Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Japan Trip : Day 1 - SFO - Narita - Osaka

After a bad experience with United Airlines years ago on our trip to Asia I swore I will not fly with that airlines to Asia ever. But  this time because we were flying in June which is considered high season so I was a bit worry about the ticket price. As soon as I found out that United actually had a ticket for $1400 to Indonesia even with a stopover in Japan I was ecstatic. I decided to give United another chance.

The trip to Japan started at San Francisco airport. We got to airport pretty early around 9 but were able to check in our luggage right away. Then we went for a proper breakfast since we left home pretty early. To our surprise there was a Wendy's there replacing some other restaurant which we didn't even remember other than being pricey. We got a spicy chicken sandwich and a panini sandwich. Both were satisfying.

The flight to Narita was full. To my surprise since I have not been flying United internationally for a while, the inflight entertainment was pretty good. Each of us had our own personal touch-screen for movies, TV shows and games.

We arrived at Narita around 2 pm and quickly found our way to check in our luggage for our next flight to Osaka. After that we followed the sign to find our way to the train station and looked to buy Suica card.

Once we got our Suica card then we made our way into the terminal. To my surprise, the departure terminal was like this big room with different gates. There were so many flights so as it got closer to the time we made sure to pay attention just so we wouldn't miss our flight.
Our first meal in Japan : yakisoba at departure terminal

Osaka Itami Airport
Flight to Osaka was uneventful. It was quite a short flight compared to the previous one and we were hit with jet lag. I slept for a while and went I was awake we were pretty much getting ready to land.

Osaka Itami airport was pretty small. It sort of reminded me of the domestic terminal of SFO airport. We collected our suitcase walked out to the arrival hall and searched for the ticket booth for the bus ticket.
Waiting in line for bus just outside arrival hall of Osaka Itami Airport

The bus stop for Shin Osaka station was just outside the arrival hall and the ticket machine and also ticket booth with staff was just next to it. The ticket machine was pretty self explanatory once we selected "English" option. Make sure you have smaller change as the bus ticket only cost JPY500. I didn't know what was the largest denomination the machine could handle. I know normally there was a machine to exchange money but we were in a rush so I didn't even remember to take picture of the machine until we were on the bus.

We were told by an older man to leave our suitcase by the curb and made 2 lines. Bus arrived in less than 10 minutes. The older man loaded all the luggage in. There were not too many people on the bus and after all the luggage were in the bus moved on to the next terminal to pick up a few more passengers. Then we were on our way to Shin Osaka station.