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To The Land of Endless Discovery - I : DEL NRT

 
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me111993
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Joined: 04 Sep 2009
Posts: 3214
Location: MAA/AMD

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:27 pm    Post subject: To The Land of Endless Discovery - I : DEL NRT Reply with quote

Japan !

The land of the rising sun. Land of endless discovery. Land of bullet trains. Land of one of the greatest metropolisesí in the world. Land of the most complex railway systems in the world. Land of 500 seater 777s operating 1 hr domestic services through the day.

I was fascinated by Japan. Ticked all boxes. Massive metropolis. Mountains. Lakes. Oceans. Capes. Coasts. Massive Airports. Wide body domestic services. Bullet trains.

Loved how you could just show up and drown into the culture, and how the whole set up was natural and not overly commercialized or touristized.

Long term idea was to save up as much as possible over a couple of years and blow it all up on a dream trip to Japan, but was struck but a jolt of luck when one fine day, out of absolutely nowhere, won a free (confirmed!) return ticket on DEL-NRT-DEL on Japan Airlines.

This considerably sped things up, in the grander scheme of things, wheels were set into motion, and a trip was structured between the DEL-NRT and NRT-DEL ticket.

All in all 8 days in Japan, 3 domestic flights, 4 days in Tokyo, and 4 days in the northern island of Hokkaido. Kyoto is reserved for a second trip. 

Plan to cover all of this, over 3 trip reports, with this first report covering the DEL-NRT flight + parts of Tokyo !

Flight #1
DEL-NRT
JL 740
24-May-2017
B788
19:35 -> 06:25

For those of you donít know, JAL is the only airline in the world to have a 2-4-2 economy layout on its 787s and a configuration of 161 seats -> 38J + 35PY + 88Y

The Japan visa is took a total of 3 days to get processed, via a travel agent, and cost around 1800 bucks in all (incl insurance).

Web-checked 72 hours before departure, avoided row 52 like plague, as its remarked everywhere that it window seat doesnít have a window, got 54A, the last window seat available.

Jump across to the day of departure, left Gurgaon at a comfortable 15:00 ish for a 19:35 departure.



Tiny check-in line. Had to be. Only 88 seats in Y.
Loads for the day, were 38/38 J + 26/35 PY + 81/88 Y



Check in took 5 mins
The counters were right next to the Immigration Counter Gates.





Essentially, given the departure time, there were no lines anywhere. Was done with all the processes by 16:30 ish and went up to the ITC lounge.




JA840J





If your departure gate is Gate 7, youíll get this view of your aircraft.



Pre-Boarding announcements were made in English and Japanese, and main boarding announcements were preceded traditional Japanese Bow by the gate agents.

The ground staff had organized separators and labelled each line for ease of understanding. This was followed across all flights I took, even in Japan.



Boarding was structured and orderly.

The first thing that strikes you, the second you step into a JAL Aircraft, is not the sharply dressed crew, or the swish interiors, but itís the boarding music, music that welcomed me onboard all JAL flights through my trip, music thatís just engorged inside my head !

Listen in Ė
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6oFqVx0UzU
Crew were welcoming everyone onboard with the bow.
Settled into my ridiculously comfortable seat!


9W 332 to DOH

Even though boarding was called 20 mins before the scheduled departure time, we pushed back bang on schedule.





First thing offered was a hot towel, immediately after the seat belt sign was switched off.

Followed by a drinks service



Red Wine + Rice Crackers

Other hard drinks available were beer, whiskey, saka, white wine, vodka and gin.



Meal

The main offering was chicken + rice.
Fruits + Cold Noodle + Salad + Muffin as desert.
Also, an absolutely delicious serving of Miso Soup + a drink [I took the apple juice]

There were 2 options, both non-vegetarian, (veg was via pre selection only). Choices were highlighted via a menu card that a photo of both the main offerings and details mentioned in English and Japanese.

Once all meals were served, the crew went about (continuously) offering black tea / green tea / coffee.
Once meal trays were collected, everyone settled down


Soon cabin lights were dimmed



I donít recall sleeping the way I slept onboard this flight. Not sleeping would have implied ruining a portion of the next day, but slept for a solid 4 odd hours.

Woke up, to find that every 15-20 mins you had a member of the crew, walking about the aisles.

I wanted to drink something, seeing how confused I was, a member of the crew recommended I try the Japan Airlines Skytime Kiwi Drink, which was fabulous. Something that was available on all JAL flights I took.



Skytime + Awesome Advertising


Watched a bit of Die Hard with a Vengeance till proper day break









Second Meal Service.
Sushi + Something + Something



Soon after we were decending











First sights of Narita





Y Cabin



PY Cabin






At this point, right before exiting, having never been inside a 787 cockpit, I approached the lead Cabin Crew and said ď if its okay, I would love to meet the CaptainĒ, assuming sheíll call me inside.
She asked me to wait, went to the cockpit, and 5 mins later, instead of calling me, actually came out with the Captain ! I was shocked. Utterly unexpected.

