I’ve never flown domestically within another country before this trip to Japan. I was unsure of what the process would be like. But it’s the same as it is within the United States. After immigration and customs, I only had to go through security. Though I didn’t realize until I was in the domestic terminal that I was not flying American Airlines to Osaka. I would fly Japan Airlines, which I had never flown before.
The airlines changed my seat last minute and I ended up in premium economy, right before business. I am unsure if it was an upgrade or to balance out the plane. In any case, the Boeing 787-9 is fantastic. My seat had a few buttons, which turned the chair into a recliner. There also was a slide out tablet, but I fell asleep quickly. I woke up a few minutes prior to touchdown at Osaka International Airport.
After I deboarded the plane, I took the monorail into the city. Compared to the prices of buses and taxis, the train is a much cheaper option. The only drawback is that it is much slower due to all of the stops at various stations. That and there’s also the complex structure of the Osaka subway system. But from Osaka International Airport, only two steps are required to reach Namba Station. First, take the monorail to Senri-Chūō Station. Then from Senri-Chūō, purchase a ticket to Namba Station.
The Sarasa Hotel Namba, my hotel for the week, is a short walk away from Namba Station in Nipponbashi. Although small in size, the hotel is in a perfect location for those interested in anime, books, manga, toys, etc. It’s also within walking distance to Dōtonbori. The rooms are small and narrow but for a solo traveler, I found my room to be appropriate in size. However, I would say the bathroom was awkward to get into. It was about the size of a small broom closet with a half bathtub.
Although late at night, I decided to venture out to the nearby stores before bed. There were a few still open nearby the hotel. Mostly book stores and a few hobby shops. I was on the hunt for Japanese language textbooks and a Japanese version of I Am a Hero. But most of the bookstores open carried only manga that I wasn’t interested in or adult material such as hentai. Eventually, the jet lag caught up with me and I returned to the hotel for a long sleep.