Review of Fuji Dream Airlines flight Kitakyūshū Nagoya in Economy

Airline Fuji Dream Airlines
Flight JH408
Class Economy
Seat 18K
Aircraft Embraer E-175
Flight time 01:20
Take-off 21 Jun 15, 20:10
Arrival at 21 Jun 15, 21:30
JH 6 reviews
NGO85
By SILVER 1476
Published on 7th September 2015
Background:

This series will cover a daytrip down to Kitaky'sh? (???) aboard Fuji Dream Airlines (FDA).

Part 1 – NKM-KKJ [JH401, Embraer E-175, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-11463.html
Part 2 – KKJ-NKM [JH408, Embraer E-175, Economy] – You are here


Pre-flight:

To get to Kitaky'sh? Airport (KKJ), I took the airport bus from Kokura Station for ¥620 (~40 min). There is a booth to pre-purchase bus tickets (or you can pay when you get off using exact change). I actually really like the logo for the airport and how they stylized “?” into an airplane.

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The bus ride to the airport was actually very beautiful since it was at dusk. KKJ is on an artificial island to the south of the city. Driving to the airport, we get a beautiful view of the moon rising and the sun setting.

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KKJ as we approach on the toll bridge.

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The bus loops around the 7G headquarters.

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The bus drops us off at the same place where you catch the bus. KKJ was built in 2006 and has a nice glass façade.

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Inside, the check-in area is on the left hand side. Only 4 airlines operate at KKJ: JL, NH, JH, and 7G. The JH counter is next to the JL counters. The JH agent was busy helping the gentleman who was buying a ticket for the flight. Yep, Japan is still like the good old days when people can just show up at the airport and buy a ticket for a plane on the spot. Since there was no one checking in at JL, the JL agent called me over to her counter and she did the check-in for me. This just shows how closely allianced the two carriers are. She gives me my boarding pass and sends me on my way quickly.

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The FIDS at KKJ.

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I head up to the observation decks. There are two decks on each side of the main lobby. The south observation deck even had a free foot bath (under repair when I was there).

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Getting to the observation deck, I just missed the 7G A320 landing. Here she is taxing back to the terminal. I’ve never noticed this before, but the 7G livery is unsymmetrical. The right side of the tail is white and the left side of the tail is black.



A standard AstroTurf observation deck.

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Walking back into the lobby, there is a big banner on the wall welcoming JH to KKJ.

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Aerial views of the main lobby.

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All of the omiyage shops. I stop and pick up some for my coworkers.

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I then head back upstairs to the restaurants and grab a quick dinner. Tonkotsu ramen since we are in Ky'sh?.

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Back to the observation deck to catch the arrival of my plane from NKM. Unfortunately, none of the landing shots were up to my standards. Believe it or not, it will be Gold again! I still can’t figure out how JH does this, but the same plane that took my here in the morning will take me back to NKM. She looks great at dusk.

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Right after my JH Embraer E-175 arrives, the 7G A320 with sharklets gets pushed back for service to HND. You can now see the unsymmetric tail better (left side is black and right side is white).

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The ground crew wave her goodbye and she heads off to the runway.

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And she is off at twilight, which wrecks havoc on photography.

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I head back inside and towards security. There is only one line at KKJ but there was a minimal line and I was airside in a couple of minutes.

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——————————-

Fuji Dream Airlines, JH408
Equipment: Embraer E-175 [JA09FJ, delivered March 2015]
Departure: 20:10 (ATD: 20:14)
Arrival: 21:30 (ATA: 21:16)
Flight time: 1:02


Arriving at the gate, they had already started boarding. Ground services are done by JL staff.

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A view of our bird from the start of the jetbridge.

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Walking down the first jetbridge.

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Then down the second jetbridge, which gives a glimpse back at the terminal.

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Then the third and final jetbridge that brings us to the mouth of the beast where a friendly FA greets me with a “good evening” and a bow.

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The plane is already full at this point, but here is a picture of my seat for the next 1 hour.

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The cross-cabin view where my neighbors are already settled in. The seat next to me would remain empty, but the overall load was around 85% (much better than the inbound flight).

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The FA had already finished her pass with blankets and newspapers so she came back to me and asked me if I wanted either. I requested a blanket, but declined a newspaper. Here is a picture of my FDA red blanket and the seat pitch.

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Since I was one of the last passengers on-board, the door closed shortly after I got on and we began our pushback. We get one last look at KKJ before we taxi off to the runway.

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As we taxi to the runway, the FAs do the safety demonstration in Japanese only. With no traffic at KKJ, we turn onto the runway and get a rolling start as the GE turbines wind up.

