Me?! Fly alone from Manila to Japan?! Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!
Let’s start calmly…
What do I even know about Japan? When I was in high school, I did a report for History on “Yamanote: The Mountainhand of Tokyo” and fell in love with photos of cherry blossoms. I also remember all those days of watching Shaider (I’ve always wanted to wear Annie’s clothes and boots :), Ultraman, Akazukin Chacha, Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon, His and Her Circumstances, Lovely Complex, Ouran High School Host Club and I’m not even an anime fan. Recently, without even watching Samurai X as a kid, I became obsessed with the Rurouni Kenshin movies and found myself liking Takeru Satoh. I went into the movies with my bff Eunice and told her “What are we doing watching Rurouni Kenshin Part 3? I haven’t seen the two earlier movies!”:P But then I enjoyed and understood the movie so it sparked my interest in the series.
I am always excited each time New Year approaches. Every year, our Christian church community opens the New Year with Prayer and Fasting where we offer and spend quality time with God instead of pigging out on leftover holiday food for five days. We also write down the things we are fervently praying for. The coffee lover and notebook nerd in me would also rejoice because I can finally use the Starbucks Planner!!! 😀 And in this year’s faith goals and Starbucks Planner, I wrote down my travel dreams. I’ve been diligently checking affordable flights from Manila to Japan but it’s always been so scandalously expensive. Imagine my shock when one fine day in February, I stumbled upon a jaw dropping roundtrip plane fare that will land me in the…well, Land of the Rising Sun. 😛 I wanted to click and book ASAP but I remember my terrifying fear of flying alone so I managed to bully my friend Carl into coming with me. Without visa application & approval, we, the most avid Harry Potter fans, clicked and booked the trip going Kansai in Japan!!!!!! 😀 I just couldn’t believe that the airline would put the flight on sale for April considering it’s the Sakura/Cherry Blossoms season.
Booked flights. — check! Visa approval. — check! Airbnb accommodations–check! Until Carl backed out of the trip. IT MEANT FACING ONE OF MY WORST FEARS: FLYING ALONE!!!!! 😦 😦 😦 Waaaaaaaaaa!!!I couldn’t believe it.
I had to muster enough strength to decide that I’ll go ahead with the trip regardless if I’m flying solo. Komown, girl: It’s J-A-P-A-N! Armed with a detailed itinerary, I also brought this list sent by a friend with me. 🙂
My flight was in the afternoon so I would arrive early evening in Japan. There wasn’t much to do when I get there except survive. Heehee. Still, I tried to enjoy the excitement I’ve been feeling in the airport.
When the plane finally landed in KIX (Kansai Airport), my heart beat so fast! 🙂 Half the battle’s won!!!! Roundtrip solo flight made me terribly uneasy. 😛
It was uneventful but I was expecting to have a wifi access so I can call my Japanese host Nakajima-san via LINE app. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand how to access the free internet so I ended up calculating and making my way from Kansai Airport to Tennoji through sheer gut feel. Thankfully, there were Filipinos who took the train who were also Tennoji-bound. We parted ways in Tennoji so I was on my own looking for Tanimachi Line that would take me to Kire Uriwari in Matsubara.
I dutifully followed Nakajima-san’s directions on LINE but I was still offline. 😦 When I got to our meeting place, she was nowhere in sight so I panicked. I went searching for a phone booth and yey, I found one!!! Unfortunately, I couldn’t contact her number. I was already on the verge of tears but I chose to went back to our meeting place. Imagine my relief when I saw a female figure with a stroller (she was with her baby) and we smiled at each other. I’m home in Japan!!!!!!
I was too tired to explore the neighborhood so I went to my room and prepared my stuff for tomorrow’s expedition.
I knew that Day 1 was simply an opening…an introduction to an epic Japanese adventure! 🙂