World's Largest Cities
|Rank||City / Urban Area||Country||Population|
|4||Manila (Metro Manila)||Philippines||24123000|
Kansai to rival Kanto (Tokyo region). They are the same, but different. While in Kanto people walk to the right and stand on the left, Kansai is just the opposite. I get confused on escalators. Kansai has okonomiyaki (kind of an pancake omelette) and Yakuza (Japanese Mafia). They speak differently. Tokyo is evil, while Osaka is interesting. But the differences are overblown.
- There are two classes, and the seats/service do not differ much, although I always get the Green card:
- Green: superior-class (they now have a Grand Class which is not worth it, and cannot be linked to this program).
- One week for an adult will cost 38,880 yen for Green and 29,110 yen for Ordinary.
- You can go up to three weeks: 81,870 Y / 59,350 Y.
- Children pay half the above cost.
- Divide by 100 for U.S. dollars.
- JUST THE FARE OF THE TOKYO TO SHIN-OSAKA GREEN CAR RIDE AMOUNTS TO ALMOST $200. Adding my entire itinerary for this week, the cost should exceed $1000.
Obon Season, when many Japanese go home to honor ancestors. Ghosts, fire, dancing and food are featured. Today is about the busiest train day of the year, and I had huge difficulty finding my way from Tokyo to Osaka at a desired time in a window seat for a view of Mount Fuji. The next day from Osaka to Miyajima was also a problem. However, after considerable effort by the train lady helping me, I was pretty much able to get to where I wanted. One of the problems with the Japan Rail Pass is that you cannot catch the faster and more frequent Nozomi from Tokyo south. There are other similar limitations here and there.
For breakfast I had an omelette, plus:
I notice just outside my window a diner and his dog. Is this service or what? The waiter actually brought a bowl for the dog's water (note the water bottle on the table). What did the dog eat? It was hand fed by the owner.
The original Tōkaidō Shinkansen, connecting the largest cities of Tokyo and Osaka, is the world's busiest high-speed rail line. Carrying 151 million passengers per year (March 2008), and at over 5 billion total passengers it has transported more passengers  than any other high-speed line in the world. The service on the line operates much larger trains and at higher frequency than most other high speed lines in the world. At peak times, the line carries up to thirteen trains per hour in each direction with sixteen cars each (1,323-seat capacity and occasionally additional standing passengers) with a minimum headway of three minutes between trains.
How safe? In more than half a century, not one person has been killed or injured in a train accident. Amazing, considering the speed, earthquakes and terrorism. In China 40 died in just one accident, similarly for Spain.
I somehow got to my track and saw the following:
I had a seafood bento with sake:
The view from my room:
I noticed to things: Kentucky Fried Chicken and Purple Eye. So on the way to investigate the two, I saw a $160 set of mangos at Kintetsu:
Two mangos!!! I wondered if Purple Eye was one of those love hotels, so I walked by:
Yup. Across the street was a strange looking building (note the moon):
I noticed that this KFC served Asahi beer for around $4. However, I got a larger volume of Premium Asahi Dry for $3 in the Kintetsu basement, and had a wonderful meal:
Note Purple Eye in the background.
Tomorrow, I need to wake up at 5AM to get to Shin Osaka Station for my train to Kagoshima, then to Miyazaki.