Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Japan Cherry Blossom Trip 01: Arrived at Japan, Scenery View on Kuroshio

Finally my dream trip to Japan becomes true!!

In this 6-day backpacking, we had seen the beauty of the cherry blossom, brought ourselves into thousands-year of historical moment, felt the kindliness of local people, experienced the rainy, fragrant spring season. And experienced the luxury of business class on the return flight. What a memorable trip!

Now, let's look back this whole trip with me ~~

Day 1:April 2 (Thu), Arrived at Japan, Heading to Kii-katsuura

We took Malaysia Airlines from Changi Airport, Singapore, made a transfer at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, then took another 6-hour flight, and finally we touched down at Kansai Airport, Japan.

Flight path to Osaka

Reached Kansai Airport, a man-made island. Sea could be seen at far side

Local temperature was reported as 10 degree Celcius. I still felt comfortable when I stepped out from the plane, wondered why it is so. But once I went to the outdoor train station, I knew how trembling cold it was.

Before we came to the train station, we spent more than 1 hour at custom. It's so crowded out there. In order to make the clearance faster, an ojisan (uncle in Japanese) helped those in the queue to check their disembarkation card. He praised on my handwriting, saying it's so neat and pretty, haha :)

Train station outside Kansai Airport
After getting the 5-day JR Pass, we planned to make a transfer at Hineno station, and headed to Wakayama city later.

However, we mistakenly took Haruka limited express train, which brought us to Tennoji station at Osaka, a completely opposite direction as we planned.

Japanese train service is quite complicated. Even the queuing line on platform could be different based on the type of trains and coaches. We took a long time to figure out how to take a train in first few days.

We wasted 2 hours for the wrong train, so we gave up our plan to Wakayama city. After feeding up ourselves in Osaka, we took Kuroshio train, which heading towards our final destination of the day, Kii-katsuura.

Kuroshio is limited express train owned by West Japan Railway Company. It linked between Kyohanshin area (Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe) and Nanki (Southern of Wakayama prefecture). This train went along the coastal line of Wakayama prefecture, so passengers could enjoy the view of waves hitting the rocks. Since it is a limited express train, the interval of each train is about 2 hours, so no matter how, we need to take the train on time.

The advertisement behind the chairs. The train route is shown at the top right hand side, while the photo shows Hashigui-iwa (iwa means rocks) at Kushimoto, the most southern part of Honshu island.

Next is the countryside scenery filmed along the route. Let me apologize first for the video quality as the best equipment I had was a smartphone.

First is scenery view from Gobo to Kii-tanabe, passing through Hidaka river (about 2.5 minutes of the video, exiting from the tunnel).

Gobo to Kii-tanabe, yellow line on the map is the route where video was filmed
Below is the scenery view from Koza station. Sakura could be seen along the station. The train was then passing through the island in the middle of Koza river.

After 3 hour and 54 minute-ride, we finally reached Kii-katsuura.

Kuroshio 13 limited express train

View from platform
When we reached Kii-katsuura, it's already 5 pm. It was a cloudy day with cold wind blowing on us.

Besides three of us, there is only a few locals alighted. This small town must be a rural place.

To be continued ......


Nakanoshima Ryokan, an onsen hotel on island

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