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It’s a dark night over the ocean so not too much to see out of the window. Here are the seatback contents: a barf bag, the safety card, DREAM3776 magazine, and the NKM airport information sheet. If you want to see the complete safety card, check out an earlier report from me aboard JH.

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The empty seat next to me with folded seat belt. The floor is pristine, not a crumb in site; Marathon would be happy.

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View of the cabin from my seat before service starts up.

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As usual, a cart departs from each galley. Being near the back of the plane, I’m served pretty quickly. I ask for a cup of coffee and decline milk/sugar. The smiling FA hands me my cup of coffee, an oshibori, and small chocolate brownie. Between the croissants in the morning and the brownies at night, the small little touches stand out in the service department. I have some mid-day flights booked for next month so we will see what they give in the middle of the day.

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The FAs then make a pass to collect the garbage. I take this opportunity to head to the front to use the restroom. Clean E-Jet bathroom.

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The FA was busy unloading the cart when I got out of the restroom so I didn’t bother her and just headed back to my seat. She came through the cabin shortly thereafter to collect the remaining service items and I stopped her and asked for a cup of water. She immediately went back to the galley, poured me a cup, and handed it to me with a smile. If this was AZ, the FA would have rolled their eyes and let out a sigh.

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By this time, we were already well into our final descent into Nagoya. Not the greatest of shots, but it was hard to battle the cabin lights.

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Landing in Komaki is always way better than Tokoname (Centrair), my neighbors were even peeled to the windows.

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Flying past central Nagoya before we coast into Komaki from the south.



We have a smooth touchdown and this time the pilots were not so heavy footed on the braking. We turn off the runway and taxi past the Aero Asahi hangar before pulling into our spot next to the terminal.

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The front door opens and the stairs are positioned. I wait for the masses to deplane before I get up to go. Reaching the front, the FAs thank me for flying and bow. I bid them a good night before heading down the stairs into the retractable jetbridge. One last look at our bird from the end of the jetbridge.

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Walking back to the terminal, I spot Purple (JA06FJ), another E-175, for the first time.

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The hallway from the tarmac to the terminal.

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From the end of the walkway, we get a better shot of my plane and Green (JA04FJ) basking in the spotlights.

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Yellow (JA07FJ) is already tucked into bed for the night.

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Entering the Arrivals Hall.

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I have no bag to claim so I walk right through and outside to catch the bus back to the city, which leaves once everyone on my flight is on board. It was a packed bus back to the city that night (¥700, ~20min).

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Thanks for reading this report and/or series! For those of you interested in the tourism bonus, keep reading. For those of you here for the business end of things, scroll down to the bottom for the summary and scoring.


—————————-


Kitaky'sh? is a modern day homologation of five smaller cities (Moji, Kokura, Tobata, Yahata, and Wakamatsu). As it’s name literally states, Kitaky'sh? (???) means “North Ky'sh?” and it is nestled into the top corner of the island of Ky'sh?. It sits across the Kanmon Straits (????) from Honsh? (the main island) making it an important transportation hub.

The largest city in Kitaky'sh? is Kokura (??), which is where the Shinkansen station is and where I will begin my adventures. Kokura is a city that nobody knows, yet if the weather had been slightly different one morning, it would be a household name today. So this city is perhaps most famous for what didn’t happen here on the morning of August 9, 1945. Kokura was the original target for Fat Man given the city’s industrial and transportation importance, but poor visibility prevented Bockscar from making the visual attack during three passes so they were forced to abort the target and proceeded to their secondary target, Nagasaki, before making an emergency landing in Okinawa. Poorly executed by the US, who had sent ~250 B-29s to level the neighboring city of Yahata the day before, so the smoke from the fires obscured Kokura's city center.

Kokura Station and the city’s monorail.

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Kokura Castle.

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Next to Kokura is the former city of Moji (??), which sits right along the Kanmon Straits and is the closest city to Yamaguchi Prefecture on the main island of Honsh?. The city has a typical Meiji feel with European style buildings. Their train station is a replica of Roma-Termini, but is currently behind scaffolding due to repairs.

Recreational harbor with the Kanmon Bridge in the distance.

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Chinese Eastern Railway Office.

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Old Moji Customs Building.

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Moji also has a large park nestled around the Kanmon Bridge (???). The Mekari Park (?????) provides nice aerial views of the Straits as well as plenty of hydrangeas (????) in bloom.



An unusual experience is walking from Ky'sh? to Honsh?. Although cars go across the Kanmon Bridge, pedestrians and cyclists have a different opportunity. There is an underwater tunnel that is almost 1km long. The tunnel is free (you have to pay for a bike).

