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Japan Part 2: Duel Of The LCCs - NRT-KIX-FUK  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 15635 times:

Introduction

Low cost carriers (LCCs for short) - love them or loathe them, but you have to admit they’ve changed the airline industry more than any other phenomenon within the last ten or so years. Their new, streamlined business models, flexibility and the lure of low fares (plus surcharges for everything) have broken the rigid old ways the airline business has worked for decades. Big, wasteful lumbering state owned carriers that could rely on protectionism and government support to guarantee profitability have been forced to either adapt to the agile ways of their new nimble competitors or die a slow death, as several big name airline bankruptcies have shown.

Japan’s domestic air transport market has been quite a bit different for a long time now - the main carriers fly a lot of routes using widebodies, often in high density configurations of 500 and more passengers. These flights are mainly used by business travellers (and almost always by businessmen!) - for the leisure travelers the excellent rail network on the Home Islands has been the main form of travel - and nothing bad at that but even the latest Shinkansen can take quite a few hours to traverse all the way from the north island of Hokkaido to the southern Kyushu.

Japan resisted the LCC phenomenon for a long time, only in March 2012 did the first real low cost carrier start its operations. This was Peach Aviation, a carrier in which All Nippon Airlines (ANA) had a stake, based at Kansai International Airport (KIX), the artificial island airport in Osaka Bay serving the vast Kansai region.

Not long after this it was announced that also two other well known Asian LCC brands, Air Asia and Jetstar were looking to start their own Japanese operations. Jetstar Japan was the first to commence scheduled flights in July 2012. As seems to be the norm in Japan, an established carrier was also backing this newcomer in the form or JAL (plus Australian Qantas like with all the Jetstar companies). Not to be left to play second fiddle Air Asia Japan launched their own flights just a month later in August 2012, surprisingly also backed by ANA.

Both Jetstar and Air Asia would be based at Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) - I’m sure they would’ve loved to operate from the much, much more accessible Haneda Airport but as the big players (ANA, JAL) there want to keep all those high-Yen business passengers to themselves they were unable to acquire any slots. And ANA obviously wants to keep Air Asia operating ex-NRT and Peach ex-KIX to avoid them becoming competitors.

All three carriers fly boring new Airbus A320s on mainly trunk domestic routes, although some international routes (ICN, HKG, TPE) are on the cards too.

For me these all were good news as I’d be in Japan in September 2012 and was looking to do some domestic flying. My main objective for these flights was catching the 787 and pretty soon I narrowed my route choices to either Fukuoka (FUK) or Osaka Itami (ITM) to Haneda (HND) on ANA. Thus I needed to get down to either Kansai or Fukuoka and well - what do you know, both Air Asia Japan and Jetstar Japan just happen to operate the NRT-KIX route! Jetstar was the first one to get its booking website up and running so they won my business, especially since they had a perfectly timed flight too. The flight fare with a seat assignment cost a bit over 50 EUR - very reasonable. And most importantly I was able to book this flight 5 months in advance - normal Japanese domestic flights only open for sale exactly two months in advance (as was the case with my ITM-HND flight too, but that’s another story).

I tried to look into flying Peach ex-KIX somewhere, but couldn’t really find anything that I liked - either the flight timings were bad or the fares a bit too high. I had already almost given up hope on flying with them, but around three months later in July I checked the Peach website again and what do you know - they were running a sale with some really nice fares available. I had a choice of flying to either to ICN for a few hours for around 100 EUR or down to FUK for a half-day trip for less than 70 EUR for the roundtrip. As much as a daytrip to Korea sounded inviting I decided to pass - I didn’t want to have funny questions asked by Japanese immigration why I left the country for a few hours plus Korea deserves a longer trip sometime in the future anyway. So Fukuoka it was - booked!

Air Asia Japan will have to wait until the next time, I guess!

And here’s the simple itinerary for these three flights:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/map.gif

Thursday 20.9.2012

For events leading up to this point, please see the first part: To Japan On A Shoestring: FCO-SVO-NRT And Some (by FlyingFinn76 Oct 21 2012 in Trip Reports)

So here I am, at the arrivals area of T1. Deathst... err sorry, Jetstar lives at T2 so that’s where I have to go next. Luckily there’s a shuttle bus running between the terminals and the stop is right outside:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_1.jpg

Ten minutes later I step off at T1, head inside and quickly locate the shining new Jetstar check in area with the entrance to the domestic gates right next to it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_3.jpg

Having done OLCI already at home there’s no need to go there. Well I’m actually over the allowed luggage limit by having my cabin sized roller bag plus my rather full and heavy (but compactly sized) backbag with me. Never a problem with traditional airlines, but definitely a problem with Ryanair and easyJet. Well, I’m trusting the Japanese are so new to this low cost phenomenon so that they won’t care if I bring them both onboard and besides they are so polite anyway they wouldn’t want to upset a gaijin by being tough with the rules...

The domestic departures:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_2.jpg

Ahh, my first experience with the ubiquitous vending machines - in Japan these are everywhere (and sell just about anything too!):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_4.jpg

Well, I still have quite some time before my flight and as it is lunchtime I decide to find someplace to eat. The signs for shopping and restaurant area point towards the international part of the terminal (which is about a million and half times as large as the tiny domestic corner):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_5.jpg

View of the vast check in hall from upstairs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_7.jpg

On the way to the food and shopping area I pass a few of these - I can think of a certain lounge-obsessed a.netter who would just love to rent out a lounge here and pig out, all by himself:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_6.jpg

Oh, my first encounter with this Japanese habit for restaurants to display plastic models of their dishes - very handy if you are seriously kanji-limited like me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_8.jpg

After a tasty lunch I decide to pay the nearby (yes, it’s landside) generic lounge a visit, courtesy of Diners Club:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_10.jpg

Nothing much in this tiny place but it offers me power sockets for charging my various gadgets, wifi and even one free and very nicely chilled beer, delivered by the übercourteous and supernice reception girl:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_9.jpg

Half an hour later I decide to head to the gate area. Security is lovely as ever - the agents there are again extremely polite, there are no queues and there’s none of this “no liquids” nonsense (international flights ex-Japan do, domestics don’t). TSA could learn a lesson or twenty three here, starting with “how to talk to people without being a complete jerk”...

The domestic gate area is tiny:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_11.jpg

Upstairs there are some jetway equipped gates - and shock horror - NO SHOPPING! Quick, turn back:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_12.jpg

Well down here there’s actually a single shop which like I’ll soon learn all shops in all Japanese airports sells an amazing array of stuff, including weird foods and all kinds of sweets in very nice packaging, must be a tradition to bring gifts when traveling or coming back home.

Nils would love this - dried small shrimp:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_13.jpg

Another first encounter with something very Japanese - an iconic soft drink with a very weird name:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_14.jpg

The lack of sleep in the plane over starts to get to me right here so I doze off while sitting in the waiting area. Initially they post a 30 minute delay for my flight which soon reduces to 15 or so and eventually boarding is called fifteen minutes before the SDT.

Boarding is from a bus gate area one level below, refreshingly there are no other flights boarding at the same time and “boarding” really means boarding here instead of “we’ll say it’s boarding to get you all in a scrum in front of the gate to make sure you are here when we’ll board for real in 15 minutes” like at many other airports.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_15.jpg

Nobody mentions anything about my two carry ons, it’s all smiles and politeness and then into one of the waiting buses... errr sorry, “Airport Limousines”:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_16.jpg

In the bus I take a look at my fellow passengers - quite a few westeners around - definitely the most of my four domestic flights that I did during this trip.

