Posted on September 29, 2016
To make a long story short, I got my iPhone back! If you’re ever going to lose your phone in a city of 4 million people, make sure that city is in Japan. Somehow, even with my cellular data turned off, and my volume turned off, I was able to retrieve it. Most of the credit, however, goes to Erick Benitez, the owner of the Airbnb place we rented last week. He’s who I emailed once I realized my phone was missing, since he’s the only person I currently know who lives in Japan and is fluent in English and Japanese. For some unknown reason, when we took a taxi from Osaka Station to the Hard Rock Cafe in Osaka, I kept the receipt. That, and Erick’s help, were what saved me. Using the information on the receipt, which lists the cab number, Erick was able to call the cab company and ask them to contact the driver and have him look in his cab for my phone. When he first inquired, a few hours after I’d lost the phone, the driver said he didn’t see a phone in his cab. I went to bed that night thinking it was lost forever, but I still wanted to go back to Osaka and look around the Hard Rock. All that next day, Tuesday it was, was spent in Osaka, either at the police station (filling out a report, which took 8 police to figure out 😁) or at the Hard Rock; but I still couldn’t find the phone. I emailed Erick again (thankfully, I still had my iPad) and asked him to try continually calling my number, since my voice-only roaming was turned on. Maybe the driver would hear the phone buzzing from wherever it had gotten stuck, and he’d see the local Japanese number on the screen and call that number back. And that’s exactly what happened! Apparently my phone had fallen into some kind of bag in the front seat, which is where I’d sat; I’m guessing the driver only looked around the back seat when he originally looked for it. I can’t believe the battery was still working, even though I had WiFi and Location Services both turned on. As soon as he found it, the driver called Erick, Erick emailed me, and I went back to Osaka and got my phone. Amazing.
So that was all a few days ago. It’s now Friday morning and we are back in Tokyo. Taking the Yamanote Line from Tokyo Station, it felt like coming home; Kyoto is a fine city but I’m completely lost there. Here are a bunch of photos from Kyoto, after the side trip we took to Himeji.
Nanzenji Temple was on my list of must-see temples so we went there on Wednesday. I must have lost my phone on Monday, which meant we went to Himeji that day and I must’ve lost my phone Monday night. The days are a blur but I know today is Friday and I know we spent yesterday packing up and leaving Kyoto, then coming back to Tokyo, so that must mean we went to Nanzenji on Wednesday. On the way there, walking in the rain, we stumbled upon Chion-in Temple. Like most of the temples in Kyoto, Chion-in is surrounded by forest and the misty weather made it feel like we were stepping back in time. Adjacent to the temple was a very large cemetery, marching its way up the hillside. As I was looking for the best angle to photograph all this, a huge bolt of lightning lit up the sky, followed almost immediately by a long, low roll of thunder. The skies opened up and we took shelter under the main entrance to the temple, a massive gate of old-growth timber. It rained for quite some time and we finally thought we’d better get moving or we’d never reach Nanzenji in time.
As it turned out, we didn’t. It was quite a long walk to Nanzenji, some 45 minutes, and most of it was uphill in the rain. Luckily, Kyoto is so beautiful, there was lots to see along the way. When we finally reached Nanzenji, and saw the hordes of people walking towards us, I knew we were too late to go inside. However, it was still stunning from the outside so we saw all we could until it was finally dark, at which point we caught a subway for one stop, grabbed some street food by the station, then splurged on a taxi to take us the rest of the way.