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ORD/ICN/NRT/HIJ With The Airline Of The Year (Pix)  
User currently offlineWideBodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 18892 times:

Preview:
This is a trip report that I have been looking forward to write for a long time. I only just came back from the trip but it was all planned since early January. My friend Panos, whom I've known since before college and who now lives and works in Edinburgh, had been nagging me for the longest time to plan a Japan trip together. Ever since I've known him he had been telling me how badly he wants to visit the Far East, but how hard it was to do so given that none of his friends was willing to follow him. Long story short, one cold January night (I was back home visiting my parents at the time) I decided to give in and agree to a 10-day Japan vacation. I was to fly out of ORD to NRT (via ICN) with OZ and then return from HIJ to ORD (via ICN) with OZ, while his itinerary involved an EDI-AMS-NRT route on KLM and a HIJ-NRT-CDG-EDI return with ANA (Ibex) and AF. The plan was for us to meet at NRT and then travel throughout Japan for the next 10 days, including visits to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima.




May 17
OZ 235
ORD-ICN
B777-200ER (HL7775)
Seat: 17A


Fast forward to May. I was very excited to be flying with OZ, given that they had just been selected as airline of the year, ahead of powerhouses like Emirates or Singapore Airlines. I knew that it was not a good idea to raise my expectations too high but I couldn't help doing otherwise. My flight out of ORD was at 1am, which is the latest (or earliest if you will) that I have ever flown. A colleague of mine was driving one of her friends to ORD (we all live in Hyde Park) on the same night (He was to fly ORD-CPH on SAS) so I decided to go with them even if it meant that I would need to spend some extra hours at the airport. After getting there we grabbed some eats and then said my goodbyes. During check in we were distributed name/address tags to attach to our luggage. Most of the personnel were friendly but there were a couple of guys amongst them that looked very unenthusiastic. After I checked in I made my way through security and into the departures' area so I could have a look at what was going on outside. It was already getting late so naturally there wasn't much movement on the runway but I did manage a few shots of my friend's SAS bird and a THY Airbus.

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Our neighboring THY and SAS to Istanbul and Copenhagen respectively.


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Our 777 to ICN

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Getting ready


After boarding the plane I was met with an ugly surprise. For the second consecutive time on a long haul flight I got a window seat with no actual window. According to seat guru, on Asiana's 777-200ER the seats to be missing a window are on row 15 (A + K). However, in reality it was row 17 (A + K) that was missing them. I was very disappointed by this but there was nothing I could do as the flight was almost full. Leg room was satisfactory but I did not get the chance to enjoy it, as the passenger in front of me had her seat fully reclined for the entire 14hours of the trip.

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Leg room


I slept for a good chunk of the flight and spent the rest watching movies on the IFE system which provided over 36 different options. We took a very northerly route, passing through Canada, Northern Alaska, Chukotka, Kamchatka and then we avoided North Korean airspace to enter South Korea directly from the east.

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Flying over north Alaska
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Promptly avoiding North Korean airspace


Two meals were served, one immediately after take off and another about 2 hours prior to landing. The first one consisted of beef with steamed vegetables, a shrimp salad, a Greek salad and an apple pie. Notice the metal cutlery! . The pre-landing snack consisted of a couple of tasty soft rolls filled with a goat-cheesy substance, a potato waffle, fruit salad and a fruit yogurt.

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Main meal and pre-landing snack


Landing was smooth and we were soon in a largely empty ICN (it was about 5am local time). Right after deboarding we were met with a quarantine team which collected the health questionnaires we were given on the plane and took our temperature before being allowed to enter the main building. Once there, I made my way to the security check for my second flight. I wandered about for some time waiting for a currency exchange office to open and get some Won so I could buy some food and a phonecard to call home. I had some pounds sterling left from my last visit to Britain which I wanted to use for that purpose.

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Arriving early at a largely empty terminal building. Plenty of traffic to come though.

