The airline with the best average rating is Thai Airways with 8.2/10.
The average flight time is 6 hours and 10 minutes.More information
Welcome to one of my reports. Firstly, as usual, sorry for my bad English and also bad quality of the photos.
Here are parts of the journey:
26-MAR-2019: Jakarta (CGK) - Bangkok (BKK) by Thai Airways TG436 (Airbus A330-300)
27-MAR-2019: Bangkok (BKK) - Tokyo Narita (NRT) by Thai Airways TG642 (Airbus A330-300)(you are here)
08-APR-2019: Tokyo Haneda (HND) - Bangkok (BKK) by Thai Airways TG661 (Boeing 747-400)(coming soon)
08-APR-2019: Bangkok (BKK) - Jakarta (CGK) by Thai Airways TG435 (Boeing 787-8)(coming soon)
This report comes quite late, more than a year after the trip, because I was too busy to do my daily business and finish my undergraduate program until the end of 2019. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced me to stop one of my businesses, that I have more time to relax and do some leisure things, including writing this report.
Back to the time before the trip. My sister, an undergraduate program student focusing on Japanese literature, was sent by her university to attend 1-year student exchange program in Tokyo since September 2018. Our family had promised to visit her learning place in Japan before she left.
At the end of 2019, after my sister got her holiday schedule, we decided to visit Japan on upcoming Spring, especially to see the falling cherry blossoms.
Checking the flight ticket prices, just as we had guessed, the ticket was higher than usual, as it was one of "golden period"s for people around the world to visit Japan. Direct flights had costed more than US$1,000 return, so we had to leave this option. Transit flights were significantly cheaper, except LCCs like Air Asia which had also more expensive ticket price than usual for that period.
There were 2 strong candidates to choose: Thai Airways and Philippines Airlines. We had never been onboard both of them, so we were too "blind" about how the flight experience would be.
PR offered slightly cheaper ticket price (but quite significant for groups of family like us), but with long transit in Manila both outbound and inbound. How about Thai Airways??? Slightly more expensive but much shorter transit, and even the chance to be in one of their 747s for inbound flight from HND.
Without too much thinking, we quickly grabbed Thai Airways' ticket for about US$ 450 (return) each person. Only 3 people (me and my parents) would be onboard Thai Airways, while my sister has booked the Malaysia Airlines for her Tokyo-Jakarta return flights. Tickets of separated flights each way with different carriers would cost 2x than the method we took.
About 3 weeks after my sister came home and we prepared the itineraries, visas, hotel bookings, and the JR Pass, we were ready to go on March 26th, 2020.
MARCH 26th 2020, 10.40 p.m. (Bangkok time, UTC+7)
Firstly, once again, the boarding pass.
After 3.5 hours flight on TG436 CGK-BKK, we finally entered Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport's transit area. I've told you on the previous report that perhaps the renovation or upgrading project made the terminal's inside looked like a warehouse.
Our next flight would be TG642 to Tokyo-Narita.
As usual, there was another security check before entering the gates. The check was stricter here; we had to remove our shoes.
Bad airport layout made us unable to see sights outside the window clearly.
At 11.30 p.m. we were called for boarding.
Entering the cabin.
We once again didn't get the window side. More sadly, I was separated with my parents. I had to seat in the middle of 2 Japanese men. The man on my left side had been sleeping when I reached my seat.
The fleet for this leg was Airbus A330-300 with registration code HS-TEN and nosename "Suchada". Compared to the fleet on the previous leg, this one had fresher cabin and newer type of IFE.
The boarding process was surprisingly quick for such long-haul wide-body flight, less than 30 minutes. Then the safety video started.
The cabin light was dimmed, not only before take-off but still hours after take-off, as this was red-eye flight. Still sad that I couldn't see anything outside the window, especially that I would reach Japan for the 1st time. I was really curious about its skyline.
After take-off, seatbelt sign was turned off, and I chose to explore the touchscreen IFE because the cabin was dark, making me unable to take good pictures.
Checking the musics, I was surprised that albums of Davichi and Wanna-one, both Korean groups, were included in "Japanese" section.
The flight info could be accessed easily while browsing other sections of the IFE.
Cabin crews then started distributing our supper: sandwich and mineral bottle. Also a refreshing tissue. Sandwich is not my favorite cuisine but this still tasted good enough to fill my stomach during midnight.
