When I was purchasing my plane ticket, I had to book it for a few days before I actually had to be in Osaka. I wasn’t really sure why there was a $3,000 difference, but I figured this way, I’d be able to enjoy a few more days in Japan. While I was at it, I booked my hotel reservations.
My acquaintance at the time, Thomas, who was also going on the trip, had asked if he could get a hotel with me if it came down to it, since he also had no choice but to book his tickets for a sooner date. I’d only ordered a single room, but I had few objections because he said he’d go half with me on it. On top of that, he’d already been on the study abroad trip a year prior, so he knew the area a lot better than I did. I was kind of iffy sharing a hotel room with another guy, though, and not only for the fact that I had a boyfriend. I told him to let me know if he couldn’t find anything else. He had no luck, so we got that single room together, $300 each for three nights.
We had the same flight going to Japan, and we bonded a little, talking about video games and such. The flights themselves weren’t bad. It’s mostly the layovers I hate. On the way, we only had about a half hour layover in L.A., and the layover in Hawaii was four hours. The trip in total was about 21 hours, so by the time we flew into Osaka, we were both exhausted and starving. It was about 9 P.M. when we landed, and from there, it was about another hour or so to our hotel.
Thomas seemed to know where we were going, but I was exhausted and irritated. I just wanted to crawl into a nice, warm bed, just to have my circadian rhythm wake me up in a few hours. I had no idea where our hotel was, and I constantly forgot what it was even called. I had to put my trust in Thomas, because he seemed pretty confident that we were going the right way. I was thankful that he was there; I couldn’t imagine trying to find my hotel alone.
After lugging our, eh, luggage through a transfer from the JR Station to the Subways in Tennouji, and riding that for a little while, we finally made it to our stop. How convenient; the hotel was right there in front of the station.
We checked in, and then we made our way to the hotel room. I was irked at how small the room was, but I did order a single room because the price was significantly lower than a double. We had quite the dilemma. With not much walking room, figuring out our sleeping situation was a struggle. We had agreed to take turns sleeping on the floor beforehand, but it looked like there wasn’t even that much room. Eventually, we decided that we’d just have to set up camp right in front of the door. With that, we got extra bedding, and as much as I wanted to get something to eat, there was nothing close by, so we just resolved to go to bed.
When we finally got to exploring Osaka, it was clear why booking things was weird: it was Golden Week! For those who don’t know, Golden Week is a holiday in Japan, where most everyone is given a week off of work to do things with their family and travel. Needless to say, it’s their busiest travel week, and as such, it’s hard to get reservations unless you book them well in advance.
The morning after we arrived, we woke up pretty early, at about 6:30 AM despite going to bed late. Thomas wanted to show me around Tennouji, but before that, we resolved to get breakfast at the hotel, seeing as it had been several hours since either of us had eaten. We stood in line for a long time. Breakfast was so busy, that they had to wait for someone to vacate a table before they could let another person in. The breakfast was so good. I had a random assortment of things. When in Japan, eat as much Japanese food as you can!
After breakfast, we got ready for the day, then we hopped on the Subway to explore Tennouji. Riding the subway got less and less frustrating, now that I was beginning to familiarize myself with it. Plus, I was in a very carefree, adventurous mood. I figured that it might be a long time before I get to go to Japan again, so I wanted to see all that there was to see. Take me wherever.
It was kind of silly when we got to Tennouji. Nothing was open; we began our day too soon. Thankfully, we weren’t way too early; most shops were fixing to open up in about ten minutes by the time we found a store we wanted to go to. Thomas really wanted to show me this shop, Book Off, and I’m glad he did. It was basically a thrift book and game store. Thomas was an avid collector of old games from the 80’s, so he frequented that place.
Before I left for Japan, my boyfriend, Ramsey, had given me money to buy myself a 3DS in Japan. He wanted me to get it so I could practice my Japanese more, since Japanese 3DS games were region-coded, and I couldn’t change the language option. Luckily for me, Book Off provided a 3DS that was much cheaper than what I could get at a typical electronics store, and it was even in a color that was exclusive to Japan: deep blue. I also bought a game for myself there, but I didn’t get the chance to play very many games. I still carried the 3DS with me everywhere I went for street-passing though. Since it was Golden Week, my 3DS connected with people from all over Japan, as far as Hokkaido and Okinawa, and it even connected with people from other countries.
So much happened in Golden Week, that I need to make individual posts for the things we did. Stay tuned!