Review of Fuji Dream Airlines flight Kochi Nagoya in Economy

Airline Fuji Dream Airlines
Flight JH 344
Class Economy
Seat 5A
Aircraft Embraer E-175
Flight time 01:00
Take-off 04 Oct 15, 12:50
Arrival at 04 Oct 15, 13:50
JH 6 reviews
NGO85
By SILVER 1367
Published on 26th December 2015
Background:

This series will cover a weekend trip down to K'chi (??) on the island of Shikoku (??). For background and planning, please refer to Part 1 of this series.

Part 1 – NKM-KCZ [JH 343, Embraer E-175, Economy] – http://flight-report.com/en/report-12504.html
Part 2 – KCZ-NKM [JH 344, Embraer E-175, Economy] – You are here

This report will cover the return flight from K'chi to Nagoya-Komaki aboard Fuji Dream Airlines. The K'chi bonus will be at the end of the report for those interested in this part of Japan.


Pre-flight:

After leaving the morning market, we walked to JR K'chi Station on a beautiful fall day.

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The bus for the airport leaves from Stop 6. You can buy a ticket using the vending machine inside the bus depot or just pay leaving the bus. The bus costs ¥600 and takes ~30 minutes. The bus is clearly labeled as an “airport limousine” so you don’t really have to freak out about the lack of English signage.

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The bus dumped us off right in front of the terminal about an hour before our departure time.

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Inside, we head towards the FDA check-in counters. Both FDA agents were helping customers, but there is also a self-service kiosk (hiding behind the board in this picture). We used the self-service kiosk to quickly get our boarding passes since we didn’t have any bags to check.

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With tickets in hand, we head upstairs to the departures level of the airport. These stairs warn us of some impending doom…

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Reaching the departures lobby, we are met with an old school FIDS. The circle on the left will turn green when your flight is allowed to clear security. For those curious, the JL flights to Fukuoka (??) say “??????????” or Japan Air Commuter.

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The departures lobby. It contains a lot of omiyage shops, two restaurants, a café, and some chairs for those that would rather sit and wait for the green light to enter the gate area.

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I let Ms. NGO85 do some omiyage shopping while I scurry up to the observation deck to catch the arrival of our plane. On the way, I catch this artwork on the wall by local elementary school students. Some were good, and some were quite “interpretative.”

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The observation deck at Kochi Ryoma Airport.

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The observation deck had a small framed paper with the complete flight operations at KCZ. For those that don’t know, when you see “??” (T'ky?) for domestic flights in Japan, it is assumed to be Haneda (??). Narita will only say “??” (Narita). Surprisingly, 3 planes will sit on the tarmac overnight at KCZ.

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I got lucky since this JL B738 heading to T'ky?-Haneda (??) is straggling today. It was an unseasonably warm day; you can see the one ground crewmember standing in the shade of the wing to stay cool.

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The JL B738 gets pushed back.

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It taxis off to the runway.

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It takes off to the southwest before looping back towards Haneda.

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A couple minutes later, I see something on the horizon.

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Our Orange ERJ-175 (JA05FJ) arriving from NKM.

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She pulls into the same gate that the JL B738 left from.

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Back downstairs, I meet up with Ms. NGO85 and we head into the security line that just turned green.

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Airside 30 seconds later, we get to inspect this standard Japanese waiting room. Chairs facing the tarmac with TVs playing news.

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Wandering around, I came across this interesting vending machine. It lets you pre-purchase train tickets from Haneda. I guess if you don’t have a Suica like me, this is a very useful vending machine.

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——————————-

Fuji Dream Airlines, JH 344
Equipment: Embraer ERJ-175 [JA05FJ, delivered October 2010]
Departure: 12:50 (ATD: 12:58)
Arrival: 13:50 (ATA: 13:44)
Flight time: 0:46


Boarding was called 10 minutes prior to departure. Special assistance was followed by general boarding.

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Down the jetbridge we go.

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Fuselage shot.

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Welcomed on board in Japanese by a smiling FA. My window seat.

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Seat pitch is always generous on the E-Jets.

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The back of the antimacassar is adorned with advertisements from COMO, which is the Nagoya bakery that supplies the croissants on the morning JH flights.

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This flight is about 80% full. The view from my seat as the front door closes.

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We get pushed back on time and taxi out to the runway while the FAs do the safety demonstrations in Japanese. This is then followed by distribution of blankets and newspapers. I decline both.

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We turn onto the runway.

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We take off to the southwest over the farmlands of Shikoku before making a U-turn to head towards Nagoya.

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Mountainous Shikoku.

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Leaving Shikoku.

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Service starts up as we level off. As I wait for the cart to reach our row, a quick seat tour. The left armrest has the recline button.

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Seatback contents.

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As was the case on the outbound flight, the midday service is apple juice, a small chocolate, and an oshibori. There is no choice of drink.

