First Day in Japan

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We flew from Kelowna to Vancouver (Air Canada), where we had a six-hour layover. Flying is already expensive but Gina sprang for the Air Canada Maple-Leaf Lounge in Vancouver. All-you-can-eat food and open bar included. Really worth the money when on a multi-hour layover like this.

The next flights were Vancouver to Tokyo (Air Canada), and then on to Osaka (ANA). We had to pick up our bags in Tokyo because we were jumping on a regional flight.

Our flights were booked back in November 2023 for this trip. For some reason, the cheapest flights included a final hop from Tokyo to Osaka.

First night in Osaka

Though we went through immigration in Tokyo, we really started our Japan trip in Osaka.

We arrived in Osaka around 7pm. I think I had read that the subway may not be running late at night, but I might be wrong here. I wanted to avoid any subway problems in case we were delayed and arrived late, so we got a hotel “Toyoko Inn Osaka Itami Airport” (map) for our first night just outside the airport.

I wanted a couple comfy beds to help recover with the journey considering the rest of our accommodations were going to be hostels.

Hotels that cater specifically to business people, called “business hotels”, are everywhere in Japan — no-frills hotels for business travellers. This seems to be what the Toyoko Inn chain is going for.

As expected, the room was pretty small. We weren’t really around many restaurants so we just went to the local 7-Eleven.

We picked-up dinner there and brought it back to the breakfast area at the hotel where they had a couple microwave ovens.

The 7-Eleven had a ton of pre-packaged meals to choose from, and naturally it was all Japanese-style food. My dinner was “Spicy Cod Roe Pasta”. Turned out to be really quite good.

Taylor had “Pork Cutlet Curry Rice” which he wasn’t too impressed with.

The hotel had a small buffet-style breakfast the next morning. The food selection was really different from what you get back home. I chose what I thought I would like and it all turned out to be really good.

The next morning we checked-out, and jumped on the subway for downtown Osaka.

Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka

Our hostel for the next three nights was “Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka” (map). Here we shared a 12-person mixed gender, dorm-style room. We each had our own “pod” with a rather thin mattress, a curtain, light, outlet and bedsheets/blankets. I thought it was comfortable, but Taylor wasn’t impressed with how spartan it was nor with the plywood construction. : )

Hey, we couldn’t spring 20 days in Japan by hitting Best Western all the time, am I right?

The place was nice, comfy, very clean, and the staff were nice and spoke English very well.

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