Japan Diaries 3: Day 0

Introduction


It was just last 2018 when we last visited Japan. In just a year, we were blessed to be given another opportunity to revisit the Land of the Rising Sun.

Finally!

Everyone's ready!

Ella will revisit Japan for the 3rd time.

For this visit, we'll be staying in Japan for only 7 days. Hence, this would be the shortest Japan Diaries series so far. However, unlike the first two series, this one became extra special as my parents and siblings would be part of it. This would also mark our first travel abroad as a family -something that I have long waited for in my 3 decades of life. So, please join me and my family as we recount the daily accounts of our trips and adventures in this awesome country that I call my second home - Japan

Day 0 Dec. 18, 2019

Arrival

It's my parents' and brother's first time in Japan

Off to Osaka!

This international family trip was actually planned a long time ago. However, due to a lot of factors, it keeps on being postponed to a later date. It was only after my mom's retirement that I seriously pushed for it to happen. Since there were 7 of us in the family and it'll be the first time that we'd be going abroad together, my wife and I originally considered booking a tour to China for a hassle-free plug-and-play trip. But as destiny would have it, there was a seat sale for a flight to Osaka one day and its offer was too good to miss. Since I feel that I know the Kansai Region in Japan like the back of my hand plus I have multiple itineraries prepared for future use, I considered it and consulted my wife, parents, and siblings about booking the flight, and to my delight, they all agreed to it. 

What a beautiful day!

Welcome to Japan Team Nicerio

Fast forward to December 18, 2019... Finally, today has been the day that my family and I were looking forward to - our flight to Japan. We left Manila aboard Cebu Pacific flight 5J828 bound for Kansai International Airport (KIX) at around 2:55PM Philippine time. We arrived in Japan at around 7PM Japan time (for those who do not know, Japan time is ahead by an hour to Philippine time).

Here's one of the 4G SIM cards that we availed of.

On the train to our hotel in Izumisano.

After the immigration and arrival SOPs, we then went to the EASYGO counter at the north exit of the International Arrival floor of Kansai International Airport Terminal 1. There, we picked up our 4G SIM cards which we purchased via Klook a few weeks back. Just to share, this would be the first time that we availed of this since it is also the first time that we won't be staying with our Japanese family. 


Our home for the night, Izumisano Center Hotel

Checking in...

Heading to our room on the top floor (17F).

Resting a bit before heading out for dinner.

When all things are up and ready, we proceeded to our home for the night -Izumisano Center Hotel in Izumisano City, Osaka. Since it was dinner time when we finished checking in, and dinner meals are not included in our hotel package, we opted to explore the neighborhood a bit while also looking for a place to buy food and eat. 

Exploring the neighborhood... That's Izumisano Station.

Nice! Spotted my first unique-looking manhole cover for this trip. 

Look at that! An okonomiyaki and takoyaki food stall (Tekoya)

Ella seems excited to taste authentic takoyaki and okonomiyaki

Taste-testing our order... Yum!

Our first stop for the night was Tekoya which was a food stall near Izumisano Station. They sell okonomiyaki and takoyaki which are must-try foods here in Osaka. We bought several sets and ate some at the "eating area" near the stall. It was truly an amazing experience for our palates as it is our first authentic Japanese food for this trip. 

Our next stop is the 711 near the hotel

Well, looky there! Discounted bento meals!

Trying out the fishcake in the oden

We then decided to continue strolling around the neighborhood in search of other places to buy food. We eventually ended up at 711 near the hotel. It was there that I introduced my parents to the super affordable yet uber tasty convenience store bento meals which by this time was already 40% off. We bought some to go and we consumed them in our room.

Finally, it's dinner time!!!

Before calling it a day, I made sure to take a relaxing dip in the hot tub while mentally reviewing our itinerary for the next day. 

Time to call it a day... Here's the view from Room 1710

Please do check out tomorrow's article! 

Overall, we have not visited any tourist spots today due to the fact that we have only been in the country for only a few hours. Regardless, we already had plenty of memorable moments like eating authentic Japanese food and experiencing Japan's chilly weather. We all can't wait for what our first full day would bring. Til tomorrow!

Comments

  1. Osaka is a place I hop to get to, once we are again allowed to travel. Thanks for your perspective.

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  2. Replies
    1. Well it sure is. Gotta love the takoyaki and okonomiyaki.

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  3. Japan is amazing. I am sure you would have had a lot of fun there.

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    Replies
    1. We did have a grand time.. :) I hope you could visit too. :)

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  4. Japan has always being my dream destination.there is always a lot to do.

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  5. I love to visit Japan too! It's a very nice place especially during the winter blossom. Thank you for sharing your experience, seems like you've enjoyed it!

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I hope you could come visit after this pandemic. :)

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  6. I'm a sucker for local food and experiencing the culture of any place! Can't wait to visit Japan someday :)

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    Replies
    1. You'd surely love Japan. I hope you get to visit soon.

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  7. Lucky you to have another visit to Japan because it's such a beautiful country to have some time with the flowers and nice nature there.

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    Replies
    1. That's true Fransic. We were lucky to be able to visit before Japan closed its borders due to Covid.

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  8. Wow! How cool that you traveled to Japan! It is certainly on my bucket list!

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    Replies
    1. I'm happy to hear that you have Japan in your bucketlist.

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  9. What a great trip it seems. Would love to experience this.

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    Replies
    1. Please do come visit Japan after the pandemic. See you there!

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  10. I always wanted to go in japan but my budget is not yet ready haha. I wish I can go there someday

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  11. Your post reminds me of many pending Japan stories still in my draft! I am missing Japan. We supposed to comeback this July however, we cancelled that trip and now wishing to visit next year in Spring. Osaka will be our next target :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I would love to read your Japan articles Blair. :) Looking forward to see it. :)

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  12. Wow!These are really a great list of amazing places in Japan.There are various beauties are in there actually hidden beauties.Thanks for sharing !.

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  13. I wish I could go to Osaka now. Maybe after the quarantine I will go because it is a wonderful place to visit!

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you. I kinda miss the food in Osaka. Not to mention my friends living there.

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  14. This is a very cool post. It is great that you got to travel with more of your family for this trip! THank you for sharing your experiences!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you leaving such a nice comment Dominique. :)

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  15. Thank you for sharing your journey details. Japan is beautiful. Would love to travel there one day..

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    Replies
    1. Please do. Don't forget to bring your family as well Arun. :)

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  16. Great information! Sounds like you’re having an experience!

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  17. Yeah!! Enjoyed my read & missed my Japan trip to Osaka & Kobe many years ago, thanks!
    cheers, siennylovesdrawing

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sienny! I hope you could come visit again someday. =)

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  18. Beautiful blog and amazing pictures.

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  19. Japan is such an intriguing place. I can hardly wait to start planning my visit based on your review.

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