Japan Trip 14: Osaka plane flight and fireworks

It’s been almost a year since my Japan trip, but since I’ve managed to find some time, I’ve decided to continue the posts.

The plan for the day was to meet up with my dad’s friend to fly over Osaka in a small plane. One of his old work collegues is a pilot and pilots a plane every so often as a hobby. We all met up at Tenouji station in Osaka, and my dad’s friend’s colleague guided us to Yao Airport.

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Yao Airport is a relatively small airport located in the country side of Osaka. It is a bit of a walk away from the train station, but the scenery around the airport was quite nice.

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When we arrived at the airport, we went straight to the prep room where my dad’s friend’s college checked the weather reports and had us fill in some forms. The prep room was quite interesting as it had many maps and also many flight related photos decorated on the walls. It also had some interesting flight course planning instruments as well.

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When we headed out to the plane, I took a few photos of some of the planes I passed by.

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Spotted Pikachu!

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Finally, we got into the plane. It looks rather difficult to pilot.

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After the initial plane safety checks, we took off.

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The destination was to the house of my home stay family that I stayed at on my first trip to Japan. So we headed towards Himeji. Since we sometimes flew into the clouds, some of the photos ended up a bit white.

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Found the university that I went to in Japan!

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Spotted Himeji Castle!

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This is the new castle in Himeji.

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My home stay family’s place is around this area. I tried to ring to get one of them to go outside and wave their arms at us, but they had absolutely no idea what I was talking about and in the end didn’t go outside. orz

Since there was a yellow building nearby, it was easy to figure out where my host family’s house was quickly. If it wasn’t there, it would of been very difficult to figure out which house it was.

On the way back, I also took the following photos.

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We had a safe landing and arrived back at the airport. This experience was really special to me as it is most definately something that one would normally not be able to experience in a normal trip to Japan. I am really thankful to my dad’s friend’s college for the great experience.

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After the landing, there was also a quick check on the plane before we got out.

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After the flight, we headed back to Namba in Osaka. However, instead of going directly there by the subway, we decided to take the long way and stopped off at the Doubutsuenmae (Zoo) station on the Sakaisuji line and walked the rest of the way.

Walking back was actually quite interesting. I feel that I saw a part of Osaka that I hadn’t seen before.

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We walked through a small market.

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Spotted a Shogi and Go parlour.

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I wonder if this place is a popular tourist spot.. there are a lot of insteresting looking stores.

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We went to eat some Kushikatsu for lunch. It seems that Kushikatsu is one of Osaka’s must eat foods when you visit.

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After lunch, we headed toward Namba again.

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Slowly, the surroundings started to change into the Den den town part of Namba and I managed to figure out my surroundings. I ended up leading the rest of the way back to the hotel.

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On the way back, I happened to pass by some Itasha!

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And some maids!

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We ended up arriving safely, and since we didn’t have any plans, I decided to do some searching around for a nice frame for the calligraphy art shikishi that I had made by one of the sign writers in the area. We separated from my dad’s friend’s college and managed to find some without too much trouble.

Since previously, I received some anime-related shikishi from k-book when shopping there last time, I bought some extra frames for myself so I can hang it in my room. I ended up buying 3 in total.

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After the shopping, my dad’s friend separated from me and I decided to head to a fireworks festival. When I was in Himeji, I planned to go to Kakogawa’s fireworks festival with my old host family Yuuki, however unfortunately it was cancelled at the last minute. So this time, when I heard there was another fireworks festival on today, I decided to head straight there.

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The fireworks venue was near the Nishinakajima Minamigata station. Since I really didn’t know where the fireworks festival was located, I simply followed the large crowd of people dressed up in festival clothing and yukatas. It was much more crowded than I expected. On the way to the grounds, there were many temprary stalls set up selling food and drinks. Fortunately I bought from these stalls beforehand as the price was cheap and the lines were short. At the grounds however, the prices were quite inflated and it was really packed. Also there was no where to sit as all the good spots had been already taken by everyone else. I ended up just giving up on finding a place to sit and decided to check out all the food stalls. There were a lot of really tasty foods there and I ended up buying heaps. Since I didn’t eat dinner before arriving, I was able to sample quite a few of the foods there.

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Found a Bleach cosplayer!

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After I finished trying out all the snacks, I headed off to find a place to sit and after walking for a while, I managed to find one. However, in the end, I simply just stood up for most of the fireworks show.

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Since there was no wind, after a short while, the fireworks got blocked by the smoke and we couldn’t really see the fireworks very well. orz

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Japan’s fireworks festivals are different from Australian ones. In Australia, the fireworks typically are syncronized with music meanwhile, in Japan, it is actually quite quiet. However, Japanese fireworks tend to do things like create fancy shapes and patterns using the fireworks that is quite nice to look at.

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I always wanted to have some crepe in Japan. For some reason, I can’t find anywhere selling them in Western Australia.

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It was really packed on the way back. Since I bought my return ticket early when I arrived at the station, I managed to avoid the long queue to the ticker machines and easily got into the train platform. I typically buy return tickets early for whenever I go to any events as it really does save you a lot of hassle later on.

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I arrived at Namba station. I walked through Namba Walk to get back to my hotel. I left as soon as I arrived and spent the rest of the night at the arcades playing the UFO catcher machines till late. There were a lot of k-on goods there, so I spent a lot of time practicing and winning lots.

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It was awesome day.

Comments (5)

SteveAugust 3rd, 2010 at 3:43 pm

That flight was certainly a special way to see some of Japan! I’ve never seen Himeji Castle from above like that, it’s very nice.

I think there’s a crepe place at the Galleria in Morley… at least, there used to be. Haven’t been there in a while.

TimAugust 3rd, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Yeah, I also still have yet to check out Himeji’s new castle. I’ve only seen if from above. πŸ™‚

Thanks for the tip about the crepe place. I’ll have to check it out!

Akiba-Kid/ThomasAugust 10th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Wow, that flight surely seems fun, that is a rare experience πŸ™‚ One time, I bought the train ticket a day advance before the day of Comiket because I leave for the Comiket early in the morning like 4am and wanted to save every bits of time by buying the ticket in advance. Then when the time came and I tried to use the ticket, it wouldn’t work and the train station worker told me that train ticket only works on the day of your purchase but not thru next day, DOH!

Damn, I miss Japan already and really bummed out that I can’t go there this summer, Comiket 78 is this weekend, nooo!!! But US dollar is super-duper weak against yen right now, I would lose so much money if I did go so I need to endure the agony… But yeah, I will break my 5 year streak of going to Japan πŸ˜›

Akiba-Kid/ThomasAugust 10th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Haha, okay, so finally my comment did not disappear/went to spam filter lol. I guess my Facebook url is considered spam material ^^; Now we know the reason!

TimAugust 10th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Hi Thomas,
Yay, glad we sorted out the spam filter problem.

Yeah, it was a great flight last year. Wish I was in Japan too. I also miss Comiket too. I still have a few more posts to write on last year’s trip before I even reach writing about comiket.

Wow a 5 year streak, thats impressive. I haven’t been to japan as many times as you. I think last year’s would make it my 3rd or 4th time. Haha.. I’ve lost count already.

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