J is for Jukendo. And for Japan – Part 1

By Nuno Vieira de Almeida


July 22nd 2018


After an airline delay (thank you, TAP, as efficient as ever) and a night spent at a Frankfurt airport hotel, I am finally on my way to Japan. First stop: Kansai International Airport! On my way to Japan…for real and for the first time.

After an uneventful flight (I might have seen Black Panther or not…WAKANDA FOREVER!), I am rushed to reality by the captain’s announcement: we will be soon landing at KIX, local time 09h25 and temperature is 29 degrees Celsius. Well, this can’t get any more real, I am truly arriving to Japan! My legs feel a little bit weak and my cheeks are hurting, side effects of showing all my teeth in a nervous smile. I grab my backpack, get out of the airplane and I know that I am in Japan: a Nintendo advertisement with Mario Bros. characters welcomes me to Kansai International and Osaka.

I make my way through the innards of the airport, navigating emigration and security scans and go for my luggage. Didn’t get to see much of the baggage reclaim, as when I go for the room, my bags are already in a trolley, ready to go. And right next to my trolley I can see the fruits of the ground crew work: all my flights’ baggage is already on the ground, sorted by colour. Welcome to Japan!

After retrieving my bags and passing customs, I finally get out to not-airport Japan. A short stop to buy a data-card and my JR pass (is that a Pokemon store?) and I am all set to go to Nagoya!

The heat and humidity outside of the air-conditioned area hits me like a wave. Just standing outside makes me sweat! Luckily, vending machines are everywhere and I immediately spend 150 yen to gulp down a bottle of Pocari Sweat.

Now, I just need a bus and a train to make it to Nagoya!


*This is part of an ongoing series of posts by guest author, Nuno, from Porto, Portugal.*

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