|top: me & my parents|
bottom: my friend, Jacques
March 20, 2011: This was taken at the Honolulu International Airport. All I can remember was that I was SOOO nervous. This was the first time I'd be away from my family for a long time. I'm the baby of the family and for them to let me do this and pursue my dreams makes me really want to make them proud.
I left Hawaii around 1pm flying with JAL ✈ arrived at the Kansai International Airport (KIX) March 21,2011 at around 6pm. It was roughly an 8 hour flight.
I don't have pics of of KIX because when I landed I was completely on my own (phone-less btw) to get to Kyoto. I was nervous but I made sure to just calm down and organize my thoughts. I stayed at KIX for about 30 minutes or so before finding where the JR Haruka Express train station was. I've never purchased tickets for the train before so I was obviously lost on how to properly get one. I purchased my ticket to Kyoto, put my ticket in the ticket reader at the gate and the gate closed on me. Apparently, I didn't put in enough money for my destination. I was stuck on one side while my luggage was stuck on the other side. I didn't know what to do! Then these 2 Japanese girls helped me. Thank God for them, they were so nice. We didn't really exchange words because right after they went down to where the trains were. When I went down they were there at the same place I was going to be waiting. Thinking that this would be a perfect time to keep practicing conversing in Japanese (I pretty much used Japanese right from the beginning when I was on the plane), I politely got their attention, thanked them for helping me and told them it was my first time riding a train and that I was actually a foreigner. These girls looked around my age and they were more than happy to help me. The 3 of us got our seats and the train soon departed for our destinations. They ended up getting off at Osaka but they made sure I would be okay. We said our goodbyes and then I realized I didn't even get their names :(.
It still felt surreal that I was in Japan. I was still nervous but excited at the same time (mostly tired lol). I arrived at Kyoto Station around 10pm. My friend (also from my home university) picked me up. He told me to just look for Kyoto Tower and head towards it. Kyoto Tower is right across the street from the station so it's a convenient meeting spot. I found him right away! Surprisingly our dorm is within 15 minutes walking from Kyoto Station. We got to his dorm room and he made me a quick dinner, we talked a bit and decided to call it a night so we can wake up early to go exploring. I had to camp out in his room for a day or two because I couldn't move into my room (which was 2 floors up) until the 23rd.
|Kyoto Station 京都駅 (this pic was taken a few days after during the day)|
|Kyoto Tower 京都タワー (taken the same day as above).|