Bags in Tokyo style

Bought these bags in Haneda Airport before going home to Denmark. Though it’s been ages since I was actually in Tokyo the last time. (if not including the airport and taking the bus between Haneda & Narita airport). Think it’s been almost two years since I last wandered the streets of Tokyo.
But, the bags are nice, I think. XD

Worst timing to visit Himeji

From Wednesday to Saturday my husband and I went on a road trip to Osaka. Which is a around 12 hour trip from Miyazaki in South Japan. I’ve already been to Osaka twice, so the main reason for going was to fix some marriage paper work at the “Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.

On the way back to Kyushu we decided to drive by Himeji, since I’ve never seen the Himeji castle and thought it would be great to see now where the Cherry trees are blossoming beautifully. Unfortunately Himeji is under construction… a big let down.

Wakayama drive

Today we took a drive around in the Wakayama prefecture, since it’s one of the few places in the Kansai area I hadn’t seen before. We saw a lot of nature, small villages, mountains… and a lot of rocks. In the evening we had dinner with a friend of mine I met the first time I was in Osaka. Back then we spoke mostly English together due to my limited Japanese skills, but this time around all communication was in Japanese.

The long way to Osaka

Around 1 am on April 6th my husband and I got in the car and started a very long drive from Miyazaki to Osaka.

I fell asleep pretty fast while my husband was busy driving. Around 6 am we drove into a rest stop where we both slept in the car for about an hour. The day before we had bought several snacks, bread and beverage to get us through the trip. Around 12 pm we arrived in Osaka city.

As the first thing we headed to the “Ministry of Foreign Affairs” to hand in some documents, which would take a for the ministry to return. The Osaka ministry building was very old inside and certainly needed a hand several places with cracks in the walls, floor and even some windows. We headed to the floor for foreign affairs where we were assigned a number and told to wait outside in the hall way. Then when it became our turn we were let into a small room with two desks. We handed in our papers and received a number. After that we headed to our hotel.

The next day we went to pick up our papers at the ministry, but since we were a bit too early we went to Osaka castle which was located just across the ministry building. I, myself had seen Osaka castle twice, but since my husband hadn’t seen it before I wanted to show him it.

Osaka Castle

After that, we picked up our papers and then we headed towards my favorite place in Osaka – Namba. Of course “shopping” was the main purpose. The famous Shinsaibashi shopping street, is a dream place for shoppers.

Namba (Dotonbori)

The Glico man with a message after the earthquake.

Then we also had dinner in Namba and went back to our hotel to sleep.

Japanese Sweets.

There is no doubt that a lot of Japanese people love cake and there’s no doubt that most of them look; delicious, colorful, cute, pretty and etc. I though still think that the taste itself often can’t live up to the beautiful design.

But they’re definitely nice to look at.

The empty Narita airport.

In the last minute I decided to change my flight tickets from going to Japan Thursday morning, to go Wednesday afternoon instead. So I had classes from 10 to 12, then I got on a train to Copenhagen airport around 12:30. Arrived at the airport around 3:50 and got checked in and such and then my first flight to Frankfurt took off at 5:50.

In Frankfurt I first had problems with finding my new gate, because I was given wrong information. I finally found my JAL flight to Tokyo and sat down and waited with all the other,… Japanese. I was the only non-Japanese boarding this flight. Normally non-Japanese are limited on JAL flights, but it’s the first time I’ve been the only one. The flight was quite full though. After 10-11 hours we landed in Tokyo. As always I quickly went to the immigration area, where people get divided into people with Japanese passports and people with foreign passports. There was no queue  for me at all, since there was no foreigner in sight at all, which was a first for me. Normally immigration procedures can take quite some time because of all the people lining up, but today it was a breeze and over within minutes. Then it was time to wait for my suitcase, also here only Japanese people was lining up and considering the size of the room, people seemed very limited.

After that I went out to the arrival hall, which was also quite empty, it was easy to see that a lot of people had cancelled their flights to Japan due to the Fukushima nuclear plant and earthquake. I got a bus ticket for Haneda airport and got on the bus. We drove by the other arrival terminal in Narita, also here there was no foreigners in sight. After leaving the airport area, everything looked at it always had. The same amount of cars and people on the streets, nothing seemed changed. In Haneda it was time to check in for my final flight to Miyazaki.

This flight on the other hand was very empty, compared to the other times I’ve taken this flight. Not even half of the flight was filled.

Then I finally arrived at my final destination. It felt a bit weird being back in Japan after all that has happened with the earthquake and still struggling nuclear power plant. I’ve even got several messages from friends and family urging me not to go. On the other hand the Japanese show no worries and also the news gives an relaxed feel about the whole thing. Trying to avoid any kind of panic, compared to the news I’ve heard up until now.