No kicks in KIX

Sitting here in Kansai International Airport when we should have departed almost two hours ago. Our Jetstar flight is delayed by four hours and nothing is open here. At least we were each given 1000 Yen vouchers for food, enough for two decent sized dinners and drinks. And there’s free wireless close to the gate.

Today was otherwise pretty unremarkable. Our rail passes finished all we did was shopping. We caught the subway to Shinsaibashi, then emerged from the underground shopping complex of Crysta Nagahori iinto Tokyu Hands. The Osaka branch seems a little tamer than some, though the science section was interesting, with multihued fish skeletons preserved in jars and a great deal of chemistry equipment.

Across the road to clothing stores and Loft at the beginning of the Shinsaibashi Arcade. Loft again seemed to lack some of the quirky stuff of elsewhere, but was good for lunchboxes and a fold up floor seat.

Then we walked through the arcade, shoe shopping, shampoo shopping and people dodging. Lunch was okonomiyaki and yakisoba at a probably overpriced store along Dotombori, the eat street. It was after 3pm when we left and our train to the airport departed from Shin-Osaka, quite a few stations away.

Last minute window shopping, then we hurried as much as you could through a crowded arcade full of people staring at their mobile phones. We caught the subway and arrived at Shin-Osaka with 15 minutes to spare. Maybe I could make it back to the hotel to collect our luggage and return in time to catch the Haruka to the airport. Maybe.

I decided not to risk it and jumped into the JR ticket office facing us and rebooked us to the next train. Thankfully for free. A tip, if you want to save money, don’t catch the Haruka.

I actually made it back with our luggage in time to catch our original train. Last minute blowing of our little remaining yen buying umbrellas and the most delicious Kobe cream cheese dessert, which we ate on the Haruka ride to the airport. No sense keeping it, we know they won’t let it past security in Japan, let alone Australian quarantine.

It was a ride through suburbia under a setting sun. I love the glimpses of shops, ordinary houses and parks surrounded by cherry blossoms. As we crossed the long bridge across the bay to the artificial island that is Kansai International Airport a red sun set across the sea and the airport, like a scene of the Japanese flag.

When we arrived at the airport there was a long queue for the Jetstar flight, but Alex only wanted to catch the lifts and press the buttons on the vending machine. He is unmanageable sometimes, obsessed by button operated machinery. There was also a sign at the front of the queue warning of the four hour delay due to aircraft rotation issues.

I wish that the delay was longer and we were given accommodation rather than meal vouchers. So tired, but we still wandered around the shops. The toy shop is interesting and I regretted some of our earlier purchases.

So here we are, waiting for our flight. Alex made friends with a younger Japanese boy, so hopefully all that running tires him out for the flight. I hope too that we will make a decent connecting flight from the Gold Coast, so that we can pick up Kita. Right now I hope most of all for a safe, smooth flight and sleep.

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