The plane is parked quite some distance away, at the same apron area near runway 16L where I saw one of their planes when landing several hours earlier. The plane isn’t quite ready yet so we wait for some time in the bus (luckily air conditioned, the sun is scorching and it is hot outside!). They have two airstairs, so I decide to use the back ones, my seat being in row 29. Well, by the time were are given the thumbs up to board the back stairs are gone... I’d expected a somewhat more efficient approach!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_17.jpg

Yes, it’s a low cost carrier:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_18.jpg

NRT - KIX
GK107
A320 JA01JJ
Seat 29F
14.47 - 16.10

Inside a very young and cheery all-female cabin crew is beaming from head to toe and greeting everyone. Definitely a VERY different welcome that you are used to getting on Ryanair flights.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_19.jpg

This is the first Death... errr Jetstar flight I’ve ever taken so I cannot say how the cabin interior compares to the other country franchises, but the dark gray faux leather seats and orange (“retail orange” my old boss would’ve called them!) highlights do look quite stylish actually.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_20.jpg

As expected the legroom is very limited:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_21.jpg

Luckily the middle seat stays empty (so I can stow my back bag underneath it without ruining the rest of my legroom) with a Japanese laddie on the aisle one. The overall load is around three quarters full.

While we wait for the departure, let’s take a look at the seat pocket contents. There’s a magazine:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_26.jpg

And the obligatory menu card:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_24.jpg

Quite decent prices here actually:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_25.jpg

Plus a shopping catalogue - after all the Japanese are crazy about shopping:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_22.jpg

No, don’t ask - especially the picture of the crab looks interesting:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_23.jpg

Most announcements are made only in Japanese. Well, I’m getting very tired by the lack of sleep anyway so I keep nodding off and honestly can’t really remember whether they made any announcements about flight time etc.

Just landed on 16L - image dedicated to The777Man:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_27.jpg

Pushback is just 22 minutes late, very efficient. However we are assigned runway 16R for take off which is a looooooong taxi from our apron position.

At least the lengthy taxi time allows another great look upon the nice spread of various carriers parked at the airport:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_28.jpg

“The Official Airline for Climate Monitoring” - what the heck is that supposed to mean:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_29.jpg

Hmm, maybe this is then Narita’s climate monitoring station:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_30.jpg

You could almost think you were in SFO, ORD or some other Unitental fortress hub:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_31.jpg

Or even ATL:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_32.jpg

Finally lifting off past the fuel farm:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_33.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_34.jpg

Upon reaching the Pacific Ocean we turn towards the southeast:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_35.jpg

Looks like I’m not the only one snapping photos:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_36.jpg

Soon we reach the Tokyo Bay and get an amazing view of the Tokyo-Yokohama urban agglomeration, the largest metropolitan area in the world with more than 35 million inhabitants:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_37.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_38.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_39.jpg

On the other side of Tokyo Bay there are nice views of Tokyo Haneda airport, where I’ll be flying in two days time, hopefully aboard my first 787:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_40.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_41.jpg

Yokohama and the Yokohama Bay Bridge:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_42.jpg

A closer look at the 460-metre bridge:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_43.jpg

The urban sprawl just keeps going and going:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_44.jpg

This is Naval Air Facility Atsugi, actually the largest United States Navy airbase in the whole of Pacific:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_45.jpg

Right after this I nod off for a while, coming back to my senses by the captain’s excited announcement (also in English!) that we have a clear view of Mt. Fuji on our right (lucky me!). So here is the highest mountain in Japan, an active volcano and a holy place for the Japanese:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_46.jpg

Just a few traces of snow here in mid-September:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_47.jpg

I keep nodding on and off. The crew performs a quick BOB round, not much takers as far as I can see.

A city near Nagoya:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_49.jpg

Station:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_50.jpg

At some point I notice an airport in the distance located on an artificial island. Now that sounds just like our destination, KIX to me! At least in my groggy state it does. Only later I realized that it must’ve been Chubu Centrair airport (NGO) since we just kept flying past it.

What seems to be very soon (but in fact was 40 minutes or so) the captain announces our descent for Osaka Kansai International Airport.

Leaving Honshu over the city of Wakayama:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_51.jpg

Over Osaka Bay:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_52.jpg

The bay is amazingly busy with shipping traffic:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_53.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_54.jpg

Flying parallel to KIX:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_55.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_56.jpg

The approach is indeed quite interesting, we fly a downwind leg at a low altitude past the whole artificial island where KIX is located before making a tight 180 degree turn towards the right and landing smoothly on runway 24L.

The bridge connecting KIX to Honshu island:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_57.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_58.jpg

Nice weather here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_59.jpg

Almost there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_60.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_61.jpg

Apparently that terminal building in the background is the longest airport concourse in the world:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_62.jpg

It sure is long:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_63.jpg

Long or not, the terminal is eerily quiet with just a handful of planes parked there. Jetway for us, yay:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_65.jpg

A closer look at our (distant) neighbour:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_64.jpg

Disembarking is fast, another testimony to Japanese efficiency and something which I will soon learn is evident everywhere in this lovely country. I bid the crew thanks and farewell and step into the bright, airy and quiet terminal:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_66.jpg

Another one of these “What were they thinking” moments you get a lot in Japan when reading English signs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_67.jpg

Osaka

In no time at all I’m out of the airside area and in the very impressive landside area of the airport:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_68.jpg

After a short search I locate the tourist info counter selling all kinds of rail passes. Here I make a stupid mistake and buy the Kansai Thru Pass which is supposed to offer free rail (including subway and bus) travel within the whole Kansai area. My mistake is the fact that I shell out 38 EUR for the two day version assuming that two days means 48 hours. Unfortunately one and half days later it turned out that this wasn’t the case and it only covered the two calendar days. Thus I only used it for three trips between KIX airport and Namba and had to buy separate tickets for my subway rides later on, meaning that I would’ve been better off just buying single tickets... oh well, live and learn.

Anyway eventually I catch the Limited Express train into Namba station near the Dotonbori area of Osaka where my hotel is located. The ride takes about 50 minutes, and as expected I sleep through most of it.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Kansai_69.jpg

It takes a while to find my hotel since the map I printed off Google Maps doesn’t look anything like the somewhat chaotic scene that unfolds around me. Eventually I manage to find it after walking past the entrance a couple of times.

Capsule Hotel New Aldebaran

One of the quintessential Japanese things I wanted to try on this trip was sleeping in a capsule hotel. These Japanese inventions serve the unfortunate salarymen who miss their last train home and have to find a cheap place to crash for the night. They are also very handy for anyone looking for a cheap overnight stay, often very nicely located near the nightlife areas and commuter hubs. So for my first night in Osaka I decided to book one - and after finding the Capsule Hotel New Aldebaran for 19 EUR per night I knew this was it.

Here are the capsules on my (male) floor:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_1.jpg

And this is my capsule - at first I was afraid it would be very small, cramped and claustrophobic but no, it was perfectly fine (and I regretted I didn’t stay for the second night too):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_2.jpg

All tucked in - there is a radio and TV inside the capsule plus wifi available all throughout the hotel:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_4.jpg

On the top floor there is a traditional onsen, a hot bath free for the hotel guests to use. This is very nice, the only problem is the supplied terry cloth bath robe that is designed for Japanese-sized people and looks quite ridiculous on me.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_3.jpg

After settling in I head outside for a wee walk and supper in the form of some of the spiciest curry I’ve ever eaten anywhere. Eventually I return to the hotel, take a quick bath in the onsen (heavenly!) and call it a night.

I’ll post some impressions of Osaka on the next part of this report.

Friday 21.9.2012

With KIX located far away from the city and a departure time of seven thirty I decided to take the 5.15 (ugh) train from Namba station. This called for a wake up at 4.30 which left me with not nearly enough sleep. Anyway thanks to good preparations the previous night I’m dressed up and packed in no time at all, feel a little pity for the poor reception girl who I have to wake up to check out, leave my bag there for the day and am soon out walking through the streets of Amerikamura (“American Village”) where the hotel is located.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_5.jpg

The streets are surprisingly busy for 5 AM on a Friday morning, it looks like most of the bars (of which there are a lot in this area!) are just closing and all the street kitchens, food vendors etc. are still open to cater for people returning from the bars.

I make it to Namba station with some time to spare:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_6.jpg

Time to sample another one of Japan’s many weird drinks from one of the ubiquitous vending machines:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_7.jpg

I doze through another 50 minute ride to Kansai airport, something which most of my fellow passengers also see fit to do.

