It's been quite a while since I published the last report about my journey in Japan, and I finally have the time and motivation to finish it. I apologize for this long interruption.
At first, that was the original picture, but too big to be seen, so you can see it here.
Originally, the circuit included all flights with AF. However, due to a North-Korean missile that almost destroyed an AF aircraft on its way back to CDG, the French airline decided to lengthen the distance to ensure its passengers, cabin crew and aircrafts's safety. Some other airlines did the same choice for their flights departing from Japan.
Emirates, on the other hand, normally flies via the South-Korean's coasts before entering Vietnam to reach DXB. Besides, Emirates deploys the A380 to Nice (NCE) since July of the same year, which also convinced me to buy a separate ticket with them.
On that November morning, I and the group left our hotel aboard our bus, which took us directly to the airport.
A few aircrafts when we arrived.
Our driver dropped us at Terminal 1 where both AF and EK are settled.
The airport is quite crowded this morning.
While my travel companions are doing their check-in on the kiosk, I stayed back and watched them. In KIX, the check-in is subcontracted by JL's staff but under an AF's supervisor.
As the rest of the group left for CDG, I let my luggage inside this luggage storage for 600 JPY. Warning : only 100 yen coins are accepted. If you need any change, you can trade a 1000 yen bill for ten 100 yen coins via a machine right behind.
My suitcase stored, I can discover KIX. Here, we have NH and Starflyer's domestic check-in desks.
During the visit, I'm passing by this lounge where I'll come back later. KIX is quite a big airport with so many boutiques, especially one which will please the anime's biggest fans.
The video game's franchise is very present in KIX with its elevators and this exhibition stand to promote their last console.
I have the entire day before my flight, so I'm going to the airport's observation hall. For that, we need to go to bus stop n°1 at the arrivals. The shuttle passes at regular schedules and the fare is free.
The observation stands on 4 floors and on 2 buildings. I only went into the one on the right.
On the 2nd floor, we can watch aircrafts taxiing, taking-off and landing. We can also have a drink in this café, which also features a presentation of a legendary aircraft, the Concorde itself.
Evolution of all Concorde liveries.
The one that drove the car must have been just as honored as intimidated to guide the supersonic jet.
the café is also decorated with numerous model airplanes.
The view from the café.
On the 3rd floor, is the shopping hall, which sells all sorts of products related to aviation's universe.
This Concorde's model is for sale for… 892 500 JPY (around 8 174 $ USD).
On the terrace, we can go out and spot aircrafts without problems. We're just on time to watch this Korean Air's 747 push-back.
KIX Observation Hall sure is a great place although it was very windy.
This lounge is located at the landside domestic departures, open 24 hours a day and does not depend on any airline.
The access is a paid access and you pay only when you're about to leave. But beware : once you're out, it's for good !
It is possible to buy a pass which allows you to stay up to 3, 6 or 9 hours in the lounge. However, the price doesn't allow you to go everywhere; some areas are reserved only if you pay for a certain price. Besides, if you stay longer, you'll pay an extra for every 10 minutes after the deadline. For 2670 yens (around 24,50$) I can stay up to 6 hours.
The lounge will be quite empty during all this time.
If drinks are free, food is not in this lounge. The lounge also offers a shower or a powder corner but they also recquire an extra.
Newspaper, exclusively in Japanese.
A big manga library is also available for those who love japanese comics in their original version.
Wi-Fi is working pretty good, which allows me to take the photo corporate.
After 5 hours in this "lounge", it's time to pick up my bag and go to the check-in desk. As for AF, the check-in is made by JL's staff and supervised by an EK's supervisor.
The airport staff is guiding me to the Business Class Check-in counter to check-in my suitcase to its final destination. Once checked-in, I'll pass the PIF/PAF extremely fast.
Our aircraft is awaiting us gate 28. Let's go !
the shuttle trip will be very fast and I'll find my aircraft once I'm out. This is A6-ECS, it flew until Geneva (GVA) before coming back to DXB and then to Osaka KIX.
It's Identity card :
Vanilla Air heading to Taipei (TPE), Taïwan.
Juneyao Air, an airline I didn't know about preparing its way back to Shanghai Pudong (PVG), People's Republic of China.
Air Asia X for Bangkok Don Muang (DMK), Thailand.
Our crew just arrived.
BP on my smartphone.
Boarding start, priorities respected. As usual, I'll wait for the last moment to board.
Boarding via a blind jetbridge. Fuselage shot, close-up on motor 1 and the door view.
A quick view of the GE90 engine.
As I was about to enter, 2 young stewards are greeting me with a special energy. "Hello! How are you?"" I'm fine thank you." with "Fields of Gold" from Sting as background music.
The space was very comfortable since nobody was sitting in the middle seat.