The Captain approached, bowed, said hello. I was stunned to say anything else.

Spoke to him for 5 mins and de-planed.









Only a handful of arrivals at this hour.
Immigration + Baggage + Customs Combined took less that 20 mins.



I had pre-ordered this prepaid portable wifi device (your best friend in Japan), which the company had delivered to the post office in the departures area. The post office opened at 08:30, so went upstairs to the spotting deck to kick start my trip !









JA840J being towed away.



Collected my items from the post office, went down to arrivals, to bus stop #19 to catch the access Narita Bus to Ginza, the location of my hotel (capsule).

Photos from Tokyo
Imperial Palace Grounds





Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building







View from the Observation Deck.



Roppongi Hills Mori Tower



On the helipad!



Tokyo Skyline







Tokyo Tower





Enroute to Mt Fuji



Lake Kawaguchi-ko



Fuji 5th Station





Mt Fuji Summit





Japanese Lunch!



Experimental Drinks !



Horrible. Just Horrible.



Cruising on Lake Aashi





JR Odawara Station







Blasting past at 320 kmph !



Kodama Shinkansen from Odawara to Tokyo Station



Tokyo Station





Akihabara





Tsukiji Fish Market



Random Stroll the Hotel !



Tokyo Tower






Tokyo Metropolitan Govt Building again !




Futuristic Odiba !



Rainbow Bridge !





Tokyo Skytree!






Random Shots around the hotel !

Will review each flight, Tokyo, each tourist spot, in the final TR that I write.

Needless to say, I had a phenomenal time in Tokyo. Tokyo is a city meant to be explored alone !

Up in the next TR Ė Spotting from perhaps the best spotting location ever !
375 seater 772 to Sapporo + a Saab 340 on a exotic Intra Hokkaido Hopper flight !
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The_Goat
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely pics. Thanks for sharing.

Japan is one of the places on my bucket list as well. Tokyo looks mighty impressive.
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4485
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Rishul takes the time out for a trip report, we know we have a treat on our hands. Superb pictures, descriptions, and insights: what a treat!
Do tell us about winnign the `free' ticket as well, in case it is possible, without impinging on privacy, or personal constraints.
2-4-2 in Y: wow.
The meal portions and presentation look great!
Which was the other standard meal option?
Kiwi drink: nice! However, the second `meal' was a bit disappointing.
Lovely pictures of the seats in the three sections!
Nice spotting pics (NRT is old, but well-maintained), and even better: the sights of Tokyo! Interesting comment about the rice green tea Smile
The JR and the Shinkansen are always awesome...old, but incredibly well-maintained. From the bullet points (bad pun) you have mentioned, we more than look forward to the next 2 parts!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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abhijith16
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely amazing, me111993 - can't wait to head to Japan!

JL's Y product looks absolutely stunning - I hope they head my way soon!
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AnanthMohanram
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got to read this a little late. The pictures are super clear and amazing!! Really enjoyed reading this Smile
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Jaysit
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An A+++ Report! You made Tokyo look far more glamorous than it actually is. In reality, it's kinda meh. The Japanese Board of Tourism should hire you on! Smile
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me111993
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Location: MAA/AMD

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for the kind comments guys!
Quote:

Do tell us about winnign the `free' ticket as well


Company I work for held a lucky draw, and I got lucky Very Happy

Quote:

An A+++ Report! You made Tokyo look far more glamorous than it actually is. In reality, it's kinda meh. The Japanese Board of Tourism should hire you on! Smile


Very Happy

Part 2 here

http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?p=151423#151423

Thanks again
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avbuff
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 5023

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely stunning part I!

The pictures were amazing and my what a view..... Japan is a to do for me in 2018 as well. Will need inputs for you.

The boarding music and bow on JAL coupled with the detailing done by crew is something special, rarely found on other airlines. Truly impressive !

Thanks for sharing ... hopping on to part 2
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ameya
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Posts: 3589
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super Pictures Rishul. . Now onto the next part . . JAL seems to be a wonderful airline (Just by the config)
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stealthpilot
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Location: BLR, DXB

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I havenít read a TR here in forever ..... but what a one to start with. No pictures = serves me right Sad
Great descriptions and nibbles of interesting info. Japan is and has been high on my list but never get around to it. When the time comes Iíll reread your and sumantras reports.

Errrmmmm ..... switch the photos to Flickr : Twisted Evil

As it is the 787is small ... you made it seem tiny
You actually like miso soup Wink
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