international travel adventures part 4 – do gooder

Last you heard from me, I was on the Shinkosen from Toyko to Osaka… well I arrived to Shin-Osaka (my transfer point) fairly seamlessly.  When I got off the train, I was immersed in people… everywhere there was people – rush hour had began at this major Japan Rail (JR) connector line.

I needed to transfer from Shin-Osaka station to Osaka station – which I was told would not be too difficult.  A few escalators and elevators in the wrong direction until I finally landed at the correct platform.  A small wait and a I boarded the Japan Rail Kobe line to Osaka – finally, I’m almost there!

Little did I know... getting to Shin-Osaka was the easiest leg!

Unfortunately I didn’t know what I was in for upon arrival at Osaka station.  Osaka is VERY different from Tokyo… English is limited, access is harder (no elevators), and signage is poor.  I spent a VERY long time wandering the halls of Osaka station looking for the subway lines… The Japan Rail train lines and local subway lines are in two different areas. Finally an hour later I find the subway, cart my massive amount of bags down flights and flights of stairs to learn that the subway I need to take doesn’t leave from this station.  A man tells me that I need to walk to Nishi-Umeda station (5 minutes away) to then get on the blue line to Higobashi station.

I head out of the train station into pitch black and no English translators… I begin my walk – I walk and walk and walk. I finally end up in a pedestrian underpass no idea where I am or how I got there. Many business men are commuting back home and all the maps are in Japanese. After about 20 minutes, a man approaches me and says “hotel?”… of which I respond “APA”… he motions for me to follow him.  I’m thinking he’s pointing me in the right direction of the subway…

Instead…

We walk…

We walk and walk…

And walk some more…

And an hour later I wonder if he is a good person and if I might die…

But then I realize I have no options…

So we walk…

And walk and walk…

Then over 90 minutes later…

We reach a subway!

Yes – Nishi-Umeda!!  I have no idea why it took us that long to get there or what route we took but I am grateful to the middle-aged man. I figure that he will abandon me now, but no – we get on the subway en route to Higobashi station.  At Higobashi he gets off to locate the correct exit for the “APA Higobashi” hotel… Exit 1! He walks me out the exit and into my hotel lobby, then waves goodbye.

I thank him (but secretly want to hug him), because he totally saved me from the dangerous (kidding!) streets of Osaka.

I check into the hotel seamlessly (hotel staff know a bit of English) and off to my room. I’m on the 13th FLOOR… isn’t that crazy… many hotels in North America don’t have 13th floors. The room is cute – trendy but small.  I was absolutely exhausted by the journey, so I was asleep pretty quick, but here are a few pictures of the room:

The Room!

Bathroom (Way Bigger than Tokyo Hotel).

My 1st Paper Crane!

And even though this is from the next day…. a sneak peek on the view!!

The View!

Tomorrow is the official first day of the JCI World Congress.  I will get up in the morning to meet my friend Tobias from JCI Sweden and then head to registration.  I booked reflexology for the afternoon and lastly will be Opening Ceremonies at the Osaka Castle.

Stay tuned! XO

 

 

 

 

0 Comments

  1. Kristin November 14, 2010

    Love how they left a crane! Thanks for becoming a Rosebud!

    Reply

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