Gordon:  We arrived at Kansai airport around midday yesterday.  This is one of several airports that service Ōsaka, but it is notable for being located on its own island in the sea.  It is connected to the mainland by a five kilometre causeway with a highway and a rail line, but no apparent pedestrian path.

The various staff at the airport were very helpful and without too much difficulty we were able to depart with a data plan for each of our phones, and train tickets for a station near our accommodation.
We are staying at a modest hotel in the suburbs south of Ōsaka.  It is beside the sea, with views across the inland sea to Shikoku.  The town is an irregular maze of streets, lanes and paths, most of them narrow and limited to one-way traffic.  The buildings are an eclectic mix of modern and traditional designs, with many attractive wooden homes.  The town has a village feel and is easily negotiated on foot, although it would be easy to get lost without an electronic map.  There are a lot of bicycles in use, and we saw a large staffed bike parking area near the train station.
I had my first experience with a Japanese toilet this evening.  It is pleasant from the outset, as the seat is heated.  Sitting down also activated a fan.  For additional functionality, there is a control panel beside the toilet.  This was a bit intimidating, because the functions are labelled in Kanji.  There was, however, one ikon of a rounded “W” with a fountain directed at it.  Pushing this initiated a mechanical sound, followed by a warm bidet function.  Fortunately, Ruth had already briefed me on the adjacent button with the red square symbol, so I was able to turn off the bidet function and avoid creating a plumbing disaster.  After flushing, the tank of the toilet refilled from a faucet directed at a basin in the top of the tank with a hole allowing the water to flow into the tank.  This was decorated with some plastic foliage to conceal the hole and leave the impression of a natural spring.

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