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Osaka: arrival, June 6

Between getting off my plane and getting past customs, I think 50 minutes. Steps:

* biometric, get photo and fingeprints taken.
* wait in long but fast moving line to have immigration paperwork checked and passport stamped.
* Pick up bag
* Customs inspection.

When I visited Tokyo in 2008, I noted good English signs in the international section and Engrish in the main (and scruffier) section. Here, I passed a sign sayings something like "temperature monitoring being executed", and a not completely fluent sign I've forgotten in the immigration area.

Got a SIM card for data, 7000 yen for 10 GB and 90 days.

Got an Icoca transit card with cash I'd gotten in SFO, and took the Nankai train. Man, US trains suck. Train was as fast as a car, according to Google Maps, 50 minutes for both.

Rice paddies between the airport and the city.

I have a whole apartment to myself. Bedroom has two full mattresses and open floor space for another four people doing push-ups at once. Kitchen/dining room decent too, though the fridge is dorm sized, and there are two hot plates. Plus a rice cooker and a microwave.

Toilet is in one room, sink and shower in another. I think that's common, but new to me (based on my 2008 hotel room, and someone's Tokyo studio.)

My place is on this weird "shopping street" with a covered roof.

Closest supermarket is a bit anemic in fresh food choices. There's milk, but not non-sweet bread. A lot of pre-made food is pretty cheap.

Bedroom and living room each have an A/C unit of a type I haven't seen before; later reading told me it's a ductless mini-split unit. The compressor is somewhere outside, keeping the noisy part away from me, while each wall unit has its own thermostat. 'split' because the thermodynamic cycle is split, the wall unit is pumping coolant through to expand and suck up heat, vs. a central air system where cold air is made in one place and ducted through the house.

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Damien Sullivan
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