After doing so I went to one of the food courts and got some kimchi stew (I adore kimchi). It was way spicier then the one I get in Korean Town but really enjoyable nonetheless. It did turn my eyes and nose watery and I had to sneeze a couple of times which I bet made people around me uneasy. I was soon to find out that everyone in both Korea and Japan was very concerned about the swine flu outbreak.

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I could not resist a pork Kimchi stew

I then spent some time looking at the traffic in search of interesting or rare birds but all I could see were KE and OZ. When it was time to board our flight to NRT, I realized that the 777-200 we were about to enter was the same that brought us there from ORD.

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Korean Air and Asiana dominated the airport

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Some international traffic

May 18
OZ 102
ICN-NRT
B777-200ER (HL7775)
Seat: 10A


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Boarding the HL7775 once more, this time for NRT

This time I had seat 10A which despite being a window seat it also did not have a window. However being the first row after the middle galley/toilets I could bend forward and see through the window in front.

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Loads of leg space this time

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Flying over Incheon and Seoul


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Our expected route

We were served a nice meal of beef, rice and cold noodles and by the time I was done with it I could already see the Japanese coast appearing under us.

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Tasty meal service

Once we approached the Tokyo area I started looking out for Mount Fuji but unfortunately it was too cloudy to get a good look at it. All I managed was a brief glimpse of it which however was rewarding enough.

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Flying over central Japan

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A glimpse of Mount Fuji!

We eventually approached NRT from the west and landed on time. Before entering immigration we had to go through a health check inspection again. I handed in my form and when the inspector saw that I was coming from the US she kindly asked me to fill in another form, more detailed this time, which required information about the places I was going to stay while in Japan. Given that I had a fairly busy itinerary I had to spent a considerable amount of time writing it all down. Once through the health inspection I found immigration to be fairly fast. I collected my luggage and proceeded to arrivals where I soon spotted Panos waiting for me. After catching a breath, we headed downstairs to get the train that would take us to Asakusa in Tokyo. We decided to use the Limited Express Train (instead of the Skyliner) given that it was half the price and only 15-20 mins slower. We got off at Ueno and then took the Hibiya subway line to the nearby stop of Iriya. From there it was a short walk to our hotel.

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Trying to figure which train to take. Compared to other networks this was a piece of cake

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Skyliner/Limited Express ticketing area

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Retro ceiling fan in our Limited Express train


We had a great time in Tokyo. We visited several places, including several temples and shrines in Asakusa, the Ueno Park, the Akihabara Electric Town, the Ginza, downtown Tokyo, Shinjuku, the Tokyo Tower and we also went to watch some sumo at the Ryogoku. I shot over 3.000 photos during the trip but I wouldn't like to overload the page with them. If anyone is interested I can provide them with a link with some 200+ non-aviation photos from this trip.


Next stop was Kyoto. We took an early Shinkansen service (a Hikari one) and after about 2.5 hours were there. Unlike Tokyo, where it was mostly sunny and warm, we arrived at a wet and gloomy Kyoto. From the station we took the bus to Gojozaka and from there we walked to our hotel. We wasted no time and headed to the Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera Temple at the foot of the hills on the east of town. We also visited the Nijo castle, the Imperial gardens, the Toji temple the downtown area and several temples on the north side of town. After a short stop at Osaka we proceeded to Hiroshima, using once more the Shinkansen.

Here are a couple of photos from one of our 3 Shinkansen rides:
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Hiroshima is a lovely city and it has so much more to offer other than the Peace Memorial park and Ground Zero (A-Bomb Dome). We also did a short hop to Miyajima Island using a JR ferry. After 10 full days in Japan it was time to fly back home. I was excited at the prospect of flying out of HIJ. I knew that this airport was kind of unique, being located on top a hill in the middle of nowhere. Given its position, looking out on the runway felt like the whole airport was floating in the air. We got there using the Limousine bus from the railway station.

