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Nara – Isui-en garden

My outward journey to Japan was not without obstacles. I had bought a KLM-ticket from Brussels to Amsterdam and from there to Osaka. But when checking in at Brussels Airport, KLM told me that the flight to Amsterdam was overbooked and that I had to wait until all passengers were on the plane to see if someone hasn’t shown up. The company had sold more tickets than there were seats in the plane and their computer had chosen me as the one who had to wait (despite the fact that I already bought and paid my ticket months ago).

The explanation of KLM was that every airline applies this practice. So they did also!
My point of view is that I bought a plane ticket with their company. So I had a contract with them and not with another airline to go to Osaka on that exact day and not on another day or with another airline (which they proposed as a solution). And I wanted the company to fulfill its commitment.

At the time of departure, it appeared that all seats were occupied but there was one person on the plane with a ticket from another airline (most likely someone whereby that other flight was overbooked and that person was given a solution by flying with KLM). Since I had a KLM-ticket I had priority. So that person had to leave the plane so I could go. I admit that I was glad that I could leave with that flight but I found this a terribly shameful practice of the company. Someone who had already taken a seat on the plane was forced to leave it again!
Once KLM's catchphrase was ‘the reliable airline’!

In Brussels the air carrier assured me that there was no problem for the flight from Amsterdam to Osaka.
Yet my boarding pass would only be available in Amsterdam. Once there my fear came true. The reason why I couldn’t get a boarding pass in Brussels was that also the flight to Osaka was overbooked.
In Amsterdam I had to wait until all passengers were checked in and the boarding began. Fortunately for me, it appeared that less people than expected had checked in and I could board the plane.

After these rather stressful hours (from 8.30 am till 2.30 pm) I hoped to get some sleep during the 10-hour flight.
But on the seat to the left of me was a man with an incredibly large overweight. This may seem amusing but it’s not fun to be pushed back on a smaller part of my seat during the entire flight. I had no idea of his social values but rule number one was not to talk to strangers. Rule number two was not to sit still during full five consecutive minutes …

After the flight of 10 hours (which seemed endlessly to me) we arrived in the morning at Kansai Airport (Osaka). There I took the train to Nara (with a change in Tennoji) and that was the beginning of a wonderful journey through Japan. I had beautiful spring weather. The cherry trees were still in blossom.
I experienced Japan as a very interesting and exciting country and enjoyed the delicious cuisine. Above all, there were the extremely friendly and helpful Japanese people.



The picture is taken in the Isui-en
This beautiful garden in Nara dates from the Meiji era (1868 – 1912).
Nara was the first permanent capital of Japan from 710 till 785. Although in the history of the country this is a relatively short period, the city is one of the most interesting places to admire Japan’s cultural heritage.

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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2212 W: 17 N: 4724] (21089)
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