All clean inside.
Our aircraft's safety card with EK's fleet, still growing up at that time (2 more A380 and 1 more 77W).
The noise-cancellor helmet.
An amenity kit will be given to all passengers. I was quite surprised because EK started to apply a cost-cutting policy back then. Inside, socks, a tooth-brush with a mini toothpaste tube which I won't use, a mask and noise plugs.
It's push-back time ! The safety video will be first played in Arabic before English and finally Japanese. Another video promoting ICE will come right after. "Sayonara nihongo" (Good-bye Japan).
The cabin crew are operational now and will prepare the first meal service. The crew will also regularly pass to offer drinks during the flight. Meanwhile, I start with a great cartoon. Too bad there were only 4 episodes.
Good point for EK, the possibility to know what we'll have for dinner onboard via Internet just a few days before departure. The meal is served as we reach Republic of Korea.
Salade niçoise, chicken tagine with apricots, served with mashed potatoes and pistachios & Milk chocolate mousse
The salad was good but won't match the real one. The chicken, usually a sure bet wasn't that good but its accompaniment was excellent. The chocolate was good as well. After the meal, let's go to the lavatory, which will be clean during all the flight.
"Cause you're a roof, cause you're a roof full of stars…" ^^
After a nap, let's watch another nostalgic movie.
We're now approaching DXB.
Breakfast is served 2 hours before landing. It will be excellent.
Connecting flights are appearing on our IFE. I know which gate we need to go to.
Last moments inflight before landing. Are we going to park directly to a jetbridge or via a bus ? I hope it will be the first option.
Welcome to DXB :)
We're passing by EK's headquarters.
YES ! Our aircraft is in its final corner, which means a disembarkment via a jetbridge. And though we arrive with 10 minutes of delay, the connection time is more than sufficient for the next flight.
Disembarking via the Business class. Our aircraft's next flight is for Colombo, Sri Lanka (CMB).
And it's here that part one of the return trip is over.
Our flight's replay…
… compared to my travel companions's one. We can't compare…
This touristic bonus is divided in 2 parts. The 2nd part will be published in the next FR.
Although Japan is the 3rd world's economy, thanks to videogames and mangas, Japan is a very conservative nation especially in rituals and traditions.
The Kiyomizu-Dera's temple, also known as the water temple is a UNESCO world heritage site since 1994. It also has been chosen to represent Japan about the new seven wonders of the world's election. It is not just a bouddhist temple, it also has a shinto sanctuary. According to rumors, if someone makes a wish from the temple's platform, dives into the river 15 meters below (49.21feet) and survives, then this wish will come true. And although the survival rate remains high, (85,4%) in other words, 200 divers survivors out of 234, this dangerous practice is nowadays forbidden.
The Ashi lake with its Torii, the lake's gate. According to legends, long ago, a nine-head dragon lived in the abyss and each time it appaeared at the surface, it brought chaos and devastation. In order to have the dragon's blessing, a single virgin japanese woman is presented to the Torii every year, as an offering to the dragon. But one day, a monk decided not to honour the ritual and was taken into the lake's depths instead by the dragon where he'll perish. Since that day, the dragon redeemed himself for his crimes by becoming the lake's guardian.
The city of Iga, located in Mie Prefecture, known as the 2016 G7's appointment place, is also the city where the Ninja Museum of Igaryu which relates the history of shinobis (忍び) and kunoichis (くノ一 or 女), respectively male and female ninjas. It also shows their life as mercenaries and all the tools for their, sabotage, espionnage or even assassination missions as well. The samurais, also known to be mercenaries, didn't approve ninjas because of competiton, but also because ninjas don't hesitate to do low tricks, while samurais must respect the bushido, which is their honor and their pride. And for an extra, you can attend a ninja show or even throw the famous shurikens.
Miyajima Island (宮島,) is very famous for its floating Torii, according to the tide, but also for its Fallow deer living freely. Miyajima is also known for to be a sister city with Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, France. Japanese students even made a model of both islands in cooperation of the French city to symbolize their "union" as well as showing the bilateral relationships between both countries.
This is where this FR ends. I hope you enjoyed it. If that's the case, please leave a like and a comment.
In conclusion, a very good flight. Quite surprised for a first time. Very professional crew. Impressive inflight entertainment, I didn't see time fly by.
The lounge, very empty, was very comfortable while waiting for the check-in. I didn't note the lounge catering because it comes extra, I add 1 point for the free drinks. It has interesting services although most of them are in extra. The free Wi-Fi and the manga library also increase the entertainment grade but if you're not Japanese speaker that's really too bad. And because of that, I remove 1 point.
KIX: lots of services landside, Security passed very quickly. Just perfect.
DXB: Quick exit, signals easy to understand.