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Everything posted by natefish95

  1. It was…different. I could not stop laughing the entire first time.
  2. I called BOA and after battling with their automated prompts (“AGENT”…”AGENT”…”ohmygod no I don’t want to do a survey…”AGENT”) I finally talked to a real person and it wasn’t a fraud issue. BOA just didn’t recognize the transaction type. I tried a few more times using the 7-11 Seven Bank ATM and got the same results. The money exchange actually worked out well. I’ll probably go back there before I head up to Tokyo just in case.
  3. 7-11, Family Mart and Lawson have been great! I stopped into one yesterday to have an onigiri as a snack. this is my first trip to a country where I don’t speak the language fluently. I did some Japanese Duolingo so I learned so basic phrases but not enough to hold conversations. Everyone has been so kind when I’ve asked for directions. The google translate app has been a life saver, especially the Google Lens feature which will translate pictures I take (I needed that to pick the right onigiri haha)
  4. No mirrors, no optical illusions! It was really that crowded with people! Japanese McDonalds was so interesting. There were so many unique things I wanted to try. Plus, that entire meal was only $12!
  5. I walked around a bit and then hoped back on the metro to Namba to walk around Dontonburi and Shinsaibashi street. So. Many. People. This place makes NYC look like a quaint town I found a Mickey D’s and decided to pop in and try some local items. The fries taste the exact same and the burgers were quite good. The melon ice cream thing was awful though. The drink was a large but it’s about the size of a medium drink in the U.S. 20,000 steps and 7.4 miles later, my day is done. Tomorrow I’m going to Nara to see some deer and then a food tour in the afternoon.
  6. After my spa day, I went back to the hotel, showered and took the metro over to Osaka castle and walked around the grounds for a bit. I don’t know if you’d call this full bloom, but the cherry blossoms are definitely in bloom. I am such a great planner (not) that I totally knew I needed to be her at sunset. Perfect timing.
  7. From what I’ve read, and been told by some others, tattoos are associated with gangs I believe (like the yakuza), so they don’t want anyone with tattoos visiting. There are special onsens that do allow people with tattoos.
  8. Going to spa world today was a great choice! 1500 yen to enter and you get use of all the spas, saunas, and hot tubs you could imagine. I got a 30 minute body scrub for 3600 yen which was well worth it. I feel like a smooth baby dolphin. For those in DC, King Spa Chantilly is a great place to go for a body scrub and relaxation. No gangsters, please (or tattoos) A fresh OJ vending machine for 500 yen (did not try it out)
  9. One quick note: I used my Delta AmEx to buy the Shinkansen ticket and Japanese Advil with no issues. I’ve heard some credit cards don’t work well here, but that one has been doing just fine so far.
  10. Took the Osaka metro to Shin Osaka and came to the conclusion I’ll be taking a taxi instead of dealing with all of that with a 60 pound suitcase. Morning rush hour was so crowded but most signs were in English and the Apple Maps transit feature was helpful. Since I was at Shin-Osaka, I purchased my Shinkansen(bullet train( ticket for Sunday. I was able to buy a Green class (first class) ticket for $125 including a dedicated space to put my large suitcase. I’ve run into a bit of an issue with ATMs. I tried using the 7-11 ATMs but the transaction wouldn’t go through. I called Bank of America and they said my card is fine but they didn’t recognize the transaction type. Went to another bank in Namba and it wouldn’t read my card. I found a place to exchange money, so I’ll just go there even though I’m sure the rate won’t great. i also struggled to find a pharmacy to get something for my headache. That type of stuff isn’t at 7-11. Finally found an open pharmacy in Namba and got some “Eve” (there’s another product name called “Adam”. Despite language barriers, everyone has been super nice!
