On my last day I had a bunch of time to kill. Before I got in contact with my friends in the area, I was planning to use the last day to go to Universal Studios. So when I bought my plane tickets, I purposefully purchased a ticket on one of the latest flights I could. The plan was to just ditch my suitcase in the lockers at the Universal City station and kill time until the flight. However, after making plans with my friends, I had to change the order of things.
That was perfectly fine, of course, but it meant that I had a day with nothing to do. I briefly considered going back to USJ for the day and riding the rides we did not get a chance to go on, but I figured that would be too much even for me. I could not justify the expense. Instead, I pulled up my Maps app and looked to see what was nearby. The only prefecture in the area I had not visited was Wakayama. It was an hour away and getting there seemed pretty straightforward. Besides, I had no idea when I would have another chance to visit.
So I checked out of the hotel a little early, dropped my suitcase and backpack in a locker (paid for with the electronic train pass that I love using and can be used as electronic money at all kinds of other places too), and hopped on a train headed for Wakayama city. About an hour and a half later, I arrived at the small city. Since it was a normal work day, the place seemed pretty deserted. The upside of this was that there was practically no one at the castle when I arrived.
A Chinese tour group showed up just as I was leaving, but I had already seen everything I wanted to, so it worked out well enough. I made my way back to train station and hopped aboard the first train I saw going to Osaka. There was a small problem with me being in the wrong car (DESPITE LOOKING ALL AROUND AND FINDING NO SIGNS TELLING ME IT WAS RESERVED SEATING. I MEAN, JEEZ, THEY COULD TRY TO HELP A TOURIST OUT A BIT), but I managed to get back to Osaka station eventually.
I grabbed a quick lunch at a conveyor belt sushi place in the station before getting my luggage and heading to the airport. From there I just had a few hours to kill before my flight. Due to train times, I did not get back to my apartment until around midnight, but thankfully I had had the foresight to e-mail my supervisor the day before and request Wednesday morning off.
It was a great trip and it re-affirmed my desire to live in Osaka sometime in the future.