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The walk under the water dumps you into Shimonoseki (??) on the island of Honsh?. Shimonoseki is also a historically important port, but now is very low key with a pretty plain downtown.

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Kaiky? Yume Tower (???????).

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Akama Shrine (????).

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Otoshi Shrine (????) and their statue of the blowfish (??). Interestingly, Google Maps has this shrine mislabeled.

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Shimonoseki water front.

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Former Akita Co., Ltd. Building.

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Former British Consulate.

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The place where St. Francis Xavier first set foot on Honsh?.

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And now the main event for Cobra: Karato Market (????). Shimonoseki’s fish market is one of the most famous in Japan. In the early morning, the wholesale fish market is quite active, but the market also provides an excellent place to grab lunch. Fresh fish is quickly gobbled up by thousands of hungry Japanese.



I bought my lunch and joined the crowds outside on the promenade to take in some great views and weather while enjoying my meal. An elderly couple from Nagasaki settled in next to me so I spent some time talking with them.

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And with that, I wrap up this spotlight into Kitaky'sh? and Shimonoseki. A place most tourists zip through on their way from Hiroshima to Fukuoka, but a historically relevant area with beautiful scenery and good food. Thanks for stopping by and tune in next time for the pilgrimage back to the motherland!
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Verdict

Fuji Dream Airlines

7.1/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering6.0

Kitakyūshū - KKJ

8.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness10.0

Nagoya - NKM

8.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

JH does everything you need and that’s about all you can wish for on a domestic flight in economy. I’m lucky to have this boutique carrier operating out of Nagoya for convenient, full-service domestic flights.

Cabin comfort: Spacious E-Jet cabin and an empty seat next to me. The plane was only 3 months old and was still in pristine condition. Nice blanket on a chilly evening.

Crew: Didn’t have any specific interactions with the crew this time. Nonetheless, the welcome aboard was friendly, the crew was all smiles throughout service, and they happily brought me a cup of water that I requested. I was satisfied with their performance.

Meal and catering: Drink service with a small chocolate brownie and an oshibori. Requested a cup of water, which was promptly delivered. The little extras beyond just a drink make the difference.

Entertainment: Newspaper offered and the standard seatback literature (JH does a seasonal magazine given the size of the carrier, so you are stuck with the same magazine all summer). Blackness outside so a pretty boring 1 hour flight.

On-time performance: We left on-time and we landed early. JH has very reliable performances.

Related

13 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 146146 by
    Yankee974 3 Comments
    Thanks for this great report , once again !! ;)

    I like this series , espacially the bonus part with those stunning pictures!
    Hope to read you as soon as possible again !
  • Comment 146153 by
    Jetset 52 Comments
    As always insane picture quality!
  • Comment 146163 by
    Rl 777 802 Comments
    Thank you for sharing another FR with us!

    Nice spotting shots from KKJ, I've also never realized that about StarFlyer's livery!

    I love the transformation from day to evening/night. I think it's pretty cool to watch.

    Cabin looks to be in fantastic condition, I'm a big fan of those seat colours for some reason. Pitch and comfort looks good as noted on the previous flight.

    The chocolate brownie looks rather small IMO, it could have been slightly larger. Better than nothing at least.

    You got some great shots of the various FDA E75s at NKM!

    Amazing tourism bonus with a lot of interesting information!

    See you on your next FR!

    • Comment 324903 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thank you for your continued support!

      7G isn't a very common airline in Japan, they operate NGO-FUK a couple of times a day for NH, but I rarely see their planes at the airport so I've never really had the chance to closely look at their livery to notice that effect.

      I think it's pretty cool to watch.
      - Sunsets are always beautiful, even if they do sometimes mess with the camera.

      Cabin looks to be in fantastic condition, I'm a big fan of those seat colours for some reason.
      - You are right, the Gold really goes well with the grey seats. I'd imagine the Yellow plane looks terrible inside. As someone else had mentioned previously, if only they color-matched the safety cards too :(

      The chocolate brownie looks rather small IMO
      - It's about 3cm long. One bite, that's it. Not a great offering, but at the end of the day, something is better than nothing :)

      You got some great shots of the various FDA E75s at NKM!
      - We were the last plane to arrive, when I was walking back to the terminal, I asked the ground crew if I could stop and take pictures and they were happy to let me walk over and take pictures of the planes already shutdown for the night.

      Amazing tourism bonus with a lot of interesting information!
      - There are a lot of places outside of the main tourist areas that are worth seeing in Japan. They may not be the most famous, but they are just as beautiful and interesting.
  • Comment 146179 by
    jetsetpanda 2283 Comments
    Thank you for sharing another excellent report Michael.