May 27
OZ 161
HIJ-ICN
A321
Seat: 16F

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In the bus that would take us to HIJ

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Arriving at HIJ 45 mins later

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Our bus


Panos was flying first and he had to check in and go to security right away while I had a couple of hours to kill. I looked around for a bit and then waited outside the international check in area which was closed at the time.

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Interior Views

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Looking outside

When checking in I asked if I could get seat 10A or K again (for the ICN-ORD leg of my trip) but I was told that this particular seat was locked so I had to stick with my original 15K. At security I was told that the amount of liquids I could carry in Japan was less than those elsewhere (or so I gathered from the basic English of the security officer) so I had to give away my small toothpaste and mouthwash bottle. The waiting area for the international departures is tiny (not much international traffic out of HIJ).

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Our ride to ICN

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A neighboring ANA 747 getting ready for NRT if I am not mistaken.

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We were the only international flight to be leaving for a while

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About an hour before boarding a guy from the Duty Free came over and distributed free samples of chocolate to all of the passengers waiting at the international departure lounge. Not a big chocolate fan, but they tasted really good!

Take off was a bit noisy (a high pitched noise superimposed on the usual humming) but the noise went away during cruising. I ate my lunchbox and spend the rest of the time reading my book.


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Leg space was fairly decent

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Looking out onto the terminal

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Ground crew waiving us goodbye as it is customary

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Getting ready for take off. There is truly absolutely nothing but hills and forests for miles.

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Take off snapshots

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Cabin view

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The lunchbox we were served was delicious. I could however not identify half of the items in it!

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Approaching the coast of Korea

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Not sure which airport is this. Perhaps Cheongju?

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Flying over Seoul on approach to ICN

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The health questionnaire we were distributed prior to landing.

We landed in ICN on time and once more we were inspected for swine flu symptoms before allowed to enter the terminal building. I had about 7 hours to kill and the first thing to do was to get some more kimchi at the food court (I chose the tuna stew this time).

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I could not help but... help myself to some Korean cuisine. Kimchi Tuna Stew

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Views of ICN

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One of many OZ birds carrying the old livery.

I looked around the shops to find ways to spend the 70.000W I was left with. I went to a shop with Korean items and looked around for ideas for gifts. The moment you walked in, one of the many girls would walk up to you and try to help you, something which I found rather annoying. I prefer to be given the chance to check the items myself and only ask for help if I need some. Even though I thought I made that clear, they wouldn't go away. I understand that it is their job but they seemed very insistent, which many customers I think find annoying. Not a big deal though obviously. I bought some presents from the duty free and it wasn't long before I was back at the food court for some more Korean treats. This time I chose the bibimbap which I also thoroughly enjoyed.

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Bibimbap

May 27
OZ 236
ICN-ORD
B777-200ER (HL7775)
Seat: 16K

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Our 777 ride back to ORD (which coincidentally happened to be the same plane that I did the ORD-ICN and ICN-NRT legs 10 days earlier).

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Finally boarding and getting ready for the long journey back.

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Not much space to move in

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IFE

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Cabin view

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View from my seat

After boarding the aircraft we were announced that we would be delayed because our luggage had to be manually scanned. We waited for about over an hour while the process was completed.

After taking off I noticed that the route we were taking was directly easterly, assuming that it was done simply to avoid N.Korean airspace. However, after reaching the coast I noticed that we were also heading south. For a moment I wondered whether I was on the right flight Big grin. As much as I would have liked to visit Australia, it was not the right time to do so. Then I thought that we may be avoiding some bad weather. Finally it struck me that we were trying to get advantage of the jet stream.

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I was surprised (at the time) at our southerly routing

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Delicious meals: Main: Bulgogi Ssambab (along instructions as to how to eat it!), soup, egg roll-thingies, water melon, and kimchi!!!
Snack: Beef rice and vegetables, cabbage and ham salad and fresh pineapple slices

While over the Pacific, our captain made an announcement about something regarding the crew which I could however not follow, due to his heavy accent. Soon after however, the cabin crew showed up dressed in traditional costumes and started parading. Each one of them paraded at least 3 times and then they all gathered together so that passengers could take photos with them. It was quite a surreal moment. I still have no idea what was the occasion.

