I completely forgot about this trip from back in early October, which I meant to post last month on the day of the first flight of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet at Nagoya-Komaki (NKM).
This series will cover a weekend trip down to K'chi (??) on the island of Shikoku (??) with Ms. NGO85 that was wedged in between the Chicago and San Francisco series. It was a rare two-day weekend, neither of us had been to Shikoku before, and JH operates once daily service into KCZ out of NKM so that made the destination and route selection easy. We’ll take JH 343 there on Saturday and return on JH 344 on Sunday. The fare was ¥20,800/person when booked 2 weeks in advance and gives us a very simple routing:
This report will cover the outbound flight and will include my first spotting of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.
We took the bus to Nagoya-Komaki from Nagoya Station for ¥700 (~20 minutes), which drops us off right at the departures hall.
The JH counters.
We use the self-service kiosks to the left of the counters that quickly spit out our boarding passes.
With 30 minutes until boarding, a quick stop at the observation deck on the 3rd floor.
Only half a rainbow today :(
Tea Green (JA08FJ) spins around, taxis to the runway, and takes off.
Yellow (JA07FJ) is the next to leave.
And then there was one. Pink (JA03FJ) will be our ride today down to K'chi.
This is when I noticed something interesting in the distance. It was JA21MJ, the first Mitsubishi Regional Jet sitting just outside of the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation hangar at NKM. This photo was taken in early October, but the first flight was not scheduled until November. It was too far away to get clean shots of the plane unfortunately.
The nameplate at NKM.
Advertisement at NKM.
Back downstairs, the FIDS entering the security line, which was very quick (~1 min). Our flight, JH 343, to K'chi (??) is listed on top and will be leaving from Gate A. Yes, heading through security 20 minutes before departure is completely fine for a domestic flight in Japan.
The waiting room at NKM, the few passengers sitting here are those that will be on our flight today.
Right on time, 15 minutes before the departure time, boarding is called. Passengers needing special assistance followed by general boarding. Boarding pass is checked and we are on our way out to the plane.
Reaching the end of walkway, the JH agents greet us and scan our boarding passes.
Stepping out onto the tarmac towards this pink beauty. ?????
Up the stairs we go. At the top of the stairs, a FA in the galley gives a warm “konnichiwa.”
The cabin of this ERJ-175.
My seat, Ms. NGO85 took the empty seat behind me since there was a light load on this flight.
The seat pitch is good.
Side view of the seats.
Once the front door closed, the FA came through the cabin offering newspapers and then blankets.
As we begin our taxi, Orange (JA05FJ) arrives and takes a place at the terminal.
The safety demonstration is done in Japanese during the taxi. Crossing a Beechcraft 200. The hangar on the right is for Chunichi Shimbun (????), Nagoya’s newspaper.
We roll onto the runway and power up the little GE engines for a northern departure up over Komaki (??).
We make a hard right turn to head south, which offers a nice view of Komaki Castle (???).
Aerial shot of NKM.
We then start to get great aerial views of Nagoya as we fly over the eastern suburbs.
Port of Nagoya (????), the largest trading port in Japan, and the two mouths of the Ibi River (???) and Kiso River (???) entering Ise Bay (???).
Aerial shot of NGO.
The cabin service starts up as we cross NGO. This is my first time on a daytime flight so I’m intrigued to see what the offering is. Mornings are always croissants and nights are always little chocolate brownies.
The offering: apple juice, a small candy, and an oshibori. There was no choice of drink, the FA said that due to the flight time they don’t do full drink service. This flight is just as long as NGO-NRT so I think there is time for a normal service, but something is always better than nothing.
In the distance ?saka (??) is visible, it is the grey blob.
We can also see KIX in the distance, the island in the middle of this photo.
As I sip my apple juice, the seatback contents. Safety card for this ERJ-175.
The JH fleet consist of 9 ERJs in different colors. So far, only sky blue and purple have eluded me…
The route map, which shows the exact route the planes take so you can easily track your view from the window.
Crossing over Tanabe (??). Can you find this city on the route map?
Aerial view of Nanki-Shirahama Airport (??????) as we leave Honsh?.
Cabin shot midflight. There was no mood lighting, that pink on the ceiling is just a reflection from the engines.
Crossing over Cape Muroto (???).
Beginning the final descent into KCZ.
Aerial view of Nahari (???).
Aerial view of Yasu (??).
Landing into KCZ across Akaoka (??).
Clearing the sea wall.
Touching down ahead of schedule into KCZ.
No other planes in sight and we pull into a gate.
The jetbridge is engaged and we are quickly deplaned. The FAs are in the galley to thank us for flying. A fairly modern looking airport.
Downstairs we go, but no bags to collect so we head straight out towards the buses. First, a stop to admire this statue of Sakamoto Ry'ma (????), the name sake of this airport and someone you will see pop up in the tourist bonus at the end of the next report.
Welcome to K'chi! (???????)
Outside there are two buses waiting for passengers. There are bus ticket vending machines on the left or you can pay as you exit the bus. The bus costs ¥600 and takes ~30 minutes to reach JR K'chi Station. There were bus timetables available as you boarded the bus so you can have an up-to-date timetable for planning your return to the airport. The buses are pretty classy. I really like the gaudy Victorian feel and the fancy bling accents on the ceiling.
With that, I will leave off this series as we begin our 24-hour visit to K'chi. I invite you to stop by the return leg for an introduction to KCZ and for the tourism bonus of K'chi. It won’t disappoint (maybe…)!
Fuji Dream Airlines
Nagoya - NKM
Kochi - KCZ
I got to fly a pink plane, enough said. JH has been a model of consistency. The ERJs are comfy, the crews are friendly, they have above average in-flight service, and excellent on-time performance. Everything you need for a domestic flight with the added bonus of being JL code-shared.
Cabin comfort: Standard ERJ-170/175 offering. Good pitch and above average seat comfort. The load was on the lighter side (~75%) so there was room to space out. How can you not be happy to fly a pink plane? (actually, the MU special livery from HKG-PVG is still my favorite all time that I've flown)
Crew: Both FAs did their jobs with smiles and no fuss. About all you can expect on a short domestic flight.
Meal and catering: Complimentary drink service with a candy. No choice of drink takes a hit since this was a 50-minute flight (more than enough time for a full drink service in an ERJ).
Entertainment: Newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. No IFE, but who needs IFE when you have the Japanese landscape outside of the window.
On-time performance: We left on time and we arrived early. Perfect.
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