This one is now go. Great to be back in Japan. Arrived in Osaka this evening. No issues with passport expiring in May although Qantas staff did have to check the rules. Comfortable flight from Sydney, customs well organised as usual in Japan. Most airports in the world you have to search out where the oversize baggage area is to pick up your skis, but at Kansai a couple of petite Japanese women drag skis and snowboards in to the regular baggage carousel - gotta love Japan. Then jump on the regular train to Namba and walk to Dotombori hotel (also stayed here in 2006). Go for a wander in the area. Amazing place - you could easily spend months here checking out the various eateries and street food. I stopped in an Izakaya for a small Okonomiyaki and a beer. Hotel then had a free bowl of noodles and beers at the hotel 10:30.