We arrived before 9pm the night before and decided wisely on an airport hotel. That way, we only needed to cross the bridgeway from Kansai Airport to Hotel Nikko to drop our bags and walk back to the JR Office in the airport terminal to claim our 14-day JR Pass. Reserved seats on the Shinkansen for our trips to Tokyo and Hokkaido and then headed back to our hotel for a good night’s sleep. The rest can wait. No sweat!
Morning came and we SLOWLY, VERY SLOWLY moved out of bed, had our brekkie, then BOOM! Our Shinkansen tix said 10:16am from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo. It was already 9am and the airport express train from Kansai Airport to Shin-Osaka Station is some 50 minutes train ride. Boy, were we quick! Bags packed, checked out, darted through the bridgeway, took the express train, arrived in Shin-Osaka with barely a few minutes for our 10:16am Shinkansen ride to Tokyo. Now, you must understand this. I’m a good walker but flights of stairs scare me. Now, imagine me quick-climbing those stairs with my bag! By the time we reached our platform, the train was getting ready to depart. So we hopped on the nearest coach, made it, and walked/dragged our bags from coach to coach till we reached our reserved seats. Phew!
The last time I sprinted to my train was in Segovia, Spain some 4 years ago. But no bags! This time, I felt my heart nearly bursting out of my chest, sweat dripping on my back, and a terrible headache when I finally found our seats. I longed for a drink after the “run” but settled for a cuppa and a strawberry bread. My niece and I were fine after some 10 minutes and actually burst out laughing after the episode.
What a run. And what a ride. I didn’t want to sleep while my head was throbbing. Also, I wanted to take a shot of Mt. Fuji as we neared Tokyo. It was a clear day and I just knew the clouds would clear for us to view Fuji-San in all her majesty. Not snow-capped after a very hot summer in these parts. It’s Fuji, in all its “nakedness”.
So that makes our day. No white halo or hat, just a few clouds adorning the mountain like a necklace. And then, Tokyo! A quick trip to Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, a stroll down Harajuku Street, a mad scramble in Shibuya’s crossing, a glimpse of Tokyo Skytree from Sumida Park and the mandatory photo op with Hachiko.
We made good time. There were no crowds around Hachiko. Perhaps because they were across the street from Shibuya Station, playing Pokémon-go. Oh shoots! This craze hit it big, really. The only ones who seem not into it are the senior folks and the mothers busy with small children.
As for tourists like us, we’d rather find somewhere to eat and then rest our backs for another good night’s slumber. Tomorrow is Museum Day for us. No, not THAT museum. We’re doing Ghibli Museum and Charles Schulz’ beloved Snoopy Museum. Yes!