Nov 09 2011
Day 9: 28 Oct
- Leave Osaka for Singapore at 11.00am via SQ619
It was our final day in Japan. Armed with all our luggages and with Yahn in a stroller, we made the dreaded journey back to the Airport.
Pre-flight must haves: Snacks. Especially her favourite chips and cheerios put in a easily accessed container.
Pre-flight must haves: A full tummy. I love Kansai Airport cos WL, being a Krisflyer Gold, got 2 passes to either enter the VIP lounge, or 2* ¥2000 to spend at some of the cafes or restaurants! Chose the latter cos we couldn’t have brought our girl (counted as one headcount too) into the lounge with us… plus, ¥4000 can really give us a feast at the restaurant!
Pre-flight must haves: A full tummy (Part 2). This was what we ordered with the ¥4000 credit. The most expensive feast we’ve on this trip! Although technically, it’s free. Udon + Miso Soup + Sashimi + Sushi + Tempura + Edamame + Orange Juice + Green Tea… A grand feast that we couldn’t finish!
Pre-flight must haves: A final parting family shot… Just before take off to show our exhausted, yet happy faces at having yet another wonderful family holiday…
Inflight must haves: Activities for the girl to keep her occupied for the duration of the flight. So we had the stickers for our flight to Osaka which kept her quite entertained. This time, we gave her the same stickers PLUS a sticker book we bought from a 100Yen shop.
Inflight must haves: Tons of patience as the girl decided stickers can go EVERYWHERE including her face… her daddy’s spectacles… her mommy’s pants… and even the floor. Oh well, whatever it takes to keep her in the seat.
Inflight must haves: YUMMY FOOD AGAIN! We ordered post-weaning meal for her even though she’s way past this stage. The flight attendants even confirmed with us again that we wanted a post-weaning meal instead of a kid’s meal for our 2-year old.
YES PLEASE. When faced with a fussy-eater, we’d really rather feed her mushy things that she’ll just swallow than to have to remind her to bite, chew and swallow… Not to mention a fussy-eater who has a habit of hamster-ing food in her cheeks… *sigh* Yes, post-weaning meal for her please.
Again, the flight was empty… So apart from having 4-seats in a row again, there were empty window seats for the girl to peep out and look out into the skies. Definitely a good decision to travel Japan when tourist numbers are at an all time low.
And finally… when the zzz-monster kicked in, the parents got some rest and more uninterrupted inflight entertainment movies.
Conversation with Yahn for the days after we return to Singapore:
Girl: Go back Yahn Yahn room!
Mommy: Go back Yahn Yahn room? But that’s in Japan, we’re in Singapore.
Girl: Go back Yahn Yahn room! I want go back Yahn Yahn room PLEASE!
Mommy: … Tell papa.
Mommy: What do you remember of Japan?
Girl: Feed rabbits! Feed deer!
Mommy: Did you feed rabbits and deer?
Girl: Yes! Ride little pony!
Mommy: Wow… how did you ride the pony?
Girl: Aunty carry. Hold tight tight and ride little pony!
Mommy: And what else?
Girl: Popeye! Olive! Snoopy! Charlie Brown! Abby! Hello Kitty! ….. (and she went on listing every character she met in Universal Studios before repeating her feed-deer-feed-rabbits experience )
POST TRIP REVIEW on travelling with a toddler:
Yahn, the free spirited one in her terrible twos, was a hassle to travel with… but also a mega joy. She was always on the fly, always exploring things around her… and in the process opening our eyes too to sights that we would otherwise have missed… and sounds that we never bothered to stop and listen to. She also brought out the child in us when we followed her around the Kids Plaza and Universal Studio… or did I speak just for myself?
POST TRIP REVIEW on travelling to Kansai: Osaka / Kyoto / Nara:
Japan… one of our most favourite countries in the world for the smiles the people always give… the efficiency of a modern metropolis but not at the expense of their rich history and culture… the social courtesy of everybody even during the rush hour of the day… and the yummy food and pretty trinklets that line the tourist streets… didn’t disappoint again.
