A long flight

Dotombori Street in Osaka is lined with advertisements for Jetstar’s service between here and Sydney. So how was the flight? Pretty good overall, though the air was a little stuffy for my liking.

We pushed back a little late and we stuck behind an Air China flight and a Qantas 767 decked out in the Wallabies Rugby Union World Cup Supporters’ livery. B fell asleep and didn’t awake until we were well into the air.

The Airbus 330-200 turned south, taking us over our local suburbs. The cabin crew handed out the amenities pack. I had preordered one for B and she needed the black blanket to keep warm in the cabin. I found the inflatable neck pillow quite comfortable for head support while staring out the window.

The black leather seats were fairly comfortable, but I think the blue armrests had been inherited from somewhere else. My earphone jack didn’t work, so I couldn’t listen to the inflight entertainments: Spiderman 3 and TV shows.

We had also prepaid for a portable entertainment unit and received on of the newer models. Great screen but as heavy as a brick! The movie selection was pretty old, Pirates of the Caribbean 3 being the latest movie. We shared the unit and both watched Anchorman. They also had some movie music and listening to a track from John Williams’ Memoirs of a Geisha was a nice treat.

Part of the reason I developed a huge headache was probably because I spent so much time staring out the window, sunglare reflected off the engine. I saw the squares of farmland, the pale blue of coral reefs off the Queensland coast. The pilots did a fantastic job of steering us through the man storm clouds in our path; this was the smoothest flight north that I have flown on.

B brought some sushi along from the airport, while I had prepaid for meals. Lunch was beef noodles in five flavour sauce, a stale bread roll and potato salad, with a chocolate to the side. The noodles were tasty. By 8pm I was in no state to eat the other snack, a frittata. The Weis Bar was nice though!

The landing seemed to take an eternity, cruising over bright city and fishing vessel lights through an otherwise black landscape. We exited quickly out of Kansai International Airport and snagged some tickets on the Nankai Rapi:t Express train minutes before it was due to depart. This is a fantastical design with a front like Darth Vader, retro round windows and leopard print seats. Oh, and it cost 1380 Yen, about A$14. That’s for a reserved seat in an airconditioned express train with luggage storage. As opposed to our $14 CityRail ticket from Padstow to the International Airport in a packed all stations commuter train. And yes, this was a private line.

The streets of humid Osaka were still alive with young people chatting, skateboarding and riding bikes. The ugg boots we spotted on a girl may seem strange in the heat, but then most of the others looked very wobbly in their high heels.

We dropped off our bags at the hotel, then returned to Dotombori Street for a late dinner of very tasty udon, then walked back along the river to the hotel. Ahh, the hotel! It projects an air of cool, all reds and blacks. Our room is black and white, with a huge LCD TV and the best bathroom so far. It has a deep bath and a proper Japanese pre-bath showering facility with stool and bowl for pouring the oh-so-hot water over the body, to clean yourself before bathing. And the supplied soap and shampoo is so very good. Oh, and the toilet requires an instruction manual!

Now it’s time to begin exploring!

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