Kansai International Airport

Peach doesn’t use the main terminal at KIX, apart from its international flights. Instead they have their own corner at the “Aeroplaza”, a building opposite the terminal which also houses the Nikko airport hotel (quite why they chose to name a hotel chain after a brand of radio controlled cars is quite beyond me but hey, if it makes you happy), some shops and restaurants. The way there is very clearly signposted (just look for the peach color):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_9.jpg

Yes, they are already six months old:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_10.jpg

Unlike Jetstar Japan there’s no OLCI for Peach. Instead there are a number of self service kiosks inside, plus some regular counters for dropping ones bags off (including a huge X-ray machine before the desks). I make a beeline for one of the kiosks, where the process is the simplest I’ve yet to encounter:

1) Scan the barcode on your booking confirmation printout using the scanner on the kiosk (or optionally key in the booking code).
2) Out spits a supermarket receipt -like boarding pass.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_22.jpg

Yes, this is all there is to it. No chance to pick seats (you have to do so in advance, and good seats are charged for) or make any other choices. Luckily the system has seen it fit to give me a window seat so I’m happy as a drunken clam.

Entrance to the gate area, busy with the 7.00 flight to Sapporo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_11.jpg

Flights schedule:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_23.jpg

With the check in being this simple I’ve got tons of time on my hands (damn, could’ve slept another 45 minutes or so in my cosy cubicle...!) so I applause myself a sandwich for breakfast from the convenience store next to the check in area:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_12.jpg

...and head out to a small outdoor patio to enjoy it and the early morning sights and smells:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_13.jpg

Runway 06R/24L on the distance:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_14.jpg

Japan of course is a very spotter-friendly country:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_15.jpg

Next I decide to head airside - well at least try. I manage to put all the stuff including my belt etc. on the trays before the s

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User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 15653 times:

Next I decide to head airside - well at least try. I manage to put all the stuff including my belt etc. on the trays before the security officer checking my boarding pass says that I’m too early - apparently they only allow passengers for a single flight to go thru at once (the reason for which I will soon learn). He is very Japanese about it - appearing to be genuinely sorry and all. He tells me to come back in around 15 minutes when they will start taking in the passengers for the FUK flight.

So I gather my stuff and decide to go for a little walk to check out the main terminal building. This is the Aeroplaza building and the Hotel Nikko:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_16.jpg

Interesting:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_17.jpg

There’s a real observation deck on this artificial island somewhere accessible with a free shuttle bus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_18.jpg

View of the (yet) deserted check in hall of the real terminal:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_20.jpg

Say what - notice how Peach has the first flight here as well (to ICN):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_19.jpg

I decide to search for the Korean Air lounge since it is landside and my Diners Club would get me access in the vain hope it would already be open - it’s a bit tricky to find but once I do it is closed as I was pretty certain it would since the first KE flights are still hours away:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_21.jpg

By the time I get back to the Peach area they are ready to accept passengers on my flight so I join the security queue. I get a chuckle out of this - are Japanese really so fond of their combustion engines that they carry them everywhere:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_24.jpg

Security here is just like at NRT yesterday - very courteous, polite and friendly staff, no nonsense and all in all a highly civilized experience - I still remember when it was like this everywhere.

The “airside” area of this terminal can best be described as functional:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_25.jpg

Yes, another store worthy an applause with the usual impressive spread of stuff for sale.

Our gate, however is downstairs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_26.jpg

Hmmm:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_27.jpg

And here’s the “boarding lounge” - there are two signs directing people to two different doors depending on which row their seat is located in:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_28.jpg

At this point I realize why I couldn’t access the gate area earlier (apart from the fact that it would be bloody boring to be stuck there for half an hour) - they only board a single flight at a time and security is the only place where your boarding pass is checked.

The door opens directly into a bus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Osaka_29.jpg

I’m in the front bus, marked for rows 1-15 and there’s a separate one for the rest. Interestingly this bus is a regular city bus, heck it even boasts stickers by the same company that operates the other train line into city (the other is operated by mama JR).

Soon the bus gets full, the doors are closed and we speed off. At this point I realize we are far away from the airside area, in a little fenced off “apron exclave” (if you will). Uniformed guards open a gate for us, then we drive along the public roadways for a while until arriving at another gate where another set of guards open another gate and we enter the proper apron. A very, very interesting setup! This also explains the huge X-ray machinery before the luggage drop off point as I’m pretty sure the checked in luggage follows the same path instead of being handled by the usual machinery in the main terminal building...

Eventually we pull in front of the expected pink A320, JA804P which just happens to be Peach’s fourth and newest example, delivered four months prior in May. Well nowadays they’ve received one more, JA805P.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_2.jpg

After a short wait in the bus for the “thumbs up” signal the doors are opened and everybody lines up in a very civilized way (gotta love Japan!) - oh BTW all the other passengers appear to be Japanese.

KIX - FUK
MM151
A320 JA804P
Seat 15A
7.24 - 8.34

Inside another delightful all-female crew is waiting and welcoming everyone onboard.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_3.jpg

The seats are slimline seats in two different shades or violet, quite good looking actually:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_4.jpg

Legroom however is pure low cost style:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_6.jpg

Safety card - very violet as expected:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_7.jpg

Here’s a part of the menu - interesting to see Bibimbap here, probably for the ICN route:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_8.jpg

All kinds of drinks are of course available at quite good prices, only a double of what you’d pay out of a vending machine:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_9.jpg

Now this is cute:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_10.jpg

The load seems to be around 70% but their seating assignment algorithm seems to be quite linear - I spot whole rows without any occupants but most of the rows that do have seats assigned have them all assigned, so I end up with two seatmates, an old Japanese woman on the middle seat and a younger, apparently her granddaughter on the aisle seat. Both of them are asleep from the moment they buckle their seatbelt to the moment they unbuckle them at Fukuoka... my kind of seatmates!  

All announcements are made only in Japanese, not that I really have a problem with that.

Departure is six minutes early, well done, Peach!

Morning dew on the wing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_11.jpg

Now there are more planes here than yesterday when I arrived:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_12.jpg

Sayonara:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_13.jpg

The bridge seen through the morning haze:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_15.jpg

In no time at all we are airborne from 06R.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_16.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_17.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_18.jpg

The way down to Kyushu is partly cloudy with lots of haze around so views are quite limited:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_19.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_21.jpg

I decide to buy some green tea - it definitely hits the spot quite nicely:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_20.jpg

Apart from me there are just three or four people who get some hot drinks from the cart, majority of the passengers prefer sleeping through this flight. I prefer reading my Lonely Planet Japan.

Quite soon we are descending again and I catch my first glimpse of Kyushu island:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_22.jpg

Our approach is interesting as we fly quite far over the ocean before making a tight turn towards the east.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_23.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_24.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_25.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_26.jpg

Next the approach path takes us directly over Fukuoka city:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_27.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_28.jpg

And on a downwind leg parallel to the airport - notice how it is completely surrounded by urban development:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_29.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_30.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_31.jpg

Another tight, low altitude 180 degree turn follows which lines us up with runway 34:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_32.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_33.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_34.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_35.jpg

And touchdown - the international terminal is on this side of the runway:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_36.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_37.jpg

ANA heavy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_38.jpg

ANA heavier:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_39.jpg

We head on the other side of the runway where the domestic terminal is located. Hmm, I’m sure someone “fuked up” but do you have to rub it in:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_40.jpg

Docking to a jetway:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_41.jpg

As if by magic my seatmates both wake up just as we stop at the jetway and the engines are turned off as do most of the sleepers onboard. Disembarking is another display of Japanese efficiency and in no time at all I thank the crew for a nice flight and step into the jetway.

Bye Peach, this was a fun flight (also notice the good number of Dashes in the background!):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/To_Fukuoka_42.jpg

Fukuoka Airport

Before heading into the city I pop to the Peach check in area, a rather dire looking corner of a rather dire looking terminal (well “dump” is more like it) to pick up my boarding pass for the return flight - the machines are there and the routine is exactly the same.

