Monday, April 02, 2012

Our Osaka trip

March 20th, around 7 pm-ish at night. We landed at KIX, Kansai International airport from Honolulu, Hawaii. We quickly went through customs, immigration and whatnots, grabbed our luggage and headed to the Hilton Hotel, in Umeda. It was about a 1 hour drive by limousine bus to get to our stop. Here's a quick pic of Branden and Noah at KIX.
Near those cherry blossoms on the sign it says....Welcome to Kansai.
We really liked our room a lot. And will be staying here the next time we come to Osaka. It's as you can probably guess, it's the Delta crew hotel, our flight crew from Hawaii was with us at check in, lol. Seriously. And Noboru gets an insanely good cheap deal. So for us, yeah it works!
Noah sitting on the couch. Aha those 2 bags on the table sure came along ways, right. : ) The Abercrombie bag and Coach bag. And my actual Coach bag was in front of the Coach paper bag. In this pic.
Awesome TV, loved it. And we had Japanese cable/satellite. : )
The bathroom.
We were in our room for about 5-10 minutes tops. We dropped off our luggage. And everyone went to the bathroom and then we left. We went to Saizeriya. Quite possibly the most crowded Saizeriya we've ever been in. : ) And then after that we went to Krispy Kreme to get a donut. Here's a pic of the boys in front of the map area of Osaka Station.
Krispy Kreme. Noboru and I made sure to research what was near by our hotel weeks in advance. Within walking distance of our hotel, we had everything just a quick walk away. So it was extremely convenient for us.
We all only picked up 1 donut each. However the lady gave us 4 free coupons for donuts. So we used them the next day. But we picked up some drinks at a nearby conbini and these donuts Noboru also grabbed a pack of chips and we headed back to the Hilton Hotel in Umeda.
After the boys showered, Branden fell asleep immediately. Noah stood awake, a bit, he's usually first to fall asleep but I think the time change from Honolulu to Osaka messed with his timing a bit, he did fall asleep about 20 minutes though after this picture. I showered after. And munched my donut.
We had an amazing view, we were so high up. Also watching some interesting TV show.
A beautiful view. Wouldn't want this view all the time. Granted, but it was a nice view for a day or two.

The next morning, we never even had to leave the hotel. We took the elevator down to the lobby and then took the escalator to the basement where we could walk underground, a Mc D's was literally right down there, there was even huge M signs with arrows and then Hilton Hotel signs with arrows pointing us straight back to our hotel. They must do this for the American crew that stays here, we thought. : ) We all got breakfast and headed back to our room to eat.
Hanshin!
Love this pic of Noah! Right before we went to grandma's house.
We took the bus to see and visit my in-laws and my sister in law and my niece. It was a wonderful visit. My mil enjoyed seeing Branden and Noah. My sil, loved seeing the boys too. I enjoyed seeing my niece. My mil went and picked up some take out lunch for us all. She picked up, the Ohsho. So, we had heaping amounts of fried rice, karaage, sweet and sour pork, lo mein, all sorts of things she picked a great selection. And brought it back. We ate and enjoyed every one's company. My father in law, still isn't doing so good these days unfortunately. : ( I wish he was healthier. So does everyone. But everyone else was healthy and amazing. My fil, got to spend some time with the boys though and THAT"S what's important. He got to talk with Branden. And Noah, he just stared and stared at and then he said in English...."very handsome boy" and my heart just melted. He is a great guy my father in law. And I wish his health was better. It's his memory what's going bad. When my mother in law was gone getting lunch. My father in law would ask us every 2 minutes or so. "Where's mom?" Noboru would say gently back, "dad she's picking up lunch for us all" "oh yes that's right", he'd say. And then not more then 2 minutes later he'd say..."where's mom?" or he'd say...""is it almost lunch time" and Noboru would kindly say..."dad, mom went to go and get us lunch, remember" : ) I know it may sound comical but it's not. It's very sad and not very funny at all. My father in law knew about 30 English words and also phrases in his good/younger days. Before his health went down. I thought for surely he'd had forgotten those words and that's why when he said that phrase about Noah. It melted my heart,. Not because of the message but because he remembered those words and phrases still. Especially when a person has fading memories, the fact he still remembered those phrases was remarkable to me. And so it "got me". I have nothing but respect for my sister in law and my mother in law for taking care of him with love and understanding every single day. I know it's tough and hard on them. Believe me, I hear the stories, that I wouldn't ever share on here out of respect for my father in law and his privacy. But I'll just say, it's not all roses taking care of someone like that. And we know that. My father in law went to sleep in his room after he ate and so it was just us during lunch. Noboru loves his dad so much and it's really hard for him to see his dad like that. It's hard for someone who used to think their dad, growing up was like the smartest and best man in the entire universe and now this..... anyway, I understand. Anyway, a pic of Noah and grandma Mitsuko.
And a pic of Branden and grandma Mitsuko.
Three cousins! : ) All half Japanese and all half American. My niece is such a good jump roper, she's got skills!!! She's in the 3rd grade, but this April will be starting the 4th grade. She's 1 grade younger then Branden. And her big brother is 1 grade older then Branden, but he's living with his dad now in Las Vegas. : ) After we left my mil's house, she drove us to great grandma's house. And so we visited with great grandma. She's so cute! : ) Branden's now officially taller then great grandma! Branden likes great grandma a lot! Me too! : ) After our visit, my mil dropped us at the bus station. We waved my mil and my niece good bye. And because of the frequent buses, in less then 1 minute a bus appeared and took us straight to Umeda. Living in the countryside at the Chiba and Ibaraki border, like we do, we drive everywhere. So us taking the bus was like the funnest thing for the boys! @_@ Go figure. It cracked Noboru and I up. We made a pit stop at The Hilton and everyone took a bathroom break before heading out for the rest of the day. It was only about 2pm so we had a whole evening in Osaka to ourselves since we were staying in Osaka 2 nights.
We went and used those 4 free donut coupons and also bought a dozen on top of that.

