The Adventures of Gimpy Girl

A journal of the trials and triumphs of another trip to unexplored territory.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Watashi wa Wyndee des

10-9-8-7...Houston we have a problem. It was yesterday.. or two days ago when I got to the SFO airport two and a half hours ahead. Larry and I parked in the lot got the scooter put together and all the bags out when I realized I had left the most crucial thing of all behind... the scooter key! Panic started to rise but almost two hours later Dave, my hero, called. "I'm two minutes away... from the Oakland terminal" I guess he figured my heart wasn't racing quite enough. He was there a couple minutes later and I was soon dashing to customs. By the time I was sitting in my seat I was still rattled but I was on my way!

Eleven hours of inflight entertainment later and I was landing at KIX airport in Kansai/Osaka. I waited in my seat after landing as I usually do and a woman came up and told me a wheelchair was on its way and soon they met me with a aisle chair and took me off. On the way I got introduced to the special escalators that can lift wheelchairs. Very cool! I got service all the way, breezing through immigrations to baggage and help strapping all my bags onto my scooter. I had one extra bag and he carried it through the last few stops until I was greeted by Donald. We took got a train ticket and headed toward Kyoto. One thing I learned at the train station I wish I had figured out earlier is that there is a significant discount for disabled travelers but I brought no proof. Crutches and a scooter were not good enough evidence. So I could have saved a significant amount on my rail pass if I had just asked. Now I will try to get this documentation somehow to save a little money on the other train tickets I will want to buy.

We arrived in Kyoto, caught the subway and around 3am San Francisco time I took a shower and got ready to go out to dinner. We missed the first choice restaurant but the second choice was really good udon. We had a tasty dinner but I was falling asleep at the table, so we went back to Donalds, rolled out the futon and fell asleep.

Today, after checking out Donald's latest video project, we headed out. Our first stop was at a bakery where we bought a bunch of yummy pastries and went to see the Shimogawa jinja (shrine). We made wishes to our animal signs and washed our hands in the ceremonial waters. We finally got to eat our pastries outside of the temple by a creek. It started dripping on us so we headed back, making it just before the serious rain.

Japan1.JPG
Japan1.JPG
Japan1.JPG
Japan1.JPG

An important sign to learn:

Japan1.JPG
(bathrooms)

Sionara for now!

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