Reunion In Japan

After a couple of days of laying low in Osaka solo, the day had finally come when I’d get to see my mom and sister again for the first time in nearly a year!
It was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the high 80s! That morning I went to the Chinese Consulate of Osaka to inquire about some of the specifics for applying for the z-visa. This whole process has been (and still is) a nightmare for various reasons, such as new requirements that surfaced just this year which are virtually unnecessary and yet incredibly difficult to accomplish. To add to the difficulties, we got started on the process way late and now it’s taking much longer than we thought. Hopefully we manage to get it finished by the start of term this fall.
Anyway, it was a beautiful day…

After returning from the consulate and finishing up some work in the hotel (shown in the picture above on the right), I went and found some lunch just before trekking back out to the airport to meet my family.

I had udon noodles! Though not nearly as good as the ones from my home prefecture of Kagawa, the nostalgia was strong enough to help me ignore that fact.

Meg and mom’s flight went smoothly; no delays whatsoever! So 45 minutes after they had landed they were off the plane, through customs and duty and had met me in arrivals! I then began navigating them back to our hotel for some much-needed relaxation time on their part before taking them to the same yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) place as I had been to a couple nights ago. I didn’t want to chance anything for their first meal in Japan. The place was called Issho (一笑) and the manager there, Ata-san treated us very well! It was very near our hotel, the Mitsui Garden Hotel. Speaking of which, the hotel was also fantastic. A carbonated hot spring is up on the top floor along with a lounge that has a free-to-use espresso/coffee machine and free fresh juice. In case you’re wondering, “Why a carbonated hot spring?”, apparently the CO2 gets absorbed through the skin and expands the blood vessels, thus improving circulation.

After dinner, we went for a walk along the river and found an outdoor seating area where they were serving food and drink along with music! We enjoyed the fresh summer air and each other’s company for a while there before returning back to the hotel for a good night’s rest before heading to Takamatsu in the morning to meet with my host family, the Oki’s!

In the morning we all had another go in the hot spring before departing for Osaka Station where we would hop on the bus for the 3-hour ride to Takamatsu.

And that brings us up to speed as I am writing this on the way to Takamatsu! We’ll be arriving in 30 minutes. The plan over the next few days is to introduce my American family to my Japanese family, see a Japanese festival, visit an island in the Seto Inland Sea, visit with my old Sensei, and then take the bullet train to Kyoto! I’ll update soon 🙂


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