Photos by MJ Klein
“Getting there is half the fun” as they say, but I for one am not so enamored with air travel. As much as Hui-chen and I have traveled, and as much as we do enjoy going to other countries and experiencing different cultures, the actual flights are long and boring. One good factor in favor of going Northwest to the US from Taiwan is that I get to see Kansai, my favorite airport in the world.
On this trip, we thought we landed on the second island runway, because the taxi to the terminal was so long that Hui-chen asked “Are we going to drive to Detroit?” We taxied literally for more than 10 minutes and closer to 15! But the truth is, we landed on the first runway, as the second runway is not yet finished.
I’ve reported on Kansai before, and rather in-depth. As you may recall, in that article I spoke about the signs and directions:
“Everything is well marked but sometimes there is a bit of confusion. For example, one must take escalators or elevators to different levels, naturally. In one area where I pass through, there is a sign that says “Take Escalator to Second Floor.” This is confusing because the sign is on the forth floor and the escalator one must take is going down, not up, and there isn’t any indication of what floor you are currently on. Normally, a native English speaker would add the word “down” to avoid confusion. Just be aware that you are in a multi-level facility and may be required to go up or down to get where you need to go. The signs don’t tell you which direction to go from where you are standing.”
Of course we’d all like to think that everyone around the world reads our blogs, and although I doubt the authorities at Kaisai do, they must have figured out that the old signs were confusing, as they have a new sign and it looks like this:
This makes the path one should take, very clear!
One simply turns the corner, and heads down to the gate area. Easy! To the left are the shuttle doors where the automated shuttle lets passengers off from the main terminal area.
Lots of temporary construction offices on the second island.
I cannot imagine the maintenance required on a man-made island that is constantly sinking. So, I really can’t imagine two islands!
On this trip I couldn’t get so many photos of the bridge and mainland because of the intense fog and mist that so often surrounds this area.
I should also mention that HC and I love shopping in Kansai. The actual shopping area is small compared to other airports (at least in the gate areas that we frequent) but the selection is excellent. On this trip we bought a small wrist mounted blood pressure monitor. Cheap and very well engineered!
In the next part of this series, my brother John arrives from Florida and we get to hang out with our father together.
Articles in series Our 2008 USA Trip:
- Our 2008 US Trip, Part One
- Our 2008 US Trip, Part Two: Getting There!
- Our 2008 US Trip, Part Three: John Arrives
- Our 2008 US Trip, Part Four: D-Day
- Our 2008 US Trip, Part Five: My Father’s Wartime Service
- Our 2008 US Trip, Part Six: Nancy Arrives
- Our 2008 US Trip: Belews Lake Day
- Our 2008 US Trip: Asian Food & More Swimming
- Our 2008 US Visit: Taiwan, Via Detroit