Friday, January 1, 2016

Osaka Dotonbori Canal

At 05.00 am we were already awake, dawn began to appear on the horizon in the east. Kansai International Airport has also started activities. The officer on guard at the door to the aircraft have already started preparing and passengers began arriving for early morning flights. Incidentally we spend the night in front of the door that used airline ANA for flights to Tokyo. Officers call passengers who will travel to Tokyo to bring signs and kindly questioned one by one person near the door to them, including us who are preparing to begin the journey to the city of Osaka. Way ground crews were polite and friendly ANA provides a personal experience for passengers.

I prefer this way than announced over loudspeakers that sounds like a repertoire. When we got home, I also see the ground crew they provide exceptional service for passengers at Haneda International Airport.

For bathing, passengers staying at Kansai International Airport can use the facilities available, among others in the KIX Airport Lounge, which happened to be on our side, or public shower next to the information center. If using KIX Airport Lounge, need to pay ¥ 500 for 15 minutes.

I use this lounge to freshen up. If you want to bathe here, we will be given a basket containing the keys with numbers shower cubicle, hair dryer (Japanese men seem to prefer to use this), and coins. How to use, the coins inserted into the super-sophisticated shower in my size.

Firstly because of its brand Hitachi shower cubicle, the former electronics manufacturer and now switch to heavy equipment manufacturers. I do not think they also make the shower cubicle. The size is not large, roughly only 1 x 1 x 2 meters, and there was a dressing room. Secondly we have to insert a coin into his shower tool and the timer will run backwards. Is equipped with a warm water shower adjustable heat level. The unique thing, if we turn off the flow of water, then the timer is also stopped, and will go back if the water is turned on.

Although expensive, it turns out they are honest in carrying out its business. As for changing clothes, not limited by time. Thirdly, I also observed the light used in the dressing room turned out to be branded Panasonic. In Japan, the company is very broad business diversification and coloring almost all aspects of daily life.

Breakfast at Local Mcdonald's
After bathing, we ate at (McDonald's). Cheap enough to pack breakfast there, about ¥ 350 for Chicken Egg Muffin and Coca Cola. Because today is my friend's birthday so he treated us breakfast meal. We eat while watching passersby. Simple, but a great way to avoid culture shock.

Around 07.30, we headed to the information center to buy Osaka Unlimited Pass daily. The price is ¥ 2,000 per person. Osaka Unlimited Pass consists of an electronic ticket public transport and a bundle of free coupons to attractions in Osaka.

The advantages of buying Osaka Unlimited Pass is I can free ride the entire public transport (trains, subway, and bus) than those maintained by the group Japan Railway West (JR West), as well as free entry to 28 attractions in Osaka, including Osaka Castle , Tsutenkaku Tower, Tombori River Cruise, Osaka Museum of History, and Umeda Sky Building, Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel, and so forth.

There are a variety of attractive offers for tourists, such as transport and offers free admission in the Kansai region, such as Kansai Thru Pass can be used in the city of Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. JR also issued a similar pass, the Kansai Area Pass. What distinguishes, we have to use rail transport network used by JR West

But in our information center told the clerk if you want to use on the same day, it is better to buy in the counter Nankai Railway costing ¥ 2,300. Ticket booth located across the counter JR West. It is more expensive because it includes a train ticket from Kansai International Airport to Osaka city center. Osaka Unlimited Pass on the site does not mention the existence of this package, so we hurried to the counter and buy Nankai station from the station officer through the purchase of the train ticket counters. Officers, though with limited English, very helpful to us and friendly.

Because a lot of places we wanted to visit in Osaka, plans 10 places, we immediately enter the platform to board the train. Peron is located on the ground floor, so we had to go down the escalator. Our first goal is Sumiyoshi Taisha, a Shinto shrine in the Sumiyoshi area closest distance from Kansai International Airport. When we got to the platform, the train has not arrived. Provided new Nankai neat: t that looks futuristic. If you want to ride, I have to buy additional seating reservation reservation engine. Because they do not want to spend additional money, we chose to wait for the train Nankai Airport Express without reservation.

To get to the Sumiyoshi Taisha, we boarded Nankai Airport Express to Sakai station, followed by local train (Nankai Main Local) to Sumiyoshitaisha station. The trip takes 48 minutes because the distance is far enough, which is 37.4 km.

Sumiyoshi Taisha
At the station Sumiyoshi Taisha, hint towards the temple is only available in Japanese. Because it can not read kanji complicated, we had lost. In addition to the temple there is a park and many families are being weekend with a walk to the park. We explore the park up to the residential areas, and because it does not go find the temple, we went back towards the station. In crossing the street, then I ask an officer to the location of the temple, there opposite the station.