The lady at Krispy Kreme gave the boys free hats. : )
Again our hotel was just so close to everything it was like a 5 minute walk undergound to our hotel from Krispy Kreme. So we dropped the donuts off and left again.
Still daylight. Hmm, not as pretty as it looks as night though.
Noboru looked out and said....."I could never live in a city like this again. Too many people, too many buildings." I just listened. : )
Noboru pointed the buildings out to me though, he said the round building in front of us, is well known.
He then pointed and said right here's the Hankyu.
Chanel is in the Hilton so we passed this while going to take the escalator to get to all the different areas underground.

Taking the escalator down.
Walking outside among a ton of people.
And to the Loft we went. haven't been in here forever!
Hi boys! Time to check out Loft.
And by the time we left Loft, it was pitch black outside. It was March 21st evening and because my birthday was the next day, the day we were to fly back home. We decided to have my quiet little birthday dinner in Osaka.
And a quick walk to the restaurant.

And to the Outback Steakhouse we went, it was about a 3-4 minute walk from the Hilton Hotel so again so convenient. This is probably one of our family's top 5 favorite American sit down restaurants for sure, we love this place! Our appetizer. Some fried mushrooms. So good!
Noboru had the ribs. Both the boys had a chicken strips meal and drink. And I had the Alice Springs chicken with baked potato. Yumm! It was an excellent way to end our last and final night in Osaka.
We went back to the room, everyone took showers and turns with that. I took a pic of the donuts we'd take back to Narita with us. The 4 free glaze on the left. Then we had, sprinkly ones, chocolate on top but filled with bavarian type cream inside, also lemon cheesecake filled ones, OMG! caramel with walnuts. Cinnamon sugar and then some donut called, Banana pure, this was fantastic too.
Our flight would leave at 8am. So we had to wake up at 4:30am! That was so early, too early. : ) Since we showered the night before, we quickly dressed, I put some Mac concealer on and some Mac studio fix (powder foundation) and that was about it, it was way too early for me that morning. Noboru in the way back checking out. And Branden sitting in the lobby with stuff.
The Hilton lobby. The folks who work here are so nice.
We could only bring the 2 empty luggage with us to Hawaii (one inside the other of course) because we knew we'd be flying domestic back to Narita. Krispy Kreme donuts on the right. And both Branden and Noah in the Hilton Hotel lobby Osaka.
Itami airport, the boys shared a 500ml apple juice bought at the airport. And, I had a caramel machiatto from Starbucks. And I opened the donuts and let the boys pick a donut. So we all had 1 donut each while waiting.
And then we went near the gate. We flew ANA, they give Delta 90% off all ANA flights. Delta we fly completely free. But when we can't fly our own airline, we can jump on most any carrier for super cheap anyway.
We brought back the grandma next door, the gift on the right. And the gift on the left was for Branden's class.