Well after two pretty comfortable flights where I actually was able to sleep for once, we finally made it to Kansai Airport. The next challenge was to get all of our bags to Nagaokakyo, not quiet as easy as it looked, we could have tried the baggage delivery service, but at 1800yen per item, it starts to add up. The next option was a shared taxi (mini bus), but they wanted 2000yen per person plus 1000yen per item! Finally we opted for the Limousine bus, which charged 1800yen per person and carried the baggage in the lower hold for free, but that only got us to Hankyu Ibaraki station where we had to wait an hour for our friend to come and pick up our five largest bags and we squeezed them into her small car, then we carried 3 bags on the train to Nagaoka-Tenjin. It was raining all the time up until we arrived at Nagaoka-Tenjin station then it stopped almost as soon as we walked out of the station so we did have to walk in the rain, another little miracle.
BTW we had a $500+ excess baggage charge!
P.S. Sorry to all my Pbase friends I still don't have internet access to my house in Japan (long story) so I haven't been able to comment on your work for a good while. Once my Internet access is up, I'll get back to commenting on your photos.
The end and also a new beginning. Firstly to be out in the departure lounge meant it was the end of all the clean up, pack up, preparation. Secondly it was the beginning of our new adventure what would await us once we got there. Well, we had about 13 hours to relax and enjoy the journey before we would arrive at Kansai Airport in Japan.
Actually the last day began quite franticly with me having to drop off an air mattress which I had borrowed from my friend Jeremy at his dad's house. Now this was the first miracle of the day, because the only car we had at our house (one we had borrowed) didn't have a road map and with no internet access, GPS, etc how was I going to find the place? We a few years ago when Jeremy came over he brought me along for a ride when he went to pick up his sons from his dad's house and it came back to me to how to get there. So that saved a lot of time trying to hunt down directions. The second miracle how I managed to sort through a lot of paper work which I still had left in less than an hour. Any way we were all packed and ready by 12:00pm with our departure at 5:30pm we were even able to enjoy one last lunch at Red Rooster (they don't have anything like it in Japan).
Now for the flight details MH124 Perth (departed 17:30 WDT GMT+9) to Kuala Lumpur (arrive 21:50 GMT+8), then MH52 Kuala Lumpur (depart 23:50 GMT+8) to Osaka Kansai Airport (arrive 06:50 JST GMT+9). A big plug for Malaysia Airlines, all ways great service and food in my experience, the only little complaint this time was that Japanese food was not on the menu for the Kuala Lumpur leg.
The Great Garden Cleanup
...and cleaning up everything else too! Well, before we could set off on our big move we had a lot of cleaning up to do of our house in Perth to get it ready for being rented out. In fact we spent about 3 weeks on cleaning the place up! One of the biggest task was giving the garden cleaned up, we hired a skip bin (pictured), a chain saw, then called dad for help (thanks dad). In a few days we managed to fill this 3 cubic metre skip with garden waste. There were are a lot other things we did like planting a few new plants and putting out mulch on the garden. Then there was also the inside of the house to clean as well as get rid of all of our stuff out of it!
Packing and Shipping the boxes
These are all the boxes of clothes, books, CD, DVDs, etc to be shipped off to Japan via sea freight on Tuesday (28/10/2008) morning. In the afternoon of that day the truck came around and picked them up. All we have left to pack now is two small (although they are called Jumbo size!) airfreight boxes, Ritsuko's computer, and then our suitcases. There are a few more bits of furniture to be picked up, then that's it we're are done.
Today (31/10/2008) is the last day we have an internet connection to our house, so unless I can get a password for one of my neighbour's wireless internet connections or take my laptop down to a Cafe with WiFi, you probably won't be seeing much more from me until I get to Japan. We depart Perth at 5:30pm on the 7th of November on Malaysia Airlines, transiting in Kuala Lumpur for 2 hours before arriving at Kansai Airport at 7:30am the following morning (note Perth and Japan are currently both on GMT+9, due to horrible daylight savings in Perth!).
I have plenty more planned for my site, so once I'm settled in Japan I'll start posting...
A Step of Faith
Last year when we set out to find a place in Kyoto for the big move we had a great exchange rate of $1 (AUD) = 104 (JPY). If you consider that a can of Coke from a vending machine in Australia cost $2 and in Japan it is 130yen, Japan looked very affordable. Well we are way beyond the point of no return on this journey now having sold most of our stuff (furniture, car, etc) when just the other day the Australian dollar went down to 58yen! Yep we are still going, but we are reminded that we have to live by faith, not by our own strength. The following words are comforting:-
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” - Zechariah 4:6
BTW if you are a tourist in Australia at the moment there are still D700s available at $3499 (AUD) which on the current exchange rates makes Australia about the cheapest place in the world to by one considering the Japanese price is about 324,500yen. Plus as a tourist you can get 10% back when you take it out of the country.