Soon we crossed the street towards the temple, we see a unique mode of public transport, the tram. I know Jakarta used to be served by the tram. But look who is still functioning and well maintained, it was surprising. This tram is Uemachi Strip, Hankai Tramway. Uniquely stop just a stile in the middle of the street where passengers get off and wait for the next tram.

Sumiyoshi Taisha is the most important temples throughout Japan, although the oldest temples situated at Sumiyoshi Chikuzen Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture. I do not understand about the teachings of Shinto shrine or the significance of this, but I think in terms of structuring the architecture of the temple and the courtyard was very nice. And not have to pay to enter, simply bowed in homage to the gods at the temple gate. Being around, we move on to the next destination, (Tsutenkaku Tower).

 In the courtyard of the temple I buy a candy shaped grapes for ¥ 200. After I bite, it turns out it intact wine! I dare to argue this includes healthy snacks, because when I bought, there was a boy who also were eating candy from apples. Of course more expensive, which is ¥ 500.

To go to the Tsutenkaku Tower, we have to get back to the station last Sumiyoshi Taisha local train ride to the station Shinimamiya. Because the ticket is similar to a phone card in the 1990's and it has little damage and slightly bent so that was rejected by the ticket machine. Fortunately, the station officer eager to solve this problem by providing a new card at no cost and without negligence.

Tsutenkaku Tower is built by combining the concepts between the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe Paris as its foundation in 1912. However, to meet the needs of the Japanese army during World War II, the tower was demolished in 1943 to take the steel. The tower was then rebuilt, but the shape is no longer similar to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe without. Tsutenkaku Tower's famous mascot is Billiken, a god of good luck depicted dressed witty.

Tsutenkaku Tower
In Tennoji area where Tsutenkaku Tower is located, there are also other tourist destinations, the Tennoji Zoo. Both are free admission with coupon Kansai Unlimited Pass. But because of time constraints, we were only planning to Tsutenkaku Tower. Unfortunately, when we arrived around 10:00, the line to get to the top of the tower is quite long until the roadside. My friends chose to go to the next destination, namely Dotonbori area. Although it turns out I was mistaken, because behind Tsutenkaku Tower there is a branch of the famous restaurant, (daruma), so the queue look together.

From Tennoji to Dotonbori, we back riding public transportation, this time riding the subway (subway) operated by the City of Osaka, Sakaisuji Line up Kintetsu Nipponbashi station. Because it is not operated JR West, then we have a free ride. Once on the train, I felt how lagging public transportation in Indonesia, while imagining how nice if there was a place to stay near subway access like this.

Dotonbori Canal
Actually, the most well-visited area Dotonbori night with decorated sparkling lights along the Dotonbori canal. But because our time is very limited, not why we came during the day. When we arrived in this area, it was time for lunch, and I immediately look for a typical snack Osaka are often referred to as Japanese pizza, which (okonomiyaki). In other restaurants, usually buyer will cook their own okonomiyaki, the restaurant will provide the materials needed. But because I do not know how to cook this food, I choose a restaurant okonomiyaki cooked by chef restaurant and I live to eat.

One of the most delicious okonomiyaki restaurant in Osaka is (Mizuno). When I arrived, the line already snaking buyers because it was lunchtime. I would like to invite my two friends here, but ultimately they chose to eat at Yoshinoya.

The concept of this restaurant is the open kitchen, chef cooking okonomiyaki directly in front of customers. Because the waiter had recorded menu ordered, then the focus chef cook and serve to customers. Customers sit semicircle toward the stove and dining table. Okonomiyaki are ready to be served by the chef placed at the edge of the stove to keep warm while customers spending cuts on their plates. Because AC restaurant is set maximum, okonomiyaki will quickly cool and it became bad if not warmed in this way.

The price of a share of around ¥ 1,000-2,000, depending on the menu is used. I chose their typical menu, which Mizunoyaki and Yamaimoyaki for ¥ 2,400 including orange juice. It seemed incredible to me and I have never felt of Japanese food in Indonesia. My advice is better not to eat okonomiyaki alone because the portions are large and filling. Alone, I took 1 hour 15 minutes to finish lunch, but the effect did not last long because my dinner again or buy a snack typical of other Osaka, (takoyaki) due to too full.

Because too long inside I feel sorry for my friends because they are waiting for me too long in front of the restaurant and in the sky, the weather changed became drizzle.