Landed in Osaka yesterday (well, it's Sunday here; it's still Saturday for most of you reading this. It's +16 hrs Pacific Time). The plane got there very early - the friends I'm staying (Maura and Brian, and 9 months old Evan, who is utterly adorable) with hadn't made it to the airport by the time I'd gotten through customs. I was a trifle worried at first but figured it was something like that.
Got a pay-as-you-go cell, traded in my Japan Rail Pass voucher for the actual pass (you can only buy vouchers outside of Japan; they're not for residents), and away we went. It was about 6PM at that point. Ate at a pretty yummy yakitori place in Nara, then continued on the train to their apartment in Kobe. They tend to go to bed around 10 and get up around 6; I wasn't too jet lagged on arrival (I think I've gotten used to being sleep-deprived over the past few days - didn't sleep much the previous night, and only dozed briefly on the plane, though that seemed to be enough in the short term. I read recently that small, short-naps are sometimes better than one longer one), and I fell asleep easily and slept the requisite # of hours, so I think I've hopefully adjusted - we'll see how I am later in the day)
Today will be a pretty mellow day. I'll go with them to church in the morning (I forget the denomination, but sounds similar to Universalist), spend some time in downtown Kobe in the afternoon, then an evening at home in prep for Monday, which will be the first of several excursions. Also, need to plan for the latter half of the trip (heading north, ending with a few days in Tokyo); we've talked about possibilities, but it's easier to discuss when we're all in the same room (though the latter half will be mainly on my own; since I don't speak or read Japanese, I'm a little nervous, by M said that if her mom could manage, I'll manage :) ). Looking at Matsumoto castle and surrounding area, Tokyo Disney, etc - maybe a night staying at a ryokan (traditionally Japanese inn), visiting an onsen (hot springs; not wigged about public nudity - more concerned about making sure I do it properly [e.g. one bathes/cleans oneself before hopping in the hot water]), etc.
One of M&B's best friends lives in Mountain View (when they came for his wedding, I got to see them briefly - their hotel was in walking distance from my apartment I was living in Sunnyvale; small world), and he brought various consumables for them, so I'm currently eating an English muffin with homemade apple butter. They're not big on traditional Japanese breakfast (e.g. fish), though I'll probably try some at some point.
Why am I busy typing? Time to explore! (and shower)