This series will cover a weekend getaway down to Ishigaki (??), which is the southernmost resort in Japan. It is located east of Taiwan. For the planning and background, please refer back to Part 1. The routing for this simple series:
This report will cover the return flight to Nagoya and there will be a bonus at the end briefly highlighting Ishigaki and the ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort.
We took the bus to the airport from the bus center in downtown Ishigaki. There are two buses that go to the airport and so one leaves about every 15 minutes. The bus costs ¥540 and takes 30-40 minutes depending on which bus you take. The bus schedule is posted at the terminal and the buses are clearly marked as “Airport” on the side
The bus dropped us off right in front of the terminal.
Like most airports in Japan, the airport is split in half for NH and JL groups. The NH group check-in counters are on the left side as you enter. No one is in line so we are quickly helped and boarding passes are handed over.
FIDS. OKA is by far the most common destination from ISG.
The lobby of the airport has a bunch of omiyage shops and some cafes.
The gates are located upstairs.
Stained-glass windows in ISG, reminds me a lot of OKA.
Marathon will be happy to know there are also butterflies at ISG.
Upstairs, you get a better view of the lobby at ISG. (Yes, Starbucks has infested the airport)
We head upstairs to get some fresh air on the observation deck. The deck is like a little tower with a 360-degree view.
A NU B734 getting pushed back for departure to OKA.
A salute and bow by the ground crew as she heads out to the runway and takes off.
Two minutes later, another NU B734 lands from OKA and immediately takes the same gate.
The front of the NU planes say “??????” or “Wings of Okinawa.”
On the horizon is my NH B738 in final descent from NGO.
She touches down and pulls into the gate.
That’s our queue to head back downstairs to go through security. There is no one at the security line, so we are instantly airside.
Airside is pretty desserted. As you would expect, more omiyage shops. If you look closely, the floor is color-coordinated for the NH and JL sides of the terminal. I found that slightly amusing to see. No power outlets in sight in the waiting area.
I quickly head to the bathroom before boarding, interesting to see that diaper changing is a man’s job in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms. How’s that for progressive?
The bathrooms are clean and nice.
All Nippon Airways, NH 580 Equipment: Boeing B737-800 [JA54AN, delivered March 2009] Departure: 14:30 (ATD: 14:34) Arrival: 16:40 (ATA: 16:36) Flight time: 2:02
Boarding is already started by the time I get back to the gate area. This plane will be heading back to ???? (NGO) with ~25% load.
Boarding, a smiling FA welcomes us onboard in Japanese.
As before, I’ll be in 9K this time.
The pitch is okay…
… But seeing the light load, I politely ask the FA if I can move back to the empty exit rows. She asks me to wait until boarding is finished. She comes back a minute later and takes our bags and carries them back to the exit rows. Ms. NGO85 settles into the empty Row 16 for a nap and I’ll take 15K. The improved pitch in 15K.
The tray table-less seat back where headphones are preplaced.
Gasp! What is this? Trash on a NH plane?
Seat pocket contents are the same as in Part 1 of this series, but with the addition of the exit row safety instruction card.
The FAs pass through offering blankets and newspapers. I’ll grab a blanket.
As we push back, the safety video plays on the overhead monitors.
I was distracted and missed the NH B788 from HND landing across our nose, but as soon as it clears we turn onto the runway for takeoff.
As we head down the runway, there is a RAC Dash8-Q100 camped out in the corner.
We lift up over the NH B788 taxing back to the terminal.
Goodbye ocean, hello clouds.
Brief seat tour. There is a small entertainment box under the middle seats.
The audio controls and recline button.
Foldout tray table in the armrest.
View of the cabin from my seat.
As soon as we level off, ANA Sky Vision starts playing.
Drink service is done by cart by a friendly and efficient crew.
The sagging tray table. Coffee and water for me. Coffee is served with a lid because of the turbulence.
We are hauling back to NGO: 616 mph at 37,000 feet.
More drinks are served, this time just water for me.
Getting closer to Honsh?.
More drinks are offered. This time ANA’s kabosu, which is a citrus drink.
Like good Japanese, the people across the aisle are fast asleep.
We arrive over Mie-ken at sunset.
Ships leaving Ise Bay.
Our final descent takes us past Utsumi (??).
We touch down ahead of schedule giving a glimpse of the EY A332 in new livery.
We taxi around to the domestic terminal.
We pull in next to this JL B738. (You can see a couple up on the observation deck braving the weather.)
View of the cabin as we deplane.
The FAs in the galley thank us for flying as we head into the jetbridge.
With no checked bags, we quickly make our way to the train station to catch the train back to Nagoya. Thanks for stopping by this report and/or series!
——————————— Bonus: ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort
A towering building that isn’t so attractive on the outside, but has a nice garden and pool area in the middle.
Our room was in the Coral Wing, which was much quieter. The room was 50 square meters and was moderately appointed. For Japanese hotel standards its nice, but not what you would really expect for a 5*-resort. The manager personally welcomed us; he is a French ex-Pat and said that less than 1% of their yearly guests are non-Japanese.
The bathroom also looks pretty plain. There was a separate shower (not pictured).
The hotel had a private beach, too cold to go swimming this time of year.
But what the beach did offer, was a great view of sunset.
Ishigaki itself is a pretty small town and nothing really to see there. Just a rundown port town.
What it did have was a park with feral cats. Who doesn't like Japanese feral cats?
Ishigaki - ISG
Nagoya - NGO
Standard NH domestic service. Clean and comfortable B738 with an efficient and friendly crew. For a short weekend getaway on an award ticket, NH did everything I needed them to do.
Cabin comfort: Clean B738. The seats are reaching their limit for a 2+ hour flight, but in the exit row I had plenty of room to stretch out. The light load really made the flight pleasant.
Crew: They were smiling and friendly, but with a light load, there is no excuse not to be. Happily reseated us at my request and even moved our bags for us.
Meal and catering: Three drink runs on a 2-hour flight. Good enough, definitely no food as per NH standards. The BOB menu was available (see Part 1 for menu), but I didn’t need anything.
Entertainment: Newspapers offered and standard seatback literature. Headphones and TV programs played, but I just looked out the window.
On-time performance: We left on time and landed early.
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