare on every stations, but most train stations have maps with no English translations. Don’t worry, there are information centers on train stations or just google how much it costs. There is WiFi at the airport and you can also rent pocket WiFi there. Another option is to buy the lowest fare then pay the difference at a fare adjustment machine available at your destination.
We missed the direct train as we ate our lunch in the airport. We transfer at (JR Line) Tennouji station. We walked to platforms 11-12 and transferred to Tsuruhashi station.
Now I know why some anime characters crave for curry.
best-selling manga series and Murakami
I’m DYING to have them. But, I won’t understand anything so I did not buy any book there. It just feels so good to look at! lol this book geek that I am. I love Detective Conan series. He is like Sherlock Holmes of Japan but he is trapped in a boy’s body. Patrice and I love to watch it, and try to solve the mystery and guess the criminal every episode. I’m also a fan of Haruki Murakami. I read the English translated books though. His specialty is surrealism but he also has a non-fiction book.
The pastry shops were there to welcome us at the Tsuruhashi station. We can’t help ourselves and bought some ichigo mochi (strawberry mochi).
We asked for directions. Japanese are so friendly. A man literally bit a soda/coffee can he was holding to search for his mobile phone and point us to the right direction. I also asked a Japanese girl and her friend also helped (but it turns out that the place we were looking for was very near lol). When you want to ask a Japanese, ask the younger ones because they are more likely to understand English. The obasan (おばあさん) my mom talked to said softly, “ehhhh? gomen ne…” and bow lightly, which translates as Sorry.
Here we are (finally!):
We had futon beds in our room. It was so cold in Osaka even if we max the heater. We settled and watched television. Of course, we cannot understand it. But my mom loves to watch the kids’ show and laugh for I don’t know what lol. The news when we got there was Putin meeting the Prime Minister of Japan. So for the next 2/3 days, in every channel, there was Putin.
I don’t know what series this is. If I could go back time, I would tell my past otaku self that I would be in Japan, sitting on a futon, eating a mochi, drinking a latte from a vending machine, and watching anime. I was stoked to see Shun Oguri in a commercial, Kanjani 8 in a music channel, Utada Hikaru topping the charts, Arashi in billboards and magazines..it’s like a time capsule, like I did not stop from being a fangirl teenager!!
We rested and sleep. That night, Patrice and I went out to buy some food. My mom stayed at our room. We planned to go to Family Mart, 711 or any open restaurant. Apparently, we were too late to roam around. We got lost. -.-
Patrice is laughing at me because I got nervous that night. I was not aware but I might have been nervous lol. I told her that I remembered some places and she told me other directions. We both made the rental parking our landmark, but we did not know that there are rental parking lot in every turn! Thankfully, I trusted my gut and we saw our way. The street in the photo above is the one I actually remembered. I took a video of that when we passed by it.
We bought onigiris, cooked rice, and ramen. Did I mention my mom brought a meat loaf given by her friend? lol The meat loaf traveled from the Philippines to Japan.
The next day, I took this photo from our room:
rising sun in the land of the rising sun