Then I head into the city. Fukuoka airport’s domestic terminal is very conveniently at the end of the other of the city’s two metro lines (to get to the international terminal on the other side of the runway you have to take a free shuttle bus) so that’s definitely my choice - a daycard for around 6 EUR provides good value for money too. And since the airport is really close to the city centre the ride takes less than ten minutes.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_1.jpg

Fukuoka

Some pictures from my couple of hours in Fukuoka. The City Hall is a good starting point:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_3.jpg

What a nice, green building:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_5.jpg

So tranquil and quiet:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_8.jpg

Yes, It’s Okuman:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_9.jpg

No, it’s not Chicago:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_10.jpg

IKEA is here too - dedicated to a certain Swedish member whose idea of a gourmet dining place is IKEA Food:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_12.jpg

Now this looks just like the biggest and most prestigious department store in Helsinki:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_13.jpg

Part of the moat of the former Fukuoka castle (that lies in ruins nowadays) - the castle grounds have been turned into a sort of a Central Park of Fukuoka:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_14.jpg

The castle ruins are somewhere here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_15.jpg

With the airport being located so close to downtown there’s a constant stream of arriving traffic overhead - here’s Air Busan:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_16.jpg

And ANA, although not with the Dreamliner (they have one daily flight to HND with the type):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_17.jpg

Skymark:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_18.jpg

Very nice:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_19.jpg

All throughout Japan Fukuoka (or actually Hakata which was a separate city until it was merged into Fukuoka back in 1889) is known for its special ramen, Tonkotsu, so my choice for what to eat for lunch was easy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_20.jpg

Yahoo! Dome:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_21.jpg

This is actually the Hard Rock Cafe Fukuoka:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_22.jpg

Fukuoka Airport, take 2

Far too soon it is time to leave this nice city (and the nice weather!) so I take a subway diet back to the domestic terminal:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Fukuoka_23.jpg

At the airport I notice that my flight is actually scheduled for 13.45 instead of the 13.25 I remembered, thus I’m not in such a hurry that I thought I would be after all.

This domestic terminal is quite a dump - low ceilings, fluorescent lighting and it just has a general feeling of being old and worn out. At least there’s free wifi, although the signal is quite patchy...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_1.jpg

ANA Fiesta, another brand in the ANA family:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_2.jpg

I head to the Peach area which also doubles as the Jetstar area:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_3.jpg

Yes, the LCC revolution has indeed arrived:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_4.jpg

Oh, and Air Asia Japan is of course here as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_5.jpg

Already in possession of my boarding pass I head upstairs to the departures area:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_6.jpg

The security checkpoint is actually closed, so I buy an Asahi from one of the omnipresent airport stores selling just about everything (at supermarket prices too, nice!) and sit on a bench to down that.

Eventually they open the security checkpoint so I finish the beer and pass thru with flying colors - another quintessentially Japanese experience: courteous and very nice staff (especially the cute girl who blushes when I flash her a smile and crack a joke), no hassle and fast.

Well, the airside is almost as drab as the mini terminal at KIX:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_7.jpg

There is actually a DC-accessible lounge at the domestic terminal, unfortunately this area is not connected to the other areas and thus we are basically prisoners of this small enclave with four gates, a combined shop/snack bar and lots of seating. Oh well, I buy another adult beverage from the shop and discover that it is cheaper to buy some weird concoction with 8 percent alcohol that tastes like shite but gives you a very nice buzz instead of a proper beer... Japanese taxation, psss.

Interesting, I didn’t know ANA still had 737 classics (well it says “ANA Wings” so I guess that’s a subsidiary):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_8.jpg

Luckily there’s not much time to wait here and soon I spot another peach colored Peach landing, a bit late. Here she comes taxiing in to the same jetway I arrived on the previous flight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_10.jpg

This time it is JA801P, their first plane and the only one that carries a name, “Peach Dream”:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_12.jpg

Again this is Japan so deboarding is fast and orderly, and less than fifteen minutes later the cute girls in peach Peach (no, this is not a typo) uniforms arrive and promptly open the gate for boarding. I’m somewhat impressed - heck I’m VERY impressed by this.

Walking towards the plane I catch a couple of other planes - Air Asia and Fuji Dream’s colorful E-jet - I actually saw their green bird on approach from the city and for a while I thought it was Aer Lingus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_13.jpg

FUK - KIX
MM156
A320 JA801P “Peach Dream”
Seat 20F
13.52 - 14.50

Another young, smiling and very nice all female crew on this Peach. To my surprise this bird has different seats from the earlier one - thicker and the seat pocket is actually where it should be instead of being in your face.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_14.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_15.jpg

Legroom isn’t that much better though:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_16.jpg

This flight is almost full as well, but at least I manage to score an empty middle seat next to me. Boarding is fast and efficient and in no time at all the doors are closed and we push back, a few minutes late but nothing major. All announcements are in Japanese on this flight as well, and looking around I think I’m pretty much the only gaijin here too.

JAL heading to HND:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_17.jpg

And CA coming in from China:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_18.jpg

Now here’s an interesting arrival - Saab 340 of Japan Air Commuter - would love to fly with one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_19.jpg

A powerful take off from 34 follows:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_20.jpg

Widebodies:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_21.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_22.jpg

Turning over the port of Fukuoka:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_23.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_24.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_25.jpg

Right after the seatbelt sign gets switched off the BOB service is done. I decide to break one of my promises (to myself) and splurge for a Peach A320 model. Apart from me taking part in the BOB isn’t exactly popular, four or five people get some drinks and the rest prefer to sleep all through the flight.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_26.jpg

User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 15634 times:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_27.jpg

This flight seems to pass by very quick indeed and in no time at all we are on the descent towards Osaka Bay and Kansai.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_28.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_29.jpg

I tried hard to locate this interesting armadillo-shaped building on Google Maps but for the life of me I couldn’t. It must be somewhere on the Kobe area as I’m pretty sure we entered the Osaka Bay from that direction:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_30.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_31.jpg

Approach into KIX is again rather interesting, first we pass the airport towards the southwest, make a 180 degree turn for a downwind leg on the opposite direction and another 180 degree turn towards the right to line us up with runway 24L, just like yesterday - forming a nice S-pattern.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_32.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_33.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_34.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_35.jpg

Touchdown:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_36.jpg

More Chinese visitors:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_37.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_38.jpg

We get an apron parking position in the same area where we boarded the first plane this morning. Peach seems to be better adjusted to the low cost operations than Jetstar - both the front and rear exit are used with separate buses for both.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_39.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_40.jpg

I quite like the livery:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_41.jpg

From the bus - dedicated to Alex aka. eco:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_42.jpg

There’s one more surprise to be had - the luggage delivery process. First of all we drive thru the airport to another gate to the public roadways. I am fully expecting that we will drive back to that small terminalette in the Air Plaza where I left this morning from. But no, we actually stop at a small parking lot just in front of the real terminal building (but one level below arrivals). Getting out of the bus I spot this:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_43.jpg

Yes, this is where they dump the checked bags - reminds me of the procedures at Odessa airport (or even better, Pärnu where you actually walked straight to the baggage loaders unloading the bags and they handed it to you...):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Japan_09_2012/Part_2/Back_To_Kansai_44.jpg

I hop on another Limited Express train back to Namba where I pick up my luggage from the capsule hotel, drag them to my next hotel (which is a bit of a hike away), rest a while and head for a night of debauchery in the form of an all-you-can-eat cook-yourself buffet meal with an all-you-can-drink add-on thrown in for fun! But that’s already another story!

Conclusions

So the LCC phenomenon has finally arrived in Japan big time. Some people may not be so happy about it, but I definitely am. It is time the old, established and rigid industry is shaken up a bit. One thing is the lower fares which the added competition will bring - but somehow I think this will not be the main point in Japan, I don’t think the established players or at least the Big Two (JAL & ANA) will actually start competing on price (the fact that they own a stake on these companies anyway is a good indication). The other, smaller players on the market which already are sort of LCCs (Skymark etc.) probably will try to compete on price. However I feel that these new carriers will actually bring a lot of new travelers to the skies, those folks that before would either take a train or not travel at all (or even drive). The salarymen will continue to fly on their packed widebodies in the meantime.

