I flew from Frankfurt to Narita Jan.11 on flight LH710 (also NH6002) in a fully booked A346. I had a window seat in the Economy cabin in the back of the plane (also known as whY class). The flight left Frankfurt about 1.30 PM and landed at Narita airport some 11 hours later at about 8.30 AM local time on January 12.
As you can see in Part 1 of my trip report I had no time to mooze around the terminals. After clearing immigration and customs I went to the bus counter and bought a coach ticket to Haneda to catch my continuing flight with ANA to Western Japan.
I preferred to reserve my spare time between the flights as I knew the Intra-Japan B-787 were making runs between Haneda and Hiroshima/Okayama. I was told by two charming ANA hostesses about the incoming flight at 12.15. They gave me a convenient map of the terminal indicating the 787 gate and the gate for my flight to Yonago which wasn't far away at all.
HIJ Hiroshima NH 676 ANA - All Nippon Airways 12:15 PM 12:15 PM ~ T-D2 Scheduled On-time 787
This was my chance to see JA801 the first delivered B-787 to ANA fleet - the first ever 787 to do passenger flights. For those who haven't yet read it, all the details are in Part 1 of my trip report.
My last sight of JA801 from Gate 67A before boarding the flight to Yonago.
NH815 Tokyo Haneda - Yonago (operated by Air Nippon) Seat 7A
Boarding time 1.30 PM Landing time 14.55 PM The aircraft for this flight was a B-737-800
We pushed back on time and taxied to the runway for take off. I was on the wrong side of the aircraft to see the 787 and the PokemonJet. There was a second PokemonJet on a remote stand further down the runway.
The Economy cabin was fairly full. The seats were comfortable with ample leg room.
The first two rows were a mix of Business and Premium Economy. I don't really know how to call it. There is no First Class on ANA intra-Japan flights.
I can't remember if they were served any food, or snacks while we in the back were only served drinks.
Later during the flight, the captain announced a beautiful view on Mount Fuji - I was lucky this time. I was on the good side of the plane to see it. Best ever view I have had of Mount Fuji from an airplane.
The flight went smoothly No turbulence or incident of any kind on our way to Yonago.
We landed at Yonago airport. We were the only aircraft in the airport aside from a couple of Coast Guard aircrafts further down the runway.
Yonago Airport access and information. This airport serves both Tottori and Shimane prefectures.
I went down to the arrivals hall to pick up my suitcase. It did not take long.
My people were waiting for me. I was easy to spot as I was the only non-Japanese in the terminal.
We went to the hotel to drop my luggage. The hotel was the Rainbow hotel a simple but nice hotel in the heart of Matsue City. We would stay the night and catch the ferry to Oki Island the next morning.
There was no scenic views from the rooms. The scenic views would come later. Only I did not know.
The plans for the rest of the afternoon and evening were a visit to Matsue Castle followed by a dinner in a local traditional restaurant. The temperature was cold, almost to freezing level.
I had a surprise in the restaurant. The lady friends chose the food for me. I was served a bowl of ice cold udon with accompanying vegetables... in the dead of Winter! My experience of the local food during my whole stay was more than satisfying. So much fresh food all grown locally and all natural with countless species of local sea food and fish.
The next morning, we would go to the harbour to catch the Oki Kisen ferry to Oki Island.
Map of the area.
We arrived at the harbour to catch the ferry. The harbour is about 25 minutes drive from Matsue City. There are speed boats serving the route during the Summer but only car ferries in the Winter time. It was a windy morning.
Oki Island is a place practically unknown to Western tourists. A lot of Japanese tourists visit the island during the Summer months and the warm season.
I stayed on the upper deck while my people wanted to get some extra rest on the lower deck. I adventured myself outside in the cold and wind a few times to take pictures of the beautiful scenery. Despite the waves, the Oki Kisen was fast and efficient with powerful engines.
There was nobody outisde, aside from the occasional smoker. There was a good number of passengers on board plus the cars and freight trucks. Many business people take the ferry back and forth from land to islands. We were soon leaving the coast.
About 2 1/2 hours later we reached the main Oki island. There are also two other smaller islands also served by the ferry.
