Today is my second full day in Kyoto, Japan! I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far!
My flights were more than eventful and less than enjoyable unfortunately. It began the night before when United apparently canceled my flight only to rebook me on a flight that did not leave enough time to transfer in San Francisco. WHen I arrived at the airport the next day I learned of this mistake. I then spend 30 odd minutes waiting for the woman behind the desk to try and fix said mistake. I ultimately was given two options: either leave the next day on the same route, or fly first to Washington DC, then to Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan, then to the domestic Osaka, Japan airport. Needless to say, I chose the latter.
After just making my new flight to DC, I finally had a chance to rest on the plane….until they came over the PA system and told us they needed to restart the plane to get the engine working properly….not a good sign. Well, I made it, and then was able to ‘enjoy’ my 5 hour layover in the DC airport. Finally my plane began boarding and I was on my way, well 30 minutes late of corse. Thankfully I was able to sleep most of the ride. And boy, is it a long ride.
When I arrived in Tokyo, I needed to first clear immigration. Well this was going to be an issue since I was wanting to come in on a tourist visa but was actually planning on staying more than 90 days. Thankfully they never asked to see my return ticket…and I was able to enter Japan. I then learned that since I had needed to clear customs and immigration I would not be able to make my next flight. Thankfully United/Japan did something right and booked me on the next flight to Osaka with American Airlines. Of corse, that flight left late as well….and I finally arrived in Osaka at 8:30pm. I then had to pick up my bags and figure out how to get not only to Kyoto but to the Japan Center.
I first looked for a person with my name on a sign….no luck. Also, I was late, so I didn’t really believe he’d be there. Next I figured I’d have to catch a bus to Kyoto. luckily I had researched this alternative in advance and knew a bus did leave for Kyoto that evening. I was able to buy my ticket out of the machine no issue, and finally board the bus to Kyoto. After the hour-long ride, I arrived in Kyoto and had to make my way north to the Jana Center. I decided taxi would be easiest so I found a taxi stand and hopped in and asked him to cll a number to speak to the secretary here and get directions. Well, he ended up not understanding much of the directions and had to ultimately pull over and ask directions as well as calling again to reconfirm where he was going.
After finally getting to my destination, I had to lug my two MASSIVE suitcases up the driveway and up the skinniest stairs EVER into the dorm. After then chatting with the other students for an hour….I crashed and went to bed.