Arriving in Osaka

I arrived at Kansai International Airport, Osaka at about 10:30pm last night. Unlike Kuala Lumpur where it took me about two hours to collect my bicycle and clear customs, here I was through within about thirty minutes. My bike was already waiting for me in the baggage collection area. After checking the Sleeping at Airports website I headed upstairs to level 2 where I found a comfortable bench outside Lawson’s Convenience Store, pulled out my sleeping bag and went to sleep. The police came to check on me and collect my passport details just before my eyes fell closed. The police officer was very friendly and I was expecting her to check on me because I had read online that they check all foreigners’ passports and take the details. Perhaps they just want to make sure that everyone is safe in their airport. It didn’t bother me and it was nice to have a chat with my first Japanese local.

This morning I woke early, used the bathrooms to wash myself off a bit and pulled my bike out of the box. Speaking of bathrooms … the bathrooms here at Kansai International are probably the cleanest I have ever seen. The seat is lovely and warm, there are a range of automated options like water to wash your nether regions or music that can hide the embarrassment of your toilet sounds. I didn’t try the latter option though so am not sure how it works

I’ve pulled the bike apart and stuffed it into my luggage bag as best I can. I can’t seem to get the front forks out of the frame, otherwise it would pretty much fit in my bag. Now it’s time to see whether it really is as difficult to get my bicycle off the Kansai International Airport Island as I have read that it is. My first option is to try to take a taxi to Rinku Shopping Centre, which is situated just 5km away on the other side of the bridge. I hope it works. If cleanliness of the bike is a concern I will go and get it wrapped by the luggage wrapping people upstairs. Here’s hoping.

Once on the mainland I am just going to cycle slowly east along the coast to see what I find. Tonight I will camp somewhere. I intend to camp a bit in Japan so blog posts might be sporadic. But they will still come.

I have no fixed route. I just need to be in Tokyo on 11 May to catch a 12 May flight home. Let’s see what I find here.