However what I really hope is that these new airlines and their agile ways will force the rigid fare system that the Japanese airlines have adapted to be loosened up. I mean limiting bookings to two months in advance (plus having really short windows to get the lowest fares) is absolutely ridiculous if you ask me and I can’t see what purpose it really serves if any. Well apart from keeping the average fares and thus yields high. It is about time you could do like you can in most of the world and book tickets up to a year in advance...

As for the Jetstar Japan & Peach Aviation duo - both airlines offer a very similar product, and a typical low cost one at that. New, rather immaculate A320 planes, modern seats with a tight legroom, BOB menus and young and perky crews. I liked Peach a bit more - I felt that the crews were just a bit more cheerful and friendlier, but that might just have been the fact that my jetlag kept me nodding on and off on the Jetstar flight. Plus their crews were on their second month of operations, so not as familiar with the ropes as the Peach crews. Oh, and Peach does get a lot of extra brownie points for that cute departures and especially arrivals setup at Kansai Airport, I just loved it!

So the result of the duel? It’s a tie, I’m afraid! No clear winner here.

Oh, and I have to give Fukuoka the city a special mention, what a lovely place! Very laid back, not busy at all like Tokyo or even Osaka, great weather and a very nice walkable city. Definitely recommended.

The next part of this report, whenever that might come around will feature the prize jewel, a ride on the ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner from ITM to HND plus some pictures from Osaka and maybe even Tokyo. Happy contrails!


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 15413 times:

Hey there Flying Jesus 76, my absent friend. Nice to have you back!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(and almost always by businessmen!)

You mean salarymen?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
plus Korea deserves a longer trip sometime in the future anyway.

Well you should've jumped on that £777 fare on BA. Club World, on their new LHR-ICN route.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So here I am, at the arrivals area of T1. Deathst... err sorry, Jetstar lives at T2 so that’s where I have to go next. Luckily there’s a shuttle bus running between the terminals and the stop is right outside:

So that's why you were running away from me at passport control?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Ahh, my first experience with the ubiquitous vending machines - in Japan these are everywhere (and sell just about anything too!):

Did you pay using your PASMO™ ?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
After a tasty lunch I decide to pay the nearby (yes, it’s landside) generic lounge a visit, courtesy of Diners Club:

Jesus you'll have Diners Club running after you with flames and shovels if you use their lounges with no intention of using the card. On the flipside though, good for Finland that Diners isn't wrecked yet.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
There’s a magazine:

Those are some nice looking shoes! Almost like Docs but more stylish  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
You could almost think you were in SFO, ORD or some other Unitental fortress hub:

What the hell are all those US airlines doing in Japan!?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Thus I only used it for three trips between KIX airport and Namba and had to buy separate tickets for my subway rides later on, meaning that I would’ve been better off just buying single tickets... oh well, live and learn.

Well that's what Capitalism and privatization does to public transport. Piss off the customer. If Japan were communists like China a single über cheap ticket, let's say €4 would've been enough to get you anywhere the whole day.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
2) Out spits a supermarket receipt -like boarding pass.

See that's how boarding passes should be like, since you only scan them and throw them away. Not like those useless thick paperstock ones.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
so I’m happy as a drunken clam.

Why do you insist on using these idioms all the time?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I decide to search for the Korean Air lounge since it is landside and my Diners Club would get me access

Wow, had no idea Diners even got you access to some airline lounges!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
at the end of the other of the city’s two metro lines

Hah, noticed how the Fukuoka metro sign almost looks like the old Finnair logo?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
IKEA is here too - dedicated to a certain Swedish member whose idea of a gourmet dining place is IKEA Food:

I'm just saying, if you are in a country you should always eat the food they are good at making. Hence when I'm in Sweden I never eat the kebabs or pizzas. Only meatballs. Much the same way I only ate sushi in Japan!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This is actually the Hard Rock Cafe Fukuoka:

I bet they got the inspiration from that Simpson's episode.

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offline817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2612 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 15323 times:

Interesting report!

I really enjoyed reading this, was hoping someone would write about Jetstar Japan since there was a previous report about peach. I have to say though Peach has a really interesting operation, dont think it was mention in that previous report though. Their Baggage claim was quite funny, had to do a double take for that! Thanks for sharing your report, loved the pics of Osaka and Fukuoka. Looking forward to reading your report o the 787 



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2471 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15201 times:

WOW, great to read, nice pictures- well done!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
To my surprise this bird has different seats from the earlier one - thicker and the seat pocket is actually where it should be instead of being in your face.

Very strange indeed- especially as both planes are brand-new and leased from GECAS...


User currently offlineSRQKEF From Iceland, joined Jun 2011, 903 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 14829 times:

Hi P.,

Great report! Jetstar Japan and Peach seem to be, like evything else in Japan, nice and efficient. Would love to try one of those airlines out sometime in the future.

Look forward to read about your 787 experience!
Sveinn  



Flights flown: 289 - Airlines: 41 - Airports: 66 - Next flights: RKV-AEY-RKV, KEF-EWR-MCO, SRQ-LGA, JFK-KEF
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2238 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 14512 times:

Banana Gokuri juice!!! Have to try that one! One of my "quests" during my many trips to Japan is to find my beloved Grapefruit Gokuri drink which kept me sustained on my very first trip, along the way trying any other flavours. Got my son loving grapefruit juice too, so much so he demanded we find some on our latest (Australian) trip to the supermarket!

Enjoyed the comparison and the photos.



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlineI39OO From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 14144 times:

Hello FF, great to read from you again!

It was fun to read about your Japanese excursion, brought back some good memories such as the epic catchphrase "it might be small but it spins around nonetheless" said by my friend about his capsule after a drunken night in Tokyo. It was also nice to see KIX, even though it's kind of sad to see that, had it not been for Peach, the first flight of the day would've been at 9.00, half an hour later than it was when I flew out of it some years ago. The parallel with Milan's dreadful airport operation still is valid though.

About Peach and Jetstar Japan: they seem an interesting carrier with an interesting method and, as you said, they can teach a couple of things to our European alternatives. Yet, I wonder what's going to happen when they'll increase in size and operation: surely the peculiarities of the KIX operations work just fine now that they have one flight at the time, but what's going to happen when they need more space?

Looking forward to read the Finn going on the 787!



Also known as That Unprepared Guy on Wordpress
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 13784 times:

Hello Petteri

Nice trip report, thanks for sharing this with us.
Both LCC's do indeed have the same characteresques! However I tend to find the Asia LCC's to be more cramped than FR/EZY over here!
BOB on the other side looks a bit better than FR/EZY
Interesting night in the Japanese capsule, I still don't know how one manages to crawl in or out!

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1177 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 13688 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi there FlyingFinn,

Great and entertaining continuation to your Japan trip. Always nice to get an insight on the Japanese LCC market and you covered it very well  
Both Jetstar and Peach look quite nice and very interesting.
Great pictures of Fukuoka, it looks like a nice city  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I can think of a certain lounge-obsessed a.netter who would just love to rent out a lounge here and pig out, all by himself

who  hehe

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
You could almost think you were in SFO, ORD or some other Unitental fortress hub
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Or even ATL:

Quite impressed by UA and DLs presence at NRT!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So here is the highest mountain in Japan, an active volcano and a holy place for the Japanese

Wow, very lucky there. Beautiful!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And this is my capsule

Very interesting to see and try out

Looking forward to the 787 report!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2302 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13162 times:

Hey there FlyingFinn,

Nice to see a(nother) Japanese report from you. I'll be flying out of KIX myself in a few weeks (well, a month), but I think I'll actually fly out of a proper terminal  

Really, the only thing I can think of that's similar to this arrangement at KIX is domestic flights out of BBU (when they existed). I simply don't understand why they resort to this sort of boarding process (not to mention the baggage retrieval system... seriously?), especially in Japan. You'd think that they'd have everything down to an art over there. But it seems not. I guess I just don't understand the low-cost phenomenon and think of flying as something more than a bus-ride. Flying from shacks is only OK from countries which don't have money.