Passengers with cars were called to the garage. We had arrived at the pier of the ferry terminal.
After 3 flights two overnights and a ferry ride I had finally arrived to my destination, a farm in the middle of rice fields. Th farm is a very successful family business.
This was going to be the real Japan away from any bustling cities or well known tourist sites. There was only nature all around with animals, flat land and surrounding mountains. I felt I like was in the middle of nowhere in a totally different world.
I stayed in an all wooden house. This was the night view from one of the windows.
During my stay, I was to help feeding the cows and running errands, whatever was needed at the supermarket and in the town. Everybody was very busy. There was nothing to do aside from helping with the farm.
I liked the cows. They were really nice. About 60 adults and some young ones. I was lucky as three babies were born during my one week stay.
The family owns a lot of land all around. They also have a rice production business. All is organic rice.
The cows would spend part of the day outside and part of the day and the night in the stables. Everything was planned very carefully. Every adult cow had a number, was weighed, the vet would come every now and then to see that everything was allright. This was a special race of cows that was sold in the market for a lot of money. The quatliy of the meat was top grade and reputed in all of Japan.
Feeding the cows was very interesting.
The hay used for feeding the young ones comes from Canada. They get to eat this hay until they reach a certain weight.
Some weigh up to 800 Kg. They are all fed a quantity crushed rice along with hay. All is measured according to weight. The babies get to drink from the mothers but they are also given powdered milk mixed with warm mater to a certain temperature measured by the worker in charge. The stables are always kept very clean. The same with the cows. There are random hygiene controls by the local agriculture services.
Beautiful agricultual land surrounded by tall pine tree forests in the hills and mountains. During the warm season all the cows are moved to the mountains where the family has more land with stables.
I was presented with a couple of sightseeing trips during my stay. They asked me where I would like to go and what I wanted to see. I had no idea what was around so I let them choose for me. I was taken to some scenic spots along the coast.
The coast reminded me of Hawaii. The island must be really nice during the Summer. The people go to the beaches, surfing and sailing. The family owns two fair sized boats. They go on boat trips around the islands during the warm season and on fishing trips as well.
It happens that North Korean boats end up on Oki. These are peaceful people trying to escape. They are turned to the authorities that do them no harm but most of them get sent back to North Korea for a more than uncertain future. Aside from that there is a peaceful situation with Korea. No Korean boats are coming to fish in Japanese waters. They have enough fish in their own waters, by innumerable quantities.
The roads are kept in very good condition. The road along the coast was a narrow winding road with spectacular scenery. Looked beautiful in the dead of Winter with waters so blue. There is no pollution.
My hosts knew I liked airplanes so I was told about the local airport. I became extremely curious about the little island airport which had only two commuter flights a day. They once had flights to South Korea but no more.
There is now a flight to Izumo in the morning and a flight to Osaka (Itami) in the afternoon.
We went there in the afternoon on time for the commuter flight leaving for Osaka Itami airport. There is a nice viewing area on top of the terminal building. The little red and white commuter airplane was going to be fairly full.
The other sight seeing trip had a maritime feeling. It was going to be a night visit to the fishing boats. This is an island after all and fishing is one of the main trades of the island. Many species of fish, shells, and crabs as well.
We first went along the roads to see the lights in the distance. These steel fishing boats have very powerful lights. We could see some of the lights getting near the coast and to a not too distant harbour. We kept driving to the harbour and we saw some of the boats unloading their catch on the pier under the flood lights.
Amazing quantities of crabs! These crabs looked really yummy. A part of the catch is sold to the locals but most of it is frozen and sent all over Japan, via Matsue on to large metropolis such as Osaka or Tokyo.
It was my last day at the farm. The weather was cold and wet as must days. From the window, I was looking at the farm buildings and the rice fields in the distance. The farm also had its own organic vegetables garden and a few chicken for eggs for the whole family.
I was thinking... This island can very well be self sufficient other than home goods, machinery and fuel for the cars and all other automotives. They will neve lack any food.
My wireless Internet sessions sitting on the futon with laptop on my knees in the all wooden house.
