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December 5, 2019 / Jim Fenton

Japan/Singapore Day 0-1: To Japan

November 7-8, 2019

Flight map, SFO/KIX

It has been quite a while since we’ve taken a trip that has lent itself to a travel journal, but we’re leaving on one this morning. I have been planning to travel to Singapore for the 106th Internet Engineering Task Force meeting, and wanted to bring Kenna along this time since we’re now empty-nesters.

Kenna wasn’t enthusiastic about the 17-hour flight from San Francisco to Singapore, so we’re taking the opportunity to spend a week in Japan on the way there. Our plan is to fly to Osaka, take a couple of days in nearby Kyoto, followed by a couple of days in Tokyo, before continuing from there to Singapore.

Your characters for this adventure are myself, Jim, and my wife Kenna. There will also be mention of our daughter Celeste, who is a student at the University of Colorado and unfortunately not accompanying us. As with past travel journals, this is mostly written while on the trip, and edited and posted on the blog day-by-day as we return, offset by a few weeks.

I have been to all of these places on business, but haven’t had much time for sightseeing. This is Kenna’s first trip to Asia. It will be fun to see it from the perspectives of both someone who has been there before and someone for whom all of this is new.

I went out to get the newspaper this morning, and it was quite foggy. This concerned me a bit, because it could spell a considerable delay in our flight. Fortunately the United app tells what incoming flight the plane arrives on, and I was reassured to learn that flight (from Denver) was in the air, and not subjected to a ground stop.

The incoming flight was delayed a few minutes, and accordingly our flight was delayed by just a few minutes to allow for servicing. Once in flight, we crossed the Date Line and arrived in the afternoon of the next day.

Hello Kitty themed train (Osaka to Kyoto)

Immigration and customs were fast and efficient on arrival, and we bought train tickets to Kyoto at the Tourist Information. Unfortunately it was getting dark so we didn’t see much of the countryside. Upon arriving at Kyoto Station, we navigated our way to the subway and on to our hotel.

Our hotel, the Gracery Hotel Kyoto Sanjo in the central part of Kyoto, is connected to a few streets that form a pedestrian-only shopping district. Once we got our room (a very comfortable, but not overly large one), we wandered around looking for dinner. We were about to “give up” and have pizza or something when we found a small sushi restaurant. The sushi was fortunately described in English on the signs and we had a very enjoyable meal (good, but not fabulous sushi) for a little less than it would have cost at home. Then we returned to our room about 9 pm and crashed for the night.

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