Yes, Japan needs some low-cost airlines, I agree. Particularly internationally. ~400 Euros for a trip to Korea (about what I paid) is ridiculous looking at prices in Europe for the same distance. Also, 160$ for a one-way train ticket to Kyoto seems like too much. But hey, it's an expensive place, I get that. I don't get the shack-terminals and the dingy-looking check-in areas.

I'd choose Jetstar over Peach. I also don't like the fact that Peach doesn't have a peach livery. It's mauve. Or purple.

Anyway, enough of the negatives, and on to the positives: Fukuoka looks very tranquil looking at your pics. The capsule hotel looks nice too, but I don't think it's for me. Way too claustrophobic. Hmmm... that's a positive? I digress.

Anyway, great pics, great comparison between the two new low-costs. Thanks for taking the time to write it up, P!


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6675 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 13011 times:

Hi FlyingFinn!

Thanks for a very nice report with very nice pictures!

Interesting to see a comparison between two new low-cost carriers. I'm NOT a fan of low cost carriers and disagree with you that to some extent that they generate new traffic. They do but to will cannibalize yields and traffic and the majors; look at the service levels at US carriers. Just a matter of time before that happens in Europe too, in my opinion.

How come you flew Peach on the way back to KIX as well ? Would have been a great opportunity to try another airline....

Both carriers seem okay but very odd with getting the bags curbside in KIX.

I flew ITM-FUK in Sep97 on a NH 777 and spent a night in the city. Seem like a very nice city.

Glad that you also like Japan a lot; I LOVE Japan: everything from the cute girls to the observation decks to the domestic airports and most everything else. It's also not that expensive.

Very much looking forward to your next report in this series!

Many thanks also for the nice picture and dedication with the picture of the UA 777 at NRT.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1789 posts, RR: 30
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 12807 times:

Hello Petteri,

Ah, so nice to see some more reading material from you! You flew a nice combo of airlines and show very well that LCC flying can be a very pleasant experience as well. And man, how cool is an airport code like FUK, that calls for some good puns lol!
Japan tickles your senses, that much is true. Too bad that in a few weeks I’ll be only getting a meagre taste of it (and hopefully not a seafood one  ).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And here’s the simple itinerary for these three flights

Take these flights and you’ve seen Japan: a nice straight line all over the country.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
View of the vast check in hall from upstairs

Where is the light? Such a dark and depressing area. Or is it me (or your camera?)?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I can think of a certain lounge-obsessed a.netter who would just love to rent out a lounge here and pig out

Let me guess once: Leisure Suit Larry?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Nils would love this - dried small shrimp

Sorry, I don’t. Seriously, how can one eat that stuff. Have you tried it?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
but the dark gray faux leather seats and orange (“retail orange” my old boss would’ve called them!) highlights do look quite stylish actually

Nah, retail orange refers to the carrot carrier of the UK: easyJet. This is way more stylish.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
we have a clear view of Mt. Fuji

Great shot! So this is where our fotofilms come (came) from.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Apparently that terminal building in the background is the longest airport concourse in the world

Sure it’s not BRU? Just kidding, it looks looooooong indeed. I’m most certain you didn’t use the ‘Travelator™’?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
after finding the Capsule Hotel New Aldebaran for 19 EUR per night I knew this was it.

A real bargain but tell me: how do you get in? Are there any guidelines because it looks awfully difficult.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the only problem is the supplied terry cloth bath robe that is designed for Japanese-sized people and looks quite ridiculous on me.

Pics please!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Flights schedule

Are those placards of is that digital information? It looks nice and eh... different.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Safety card - very violet as expected:

Now you mention the colour it occurs to me that in my (probably very faux) world a peach is not violet. I think it is all about marketing here...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Both of them are asleep from the moment they buckle their seatbelt to the moment they unbuckle them at Fukuoka... my kind of seatmates!

Agreed and no signs of ‘swollen testicle syndrome’ here 

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Very nice

That lake and the surroundings look like an exact replica of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I actually saw their green bird on approach from the city and for a while I thought it was Aer Lingus

This hallucination was most likely caused by that strange 8° beer you had before.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, this is where they dump the checked bags

Strange procedure. So no ‘real’ bodyguard to watch over the bags. I do see a Peach lady standing there...

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1405 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 12703 times:

Good to follow you're trip around Japan P. Those approaches look very interesting indeed, especially into Kansai. Going by the pictures I'd say Jetstar looks better to me purely because the cabin has nicer colours! Also Fukuoka looks like a very nice city - Never been to Japan, but the pictures show a very different place to Tokyo.

Looking forward to the next part!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1033 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 12651 times:

Great report as always, I had fun reading it! Nice to hear about these new airlines, a good comparison. And some stunning views along the way!

User currently offlineParton87 From Sweden, joined Sep 2008, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 12604 times:

Hello Petteri!

Thanks for the great report. Nice pictures, you were lucky with the weather. Nice to see some flights from Japan. You don´t see reports from this part of the world to often. Interesting that Japan havn´t been "hit" by the low-cost airline boom earlier. Maybe it´s have always been quit cheap to fly domestic in Japan?

Love the colors of the Peach livery!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So here is the highest mountain in Japan, an active volcano and a holy place for the Japanese:

Great picture, this is the first time I see a picture on without any snow!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
just buying single tickets... oh well, live and learn.

Bad luck! Similar things have happen to me too. At least you until next time.....

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Here are the capsules on my (male) floor:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
nd this is my capsule - at first I was afraid it would be very small, cramped and claustrophobic but no, it was perfectly fine (and I regretted I didn’t stay for the second night too):

It´s quit a good idea actually. Wonder if it will work somewhere else in the world? So you didn´t feel claustrophobic at all? Looking on your pictures I think I would but I guess is something you must have tried when you´re in Japan!?

Looking forward to read about your 787 flight!

Greetings
Robert


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 12443 times:

Hi all, good to see so many comments! Thank you very much!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
Hey there Flying Jesus 76, my absent friend. Nice to have you back!

The rumors about my death are greatly exaggerated. BTW Jonas, congratulations on another reply where you managed to completely ignore the main points of the report and only pay attention to some insignificant gritty details. This is true Jonas (TM).

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
Well you should've jumped on that £777 fare on BA. Club World, on their new LHR-ICN route.

Who are you to tell me what I should've jumped? You should've booked it since you are so obsessed.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
So that's why you were running away from me at passport control?

No, it was because you are a horrible person with a bad body odor.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
Did you pay using your PASMO™ ?

No.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
Jesus you'll have Diners Club running after you with flames and shovels if you use their lounges with no intention of using the card. On the flipside though, good for Finland that Diners isn't wrecked yet.

Well I use my new Finnair DC quite a lot these days, the point earnings are great.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
What the hell are all those US airlines doing in Japan!?

Flying passengers between the US and SE Asia?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
Well that's what Capitalism and privatization does to public transport. Piss off the customer. If Japan were communists like China a single über cheap ticket, let's say €4 would've been enough to get you anywhere the whole day.

Now this is another typical bullcrap Jonas comment. Have you ever considered the difference in the standard of living and the average salary between Japan and China for example? If public transportation in China cost the same as in Japan most of the people couldn't afford it.

Besides 4 EUR sounds a lot, you can get a day ticket for that amount of money in many European cities.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
Wow, had no idea Diners even got you access to some airline lounges!

They seem to have some sort of deal with KE as many KE lounges allow access. As did for example the Avianca lounge in Bogota too.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
Hah, noticed how the Fukuoka metro sign almost looks like the old Finnair logo?

It looks like the facebook logo to me.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 3):
Much the same way I only ate sushi in Japan!

