Friday, August 22, 2008

Travel in Japan 01 - Nagoya and Osaka

Nagoya to Osaka
Centrair International Airport
Friday, August 22, 2008

We arrived in early afternoon in Nagoya International Airport also called CentrAir. After clearing our immigration, picking up our bags in carousel 3 we headed through the customs to train terminal in the airport.

The trains that connect from CentrAir to Nagoya are run by a company other than Japan Rail and is called Meitetsu Railways. We had to take this train to reach Nagoya station before we could reach Shin-Osaka (New Osaka) and finally Osaka proper and to our Hotel.

Since this train system is different from JR we had to buy tickets. We bought the tickets in the Limited Express Train (¥ 850) and took the first available train around 3:15 PM going toward Kanayama. We had to transfer to another train at Jungu-Mae station after traveling about 25 minutes. At Jungu-Mae station we took a train going toward Nagoya and the second stop was Nagoya.

After leaving the Meitetsu Railway station we transferred to JR Railway station. Went to the JR Information booth. At the information booth we gave our receipts for JR 7 day railway pass and showed our passport (JR passes are available ONLY for non-Japanese citizens) and got the shiny JR Railway Pass. From this point onwards we could travel in JR lines unlimited times for another 7 days.

By this time we were tired and hungry. We started to inquire people whether there is a place to eat. Since we were not yet sure where to eat we were looking for some familiar places to eat and found out that there is a McDonald's at the Nagoya JR station itself. We took our luggages and sat at Mickey D and had some coffee and hot lunch. The people were very nice. There were both Japanese and English menus with pictures. We showed them the pictures of what we wanted and they were able to serve us what we needed. Not many people could speak English.

Then we took the next available Shinkansen (Bullet train) headed toward Hakata (opposite side to Tokyo) and in our case it was a Hikari Railstar train. We boarded the train and sat there for about 1 hour 10 minutes before arriving at Shin-Osaka (Shinkansen station for Osaka). Since we were very tired by that time, we came out of the station and hailed a taxi to go our Hotel paying about ¥ 3000 for about 15 minutes ride through Osaka (it was worth it considering our baggage and our tiredness).

We checked into the Hotel Okuuchi Osaka and were ready to go to bed around 8:00 PM JST.

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