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Reaching the coast of Honsh?.

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And now a brief aerial tour of some coastal towns in Mie Prefecture (???).

Owase (??).

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Aiga (??).

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Kii-Nagashima (????).

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Nishiki (?).

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We leave Mie Prefecture over Ise (??).

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We enter the greater Nagoya area over Handa (??).

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And now for a brief tour of eastern Nagoya as we make our final descent into Komaki.

Nagoya University (?????).

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Higashiyama K'en (????).

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The sprawl of Nagoya and its little downtown, with the prominent JR Central twin towers.

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Crossing the Nagoya Dome as we are well into our final approach.



We touch down slightly ahead of schedule at Nagoya-Komaki.

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We taxi back to the terminal and pull into our slot on the tarmac.

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Our stairs arrive.

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Deplaning, the FAs bow and thank us for flying. One last look back at our plane basking in the Nagoya sun.

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We head straight through the baggage claim and out to the buses. We immediately get on the bus and are on our way back to downtown Nagoya within 10 minutes of touching down on the tarmac. Komaki (NKM) is so much more convenient than Centrair (NGO). That’s all for this series, a very efficient and comfortable domestic hop aboard JH. Keep scrolling for the tourist bonus or skip to the end for the recap.





——————————–

BONUS: 24-hours in K'chi.

We immediately took the bus to Godaisan (???), which is a large park on top of a mountain southeast of the city. The park has various statues and gardens, but its best feature is an observatory that offers fantastic views of K'chi.

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The pagoda at Chikurin-ji (???) seen from the observatory.

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The famous 5-story pagoda at Chikurin-ji (???), it is one of the major pilgrimage stops when people travel to all the Buddhist temples on Shikoku.

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A giant statue of Sakamoto Ry'ma (????) that overlooks the ocean. He was the most influential politician that led the movement to overthrow the shogunate in Japan. He was born in K'chi and was assassinated at the age of 31.

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K'chi’s iconic image of Katsurahama (??).

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One of the most famous sites in Shikoku, this picturesque beach has pristine blue waters on the eastern shore of the island. The water has a lot of riptides so swimming is prohibited.

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The shrine that sits on the easternmost point of the island, beyond this point the Pacific Ocean stretches all the way to the Americas.

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We can’t be in Japan with a picture of a cat.

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The Tosa Sanshishi (????????) statue in front of the train station lit up at night. The three feudal lords that ran the former Tosa Province (K'chi was the capital of this province and had the main castle).

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K'chi Castle (???). One of only 12 castles in Japan that still retains its original structure.

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The keep. Most castles have an attached palace, but at K'chi Castle the feudal lord actually lived in the keep.

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Shachihoko (??) that has successfully protected the castle from fire.

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The castle’s courtyard viewed from the top of the castle.

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Downtown K'chi from the top of the castle.

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Kochi is also famous for it’s Sunday Market. Every Sunday morning, they block off the main city streets to set up a market where you can buy local produce and crafts (~1.5km long).



Crossing K'chi Bridge (???) on the way back to the train station, which also ends this tourist bonus.

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See more

Verdict

Fuji Dream Airlines

6.5/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi4.0
Meal/catering5.0

Kochi - KCZ

8.4/10
Efficiency10.0
Access7.5
Services6.0
Cleanliness10.0

Nagoya - NKM

8.1/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.5
Services4.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Standard domestic flight on JH: uneventful (trust me, you don’t want an “eventful” domestic flight in Japan). JH checks all the boxes with good planes, good crews, and good on-time performance. The little extras from their catering/service are a nice touch over JL/NH.

Cabin comfort: Comfortable E-Jet. This one is a little bit older, but still clean on the inside. Good seat pitch and big windows. Seats are more than adequate comfort for a <1 hour flight.

Crew: Both FAs were smiling and friendly. This crew didn’t have the best of English abilities, but were good nonetheless.

Meal and catering: Apple juice and chocolates served. Not bad for a domestic flight, but as I said on the outbound, there is more than enough time for a regular drink service on this flight.

Entertainment: Newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. Great natural IFE out the window.

On-time performance: We left on-time and landed a little early: perfect.

Related

10 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 154086 by
    757Fan 632 Comments
    Great photos! I would love to visit Japan one of these days. Everything looks beautiful!
  • Comment 154120 by
    vasja 6 Comments
    I love Embraer E-175. It is my favourite plane. And Nagoya looks really big.

    This orange color on the plane is cool! And is Fuji dream airlines like a low cost airline in Japan?
    • Comment 331766 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thank you for your reading my report and commenting!

      Nagoya has a population of just under 3,000,000 (3rd largest incorporated city in Japan behind Osaka and Yokohama) and the Chukyo metropolitan area has a population of around 9,000,000.