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Cabin crew dressed up in traditional

The rest of the flight was uneventful and we arrived at ORD with about an hour and a half delay. The taxiing was long (more than 10 minutes) and we were soon at the terminal.

Overall, it was a pleasant experience to fly with OZ. Both their long and their short haul services were good and you could tell they are trying to make the experience as comfortable as possible. I would definitely re-consider flying with them, even though I am curious to see how the two big Japanese carriers (and also KE) compare to them.

Many thanks for reading

I'm looking forward to you comments.


Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 18399 times:

What a great trip report!

OZ certainly did a good job by serving those tantalizing Korean delicacies in Y.

The fashion show was just stunning! I think you were a privileged passenger to that.  Wink

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineZonks From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 18169 times:

Great report!

I flew OZ SEA-ICN-HKG-ICN-LAX a couple of years ago and enjoyed them thoroughly. I was surprised to see no Korean meal on the ORD-ICN sector but was glad that you had it on the ICN-ORD sector. The food on HIJ-ICN looked great too!

I feel the same way about ICN as you do. A bit boring for spotting since it seems to be all KE & OZ but it's balanced out by the excellent Korean food on offer at ICN.


User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 18032 times:

I am very impressed by this airline. Looks better than most. If I ever go to Asia I will consider them. Thanks.

User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5124 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 17963 times:

= Thanks for a wonderful trip report. Asiana continues to be an extremely underrated carrier. In Y, I think they are one of the best carriers in the world. Unfortunately, their J and F offering are not up to the mark in terms of hardware. Also, excellent crew.

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
colleague of mine was driving one of her friends to ORD (we all live in Hyde Park) on the same night

= Aaw. This brings back so many pleasant memories from the time I was doing my doctoral work at the Univ. of Chicago. I miss Hyde Park.

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
The lunchbox we were served was delicious. I could however not identify half of the items in it!

= Wow. Looks great for such a short flight.

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):

I looked around the shops to find ways to spend the 70.000W I was left with. I went to a shop with Korean items and looked around for ideas for gifts. The moment you walked in, one of the many girls would walk up to you and try to help you, something which I found rather annoying. I prefer to be given the chance to check the items myself and only ask for help if I need some. Even though I thought I made that clear, they wouldn't go away. I understand that it is their job but they seemed very insistent, which many customers I think find annoying. Not a big deal though obviously.

= It is Asian culture as customer service approach and standards are different. To me, superior.

Thanks for an excellent trip report and I believe the first on HIJ-ICN and one of the rare ones to feature HIJ.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineWideBodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 17473 times:

Thanks for your comments guys!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 1):
The fashion show was just stunning! I think you were a privileged passenger to that. Wink

You are absolutely right. Never before have I seen such a thing and equally never before have I seen passengers being so enthusiastic about something. Everyone was applauding them and taking photos of them.

Quoting Zonks (Reply 2):
I flew OZ SEA-ICN-HKG-ICN-LAX a couple of years ago and enjoyed them thoroughly. I was surprised to see no Korean meal on the ORD-ICN sector but was glad that you had it on the ICN-ORD sector. The food on HIJ-ICN looked great too!

I was very pleased with the food on OZ and ICN. I wish I could fly more often with them just for the sake of eating Korean  Smile

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 4):
Aaw. This brings back so many pleasant memories from the time I was doing my doctoral work at the Univ. of Chicago. I miss Hyde Park.

How nice. I think postgrads/postdocs and undergrads appreciate Hyde Park differently. Whereas we find it pleasant and nice, most undergraduates keep thinking that it is "where fun comes to die" as often seen on t-shirts they print.  Smile



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineToby25 From Hong Kong, joined May 2008, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 17339 times:

Excellent report, I love it! I really would love to visit Japan again one day. It's a country that really fascinates me. Does Chicago have a large Korean Town? I don't think here in the UK there is any such place, maybe in small areas of China Town?

