Published: December 3rd 2011December 3rd 2011
So, all my followers, I hope you get notified of this latest expedition!
Well, I officially left (US Time) at 430AM Thurs morning for the Austin airport and arrived in LAX at 850 (LA time) then Beau and I boarded our plane at 11:30, but sat on the tarmac for an hour...knowing from the start, our plane would be late arriving into Narita (Toyko) we knew there would need to be new arrangements to get to Osaka. Originally, we were meant to connect to Itami, but the plane we were supposed to fly from Narita was the last one to Osaka. Thankfully, we were given vouchers to take a bus to Haneda (Also a Tokyo airport) but it was an hour and a half drive away. We arrived at 730, and were able to check in (with lots of extra help) and we checked our bag sucessfully (somehow) and got through security very quickly. Strange enough, they found my water bottle tucked in my bag, took it out and "checked" it in this cupholder and it "passed" and I got to take it through. Very interesting.
Our flight left at 9PM but we had not been able to touch base with our team leader, Don. We kept trying and finally were able to leave a voicemail. However, Beau was freaking out a bit - combo of extreme exhaustion from flying, hunger, and already setting in jetlag along with the anxiety of having to redirect our flight plans and now not sure as to what to do when we actually arrived in Osaka. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, we were not even able to fly into Itami (where our group had flown into) We flew instead into Kansai which is also in Osaka. But when we arrived, we got a hold of Don and he told us to board a bus to Kyoto and he'd meet us at the station. Our plane landed at 10:15, the last bus to Kyoto was at 10:10, we didn't get to the bus stop to find that out until 10:45. So, we got on the train system, a challenge to navigate and heck of a ride. We had a few hiccups getting to the stations since we had to make a transfer and then we got off too early and rode a train to the end of a line and were kicked off and were not sure where to go...finally we found a train that took us to our final transfer to Kyoto station. We arrived in Osaka station, a huge station with several lines in and out. However, when we found the Kyoto line, it had just run its last run and so we found ourself stranded again, still in Osaka.
We were at the end of our ropes. It was nearly 1AM and frustrated by being detered by so many different road blocks, Beau was on the verge of tears nearly and I, though having had traveled and knew to stay patient and calm, was nearly about to find a hotel for the night, too tired to try anything else. thankfully, Beau's phone had been able to make calls and we made our last call to hope to the hotel and thankfully, one of our team members was near the phone and answered and woke up Don.
We boarded a taxi and thinking we wouldn't have to pay upfront handed the driver the address but then was told we had to pay 10,000 yen upfront which neither of us had. I had only a little bit of exchanged cash from LAX (which had paid for our railway tickets) we called te hotel again and our team member not sure what to do, called Don down and at the same time, some girls came into the hotel. Upon asking if they spoke Japanese and they said no, but their roomate in their room did, they went and got her from the shower and brought her downstairs to the phone and talked to the taxi driver on our behalf. After about 20 minutes of back and forth between our taxi driver and this girl, Beau and Don - we finally made our way to Kyoto from Osaka rail station. An hour and a half later, we made it. At approx. 2:30 we walked into our hotel. Needless to say we were beyond exhausted and hungry, but mostly exhausted.
That was an adventure indeed.