I boarded the Nozomi 24 Shinkansen at 1217pm and got here right on time. I just love how this works here. I got into Shin-Osaka terminal and had to catch two subways to get to my hotel for the next 4 nights. I decided to take it a bit easier today for whatever reason. I don’t want this to seem like work or feel like I have to do a thing. I got situated and got wireless working in the room which actually is the best I have had yet here for free. Never can complain about the cost!
I have some things I want to do the next three days and did the usual for dinner which is cheap food from a mini mart. Tomorrow I have to hunt down some coffee since I don’t see any in the room and this hotel is not like the one in Hiroshima where they had free stuff by the front desk and lobby.
Osaka is busier and bigger and I have three full days to miss all kinds of stuff. I walked around today to just see things and ended up doing a big square i guess you could call it.
Here’s a few pictures of skylines, bridges, water, boats. Stuff I like to do.
Tomorrow I’ll get to perhaps the Osaka Castle and around there. Tonight I am going to study the map a bit and see how I can get around on the subways and just take it easy.
I have this week here in Osaka and then I’m off to Hanoi for a longer stay. It will be nice to settle in there and live semi permanently and unpack. I also need to get some laundry done.
I had written about this in a previous blogpost but I wanted to comment or update based on a bit of traveling and focus in on devices and gizmos that made traveling light easier. Traveling light is not only carrying one rollerbag by the way. Rollerbags are evil things meant to roll over feet in airplane aisles and be used as carry on luggage when obviously the bag is over the size limitation. No friends, traveling light is a travel backpack of carry on size. For me its the Tortuga Outbreaker bag. It has enough organization to keep me busy but not allow me to go crazy. So far the bag has taken me to Japan and Vancouver previously. The freedom of traveling carry on only means you never have to worry about lost baggage in checked luggage or having a bag checked all the way through as happened to me on Singapore Airlines going from SFO to Singapore and then to Chennai India. The company had made a slight logistical error and my baggage was held because the next flight was only hours away. Besides the point of already having flown 17 hours to get Singapore and having to board the next flight in hours; all my “real stuff” was in the checked baggage. Bummer. I learned from that point to never ever go checked luggage again.
But on to the real point here if there is one. What are the key tech ingredients for me that made the final cut?
- Macbook 2017 12 inch. A marvel of a laptop that weighs in at 2 pounds. Its meant for crowded flights and buses and light rails. Its responsive. Find a dongle and embrace the dongle life though. I have a dongle which takes power and memory cards and a variety of USB connections. it makes the whole thing easier.
- iPhone 7 plus unlocked. This has been great since I simply plopped in a NTT Docomo data Sim Card and now have 5gb of data to use up over my two weeks in Japan. I will find another great deal in Vietnam. I don’t need cell service to call and chat with people. Hangouts or Facebook Messenger work just fine. Be sure the phone is unlocked though. You can check using a service or call your stateside carrier. I bought a phone from Swappa that was verified unlocked and it was!
- The flexible FujiFilm X100F camera. This camera and the zoom and telephoto lens are so easy to pack. I wanted to learn more photography while in travel mode and the camera makes it possible to try different film simulations, manual shooting, fully automatic, or other variations on the same. My favorite uses of the camera are everything besides where I just use the iPhone because its easier. If you want a travel friendly camera buddy check them out. I could not see carrying some camera with a hundred lens and tripods and stuff bulging out of a bag that probably weighs 10 pounds. That’s just me though. I am a rank novice at this. Professionals require a different level of commitment and gear support I bet.
A final note here is about electricity in different places. Do you know your way around 110 to 240? Check those chargers before going. Most will say on them what they support. Be careful. Electricity is beneficial but it can ruin your whole day if mis-applied.
Finally… A Travel Note.
Today is a transit day for me. I get onboard the Nozomi Bullet Train from Hiroshima to Osaka for 4 days and do the same adventures one more time there. On Friday I fly out to Vietnam from Osaka airport. Big times ahead!
Sitting in my nice but slightly small room in Hiroshima sees me drinking some room coffee and eating some pastry bought on the cheap at the local convenience store. Its a great deal when the coffee is free and the breakfast cost me ¥208 total. That’s a few US dollars compared to what the hotel buffet would cost me. I make a rule to not buy beer in bars here nor do I buy for the most part expensive food. For dinner last night I had a large bowl of Katsudon for about ¥600. Probably my big meal out is lunch but this time I have also done dinner out a few times because of the food choices here. Japan can be quite expensive! One time in Kyoto, I had a single 12oz glass of beer and it cost me over ¥1000. Really? I bought 5 cans of beer in a Circle K for that much and took it back to the room. I also do dinner on the cheap here by buying instant noodles in a convenience store and cooking them in the room. Its not as romantic or exciting but I try to be conscious of the money that things cost here.