Travel Notes: Osaka to Tokyo!

Konnichi wa! We’ve just arrived in Tokyo! We took a bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo! Just 2.5 hour journey including 4 stops (Kyoto, Nagoya, Shin-Yokahama, and Shingawa).

Last night we met up with Akira at the Noaki station in the suburbs of Osaka – we had to ask directions twice with the trains to get there because the train line we needed was known by 2 different names. ‘Geiko(?)’ talked to us the whole ride on the train until she got off, about 3 stops before us. She said she was excited to practice her english since she never has a good opportunity to do so. She was super nice and helped us get on the right train! Akira met us at the station with his car since it was raining out and for this we were glad!

We had Japanese style pizza (okonomiyaki) and fried noodles (yakisoba) for dinner before going to Akira’s apartment, where he & Joe exchanged music. He played his album for us, of his jazz band, Yusari, and it was really cool! Akira also helped us try to book a train or bus to Tokyo, which wasn’t working, so he took us to a convenience store at 12:30am to try to book it at the little kiosk there… no dice, the system was down until 6am, so we went back & headed to bed. The bed was a traditional Japanese style futon mattress on a tatami mat floor!

This morning, Akira had gone to work pretty early, so we had our strawberries & ramen for breakfast, before heading out to try & get ourselves to Tokyo. We decided to skip the cheaper bus that had a possibility of being full, and just take the bullet train (8 hours vs 2.5 hours…), and that meant taking 3 different trains to reach Shin-Osaka (new-Osaka) station, then we got the bullet train tickets for a train that was leaving in 7 minutes. We kicked it into Amazing-Race mode and somehow quickly figured out which train was ours and had to hustle past 9 train cars to reach the non-reserved seat section, which was 25% empty, and worked out well for us with all our bags!

The other days in Osaka were really nice – we wandered different streets and shopped a little bit. The streets are so small and narrow! Shops everywhere, some tucked into the tiniest corners and down into basement spaces. We found Sanrio Osaka that sold rice balls shaped like Hello Kitty! They also had Hello Kitty bento box tools…. SO CUTE! We visited Osaka Castle, as well, surrounded by a sort of moat, and there’s a museum inside. It was very nice!

The only regret is not visiting Kyoto… but that will have to happen next time!