WARNING: Photo intensive especially with food. Read with discretion!
Back in May I decided to consume some of my vacation leave balance, and I eventually got a group of four for this 8-day Kansai trip. We booked the flight + hotel package through CX holidays three months in advance, and it was just a few hundred Hong Kong dollars more than take budget airlines and booking the hotel separately.
To make the best use of time, we chose the red eye flight outbound and the evening flight inbound (As I am approaching 30 years old, I am not sure if I can still do this in the future).
Work was as usual the day before and I rushed home after work to have a light dinner, take a bath and retrieve my luggage. Eventually I arrived HKG at 10pm.
However my friends didn't arrive until 11:45pm. After all there was still plenty of time since we have checked in online the day before.
Security was fairly quick and we were airside soon. Time for midnight planespotting…
Asiana A380. Korea is one of my favourite destinations, but I have never taken this before.
Finnair A343. Good idea to travel Europe by this but I will wait until the A359 comes to HKG next February.
Lufthansa A346 really to depart for MUC. It would be great to visit the Oktoberfest…all I need is money…
Tonight we are using gate 27.
Here comes our bird. It was B-HLT (a 33Z with hard-shell configuration)
We waited for one more hour before boarding commenced. The window seats had been blocked out this time, but luckily I still had an aisle seat.
Safety card. Even the 33Z came into two variants, which was the B-HL* series with hard-shell seats on Y class, and the B-LB* series with new seats.
Take off was on time and smooth. Soon after the plane reached cruise level, the crew distributed snack boxes. There was a turkey and cheese sandwich, chocolate muffin, shortbread and fruit box with a box of lemon juice.
Before the trip I had heard lots of people moaning about CX just giving out this instead of a full meal for red eye flights. However for me it was far more than acceptable. In fact while most of the passengers ate the meal as soon as it was distributed, some would choose to sleep first and eat before descending (and some may even take the entire box off the plane). Also, the sandwich and the muffin tasted really good. One of my friends usually wouldn't eat during flight time, but this time he also ate most of it (except the rest of us divided the fruit box).
Afterwards it was time for some sleep. However I would like some music…
Finally I found my favourite Korean singer (which I didn't expect her songs in CX). I fell in sleep while listening to her singing.
The only downside of this flight was the hard-shell seat. Legroom was adequate, but since I was short, I found that my head couldn't fit on the position while I slided down. Eventually I had to sleep in the upright position. However my friend did not have this problem.
I woke up after some two hours and the sun had already risen, and it was almost time for descend. Finally it touched down at 6:09am, while was a but earlier than scheduled.
We joined two other CX birds which were already standing there overnight.
Immigration and customs were fast since we were the only flight using the North Wing of the terminal. Luckily we arrived ahead of the TG superjumbo otherwise we would be in deep trouble.
We cleared customs at around 7am. Since it was too early to do anything downtown, we planned to eat our breakfast in KIX, then do some planespotting in KIX and visit the outlet mall before heading downtown.
There was a food street on 2/F of the main terminal, however only several of them were opening and we weren't in a mood of eating pancakes for breakfast that day. We finally got to Aeroplaza and went to the 24-hour Matsuya.
I originally wanted to order the grilled fish set, but due to a lack of sleep I wrongly pressed the button next to it and got this. Fortunately things wouldn't go wrong in Japan and it was still tastier than anything I have in chained fast food stores in HK.
We bought our ICOCA card as well as the 2-day amazing pass before going to Skyview…
Weather was not so good that morning. However I still managed to take B-HLT as it returns to HKG after taking us for this amazing holiday.
Later we went to the outlet mall nearby. Usually people visit there on their final day before departure, however we wouldn't want to shop in a rush so we decided to visit at the very first day. However it was a bit disappointing to me as I didn't see the sports shoes that I wanted.
We finally started heading downtown in the afternoon. We took the Rapid train to Osaka but it still took more than one hour. I took a doze on the train to catch up some sleep.
Shuttle buses were available to our hotel. However, we just walked to and from Osaka station for the most of our time.
Our hotel room and my comfortable bed for the next 7 nights.
Some highlights of the 8-day trip (I will put some of them here and the rest in the report of the return trip).
Rice balls readily available in convenience stores. It was extremely useful for breakfasts and when we had a tight schedule. The yellow one was also extremely tasty.
Dinner from the supermarket of Daimaru for our first day. We were tired and decided to return to the hotel earlier that night.
Kobe beef for lunch on the next day.
Dinner buffet beside the Kobe Port. It was just around 3,000 yen without time limit.
Universal studios with Harry Potter. We knocked out nearly HK$800 per person for the fast pass. However it was certainly worth it since we saved nearly 5 hours of waiting time. However I just felt kinda weird when Elmo, Harry Potter and etc. only spoke Japanese.
Another buffet dinner as we returned to Osaka Station. It was even cheaper and you can never imagine having a buffet at this price, and without time limit in HK.
And finally some food and scenes in Kyoto before ending the first half.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next part!
Hong Kong - HKG
Osaka - KIX
The whole trip was generally great except the hard-shell seat was a bit uncomfortable for me. Crew was attentive with tasty meal and excellent IFE system. CX definitely worths being one of the best in the world.
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