777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 489 posts, RR: 1 Posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6599 times:
Hey all! So, as I stated in my ANA TR to Chicago. Here is my TR from Tokyo Haneda- Okinawa Naha airport.
The purpose of this trip was for me to get an appointment with a doctor as the one I usual go to was on emergency leave. I had to get an updated MRI and this particular location had the most immediate time slot available.
At this point I had been in the Tokyo area for about 3 weeks for work when I got sick. So, I was given a ticket on JAL-even after requesting NH!- and hoped on the Limited express train from Yokosuka-Chuo to Keikyu-Kamata, then the blue express to haneda airport. OK, for those who have never experienced the Japanese transportation system, it is purely amazing, and the US DEFINITELY needs to get with the engineers on this system, and bring it over (that's a whole nother arguement yes? lol!)
From Yoko to HND was 1H5minutes... ON THE DOT. Making my way up the escalators I was amazed by the enormous size of the levels the airport has. I still am not sure if it is just a giant atrium design for no other reason than a design, or if they actually have offices and businesses around. Regardless, it's impressive and you tell they designed the airport with expansion in mind.
Plane spotting on the 6th floor!
Checking in for Okinawa was painless and I asked how full the flight was, and she said the flight was not even 20% full. I guess a Tuesday departure to a primarily vacation/ Military destination would prove to be rather empty, this direction.
As typical with flights I have taken within Japan, the fullest of planes will have a rather empty departure lobby until LITERALLY moments before boarding. Knowing this I figured I'd see a flood of pax's running towards the gate. WRONG. hardly anyone showed up. Total number of passengers onboard was 32 including me. So, I took a window aisle seat for myself for take off as it would afford the best view based on what I hoped the departure runway would be.
Literally in moments we were airborne and making a right bank southbound for Okinawa.
Reaching our cruising altitude in no time, the flight crew came around to offer drinks and I had a coke, and fell asleep somehow after receiving it. Then, as my iPod went from the Armin Van Buuren's podcast to another the volume spiked and startled me awake, causing me to spill the coke. I cleaned it up and then moved to the left side of the plane. This side offered us gorgeous views of the islands around Okinawa. having been to Okinawa about 9 times at this point, I had only ever seen a select few parts of the island as I only ever spend 2 days there. Approaching OKA gave us gorgeous views of where I'd love to do some scuba diving and long weekend breaks.
landing in OKA was quick and within minutes I had my bag. Driving from the airport to where I was staying was via the "downtown" or Naha area of Okinawa, and having never been to that part of the Island, I DEFINITELY want to go back! I kind of would mix it with a bit of Orlando, with an island influence.
The appointment the following morning and MRI went fine, and I was given some medicine for my problem and a week or so later I was back to full strength! (thankfully).
I ended up being able to catch an earlier flight back to HND so I could get back in time for a friends birthday celebration that night in Yokohama.
Check in only took a bit longer as the ticket agent was relatively new. Sadly, it was not SABRE so I could not be like "move it lady. lemme do it!" (which I've done before in Brussels).
I then went and got some sushi at the "sushi go-around" on the 4th floor of the shopping/restaurant area. It has a nice overlook of the terminals and great up close view of the heavies parked below.
This flight would be VERY FULL. There was even a 744D departing a few minutes before us, also FULL. I guess all the vacationer's were heading back to the big city for work.
Boarding took no time and we were soon rocketing off for HND. I slept most of the way back only to wake up for decent and landing- the important part, right? lol-
Rocketing off the rwy!
Prior to decent to HND
JAL has a feature I LOVE! the nose cam, and it was cool to switch views between window and camera while on final.
We pulled back into the same gate I departed out of the day before and then made my way for the trains a few levels down. Thankfully I had my PASMO card, which is a genius idea. Simply put: you put money on this card. As you enter the subway system where you enter your ticket, instead you swipe your card and then proceed thru. When you exit, you swipe it again and it automatically deducts the appropriate amount.
I ended up saving myself about 2-3 hours so I could make it back for the birthday celebration that turned out to be a massive drinking fest. OK BY ME! I was still supposed to be traveling and didn't have to go to work till later tomorrow! (SHUCKS!) I can't really remember the places we hit in Yokohama, but it's a great city, and a great little night out if you don't have time to hit up downtown Tokyo.
triple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 738 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6365 times:
When I lived in Japan, I used to go to HND on my day off for spotting. Both terminals are very nice, and like you said, the lobby is enormous. Terminal 2 for ANA has an area with stores, restaurants and an observation deck. I remember being in that area and hearing soothing music played. The observation deck overlooked ANA operations with a good view of 16L/34R.
Terminal 1 has a nice shopping mall and restaurants also with an observation deck overlooking JAL operations and 16R/34L.
There is an international terminal under construction which should be nice. AA will be flying to JFK and I am looking forward to taking that flight next year. I live in Bangkok and there will be service between HND and Bangkok so that might make a viable connection.
Getting around Tokyo is so easy by train..it is the best transportation system.
Thank you for another excellent TR.
airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5110 times:
nice to read about your more Japan adventures. OKA never visited by me so far, but will do at some point in the future. Unfortunately had to cancel a recent trip to Japan for various reasons, but I can only agree with your statements on their rail system, their pasmo/suica card system etc. The rest of the world can learn alot from it, although, Japan can learn also a lot from other parts in the world (but that's another story) You didn't manage to see Mt.Fuji on your outbound?
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"