The food looks OK, although I'm really not a fan of Korean food but I'm sure they have western options available. I love the idea of having instructions on how to eat with your aeroplane meal hahaha!!

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
Trying to figure which train to take. Compared to other networks this was a piece of cake

Is that a train map??! it looks so complicated like a technical drawing! I would def be lost! lol!

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
After boarding the plane I was met with an ugly surprise. For the second consecutive time on a long haul flight I got a window seat with no actual window.

Not nice! I had this when I travelled with CX one time and was gutted! I was quite young when CX were still flying from Manchester.

Is there much to do in Hiroshima or is it more the historical war interests that attracts visitors? I would love to explore Japan, have to get my Japanese phrase book out haha!

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
I was to fly out of ORD to NRT (via ICN) with OZ and then return from HIJ to ORD (via ICN) with OZ,

Did you not want to find a more direct route? Arent there a few flights to NRT from the US rather than having to fly over your destination? Or was it cheaper to fly via Korea?

Thanks again for your very insightful and interesting TR  Smile
Toby



Seriously dude! I swear!
User currently offlineWideBodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 17288 times:



Quoting Toby25 (Reply 6):
Does Chicago have a large Korean Town?

Chicago does have a Korean Town (it's kinda too far north for us southsiders) but it is not terribly big. There are a couple of really excellent places to eat, especially Korean BBQ ones.

Quoting Toby25 (Reply 6):
Is that a train map??

Yes, it is the map of 5 of Tokyo's train lines. If you include the rest of the lines and the subway lines, the network looks just out of this world.

Quoting Toby25 (Reply 6):
Is there much to do in Hiroshima or is it more the historical war interests that attracts visitors?

In fact Hiroshima has so much more to offer (other than the Atomic Bomb memorials). It is a bustling modern city, with lots of parks, nice shopping areas, great cuisine (one has to try the local Okonomiyaki) and very friendly people. Also one can reach Miyajima (it's just a 10-min ferry crossing to the island) where you can see numerous temples and shrines (plus the famous floating Torii) and wild deer and monkeys roaming on the streets. I think that every visitor to Japan should consider adding Hiroshima to his/her itinerary.

Quoting Toby25 (Reply 6):
Did you not want to find a more direct route? Arent there a few flights to NRT from the US rather than having to fly over your destination? Or was it cheaper to fly via Korea?

When choosing an itinerary I always try to include as many new airports and new airlines as possible. I could have flown directly but I loved the idea of stopping at ICN and trying Asiana. The price was also very good so it was a no-brainer  Smile In general I avoid direct flights but truth be said, as I am getting older I start considering them all the more. My next trip to Paris will be on a direct flight, which would make it the first direct flight for over 4 years for me... I think the last one was an EDI-BHD (Belfast City) one, a 20 minute hop with FlyBe.



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User currently offlineWideBodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 16478 times:

After Skytrax's choice of Incheon as the best airport in the World, this TR is now about both the Best Airline and the Best Airport in the world for 2009! Good times  Smile

Well done Korea!


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8090767.stm



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User currently offlineHeeseokKoo From South Korea, joined Jan 2005, 652 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 15704 times:

Enjoyed so many food pictures. The reason why window-less row is different is that what you took was 3-class 772 while seatguru has only 2-class 772. The sole 3-class 772 (HL7775) is currently running 3/w ORD flights as well as some intra-Asian flights, so you took same plane over and over. Sort of surprised that size of personal TV is small, same as other 772's. I though it will be bigger as Asiana's refurbished 747. Had fun with your report!

User currently offlinePellegrine From France, joined Mar 2007, 2468 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 15236 times:

I too loved the report! It really brought back memories, and it made me sad at the same time as I love Asia and haven't been in a while and I feel decidedly melancholy about my own boring, flat-line city.

