Leaving our hotel “The New Yakata” , god only knows what it was like as The Old Yakata Hotel, was not much of a wrench to be honest as we weren’t exactly impressed with it, our smallest room and bathroom by a long way !!
Anyhow we’d left our selves about 40k to Osaka, the only thing is that the whole route was busy, it was like cycling through a 40k town, traffic lights every 400m stopped you from gaining any rhythm or momentum…
Looks great doesn’t it ??
Anyway after reassuring the very nice young man on the door that these two scruffily dressed urchins with bicycles and 14 pieces of luggage did actually have a reservation we were allowed into the inner sanctum where are bikes were duly locked away and our luggage taken to our room, very civilised 😉
Impressed with the room and the Wi Fi I set about my latest blog while Naomi showered and dressed, I quickly followed her and then we set about the numerous tasks that now lie in our way 😉
Firstly, launderette, much cheaper than the hotel service, turns out that there’s a coin operated laundry at the back off the hotel, excellent 😉
Second, airport transfer for two boxed bikes at 25k each and 40k luggage between us as well, turns our that the airport shuttle bus has an issue with us having so much luggage, we’ve left the conundrum with the helpful young man on the door, he’ll be pleased to see us leave 😉
Third, bike boxes, a quick search in the interweb thingy led us to a nearby bike shop about 1.5k away, we took a stroll only to find it shut. We then spotted a road cyclist and asked about nearby bike shops, heeding his words we quickly found the shop “Bici Termini” and the very helpful man running it called Koji Miyazaki.
Koji actually emptied one box of its brand new bike so we could have the box, added to the other two he’d already given us meant we had what we needed, thanks Koji !!
Persuading a taxi driver to take them all back to the hotel hanging out his boot was the next job !!
Fourth, finding a local Post Office for packing materials, about 300m down the road 😉
Fifth, an ATM that takes European cards, also sorted about 400m in the other direction 😉
All this means is that by lunchtime tomorrow the bikes should be dismantled, packed and the transport sorted for the trip to Kansai Airport, brilliant, time to eat.
Nepalese restaurant with a helpful and inquisitive host, he asked all about our travels and we told him where and what we’d been doing and that our next stop was Kathmandu, he became our newest friend 😉
Great food and a huge beer saw the day come to a satisfactory end, time for bed 😉
The morning came far to quick and although I had a fair bit to do I had a bit of a lie in for a change !, soon showered and up though with the promise of coffee and pastries just round the corner, recharged we set about dismantling our bikes into boxes.
At this point I have to say a huge thanks to the hotel staff because instead of making me do this outside in the heat they allowed me and helped me to do this inside there lovely air conditioned foyer ;-)…
Job done !!
The bikes were then taken by the staff and housed in there luggage room under lock and key, brilliant 😉
I have to admit that although we were working inside I was still very sweaty so upstairs for a quick shower before the next job, now we had already spoken to the guys from the airport shuttle bus people about us, our bikes and luggage, we were told that at the time we would need to catch the bus on Thursday would be to busy for all our gear to be allowed on, oops, this upset our plans as Naomi had sorted the hotel on the basis of the airport shuttle being out side the hotel, saves having to carry boxed bikes and luggage about !!
We went for a coffee and considered our options, Train, private transfer or ??, we then went to speak to the train info people about our bikes etc, they said no problem and then sorted all the info for us including station maps, ticket boots, how to use them in fact every detail you could think of !!
We were up for it but had still decided to do a dry run to the airport just to make sure we knew where we would need to go when Naomi said if we’re going to do a dry run why don’t we take the bikes and leave them at the airport, then we could use the shuttle on Thursday ??
We were just about to but tickets when brainwave No 2 hit, why don’t we ask the shuttle guys when there quietest run is and see if we could get on with our bikes then, all we’d need to do is then leave the bikes in left luggage at the airport !!
You lot following this ??
Anyway the answer was that 15.10 bus would be quiet and yes the airport had a left luggage so we took the bikes to the airport where they are now locked away and we are now normal passengers with normal luggage so we can take the shuttle Thursday, yippee !!!
The bikes about to be loaded onto the shuttle bus 😉
I have to admit that Kansai Airport is one of those airports that I always wanted to see, for those that don’t know, Osaka needed another airport but had run out of room to build one so they made an Island out in the bay and put an airport on it, a fantastic bit of engineering and architecture…
Even this looks good with sun behind it !!
We arrived back at the hotel at about 6.00 pm and set about planning our evening, the guide book recommends an area called Dotombori so off we went, a couple of tube stops later we found it, hard to miss really….
See what I mean ??
More restaurants, bars, caves and food vendors than you can shake a stick at, we really didn’t know where to start, until this bloke sold us some octopus dumplings or Takoyaki as there called over hear….
The man and the dumplings, you decide which ones which 😉
We continued to wander round the area, continually stopping to take photos or sample food but really just soaking up the atmosphere until we finally sat down to a proper meal, fried noodles with pork then wrapped in egg, delicious, this is the place responsible for this creation…
Great food, beer and atmosphere, cheers guys 😉
Well finally we’d had enough and it was time to head back to the hotel, one last cheeky beer in the room before retiring for the night, two more days in Osaka with bikes already sorted so stress free, bring on tomorrow !!