This series will cover a quick daytrip on NH using UA miles. The destination this time will be Ehime Prefecture (愛媛県), which is located on the island of Shikoku (四国). Please refer to Part 1 for the background on this series. As a reminder, the routing is:
This report will cover the trip from MYJ to ITM. The tourist bonus was split between the two reports. At the end of the previous report was the bonus on Uchiko (内子) and at the end of this report will be a bonus on Matsuyama (松山).
I’ll pick up this series as I head towards the airport after exploring Matsuyama Castle. The tram is very easy to use and provides quick access to Matsuyama JR Station. The tram is a flat rate ¥160/ride (day passes are also available). Unfortunately for me, the trams were running late because of the marathon and I missed the airport bus from Matsuyama JR Station. As I got off the tram, I saw the bus pulling away. Since it was going to be 40-minutes until the next bus and my plane was leaving in 55-minutes, I really didn’t have a choice but to take a taxi. The taxi ride is 15 minutes (same as the bus) and costs ¥1770 (flat-rate).
Arriving, I headed over to the NH check-in counters. I had tried to call and book a seat for this flight, but for some reason, this flight could not be reserved. I think it is because different 737s get cycled onto this route so they do not know if it will be operated by a B735, B737, or B738 until the day of. I asked for a window seat, and she said there was one left (this is important information for a reason you will see later…).
With ticket in hand, I head up to the observation deck. A view of the check-in area from above where there are shops and a stained glass window of みかん. This part of Japan is famous for its citrus fruits.
Aerial view of the departures lobby. If you look closely, you can see my NH crew heading through the security line. They will probably be starting a MYJ-ITM-XXX-ITM routing this evening.
The observation deck at MYJ.
I’ve always wanted to fly one of these, a JL Saab 340B.
My plane had just arrived from OKA. It confirms that we will be aboard a Super Dolphin today. The scratches on this plane are battle scars from its 20-years of NH service.
The JL Saab 340B taxis off and takes off for FUK.
Back inside, I clear the empty security line beneath the FIDS.
MYJ is a standard domestic airport. The waiting area is comprised of rows of seats facing the tarmac with TVs playing various programs. There are no power outlets.
There are both a JL Sakura Lounge and ANA Lounge at MYJ. I didn’t have time to pop into the ANA Lounge before my flight was called to board. But if you have read my other domestic reports, you can probably guess what it looks like inside.
This JL CRJ-200 arrived from ITM while boarding was starting for my flight.
All Nippon Airways, NH 1646 Equipment: Boeing B737-500 [JA303K, delivered April 1998] Departure: 16:00 (ATD: 16:01) Arrival: 16:50 (ATA: 16:40) Flight time: 0:39
Boarding was called on time and the normal NH protocol was followed: special assistance, NH Diamonds, NH/*A elites, and then general boarding. Thank you note heading into the jetbridge.
From the windows on the jetbridge, I can get a better shot of the JL CRJ-200. Another funny thing happened then, because the pilots were watching me take the picture from the cockpit. When I noticed they were looking at me, they both waved at me. At least the pilots were friendlier than the crew on this flight.
Log jam at the entrance.
Blankets and candies were laid out in the galley boarding. The FA in the galley didn’t really look happy and just said something to every 3rd person. Reaching my seat, I’m reminded of how bad the seat pitch is on the B735s.
My candy and blanket.
And the disappoint of all disappointments, I was sold a lemon of a window seat. No wonder that this was the last window seat to be claimed…
Safety card for this B735.
BOB Menu for February.
The front door closed on time. We get pushed back as the FAs do the safety demonstration in Japanese. The ground crew wave us goodbye.
A child in a blue jacket at the playground next to the taxiway also waves us goodbye.
We align on to the runway…
… and we are off!
We immediately make a U-turn to head east towards ITM, which provides excellent aerial views of Matsuyama and MYJ.
We cross back over downtown Matsuyama.
Mt. Takanawa (高縄山).
Imabari (今治) and the Kurushima-Kaikyō Bridge (来島海峡大橋), which is the world’s longest suspension bridge.
Continuing our trek over the mountains of Shikoku.