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
Trying to figure which train to take. Compared to other networks this was a piece of cake

The first time I bought a train ticket in Japan I was sooooo lost! It was in Shinjuku Station, NOT the first train station to go to for an American who spoke about 10 words of Japanese, lol. Only took me that one time to figure it out though, after that it's so fast, efficient, and clean.

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):

Hiroshima is a lovely city and it has so much more to offer other than the Peace Memorial park and Ground Zero (A-Bomb Dome). We also did a short hop to Miyajima Island using a JR ferry. After 10 full days in Japan it was time to fly back home. I was excited at the prospect of flying out of HIJ. I knew that this airport was kind of unique, being located on top a hill in the middle of nowhere. Given its position, looking out on the runway felt like the whole airport was floating in the air. We got there using the Limousine bus from the railway station.

Interesting, I must get to Hiroshima. Top on my list right now though is Kagoshima, I can add HIJ onto that trip whenever I get to do it.

Thanks especially for the non-aviation pics. It brought back so many beautiful memories. I'd def. like to see more!



oh boy!!!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15114 times:
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Great report & pictures, really enjoyed, thanls for sharing with us.

The food looks pretty decent on all the OZ flights, quite impressed really.

Shame your flew the same 777 3 times, who would have thought that!?

HIJ looks like an interesting airport, must find an excuse to travel through it on my next trip to Japan.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently onlineEIRules From Ireland, joined Aug 2007, 796 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 15016 times:

Hi there

Congratulations on a great trip report. OZ look like a fantastic airline and I have heard great things about their business class. Being 6'2 though I'm not sure I like the look of the legroom on that 777. The food looks good though and a fair amount of it too.

Well done again
Andy



Next Flights: EI DUB-LHR A320, BA LHR-SFO B744, UA SFO-LAS A320, BA LAS-LHR B744, EI LHR-DUB A320
User currently offlineWideBodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 14823 times:

Thank you for your kind words people. I am glad that so many of you enjoyed the TR.

Quoting HeeseokKoo (Reply 9):
The reason why window-less row is different is that what you took was 3-class 772 while seatguru has only 2-class 772. The sole 3-class 772 (HL7775) is currently running 3/w ORD flights as well as some intra-Asian flights, so you took same plane over and over.

I did not know that. Thank you for the information. It all makes sense now.

Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 10):
It was in Shinjuku Station, NOT the first train station to go to for an American who spoke about 10 words of Japanese, lol.

If I am not mistaken Shinjuku station is the busiest train station in the world. I was recently reading about it somewhere. The railway network of Tokyo is really impressive. There is really no place you can't go using it.

Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 10):
Top on my list right now though is Kagoshima,

Why is that so? Pardon my ignorance, but what makes it your top priority? Just curious.  Smile

Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 10):
I'd def. like to see more!

I have tons of non-aviation photos from the trip. PM me if you would like a link to them.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
HIJ looks like an interesting airport, must find an excuse to travel through it on my next trip to Japan.

It is a special airport for sure. There isn't a terrible deal to do in it but it definitely has a special aura about it. I wish I had more time to explore it and also I wish I could check out the domestic departure area.

Quoting EIRules (Reply 12):
Being 6'2 though I'm not sure I like the look of the legroom on that 777.

I know what you mean. I am 6'3 myself and it was rather painful to be stuck in those seats. Unfortunately on both long-haul legs my front co-passengers kept their seats fully reclined through the whole trip, which definitely didn't help. I guess it's one of the disadvantages of being tall  Smile



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User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2887 posts, RR: 31
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 14706 times:



Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
My flight out of ORD was at 1am, which is the latest (or earliest if you will) that I have ever flown

You need only visit the Middle East sometime, where flights leaving and/or arriving at 2, 3, and 4 am are the norm, not the exception!

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
It was already getting late so naturally there wasn't much movement on the runway

Perhaps the only time ORD does not seem incredibly crowded and busy. Indeed, from 5-6 AM (several redeye flights arriving and a morning rush departing) that place is uncomfortably packed up until the last evening wave...