A last view on the rice fields before heading back to the ferry terminal in the afternoon
i was driven back to the ferry terminal to go back to the Matsue harbour the same way I came.
It was the weekend so the ferry was full this time in both classes. The upper class and the econoimy class were full of people all ages and businessmen. Cost for second class crossing: 3.150 Yen. Blankets on hire for 20 Yen. The blankets are kept very clean.
After I disembarked there was no time to think. I had to get to Yonago airport. The lady was there who came to pick me up and drive me to the airport about 25 minutes away. She had the most fantastic GPS in the little car. I could not talk to her in Japanese, only very little but communication was good none the less. She was about he same age as me, a staunch Protestant and a mother of 6 children.
We walked through the airport hall and I checked in for my flight and got my boarding pass. They also gave me the boarding pass to Frankfurt for the 787 flight and my suitcase was sent all the way to Nice via HND and FRA. They did a really great job. I only had my carry on iwth me all the way with all the essentials, my camera for the pictures and my little laptop.
We sat down for a while until it was time for me to go through security and to the boarding gate and we said goodbye. The lady was going to stay in Yonago for the night, take care of business the next day and go back to Oki.
The plane was waiting at the gate. This was a A320 operated by ANA
My seat was 7A on the way back to Haneda airport. The flight was fairly full.
There was a drink service. The flight went without problems. I did not get to see much. No fantastic views over Tokyo evn on landing as I had thought.
After landing at Haneda I had to change terminals to catch the next flight.
ANA We Fly 1st
It was going to be a sleepless night on board a first historical long haul flight of a brand new type of aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
You know the story and this is how the story ends.
This is the Third and Final part of my trip report: ANA 787 Dreamliner HND-FRA 1st Long Haul Inaugural
I am happy to be able to share this experience with you all.
[Edited 2012-02-02 11:38:19]
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
FLIEGER67 From Austria, joined Sep 2003, 4786 posts, RR: 56 Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 11523 times:
Bonsoir Marie again,
such a really well written story.
I´ve never saw pictures from this part of Japan here, really special.
The flights looks like ok both ways and it seems all is working well organized in Japan these days.
vaus77w From Australia, joined Aug 2011, 143 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10454 times:
Great report! Having been visiting our family farm here in Australia for many years (also a cattle property) it was interesting to see the differences in how things are done- like keeping the cows in stables at night and feeding the calves hay imported from Canada. Just incredible.
Also read parts 1 & 2- was awesome to read about your 787 flight and cannot wait to fly on one someday.
SR117 From Mexico, joined Jun 2000, 787 posts, RR: 2 Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9218 times:
Hello Madame Concorde
Many thanks for your 3 part series on the 787 Inaugural flight, I enjoyed every part. However I particularly thank you for this view of a less traveled part of Japan.
The Oki Islands looks beautiful with such a rugged coastline. You were very lucky to visit. The farm you stayed at looks very interesting, and it is great to see that the animals there get top treatment. It's no wonder that they are priced so highly in the marketplace.
Thanks again for sharing this report on your travels !
ORDnHKG From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 187 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7489 times:
Quoting MadameConcorde (Thread starter): The first two rows were a mix of Business and Premium Economy. I don't really know how to call it. There is no First Class on ANA intra-Japan flights.
It is NOT a mix of business and premium economy, it is called "Premium seat", or previously called "Super Seat". It is similiar to domestic first in the US, meal will be served at meal time, snacks are served for the non-meal time flights.
Interestingly, when I was returning from a trip to Yonago, whilst waiting for my flight to arrive an Edelweiss Air A330 pulled into the gate. That surprised me!!
Quoting MadameConcorde (Thread starter): It happens that North Korean boats end up on Oki. These are peaceful people trying to escape. They are turned to the authorities that do them no harm but most of them get sent back to North Korea for a more than uncertain future.
I highly highly doubt that is true. I think China is the only nation that repatriates people to the DPRK.
Now this is interesting. Sounds like it could make a nice weekend trip.
A great set of reports with some great pictures. Glad to see you enjoyed another trip over here. And lucky lucky you for getting on the first int'l 787 flight. I am certainly jealous, but thanks for sharing.