While I’m taking these photos, the FA just passes me by with the drink cart so I have to get her attention to get served. Even though this flight is just 39 minutes (shorter than NGO-HND), there was a full drink selection. My coffee on this flight.
The cabin after the drink cart passes.
Following along the Yoshino River (吉野川) near Awa (阿波).
We exit Shikoku over Tokushima (徳島) with the Ōnaruto Bridge (大鳴門橋) in the background. If you look really closely at this photo, you will notice something white just above the bridge. If I blow up this photo, it is an EK B777 in its approach to KIX.
After crossing the Kii Channel (紀伊水道), we pass into Honshu over Wakayama (和歌山).
Aerial of KIX as we pass by.
Reaching Ōsaka (大阪).
Aerial of Yao Airport (八尾空港).
The sun sets as we descend over downtown Ōsaka.
My best attempt at getting a shot of Ōsaka Castle (大阪城).
Crossing the Yodo River (淀川).
We drop into ITM 10 minutes ahead of schedule.
We taxi over to the NH side of the airport and pull into a gate next to a NH Dash8.
During deplaning, I see a JL ERJ-170 landing.
The cabin deplaning.
Faint thank you from the FA as I head out into the terminal.
A friendly reminder on the moving walkway.
Down into the baggage claim and out towards the buses.
The bus from ITM to Shin-Ōsaka costs ¥500 and takes 25 minutes. You need to buy a ticket before boarding the bus at the vending machine or at the ticket office. The buses leave every 10 minutes so quite efficient and I was on the bus by 16:54 (ETA of my flight was 16:50).
Safety card on the bus.
New carriers serving KIX in the seatback magazine on the bus. I’ve never heard of Okay Airways (BK) before so that was an interesting read.
I’ll leave off this series here as I arrive at Shin-Ōsaka to take the Shinkansen for the short ride back to Nagoya.
———————————- Bonus: After returning to Matsuyama by train from Uchiko, I took the tram into the city. I got off at Kencho Mae (県庁前), which is right in front of the Ehime Prefectural Office (愛媛県庁).
Some fresh oranges that were ripe for the picking at the Prefectural Office.
The main site in Matsuyama is the castle, which is located within Shiroyama Park (城山公園).
It’s a pretty steep hike up through the woods to access the castle, but you could be lazy and take the ropeway. The views along the hike are worth it alone.
Reaching the outer walls.
Kakure Gate (隠門続櫓).
The walk to the castle affords nice views over the city from the wall.
Spring is in the air.
Reaching the castle, we are welcomed by よしあきくん, who creepily looks like a cross between Mario (from Nintendo) and a samurai.
Since Matsuyama Castle is one of the few castles retaining its original structure, you are reminded that there are no bathrooms inside.
The main tower.
The inner courtyard.
Inside of the castle is various historical exhibits, but you also got the chance to dress up as a samurai.
The views from the top of the castle are nothing short of stunning.
I find this a little bit surprising to see, but Matsuyama Castle was voted the “Best Castle in Japan” in 2014. I guess with Himeji’s reconstruction that might be possible.
A walk through the park outside of the castle and we can see that the cherry blossoms are almost ready.
The path I took down from the castle was a little bit more aggressive.
Reaching the base of the castle, I find myself near the finish line of the marathon. These runners were treated to perfect marathon conditions (cool and sunny) and afterwards could partake in some local food offerings.
The moat surrounding Shiroyama Park.
Matsuyama - MYJ
Osaka - ITM
A ‘functional’ domestic flight aboard NH. Nothing great with regards to cabin comfort or crew. But I got drink service, great aerial scenery, and an early arrival. Nothing great, but it got the job done.
Cabin comfort: The B735s are not my favorite plane to fly. They look old, they feel old, and the pitch is close to LCC. The seat is comfortable enough for 1 hour flight, but getting a seat with no recline was not great. Middle seat remained empty.
Crew: A below average NH crew. They did their jobs with a fake smile. Didn’t really seem warm or cheery.
Meal and catering: Full drink options, which is good for a short flight like this (<40 minutes). NH candies were available upon boarding in a basket (this is true for about 10-15% of flights).
Entertainment: No newspapers offered. Standard seatback literature. No audio or overhead monitors. Just natural IFE, which was excellent once again.
On-time performance: We left on time and arrived early.
0 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".