      JH is a full-service regional carrier. It operates 9 E-Jets (each a different color) out of Nagoya-Komaki and Shizuoka airports. It code-shares its flight with JL and you can book JH flights on the JL website.
  • Comment 154180 by
    Rl 777 802 Comments
    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    The weather looked really nice in Kochi and Nagoya that day, reading 'Kochi' so many times reminds me of the Indian city of Kochi (Cochin).

    Nice spotting shots from KCZ!

    Absolutely fantastic shots after departure! The shots of the coastal towns with their surroundings were also fantastic!

    Wow! Stunning shots from the bonus.

    The scenic part of this flight was so great that I almost forgot to make a comment about the actual flight. It looks like JH got you from point A to point B safely and efficiently with a good in-flight product. Not a bad way to fly short domestic hops.

    Have a good one, see you!



    • Comment 331834 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thanks for your comments Rohel.

      Reading 'Kochi' so many times reminds me of the Indian city of Kochi (Cochin).
      - Yes, they have the same name. Trust me, this makes finding hotels and flights to Kochi (Japan) very difficult! Every time I searched for hotels it kept trying to auto-correct my search to Kochi (India).

      Nice spotting shots from KCZ!
      - Not much to spot, but thanks :)

      Wow! Stunning shots from the bonus.
      - It's not an easy part of Japan to get to by train so you really need to fly there. It's a hidden gem that doesn't get a ton of foreign tourists going through there. We had beautiful weather that weekend, really lucky since it was rainy the days before we left.

      It looks like JH got you from point A to point B safely and efficiently with a good in-flight product. Not a bad way to fly short domestic hops.
      - Yep, JH does everything I need them to do. Prices are usually competitive even on last minute tickets (unlike JL/NH) so they are nice to book last minute trips out of NKM. On a flight that is only 250 miles, you can't really ask for much more.
  • Comment 154183 by
    jetsetpanda 2283 Comments
    The observation deck had a small framed paper with the complete flight operations at KCZ.
    - Japanese airports are very friendly towards AV geeks - so refreshing from the paranoid attitude in other countries. Beautiful spotting as usual.

    Seat pitch is always generous on the E-Jets.
    - Your orange shoes match the headrests, safety card and livery. You fit right in. :P Do they have orange crush aboard?

    ...the midday service is apple juice, a small chocolate, and an oshibori.
    - Pretty good for a domestic flight of this length.

    Fantastic aerials and bonus. Kochi reminds me a bit of MIA and TLV.

    Thank you Michael for this conclusion to a great series. Looking forward to your next adventures in 2016.
    • Comment 331835 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      Thanks for your comments Adan!

      Japanese airports are very friendly towards AV geeks
      - Not all airports are this friendly, but KCZ is small enough to fit their entire daily schedule on a single A4 piece of paper, lol.

      Your orange shoes match the headrests, safety card and livery. You fit right in. :P Do they have orange crush aboard?
      - Crap, you're right, I finally got the plane that matched the safety card! Someone else had made a comment that the safety cards should match the color of the plane. No orange crush, but maybe they should offer orange juice instead of apple juice ;)

      Pretty good for a domestic flight of this length.
      - 250 miles, I don't expect necessarily more, but when you consider what AZ offered on FCO-BRI (similar length domestic flight) it could be better. But this also demonstrates how poor JL/NH domestic service is since they only offer drinks and no snack of any form.

      Kochi reminds me a bit of MIA and TLV.
      - Never been to TLV. It has this weird tropical theme with all the palm trees, but it is by no means a tropical destination since it is right up against the mountains.

      Looking forward to your next adventures in 2016.
      - 15 domestic sectors booked in the next 16 days, all kinds of randomness to come ;) Time is running out so I need to hurry and try as many products as I can!
  • Comment 154240 by
    marathon GOLD 10126 Comments
    I love these FIDS from the time when electromechanics was so much cheaper and more efficient than electronics.
    On that elementary school art display, the ANA plane looks more like a whale, according to Mrs Marathon. ^^

    Thanks for the identification of the cities seen while on route (even though I know that you had a cheat card ;), and great pictures as usual, with the kind help of the weather that day.

    The bonus is simply awesome; thanks for #31 temple on the Shikoku 88 route !

    Thanks for sharing !
    • Comment 332771 by
      NGO85 SILVER AUTHOR 1972 Comments
      I love these FIDS from the time when electromechanics was so much cheaper and more efficient than electronics.
      - They are actually quite common in Japan and not just in older airports. I was at SDJ the other week and they had them at the gates. After the plane left, you could hear the different panels whirling around to display the next destination.

      On that elementary school art display, the ANA plane looks more like a whale, according to Mrs Marathon. ^^
      - Some would say that interpretive NH B747 is a whale ;)

      The bonus is simply awesome; thanks for #31 temple on the Shikoku 88 route !
      - Unfortunately, I don't have the time to show you the other 87...

      Thank you for your comments Marathon!

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