Shopping in Japan, June 2015

The downside to Japan is that you get condensed (tin) milk with your tea...
So I take it black.

Who can say no to scones and jam?
I couldn't, and neither coult the Japanese girl diagonally opposite me who saw what I had and ordered it herself.
I took a picture of her and her mum with her smart phone.


Isetan is a shopping complex attached to Kyoto Railway Station and it is full of shops for you to sample
Before you get to Isetan there are many many shops as well.

It was raining on Friday 26th June in Kyoto so shopping meant not getting wet.

Check out is by 11:00 am in Japanese hotels so be aware of this... We witnessed foreigners complaining about this, but this is the rule in Japan.
I'd booked only two nights in Kyoto, but we decided to stay a third as there is a very good bus service from Kyoto direct to Osaka Kansai Airport.
There were no rooms available in the ibis Hotel as it is deservedly a very popular place to stay...
I went on Agoda and booked the nearby Hotel Keihan Kyoto at $135.96 ($104.86 USD)...

We walked over to the Hotel Keihan in the rain, our rooms would not be ready, and so we deposited our bags with reception.
Warning: If you do this, do it with separate tags as I was back before my companion and they wouldn't let me have my bag back without the tag... In the end I had to demand my bag be returned.

There's a large area within the railway station mall devoted to biscuits and cakes... These make excellent presents and the stall attendants are skilled at wrapping them to perfection.
Confection in perfection.

My companion was loaded up with many shopping bags and had to return to the hotel to unload them.
I saw a nice looking tea shop, but my companion and Kotaro suggested Starbucks around the corner and suggested the tea shop would be more expensive... I went to the Lipton tea shop and it wasn't.

I enjoyed the ambience of the tea shop for too short a time as my companion and Kotaro returned to pick me up.

We took a taxi back to Nishiki Market to have lunch, and then we whiled away the afternoon doing more shopping.
I didn't buy anything!

Lunch was to be in a small Japanese restaurant, we ordered but then a circuit breaker kept popping leaving the place in the dark without power... The proprietor closed it.
So we walked next door where you selected your desired food from a machine, paid your money in cash, and took a printed coupon. You give the coupon to a server and the food is cooked and delivered to you.
In this way the staff does not handle any money.
I had cheese curry and rice!

After a lot of walking, I left Kotaro and my companion to carry on shopping and I took the bus back to the railway station.
I was tired, and I wantd a rest.

27th June, my tanjobi breakfast

A polite bow greets the first shoppers arriving at opening time

My shopping

I do not have a lot of money and so I spend it very carefully.
27th June was my birthday and I was out to buy presents for people in Canada.

Of course I bought a lot of biscuits and cakes at the mall next to Isetan, and then I walked to the Aeon Mall and had a look around.

Digital cameras are a lot cheaper in Japan, and I noticed that they still sold new cameras that are out of date.
There was a brand new Canon G9 for sale! The G15 is the latest model I believe.

I returned from my shopping excursion at 12:10 pm and was ushered straight on to a bus to Kansai airport to be there early for our flight back to Vancouver.
I had illusions of getting back to Langley, going flying and then out for Thai food... But my birthday wouldn't be like that.

Tanjobi desu. Return to Osaka

Bus Ride

I was hoping to see countryside but I was disappointed

Kotaro turned up with his son to see us off, but instead he drove us back into Osaka.

I think that these roads are toll roads, but they are very good

We took a taxi to a popular restaurant district, I wanted to visit the Thai restaurant we saw that first night, but I was out voted. My birthday forgotten.

The crossing light changed and we stopped in the middle
A car sped through the light and nearly rear ended a taxi that had
slowed just in case we kept moving. Much anger and swearing
Like here in BC the car raced 100 metres to the next red traffic light

Unlike Vancouver, Kyoto and Osaka have an efficient, easy, and modern road system that allows you to travel quickly between and within these cities.

The bus took an hour and a half to travel from outside our hotel in Kyoto to Terminal 1 at Kansai Airport.

My birthday plans were dashed when I read the notice below

We ate at a good Japanese restaurant, I had a beer,
my own quiet recognition of the particular day

Back to Canada

We took a taxi for a minimum cost (680 Yen) ride to the Hankyu Sai Hotel to catch one of the regular buses to Kansai Airport from there.
The bus costs 1550 Yen for this journey.
They fill the bus, and then a few as there are seats that can be opened into the aisle... This of course blocks access to the loo at the back.

Once again the journey is quick as you're never more than two or three traffic lights from escape onto a highway.
It's a treat to be able to easily get in and out of a World class city such as Osaka.
Vancouver is simply not World class, you're faced with dozens of frustrating red lights to get through.
Sorry, I get a little angry when I think of how they could have done things much better here in BC, the road designers here are simply bloody fools.

Air Canada Rouge

I'm impressed, Air Canada Rouge is much much better than my last experience on a long haul Air Canada flight a few years ago from Hong Kong to Vancouver.
The cabin staff were friendly and kind, and the overall experience flying from Kansai to Vancouver was very good.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

After departure I looked down on Japan to see coastal towns split by mountain lines with extensive population... Made me wonder about Japan's troubles with a declining population.

My Vietnamese girl now has a Japanese companion
Prices for souvenirs at Kansai Airport are the same or even cheaper than outside
BC has always been a lonely place, I go home to no-one, so these are my companions

My Chiang Mai girl was stolen with a box of memory items when I moved into this apartment in Langley

There's a good selection of programming on these flights

'Not a realistic movie, but entertaining, and seeing England again was interesting

It was easy through customs and immigration as there were only two
International flights to arrive at the same time
Drove back to Boundary Bay and recovered the car from the hangar
Tea and biscuits at Sea Land Air

Back to