Stuff inside the seatpocket was still same with the previous flight.
Cabin lights were still dimmed, and I slept peacefully. I hadn't been in such long-haul red-eye flight after my trip to Europe in 2013.
When I woke up, sky was shining outside the window. I checked the time, and it was 6.00 a.m. (Japan time, UTC+9).
A little bit refreshing in the lavatory.
Back to my seat. I changed music on my IFE to the more upbeat songs by K-pop girl group "Fromis_9".
Flight info in the morning.
Checking my phone, pay-to-use Wi-fi was available too.
Cabin crews came once again to distribute our breakfast. A complete set containing rice, kungpow chicken (I guess), croissant, fruits, yoghurt, and juice. For me, personally, rice is always better than noodles. This tasted so nice and big enough for breakfast.
While eating, I watched a Thai TV program titled "Tasty Journey" on the IFE. I frequently watched this program at home through our cable TV. The host, a Thai girl nicknamed "Kat-toon", explored interesting places around the world like Japan, Spain, Myanmar, and even Bali to try interesting foods.
Then I played one of my favorite games: 2048.
Some minutes before landing, cabin crews came to distribute the immigration form.
Still sad that I couldn't see anything outside the window, only a brief of it.
The plane landed smoothly on Narita Airport at 08.00. After the plane stopped perfectly, the door was opened and woooowwww, I could finally felt the spring breeze for the 1st time. I've been to 4-seasons countries like China and European countries, but not during spring.
Time to leave the plane, and say goodbye to my seat.
Last shot of the plane. Not a good shot. Please look on the other sites to see the better picture of this plane (HS-TEN).
Yeah, I finally reached Japan!!! One of countries in the world I was very curious about. The birthplace of some of my favorite foods (katsu, teriyaki, udon, ramen), anime, manga, electronic devices, cars, motorcycles, AKB48, Nogizaka46, and 3 members of my favorite K-pop group "TWICE".
And the spring breeze, wow, even until going out from Narita Airport I still didn't believe that I had been in Japan.
Some shots of the airport terminal before immigration check.
After immigration check, we continued our walk to the baggage carousel to pick our bags.
Entering the landside, we then waited for my sister which hop different flight (Malaysia Airlines). Her flight landed on other terminal of NRT and she had to approach us by bus.
Our sister came with her bag, and we continued our journey together.
Before leaving the airport, we had to exchange our JR-Pass confirmation letters to get the pass at this counter. The staff spoke good English, and there were instructions in various languages including Indonesian.
Time to leave Narita Airport for Tokyo Station, to hop our Shinkansen train to Osaka.
Some pictures of Japan during this trip:
Taking Shinkansen train from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station.
Night at Dotonbori, Osaka.
Kuromon Market, Osaka.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, near Kyoto.
Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Kyoto.
Back to Tokyo. Going to Tokyo Dome because my favorite K-pop group, TWICE, were holding the "Dome Tour" concert. I didn't watch the concert because the tickets were quickly sold out, so I just came to feel the "vibe" and buy some official items. There was a very long queue to buy the official items, and it took about 1 hour for me to reach the kiosk. Some items had been sold out.
Akihabara, the "mecca" for enthusiasts of games, anime, manga, and popular idol groups like AKB48.
More images coming soon.
I think the HS-TEN plane had more "fresh" cabin. I might be wrong to choose the word "fresh" but yeah, I felt something fresh compared to the previous flight with same aircraft type. Especially the newer type of touchscreen IFE, and more fresh interface too. I felt more comfortable on this flight. I could also sleep about 4 hours. Cabin crews were nice, polite, and speaking good English. Like other Thais, they always greeted us with "Wai" gesture or "Sawasdee". Food tasted great, especially the breakfast set.
About the airports, I was first time entering both airports on this journey so I couldn't mention anything to improve.
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport's inside, once again, looked like a "warehouse" for me. Facilities were standard. And I hate the layout which made me unable to take pictures outside the window.
Narita Airport, very amazing, clean, helpful and friendly staff, although without "sophisticated" design, either inside or outside. The airport was also in upgrading project as preparation for the upcoming Summer Olympics, which was sadly delayed due to Covid-19 outbreak.
Thanks for reading!!!