After we got through immigration and customs at the Kentai airport we had to find a train to take us to Iwakuni. We needed to take taking the Haruka train from the Kansai airport to the Shin-Osaka station, board a Nozomi Shinkansen (bullet train) from Osaka to Hiroshima, then transfer to a Kodoma Shin train to get to Iwakuni.
We found the platform for the Haruka okay. It was already there and waiting for the crew to finish their clean up before everyone boarded. Once on we found our seats and the train left soon after (all the trains are kept on schedule). MDF wandered up to the next row and made three friends. She spent most of the time on this train sitting with a Japanese lady and playing with the lady’s cell phone.
At Osaka we had ten minutes to find our next train. We found out that the Shin lines run above ground and we’d need to go several floors up to board… unfortunately the elevator only went up half way and we had to take the stairs the rest of the way. It wasn’t easy. Three Japanese ladies help CDF carry MDF and the stroller to the top while I lugged the luggage, one step at a time. We made it to the platform about 30 seconds before the train rolled in!
Hiroshima was easier, we had time to wait and rest before the Kodoma arrived. CDF talked to a conductor, trying to make sure we had the right platform again — it wasn’t clear on the tickets. After that CDF called her sister to let them know we were on our way.
For the first time navigating the Japan Rail system, we did pretty well. Still it was a relief to arrive at the Iwakuni station without having gotten lost or having missed our stop.