    Your lunch at the end looked fantastic. I bet you enjoyed every morsel.

    Hope that the flooding has not affected you too much. Stay safe.
    • Comment 324904 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thank you Adan!

      You can never eat too much uni and ikura :)

      No, the typhoon was pretty weak once it passed Nagoya. We had all sorts of action last week, two typhoons and an earthquake (T'ky?). They said HND was immediately reopened so nothing major.
  • Comment 146315 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6715 Comments
    Beautiful FR as always.
    the JL agent called me over to her counter and she did the check-in for me. - Either the JH and JL agents are both actually JL agents, or both the JH and JL agents work for the same ground handling agency and have access to the same systems.
    Are the FIDS only in Japanese, or do they switch to English?
    Ooh, that 7G livery is fancy! Almost looks like a corporate jet.
    The gold FDA livery is particularly nice with the light of the setting sun.
    Once again a good flight with FDA. The high service standards seem to be very consistent.
    Thanks for the detailed bonus of North Kyushu; I was not familiar with this group of cities. It's always nice to discover new places in Japan through your domestic Reports! Arrigatou for sharing!
    • Comment 324905 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thank you for the comments Kevin!

      Either the JH and JL agents are both actually JL agents
      - All ground services outside of NKM and FSZ are done by JL (they had used a NH gate in KMJ, but it was still JL agents).

      Are the FIDS only in Japanese, or do they switch to English?
      - I think they switched between the two, or at least I think that's what I remember. I think they are required to be bilingual since it is an international airport.

      Ooh, that 7G livery is fancy! Almost looks like a corporate jet.
      - They have the black leather seats inside too. It's all kinds of fancy! They do have service that is better than NH, it is supposed to be a slightly premium product for mainly business routes. The A320s with sharklets look good.

      The gold FDA livery is particularly nice with the light of the setting sun.
      - Gold is probably one of their most conservative color choices, lol. The pink, purple, tea green, etc. all have a lot of flair to quote Office Space.

      JH is a consistent product that provides a lot of good domestic routes to the smaller markets. I'm glad I can provide you with travel services, please feel free to leave something in the tip jar ;)
  • Comment 146434 by
    cobra 3582 Comments
    Thank you Mickael and sorry for the delay ^^

    It's real pleasure to see my favourite SFJ, on their headquarters ^^

    Again, a very nice flight with JH, on the flying Golden retriever :)

    Pics befor take off were superb, dawn and dust are the best for a pure light.

    very nice final to NGO !:)

    Thanks for the bonus !

    Indeed,i ever stop on Kokura...just to connect to another train ^^

    Kanmon straits is famous for the battle of Da no ura, in 1185, where Minamoto no Yoritomo win the day and the right to rule Japan.
    I can see a fresco that depict the battle on one of your pics :))

    Sunny weather, nice visit, and of course delicious sushis...waht a great day in Shimonoseki !! :))

    Ciao !



    • Comment 325246 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Alas, I forgot about Cobra's comment so I am equally as guilty for being late!

      It's real pleasure to see my favourite SFJ, on their headquarters ^^
      - I know you long for those sweet chocolates^^

      on the flying Golden retriever :)
      - Goldfinger must have touched this plane.

      very nice final to NGO !:)
      - Cobra, you are mistaken my friend, for this Nagoya-Komaki (NKM) not Nagoya-Chubu Centrair (NGO)^^

      i ever stop on Kokura...just to connect to another train ^^
      - If I only saw the train station, then I would not want to get off either^^ Very industrial around the train station.

      I can see a fresco that depict the battle on one of your pics :))
      - Yes, the mural of the Battle of Gen Pei (????) is in the park near the bridge^^

      The next domestic report will feature delicious katsuo, can you guess the city?
  • Comment 156958 by
    marathon GOLD 10126 Comments
    Neat airport logo design; on the other hand, I do not like the font they used for the full name in Japanese.
    Strangely, the FIDS reminds travelers that the Nagoya flights are to its domestic airport (Komaki), but there is no similar indication for the Tokyo flights.
    The 7G livery is beautiful, especially with this evening light.
    Five months after this FR was posted, I was indeed happy (and slightly envious) that your traveled in such a spotless plane ;)
    This cookie seems just big enough so that you do not need a magnifier to see it ;)
    As usual, the bonus is as interesting as the flight. I had not realized that the Kanmon Straits were that narrow - the picture of the bridge from the sea level is spectacular. Another place I'll have to visit one day.
    Belated thanks for this great report !

    PS : I suspect that you often cringe at the sight of pictures well below your standards of quality in my reports.

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