I did fear slightly for the nuclear disaster further north in Fukushima, but convinced myself that Osaka and Kyoto are far enough south to not have any effect on us for just a one week holiday. Furthermore, if the Japanese said there’s no radioactivity in Kansai, I believe them.
And good too… cos it was a great place to bring a 2-year old. There were tons of things for her to do. Aquarium + Universal Studios + Kids Plaza + Animal farm etc… Even the temples and shrines in Kyoto had huge gardens where she loves to run around in. Food wise… I think my little fussy eater agreed with Osaka cuisine. Takoyaki… Udon… Donburi… BENTO SETS! What could she possibly complain about?
But I did end up with some lessons which I’ll definitely employ for future trips:
- Forget proper meal times. Bring lots of healthy and yummy snacks for the anytime-anywhere munch
- Instead of bringing new toys / activity packs that she’s not been introduced to before, bring those that she likes to play with back home so she gets into it immediately, instead of trying it out for the first time and giving up if she doesn’t get it at the first try.
- Make her LOVE the hotel room right from the first day. it really makes the “end of day” announcement easier. “Shall we go back Yahn Yahn’s room now?” — “YES YES! Go back Yahn Yahn’s room!” (Although the risk is she’ll grow to love it so much that she keeps bugging us to go back there even when we’re back in Singapore)
- Train them on local cuisine. I think she LOVES udon cos days before our flight, I’ve been serving udon to her.
- Bring more outfits and shoes… At 2 year old, she started having her own opinion of what shoes she wants to wear. No matter how cold it might be, she’d insist she wants to wear her Barney sandals instead of the shoes… and “DUN WANT SOCKS!”… Next trip, I worry if she starts getting fussy about her clothes too… *FAINTS*
- And a life-saviour… the baby carrier. Bless you, Kat, for lending it to us. For the times she wants to be carried but our arms are giving way… For the times she doesn’t want to be carried but she had to be cos we’re walking between expensive priceless antiques in the castles… And for the times she refuses to nap but we all know she had to cos she’s losing her balance from exhaustion… THANK YOU.
And if you’re thinking of going to Japan too… Some tips:
- We made Osaka our base and do road-trips out to Kyoto and Nara whenever we want to. Not the best decision with a little toddler who might give hell during the one-hour train ride… but still doable cos it’s really quite fast and comfy if you get the limited express trains. Otherwise, do plan a stay in Kyoto so you get to see more and travel less!
- If you’re staying Osaka and want to stay in Namba, check out the Fraser Residence Nankai… IT’S THE BEST! Washing machine-cum-dryer… mini kitchenette… bath tub… separate bedroom and living room… and a walk-in wardrobe… What else can compare?!
- If you’re out to have some fun and want to keep a nice momento from the tourist sights… you can consider bringing along a notepad cos some places (like shrines and even train stations) have those stamps for you to collect.
Gosh… I have spent almost 2 weeks blogging about our Kansai trip. At times I felt crazed… like what am i doing trying to dig my brain for memories that were almost forgotten and trying to pen them down in a rush… And then I remembered my purpose.
To capture our memories so that years down the road when our memories fail us, we could remember. So that years down the road when the girl grows up not remembering how she spent her childhood, she would know. So that days, months or years down the road when people ask about what we do together, we have something to share.
Quick links on our Kansai Trip:
- Day 1: Singapore to Osaka
- Day 2: Osaka (Namba, Dotonbori, Harvest Hill)
- Day 3: Osaka (Kaiyukan, Tempozan Marketplace, Naniwa Kuishinbo)
- Day 4a: Kyoto (Kiyomizu-dera, Kodaiji)
- Day 4b: Kyoto (Heian Jingu, Ginkakuji, Potoncho)
- Day 5: Universal Studios Osaka
- Day 6a: Nara (Kofukuji, Todaiji, Nara-machi)
- Day 6b: Kyoto (Fushimi Inari)
- Day 7: Osaka (Kids Plaza Osaka + Osaka Castle)
- Day 8: Kyoto (Kinkaku-ji, Nijo-jo, Nishiki Market)
- Day 9: Osaka to Singapore