Japan 2015 — Day 16: Osaka


After a glor­i­ous 2 and a bit weeks in Japan, it’s back to Sydney and back to work. We have an even­ing flight. The down­side to Airbnb accom­mod­a­tion is that there’s no recep­tion to hold your lug­gage after you’ve checked out. So, we essen­tially spend most of the morn­ing and early after­noon loun­ging about Namba until it’s time to leave for the airport.


Breakfast is again at Chococro, but this time, I order a dif­fer­ent drink. It’s a Vienna Iced Coffee (left), which is a nor­mal iced cof­fee (right) with a marsh­mal­low-y meringue piped on top. It’s fun and stirs into some­thing that resembles an iced latte, but without trig­ger­ing lactose intolerance.


D kindly lets me have the only eggs Benedict muffin left, and opts for a cheese and bacon pastry instead. It’s not bad, but not as good as the eggs Benedict.


There’s a smoking sec­tion inside almost all chain cafes. The one here is sep­ar­ated floor to ceil­ing from the rest of the seat­ing, unlike some cafes that leave an open­ing at the top (so every­one can still smell cigar­ette smoke from out­side the smoking area). Many out­door areas in Japan ban smoking.


We try these pomegranate gummy candy. Companies like to pack their gummy candy with col­la­gen and mar­ket them to women who want firmer skin — D and I did some quick research online and these claims sound bet­ter than they actu­ally work.


After spend­ing a good two hours in Chococro (many stu­dents had set up camp there with their laptops) we migrate back to the base­ment of Namba Parks to the seat­ing around this mechan­i­cal contraption/​Rube Gold­berg machine.


We found these sea­weed puffed corn snacks at a Daiso earli­er. You can’t really taste the sea­weed fla­vour­ing on them and they’re not as more­ish as cheese puffs.


For lunch, we head across the street to Sukiya with lug­gage in tow.


D and I order essen­tially identic­al meals, except he gets his with beef and I with pork.


Pork soun­ded more juicy to me (left), but it turns out the beef (right) was more tender and deli­cious, so we end up going halfsies.


Shortly after lunch, we catch the Nankai train to Namba.


In 2011, we’d caught the JR train, which is above the Nankai line as we cross over to the arti­fi­cial island where the air­port is situ­ated. The JR line gives you a view of the sun that brings to the fore ‘the land of the rising sun’ without the bridge struc­ture interfering.


And we’ve made it back to Kansai International Airport, decked out in lights for Christmas.


There’s always a strange calm at Kansai International Airport — it’s vast but it’s so quiet.


Light kite-like struc­tures are sus­pen­ded from the ceiling.


One one of the first few nights of our trip in Japan, we’d seen a tele­vi­sion seg­ment show­ing air­port vis­it­ors push­ing two of these rows of four seats togeth­er to form an eight-seed ‘bed’ of sorts. They were out­raged and avoided the situ­ation by attach­ing the seats to the ground with wire as above.


After check­ing in, we go on the hunt for din­ner down­stairs in the din­ing court. We check out the food in the inter­na­tion­al side first, before decid­ing they were too expens­ive and head­ing down­stairs to the domest­ic food options, which were much more wal­let friendly.


I eat at Maido Okini Kanku Shokudo for some Japanese-style home cooking.


You pick your dishes from the shelves as you walk along. There are prices for each item listed.


And this is my assembled: Mack­er­el pike – it’s usu­ally salted and grilled whole with intest­ines intact, and served with grated daikon. The Japanese enjoy the com­bin­a­tion of the bit­ter intest­ine fla­vor with fresh grated daikon soy sauce, but I can­not stand the bit­ter intest­ine fla­vour! Beef cro­quette with cab­bage — good cro­quettes are served pip­ing hot, and unfor­tu­nately, this one had been sit­ting awhile. Stir-fried egg­plant – I love egg­plant and these had just enough bite with the sprinkle of ses­ame seeds.


As it’s our last meal, D opts for some­thing dif­fer­ent — yakisoba — at Boteju Yatai.


This is the Pork and Squid Modern Yaki, some­thing like an oko­nom­iyaki with a yakisoba base. There’s not as much pork and squid as D would have liked, alas, and laments that he should’ve gone with the unadon at Sukiya.


We vis­it a bunch of souven­ir shops behind the gates, but before the driver­less train to our board­ing gate. We’d been walk­ing around the land-side of the air­port try­ing to find indi­vidu­al boxes (13 pieces) of Hokkaido Red Bean KitKatSakura Matcha KitKat and Wa Ichigo KitKat (every­one was selling them in boxes of 103 pieces) to no avail. And just as I’d hoped, they sold them air­side! We also saw those region­al Shinshu Kyoho Giant Pocky and Yubari Melon Giant Pocky, but we had no lug­gage space left and they’re fea­tured in the Rainbow Giant Pocky boxes. Next time!


And we’re at our gate! Our flight is sched­uled to leave at 20:55, but it ends up leav­ing 15 minutes early. There’s a bunch of Jetstar/​Qantas exec­ut­ives tak­ing a tour of the plane, and the staff were eager to please — for the first time ever they actu­ally checked your plane tick­et against our passports.


We get a good view of our plane on the tarmac.


At some ungodly hour in the morn­ing, we arrive in Cairns just in time for sunset.


Who knew Cairns was so moun­tain­ous? Anyway. After a flight back to Sydney some three hours later, we con­clude our Japan 2015 trip. Until next time!