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
really enjoyable nonetheless. It did turn my eyes and nose watery and I had to sneeze a couple of times which I bet made people around me uneasy.

Uhhhh...that was really enjoyable??

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
Trying to figure which train to take. Compared to other networks this was a piece of cake

I would NOT want to see that other network. I think I'd be best sticking to countries that speak English, or at least use the Roman alphabet, LOL.

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
Interior Views

Wow, even the small Asian airports are clean, comfortable, and quite nice! Much more than can be said of just about all U.S. airports...

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
Ground crew waiving us goodbye as it is customary

How cool!

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
There is truly absolutely nothing but hills and forests for miles.

Very beautiful. Certainly not what I would expect from such a dense, urban country!



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1697 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 14653 times:

Great TR, and thanks for the lovely pictures. Great job!

User currently offlineWideBodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 6 days ago) and read 14213 times:



Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 14):
Uhhhh...that was really enjoyable??

I'm trying to build up my spiciness tolerance so it was satisfying knowing that I am working on it...  Smile

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
Shame your flew the same 777 3 times, who would have thought that!?

Indeed, how weird is that? There were a few more coincidences on this trip. On the ICN-NRT leg, the person sitting next to me used to live two blocks from where I currently live in Chicago. We even realized we have some common acquaintances. It's a small world after all  Smile



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User currently offlinePellegrine From France, joined Mar 2007, 2468 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 14021 times:



Quoting WideBodyroga (Reply 13):
If I am not mistaken Shinjuku station is the busiest train station in the world. I was recently reading about it somewhere. The railway network of Tokyo is really impressive. There is really no place you can't go using it.

Yes it's the busiest in the world, with like 200 exits and entrances. The place is like an underground airport terminal. All I knew was I was staying in Nishi-Shinjuku (where I usually stay in Tokyo) and I took a cab to Shinjuku. I was looking to take the train to Harajuku and Omotesando, only a few stops. It was simple in retrospect but I was so lost in the huge terminal at first, I didn't even know how to buy a ticket using the machine! So I went to the ticket office and had no idea what to say...I just pointed Shinjuku-Harajuku, lol. Arigato-Gozaimasu. I wouldn't be mad at them if they thought of me as a fool, I was laughing the entire time it was so ridiculous to me, getting lost there. I have a high school friend who lives in Tachikawa, Western Tokyo and I was surprised to find out the trains go this far, it's like halfway to Mt. Fuji.

Quoting WideBodyroga (Reply 13):

Why is that so? Pardon my ignorance, but what makes it your top priority? Just curious. Smile

I don't know, it seemed like a different area of Japan most visitors don't experience. I was going to go a long while ago, but it just didn't work out. I still haven't been out of Tokyo-to (the entire Metropolis) yet besides Chiba (NRT) and Yokohama. I get sidetracked by all the flashing lights and alleyways. Haven't been to Kyoto yet and everyone says go there, but Kyoto's been there for so long it's not moving and I can wait. Kagoshima as a subtropical climate and the city is right across the bay from the active volcano Sakurajima. Sakurajima spews ash all the time onto the city below so I hope I can experience an active 'ashfall'. The area is also known for hot springs. Also there is Yakushima Island, a World Natural Heritage Site, accessible from Kagoshima which I would like to visit. The main reason is probably to visit a small town called Miyama though, this town is the birthplace of Satsuma pottery. I spent 2 years making pots before I temporarily gave it up because my 'sensei' retired, and the person who took her place wasn't the least bit the master she was...so I quickly became dismayed. If you begin studying under a master who them self studied under a master, you can't just take up the instruction of a neophyte. The challenge is lost and there is no more progression. We also had aesthetic differences and generally didn't appreciate each other. If you've ever seen two fine artists fight about aesthetic merit you know it's a bloodbath and there are no definitive winners. Anyway, I just want to see what Satsuma-yaki is all about. No particular reason, it's just off the beaten path and the guide books.



oh boy!!!
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