No you didn't. That is a lie and you know it.

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 4):
I have to say though Peach has a really interesting operation, dont think it was mention in that previous report though.

Yep, I vaguely remember reading a report about them but still this whole thing took my by surprise!

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 4):
Their Baggage claim was quite funny, had to do a double take for that!

Hah yes, didn't really expect it! But on a second thought I think I kinda like it. The place is located underneath the ramp to the departures level so it's not like you are going to get wet if it rains or anything...

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 6):
Great report! Jetstar Japan and Peach seem to be, like evything else in Japan, nice and efficient. Would love to try one of those airlines out sometime in the future.

Now here's an idea for your next globetrekking trip?

Quoting allrite (Reply 7):
Banana Gokuri juice!!! Have to try that one! One of my "quests" during my many trips to Japan is to find my beloved Grapefruit Gokuri drink which kept me sustained on my very first trip, along the way trying any other flavours.

I don't think I saw any grapefruit juice like that. But sounds like a fun quest - I tried to sample as many exotic drinks as possible too!

Quoting I39OO (Reply 8):
It was also nice to see KIX, even though it's kind of sad to see that, had it not been for Peach, the first flight of the day would've been at 9.00, half an hour later than it was when I flew out of it some years ago.

Yeah, I'm not sure if they have some domestic flights earlier than this - this was the international check in hall. But having seen and flown from ITM a day later I can definitely say that Osaka certainly needs that international airport. Too bad it is like many things in Japan - they keep building more and more even though the market is already quite saturated... There's also another artificial island airport on the Osaka Bay, Kobe. Not sure how much traffic there is.

Quoting I39OO (Reply 8):
The parallel with Milan's dreadful airport operation still is valid though.

I see what you mean. Definitely something similar here - I wouldn't call either of them white elephants, but they certainly are close.

Quoting I39OO (Reply 8):
Yet, I wonder what's going to happen when they'll increase in size and operation: surely the peculiarities of the KIX operations work just fine now that they have one flight at the time, but what's going to happen when they need more space?

Well I'm sure they will come up with another ingenious solution for this, the Japanese are after all very resourceful people. The main terminal has lots of space, maybe they'll just isolate a separate Peach area for their operation from there or something similar.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
Both LCC's do indeed have the same characteresques! However I tend to find the Asia LCC's to be more cramped than FR/EZY over here!

For me it felt the same as those two. The seats on both airlines were way better than the crap Ryanair seats though. Reminded me quite a lot of Wizzair actually - and it's not just the livery  .

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
Interesting night in the Japanese capsule, I still don't know how one manages to crawl in or out!
Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
A real bargain but tell me: how do you get in? Are there any guidelines because it looks awfully difficult.
Quoting Parton87 (Reply 16):
It´s quit a good idea actually. Wonder if it will work somewhere else in the world? So you didn´t feel claustrophobic at all? Looking on your pictures I think I would but I guess is something you must have tried when you´re in Japan!?

It's not too hard. Just get down on your fours and crawl inside. It is not as small as it looks. Although I was lucky that my capsule was on the floor level, the ones on the second row looked a bit harder to get to (and luckily the place was quite empty, no one sleeping next to me or above me).

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
Quite impressed by UA and DLs presence at NRT!

Yeah, both of them run a scissor hub at NRT where they feed passengers from the US and then the same planes continue to various destinations, mainly in SE Asia. DL's operation is of course inherited from the NW days.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 11):
I simply don't understand why they resort to this sort of boarding process (not to mention the baggage retrieval system... seriously?), especially in Japan. You'd think that they'd have everything down to an art over there.

I don't find it too bad actually. The point is that you can arrive there on a train just half an hour before your flight, pick up your boarding pass from the kiosk, head thru security and straight to the bus and that's it. Very efficient. The main terminal probably gets clogged at peak times...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 11):
Particularly internationally. ~400 Euros for a trip to Korea (about what I paid) is ridiculous looking at prices in Europe for the same distance.

I thought the same when I was looking up airfares when planning this trip. That's why the 100 EUR roundtrip on Peach to ICN appealed to me a lot.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 11):
I also don't like the fact that Peach doesn't have a peach livery. It's mauve. Or purple.
Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
Now you mention the colour it occurs to me that in my (probably very faux) world a peach is not violet. I think it is all about marketing here...

Hey this is a good point, now that you both mention it I think I've been mixing peach with plum. Those planes and the whole theme color for the airline is actually plum!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
They do but to will cannibalize yields and traffic and the majors; look at the service levels at US carriers. Just a matter of time before that happens in Europe too, in my opinion.

Yeah, I see your point here. Every coin of course has two sides. But increased competition is always good anyway.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
How come you flew Peach on the way back to KIX as well ? Would have been a great opportunity to try another airline....

It would, but both NH and JL who fly this route were really expensive and 35 EUR for Peach was just unbeatable value. And if I hadn't flown them I wouldn't have experienced that cute baggage claim operation  .

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
I flew ITM-FUK in Sep97 on a NH 777 and spent a night in the city. Seem like a very nice city.

Wow, sounds like a nice flight. These days both NH and JL seemed to be using only A320s and 738s on the route.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
And man, how cool is an airport code like FUK, that calls for some good puns lol!

I know, I tried to refrain from those though.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
Japan tickles your senses, that much is true. Too bad that in a few weeks I’ll be only getting a meagre taste of it (and hopefully not a seafood one &nbsp Wink.

I'll be helping you.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
Take these flights and you’ve seen Japan: a nice straight line all over the country.

Well you are still missing the northern half of the country.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
Let me guess once: Leisure Suit Larry?

Leisure Suit Lagom.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
Sorry, I don’t. Seriously, how can one eat that stuff. Have you tried it?

No I haven't. It does sound quite dubious to me too actually. Probably smells bad too.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
Sure it’s not BRU? Just kidding, it looks looooooong indeed. I’m most certain you didn’t use the ‘Travelator™’?

Well I did. It's just a too damn long terminal.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
the only problem is the supplied terry cloth bath robe that is designed for Japanese-sized people and looks quite ridiculous on me.
Pics please!

If you squint your eyes you can see my reflection on the window.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
Are those placards of is that digital information? It looks nice and eh... different.

Nothing digital here.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 13):
This hallucination was most likely caused by that strange 8° beer you had before.

Sorry, I had that *after* seeing the plane.

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 16):
Interesting that Japan havn´t been "hit" by the low-cost airline boom earlier. Maybe it´s have always been quit cheap to fly domestic in Japan?

No it hasn't and still isn't. Domestic fares are not very cheap at all unless you manage to book exactly two months in advance and even then they are just about affordable.

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 16):
Great picture, this is the first time I see a picture on without any snow!

Sign of the warming up planet, I'm sure.


User currently offlineSRQKEF From Iceland, joined Jun 2011, 903 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12188 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Now here's an idea for your next globetrekking trip?

Haha hopefully there at least will be another globetrekking trip  

That would be great though. Although if I went on another RTW trip, I think it would be more Australia/Africa focused, as I pretty much covered Asia in the previous one. Of course, many many wonderful Asian places are left so I guess I could go there again.  

regards,
Sveinn



Flights flown: 289 - Airlines: 41 - Airports: 66 - Next flights: RKV-AEY-RKV, KEF-EWR-MCO, SRQ-LGA, JFK-KEF
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 12163 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Who are you to tell me what I should've jumped? You should've booked it since you are so obsessed.

Well problem with that fare was the availability. No seats were available over the xmas/new year's holiday, only early december. Otherwise I'd have canceled my DXB trip and booked ICN right away, and also using those miles for a one way upgrade to First.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
No, it was because you are a horrible person with a bad body odor.

C'mon it was just for that one stupid shirt, besides I was forced to stand in an overcrowded subway car with no air conditioning for one hour. I bet you would've smelled the same!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
Flying passengers between the US and SE Asia?

But why can't they just get proper planes and fly nonstop?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 17):
No you didn't. That is a lie and you know it.

