Japan 2013: Day 2 Osaka Part 1


Leaving For Osaka on this day!

As planned, reserved a seat on the Shinkansen Hikari 461 departing for Shin-Osaka at 0710 Hrs.  So targetted to wake up around 0530 Hrs and check out before 0630 Hrs in order to take the train to Shinagawa (1 stop from Oimachi). Better to be early (as advised by HX) as some walking will be required to change platforms from the Keihin Tohoku line to the Shinkansen platform. Being on the 7 Day Japan Rail Pass means that I could only reserve the Hikari or Kodama (which is slower) and not the Nozomi (which is the fatest of the Tokaido Shinkansen line) ……

A guide to the Shinkansen train system here – http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2018.html

Checked out and left the hotel on schedule. Before I head up to the train platform at Oimachi, made it a point to take a photo of this statue at the roundabout right outside the hotel. Less than perfect angle, due to random cars passing by and having to make it real quick as I have a train to catch ……


As both the hotel cafe and Food Hall downstairs do not open that early, decided to get my breakfast at Shinagawa and eat it on the 3 hours (estimated) journey to Shin-Osaka.


Had a lot of choices of ekiben to choose from, only to end up with 2 so-so tasting sandwiches. Bought the egg & tonkatsu one 1st before I saw the pure tonkatsu one that cost 570 JPY (which was the only sandwich I ended up eating)! Did not see any coffee place at Shinagawa, thus was coffee-less throughout the train ride ……


Did not manage to book a window seat, thus no sighting of Mount Fuji, and continued to catch up on sleep on the journey ……

The shinkansen reached Shin-Osaka pretty much on schedule around 1003 Hrs. Changed another platform to get to the main Osaka Loop Line to take 1 more stop to JR Osaka station. Managed to hop into a female-only cabin – a novelty indeed! Osaka station is yet another huge and busy station ……

Osaka Station

Went to the Tourist Information centre, collected the necessary maps, got my Osaka Unlimited Pass (1 Day Pass For 2000 JPY) and at the same time, tried to enquire for directions to my hotel for the next 3 nights – Hotel Kinki. Was kind of dis-oriented and ended up at the south exit looking all lost. Saw a man who approached me and tried to help, only problem was that he speaks ZERO English, but I definitely appreciated the helpful approach rendered 🙂

Went back to the Tourist Information centre right in the middle of the station + with help from a policeman on duty (confirms the fact that policemen in Japan give more accurate directions) – managed to get to the grand Hankyu Building by crossing the bridge, went one round round the building, and continued to walk straight …… Got lost AGAIN and finally walked into a Family Mart store to check for directions again, and realised that Hotel Kinki is at the corner next to the store! Wah Lau eh! So this becomes a good 20 to 30 min search for the hotel ……


Hotel Kinki turned out to be much smaller than expected – a really small business hotel right smack in a corner, no more than 7 levels high (as mentioned by the front desk manager on duty, a really friendly guy who speaks great English!) ….. Not able to check in earlier as housekeeping still has to prepare the rooms, so left my luggage and headed out again!

Crossed the road and went back to the spot when I spotted the manhole cover and took a picture!


As I walked along the main road back to the JR Osaka Station / Umeda area, I discovered a direct route to the Grand Hankyu building right across the road from the Hankyu Navios Building without having to go 1 big round after all!


Headed towards the signs that point to JR Osaka Station and ended up at B1 – where the Supermarket/Food Hall section of Hankyu Department Store is. Proceeded to wow over the mind-boogling variety of food items available all over again 😛 ….. Just simply the various dessert/cake stalls is enough to make my saliva drip!

Hankyu Umeda 1

Spent a good 1/2 hour here before finding a place for lunch (and a much needed coffee) as my stomach is rumbling. Settled on Deli Cafe right in the middle of JR Osaka Station (will find out in the course of the next few days that there are many sub-branches all over the Station). Had a coffee & pasta for lunch – wanted a cream based pasta but the staff don’t speak English, thus had a tomato cream based prawn with vegetable pasta instead. This is a functional lunch that serves its purpose – to fill the stomach and give me the necessary energy to go through the rest of the day’s itinerary ……



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