  11. ANA bento on a 50 minute flight the “oscillate” button was unexpected….
  12. Morning folks! It’s about 6am here in Japan and I just woke up. Let’s catch up from where I left off. I flew ANA down to Osaka in priority class mostly because it included a free checked bag and I wanted to see if they really do serve a meal for a 50 minute flight. I’ve flown between NYC and DC a lot which is a similar difference and you’re lucky if you even get a drink. Happy to report I did in fact get a bento, a full sized water bottle, and some Coke Zero. I had no idea what anything was in the bento but ate most of it anyways and it was decent. Afterwards I checked one of the papers served with it, and it explained what each square was. Forever grateful I have no food allergies and can just dig in. Landed in Osaka-Itami on time. Grabbed my bag and headed to bus stop number 10 to get the HK airport limousine bus to Namba. This bus was 650 yen ($4) and I paid using my Suica card in my Apple Wallet. A taxi would have been $50-100 according to my Uber app. The bus’s second stop is the Namba station and it was then only a 5-10 minute walk to my hotel, the Fairfield Osaka-Namba. Lovely hotel with everything you need. I’ve heard Japanese business hotels are cheaper, but I’m a Marriott guy. The room even has a famous Japanese toilet. Y’all…all I’m going to say is that it was an EXPERIENCE. I passed out about 9pm and had a much needed 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Today the plan is 7-11 breakfast, taking the metro to Shin-Osaka station and back (want to see what the trip is like and if it’s doable with a big suitcase or if I should get a taxi on Sunday), and then going to Spa World to relax and maybe get a massage or body scrub. Depending on when I’m done there, I’ll walk around and see Osaka castle and see what I see in that area.
  13. While in Japan, I’m going to use my AT&T international plan, which is $10 a day for unlimited talk, text, and data. Working well so far!
  14. This is my first time to Japan and first time in Asia! Loving it so far.
  15. I’ve landed in Osaka and I’m taking a bus to Namba. The bus was 650 yen (~$4) but a taxi would have been almost $50. My hotel is only a short walk from the Namba station…I think. I already had my Suica card loaded in my Apple wallet, so I was just able to tap that on the bus as I boarded. Super easy
  16. I get kicked off in Seward. I booked an NCL transfer from Seward to the Anchorage airport. It was a bit difficult finding transportation options since it’s a bit early in the season, and the ones I did find, were the same price as NCL ($75)
  17. Thanks for following! That's mostly why I'm doing it since it's a unique itinerary (and you don't get many reviews on the Jewel in general).
  18. Arrived in Tokyo early and then spent about 45 minutes to an hour in line at Customs. There were several flights from China that landed ahead of our flight from Atlanta, so the line was pretty long. Before the flight the Delta app prompted me to fill out an online declaration form, which will then generate a QR code. I did not do that, but was able to pick up a declaration form before getting in line (don't forget to pack a pen!) Customs was extremely painless. International arrivals come into terminal 3. My connecting domestic flight is on ANA, so i took the free shuttle bus to terminal 2 (very easy to find with the signs in English). There is a domestic check-in area located in terminal 3, but it didn't open until 15:00. For my ANA flight, the app was not working for me at all. When I checked in (prompted via an email) I added my boarding pass to my Apple Wallet, which was a GREAT decision. The bag drop is a bit different than anything I've seen, so I had a staff member help me. You put it on a stand, scan your pass, and then a baggage tag prints out. Unlike US bag tags, where you pull a tab and stick it to the other side, these have a special material at the ends that you just have to press together. Once the bag is approved (by the machine) the door closes and the bag flips into the nether until I see it in Osaka. I'm flying ANA priority class since it included a free checked bag. There is a special security area for priority and there was no line. I didn't have to take my laptop out and brought through an entire bottle of water. I like Japanese TSA but that US TSA. I've heard there is a lounge with showers, but the lounge attendant said there isn't. I'll be at my hotel soon enough, so not the biggest deal. I'm having a beer (maybe Sapporo?) that was poured automatically and will see what food I can find. All is going well so far!
  19. Made it to Tokyo! Taxiing to the gate now, then customs/immigration. I have about 4.5 hours until my ANA flight to Osaka.
  20. Good (time of day) Just woke up over Alaska with about 7 hours to go. So far everything has been great. The Japanese food and the ice cream sundae were delicious. Trying to decide on what to watch now. We might lose wifi service once we exit Alaskan airspace, so I might catch back up with yall from the ground in Tokyo. zensai appetizers main dish (beef sukiyaki) ice cream!
  21. Plane is about 17 hours in total (2 hours to ATL, 14 hours to Tokyo, and then 1 hour to Osaka). I had a 2 hour layover in Atlanta and have about 4 hours in Tokyo.
  22. My flight to Tokyo is about to push back. I’m spoiled in Delta One yall. This will be just fine.
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