Fine I didn't just eat sushi, although I eat a lot of it. Point is, I only ate japanese food there which is really the point for going to Japan. Much the same way you only eat Swedish food when you come to Sweden.

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3372 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 10988 times:

Nice report Petteri. Nice to see photos of Fukuoka. I spent my 23rd (?) birthday in Fukuoka, lots of good food, then fireworks (alas, not in my honour), before getting the boat over to Korea. Looking forward to your 787 report.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Not long after this it was announced that also two other well known Asian LCC brands, Air Asia and Jetstar were looking to start their own Japanese operations. Jetstar Japan was the first to commence scheduled flights in July 2012. As seems to be the norm in Japan, an established carrier was also backing this newcomer in the form or JAL (plus Australian Qantas like with all the Jetstar companies). Not to be left to play second fiddle Air Asia Japan launched their own flights just a month later in August 2012, surprisingly also backed by ANA.
Both Jetstar and Air Asia would be based at Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) - I’m sure they would’ve loved to operate from the much, much more accessible Haneda Airport but as the big players (ANA, JAL) there want to keep all those high-Yen business passengers to themselves they were unable to acquire any slots. And ANA obviously wants to keep Air Asia operating ex-NRT and Peach ex-KIX to avoid them becoming competitors.

Hmm, it all seems a bit contrived and incestuous. No one going it alone it seems.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The domestic gate area is tiny:

I never used the domestic gates, but did have a shower in the very nice NH domestic lounge (which doubles as the NH arrivals lounge)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A very, very interesting setup!

Er, yes, very interesting. I hope it saves them money!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, I’m sure someone “fuked up” but do you have to rub it in:

Hahaha



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 10625 times:
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Hi P,

Nice read and pictures,thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
my first encounter with this Japanese habit for restaurants to display plastic models of their dishes - very handy if you are seriously kanji-limited like me:

- Oh yes, they are big on this, at least in the airports.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Security is lovely as ever - the agents there are again extremely polite, there are no queues and there’s none of this “no liquids” nonsense (international flights ex-Japan do, domestics don’t). TSA could learn a lesson or twenty three here, starting with “how to talk to people without being a complete jerk”.

- Indeed, of all my global travels, security in Japan is by far the best.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This is the first Death... errr Jetstar flight I’ve ever taken so I cannot say how the cabin interior compares to the other country franchises, but the dark gray faux leather seats and orange

- Looks just like Jetstar Singapore's interior.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Pushback is just 22 minutes late, very efficient. However we are assigned runway 16R for take off which is a looooooong taxi from our apron position.

- I've had a fair number of flights from NRT, 9 times out of 10 you push back and taxi to the runway which is furthest from your gate, don't understand it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Right after this I nod off for a while, coming back to my senses by the captain’s excited announcement (also in English!) that we have a clear view of Mt. Fuji on our right (lucky me!). So here is the highest mountain in Japan, an active volcano and a holy place for the Japanese:

- Nice!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
And this is my capsule - at first I was afraid it would be very small, cramped and claustrophobic but no, it was perfectly fine

- Hmm, not my kind of thing but good on you for giving it a try.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
It is about time you could do like you can in most of the world and book tickets up to a year in advance

- Agreed!

Cheers

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 offlinenuckleuz From Netherlands, joined Dec 2005, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 9563 times:

Hi FlyingFinn76,

I always read your trip reports and it is always a great pleasure to read about your adventures in the planes and I really like all the pictures you share with us! Keep on going with the good work!

Grt,
Erik



amsterdambustour.com
User currently offlineCARST From Germany, joined Jul 2006, 837 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9534 times:

Hey P great report!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, maybe this is then Narita’s climate monitoring station:

As I don't know if that was a joke, I will tell you that this the last private house on the NRT airport ground. A NIMBY is living there not wanting to take the huge sum of government money to move to a new house. So they built the taxiway around his house and shortened the northern runway, making it not suitable for 747s to land on.

Map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Narita_Internatinal_Airport_plan.svg
Satellite photo: http://wikimapia.org/#lat=35.7841774...0.3898831&z=16&l=5&m=b
More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narita_International_Airport#Construction (see photo on the right site of article)


Btw, I still have the feeling this guy is not a hardcore NIMBY, but a hardcore spotter not wanting to give up his first row seats on take-offs and landings 24/7/365. That would be funny at least. But too bad he is part of some anti-NRT-airport union, which also built that steel-tower in his back-yard to "watch" the airport operations if something illegal happens there. Freaks...


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1466 posts, RR: 33
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9064 times:

Hi P,

So, about 5 weeks after you posted this, I finally get round to reading it. Very enjoyable and such a great insight into Japan. I remember you saying to me that I'd like the country and after reading your report I'm sure your right. How I'd get on with the food is another matter though......

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh, my first encounter with this Japanese habit for restaurants to display plastic models of their dishes - very handy if you are seriously kanji-limited like me:

I think I'd need that to help me distinguish what's what.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Upstairs there are some jetway equipped gates - and shock horror - NO SHOPPING! Quick, turn back

You mean airport's actaully exist where they're not trying to milk you of your last cent?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well down here there’s actually a single shop which like I’ll soon learn all shops in all Japanese airports sells an amazing array of stuff, including weird foods and all kinds of sweets in very nice packaging, must be a tradition to bring gifts when traveling or coming back home.

I dread to think what's in some of those packets.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
“boarding” really means boarding here instead of “we’ll say it’s boarding to get you all in a scrum in front of the gate to make sure you are here when we’ll board for real in 15 minutes” like at many other airports.

Or like at MAN where they make the final call when there are still 50 people waiting to board.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
coming back to my senses by the captain’s excited announcement (also in English!) that we have a clear view of Mt. Fuji on our right (lucky me!). So here is the highest mountain in Japan, an active volcano and a holy place for the Japanese:

Super photos, lucky you seeing it that close!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The approach is indeed quite interesting, we fly a downwind leg at a low altitude past the whole artificial island where KIX is located before making a tight 180 degree turn towards the right and landing smoothly on runway 24L

KIX is for sure a special airport. Very impressive when you see the island like that and certainly an incredible feat of engineering.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Out spits a supermarket receipt -like boarding pass.

Horrible.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
All announcements are made only in Japanese, not that I really have a problem with that.

I wouldn't feel at ease with that. "Some lovely views on the right hand side of the aircraft" or "we're running out of fuel and need to divert". How do you distinguish between the two?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
. I decide to break one of my promises (to myself) and splurge for a Peach A320 model.

Go on, why not?

There is just one fact that does not add up for me here. Why on earth is Peach's livery magenta and not peach? You mentioned the gate staff at FUK had peach uniforms, was that the only time?

Great read, thanks a lot.

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlinenuckleuz From Netherlands, joined Dec 2005, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7656 times:

Hi!

When can we expect the next trip report from you?   It is always great fun reading those!

Grt,

Erik



amsterdambustour.com
User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 972 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7433 times:

HI FlyingFinn,

Great report and excellent pictures, especially of Mt. Fuji. When I was flying in Japan it was all clouds.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Ahh, my first experience with the ubiquitous vending machines - in Japan these are everywhere (and sell just about anything too!):

It takes time to know how to operate them...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh, my first encounter with this Japanese habit for restaurants to display plastic models of their dishes - very handy if you are seriously kanji-limited like me:

Helpful, but looks can be misleading. I found out the hard way a few times....

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
TSA could learn a lesson or twenty three here, starting with “how to talk to people without being a complete jerk”...

They could, if most of them were not high school drop-outs on the power trip...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
must be a tradition to bring gifts when traveling or coming back home.

Indeed it is...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Definitely a VERY different welcome that you are used to getting on Ryanair flights.

I would say that LCC in Asia have much better service then so called premium carriers elsewhere.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’ve ever taken so I cannot say how the cabin interior compares to the other country franchises

Looks the same to me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Another one of these “What were they thinking” moments you get a lot in Japan when reading English signs

I have a collection of those from my Asian trips....

How was you night in the cube? I guess if you really tired you'd sleep anywhere...


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