Travelling to Kagoshima
01.10.2012 - 02.10.2012 -25 °C
After months of planning and backpacks packed to the rafters, strictly with essentials you understand (bling, budget sheet and vegetarian sign cards) we hit the road at 6:00am.
The first flight from Gatwick to Milan (1.5 hours) ran smoothly with a bit of reading on Emma's part and a mid morning siesta for Ashton. We made friends with a wonderful Jamaican lady who snored a little and was on her way to Tokyo.
The transfer to the Milan-Tokyo flight (12 hours) began the more eventful leg of our journey. To start with, staff at Milan Airport seemed bemused by our arrival and only let us through after a minor interrogation of the first passenger to grasp why we were there. The language barrier between passengers at the airport also led to Ashton walking in on an Asian lady in the toilet who had misunderstood the door locking instructions; there was equal embarrassment for both parties concerned. Milan Airport is as you might expect, catering for the higher end fashionistas, we felt too shabby to enter the shops but we sniffed at the leather from outside the stores.
Flight two Milan-Tokyo (12 hours) began in a more comfortable setting (more leg room and a TV) but first appearances can be deceptive and it didn't take long for us to get the fidgets...
Lunch came swiftly and we were quite impressed with our food. Breakfast turned out to be more of an oddity, Emma got woken up to a boiled egg and some cold asparagus. There was quite a lot of bread involved with all meals- this led to some bloating which only made our quarters more cramped.
Travelling narcolepsy failed us on this trip and we managed an hour's sleep at most. We resorted in the main to one long movie marathon! It served to entertain and block out the continuous crying of one child on the flight.
Having landed in Tokyo and collected our luggage, we headed for Tokyo Narita Airport Terminal 2. We left the airport for a short bus ride to the other terminal. Walking outside, the heat hit us and it was bright sunshine- we were quite jubilant at this point feeling that the worst was over and we had made it to Japan! Boy were we wrong!
After reaching Terminal 2, we discovered at the Information desk that we were in completely the wrong airport for our flight to Kagoshima. Having spent some time reaching this conclusion, we only had 2 hours till our flight and a 1-1.5 hour bus ride to reach Tokyo Haneda Airport. Having faced a complete lack sleep on the journey so far, I think it's fair to say that we lost our heads a little when we received this information. Not enough to keep a sleepy Emma awake on the bus to Haneda though. After rocking like a nodding dog and in a hallucinogenic dream state, Emma was only startled awake by cracking her head on the bus window.
We ran to check in, to deposit our bags and to our gate and made it with 5 minutes to spare. We seized the chance for a quick toilet break, only to be bamboozled by the high tech, gadget mad toilet. There were more buttons than you could shake a stick at! It took Emma most of the 5 minutes before boarding to work out the flush function.
Flight 3 Tokyo-Kagoshima (1.45 hours)- neither of us could tell you much about this. Apart from a hazy recollection of being offered at drink at some point, we both passed out on that flight.
Bus journey 3 Kagoshima Airport to Kagoshima Chuo Station (45 minutes). We were both mesmerised by the beautiful surroundings here, the clear blue sky allowed the best views of a mountainous backdrop furnished all around with a canopy of trees. We were also pretty thankful that we'd made it here at last.
It's a 5 minute walk from Kagoshima Chuo station to The Little Asia Hostel where we are currently staying. Unfortunately, it took us about an hour to find (and only with the help of a taxi in the end).
The hostel seems friendly and well located, so we were relieved to finally settle in for the evening. Our first food shop has been fairly eye opening to the difficulties with the language barrier. It's pretty much all guess work in terms of the content of our food and how to cook the darned thing! We're enjoying the chancey game of 'what's for dinner tonight' though.
No photos from this part of the journey because as Emma said 'we looked like a disgrace to humanity' for most of the journey. We didn't rock the travellers look very well but who pulls of sweaty, bloated and sleep deprived anyway?