It’s 9:40pm in Osaka on Sunday, September 30. The wind is howling and the rain is going sideways. Typhoon Trami has arrived. About 3 days ago, we began to hear that it’s projected path was headed towards Osaka. Hearing this news brought me back to Hurricane Lane. The hurricane that was projected to hit western Oahu the previous month. As you know, Hurricane Lane didn’t measure up to the hype, so when I heard about Typhoon Trami, I was a bit skeptical as to the real impact. But at the same time, we needed to prepare. Yesterday, I headed to the store, expecting to see half empty shelves like in Hawaii. But instead, hanging above the stocked shelves hung these signs.
We don’t have any appliances yet (to be delivered Thursday), so I usually buy a few groceries every day. I went to the local Daiei yesterday afternoon planning to buy dinner and a few breakfast items for the next morning. But after seeing that sign, I left with 2 large grocery bags full of non-perishables. Smart marketing!
Our first indication that this typhoon might be packing a punch was when my sister’s flight from Taiwan to Japan got cancelled last night. This morning, we had planned to head to Shin-Osaka station to send Michael off to Tokyo for orientation there. But as we got news that Kansai International Airport was to close from 11am until tomorrow morning, we were wondering if we should even venture out. Friends recommended staying put. Despite the warnings, it was a sunny, calm morning, so we decided to get to the station and speak with staff there to make a final decision.
The Japan Rail ticketing agent informed us that trains were running as usual until noon, when some trains would be cancelled and then a full suspension of all trains would take effect at 5pm. Japan Rail is known for running on time and for putting safety first, so if trains were still running, then it must be safe. So off Michael went with a non-reserved ticket for 10:40am. But when he got to the platform, there was a sea of people trying to get out of town ahead of the typhoon.
The 10:40 was too packed to board. Another train came and it too, was at maximum capacity to take any more passengers. After a few more trains came a left, Michael was finally able to get on a train–barely!
By mid-afternoon, the sky started to darken and I received a phone alert. Then the outdoor siren and announcement went off. Then an update on NHK news.
For those not familiar with the various prefectures and regions in Japan, Tokyo is located in the Kanto region and Osaka is located in the Kansai region, but people also refer to this area as the Kinki region. Hmm.
As I draw a close to this post at 11:28pm on Sunday, the winds have died down here in Osaka. The boys and I are safe with no damage to the building. Trami has moved upward and onward… to Tokyo…where Michael is. I’ll let Michael post about Typhoon Trami Part II.