Saturday, August 8, 2015

Day 20 - Bye-bye Yakushima

This wonderful Hibiscus blossom was the farewell gift from our lovely hostess when we left. We had an amazing time in Yakushima, mostly due to our wonderful hosts at the Blue Drop pension. I will miss the exciting talks we had over breakfast and dinner. I never felt so well in whole Japan, not only because we could fluently communicate in English. Before we left, our hostess invited us to a green tea - that means, a relaxed, light version of tea ceremony without all these complicated and strict rules - and with speaking allowed. One after another: Two spoons of matchapowder, some hot water, and a relaxed wrist to swing the bamboo swing as fast as possible. Destroy the bigger bubbles with the swing, take it out in the middle of the cup to create a little foam hill - difficult for beginners. We all had green teeth after drinking the cup.

Because we had some time until our flight from
Yakushima back to Osaka left, we stopped at a the
pillow lava site - but we did not succeed imagining
pillows here. Though, so we took some pics.

As you can see, the airport staff is saying goodbye to us. First I tought it was a special custom of a small airport like Yakushima, but then I was told that they even do this in bigger airports across Japan and Korea! Very cute. Another very progressive thing is that you are allowed to take liquids with you on board! The only restriction: it must be in a PET bottle. So you put them separately into a basket and scan it with a high-tech scanner for dangerous chemicals.

It took us almost three hours to get from the domestic to the international airport in Osaka! It's incredible. I personally would not like to live in a city of 2.6 million - not to speak about the metropolitan region Osaka with more than 19 million. Even in my home city, where only 70'000 persons live, I sometimes feel anonymous, but this! So we crawled our way through monorails, subways and local trains, through large crowds at the stations, until we finally arrived at the Osaka-Kansai airport hotel. Nice experience that we got our squealing suitcase wheels oiled and brought to our room by a bellhop in an uniform.

The impressive Osaka Castle looks lost and tiny surrounded by all these high-rise buildings...

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