Jan 25, 2012

Nippon. Right on!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Kawasaki is sending me out of the country for two weeks. This Saturday morning I'll fly for six hours, from NYC to Seattle, Washington. Forty minutes after I land in Seattle, I switch to a Boeing 767 and fly twelve more hours to Osaka, Japan. I'll touch down at Kansai Airport 4:30pm on Sunday evening. I'm sure my ass is going to feel SPECTACULAR after sitting for 18 hours. At least I get to fly business class on the way over there. On the way back, I'm stuck in coach. (How bad can THAT be? ... I don't want to think about it)
I usually don't get excited about big trips until the day before, but this time, I've been stoked and a bit anxious since I was first assigned to go a couple of weeks ago. I'll be staying 37km from the Kansai Airport at the Okura Hotel in Kobe. I checked it out via Google Maps' satellite view and I see that it's right on the Kobe waterfront! I hope to get some interesting pictures on the docks and maybe I'll find a fish market nearby to photograph. I'm already excited about figuring out how to get from the airport to my hotel. I have to buy a train ticket and I'm wondering just how much English I'll see when buying a ticket from the machine. Google Maps tells me it's a two hour train ride from the airport to the hotel. (Take a look) I have to transfer at Osaka Station to the Sannomiya line. By the way; I think its kind of neat that Kansai Airport is its own little island.

I'm looking forward to figuring things out and making my way through Hyogo. I will be working at Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) during the day, but the commute to and from KHI should provide some interesting morning and evening photos. I've set up my iPhone and iPad with international data plans so that I can use Google maps while I'm over there and also research as needed. Also, if any family or friends want to reach me, feel free.

Food. I love food. I think Japan is going to nail it as far as keeping my taste buds happy. Some of my favorite foods are sushi, various sea critters and steak. I'm sure I'll get my fill of sushi. And I'm positive I can find various types of tempura. And do I even need to mention that a fatty, well-marbled cut of that infamous Kobe beef is at the top of my list? Although I'm sure I'll be eating in a few restaurants with the customer and my Japanese counterparts, I plan to eat as much street food as I can. I eat a lot of it in my city; why not do the same in Osaka? If you have no idea about Japanese food here are some examples of typical Japanese dishes.
I'll have a free weekend while I'm there. Back home the Superbowl will be going on, but I'll be missing it. (GO GIANTS!) I plan on taking a train up to Tokyo for the day (See route above). This may be a bit optimistic as the train ride is nearly four hours long. But we'll see. I want to experience as much as possible during my fourteen days spent on the other side of the earth!

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