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Old 13th November 2017, 10:18 PM   #1
ycp81
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Default Japan Jaunt to Tokyo (Work Trip on JAL Economy)

Last week, I needed to make a work trip up to Tokyo. Of all direct flights to Tokyo, JAL was priced the lowest compared to ANA and SQ (SQ was almost double the price???) and hence following company policy, I was booked on JAL. As my previous domestic flight on JAL just a month ago was nothing fantastic due to limited service on their domestic sectors, I did not have very high expections. Boy was I wrong and JAL is as premium as any other premier carriers on their international sectors.

Checked in at Terminal One past midnight for th ungodly 0215am departure to Haneda. Even though the flight was totally full, there were no queues at check-in. JAL offers a very generous 2x23kg baggage allowance for Economy travellers.




Boarding pass issued (photo taken in lounge).




Using my Priority Pass, I visited the Terminal One SATS Premier Lounge to grab some supper. The lounge was very empty at the time.








Food and beverages selection was of good variety and quite tasty.













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Old 13th November 2017, 10:45 PM   #2
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Departure gate was at C1.





08 November 2017
Japan Airlines
JL 38
Singapore (SIN) - Tokyo Haneda (HND)
B767-300ER
JA608J
Economy Class
Flight Time: 6H18M



Boarding started shortly after I entered the gate, with priorities enforced. Economy boarding was by rows from the rear of the aircraft. Was warmly welcomed by the JAL crew upon boarding and proceeded to my seat, passing through the Business cabin.

A pillow and blanket were placed on each economy seat.




I would be seated at the aisle in the middle 3-seater on this flight. The legroom was great (34" pitch I believe) and IFE monitor was of high-resolution and touch-screen enabled. There was a USB charging port, another IFE remote and compartments for the nitty grittys on the seatback. However there were no footrests.




This B767-300ER aircraft has the newer B777-styled overhead bins. Cabin ambience was pretty soothing. Flight attendants were proactively assisting with the boarding process. I believe there were 5-6 cabin cre serving in Economy tonight.




Pillow, blanket and headset.




Inflight magazine and IFE guide. There was also a very thick onboard shopping catalog.






In the seat pocket was also a drinks menu.




6hr20min red-eye to Haneda tonight.




After boarding was completed, crew came around distibuting arrival immigration forms before pushback.




Safety video played during pushback. The safety video seemed to be out from the 90s.




Decided to watch a chinese romantic comedy for this flight.

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Old 13th November 2017, 11:18 PM   #3
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Shortly after takeoff, cabin crew came round to distibute bottled water. This was very much appreciated on overnight flights to keep hydrated




Crew then came round to offer a light snack of rice crackers which was delicious. Alcoholic drinks were also offered from a basket while other drinks were available on request.






Watched the movie for about half an hour before I drifted to sleep. The IFE has a feature which allows the flight map to be shown over the movie.




After slightly more than 3hrs of nap, we were awakened 2hrs before arrival. Hot towels were offered to us to refresh. Thought the towels were not as thick and large as the SQ ones, they were still proper cotton towels. JAL must of one of the last few surviving carriers to offer hot towels in economy.




Breakfast service started soon after. Interestingly, even though it was a breakfast service, the full beverage selection, including soft drinks and wines, were offered on the meal cart. Service by the JAL crew were, as expected of the japanese hospitality, courteous, excellent and polite.




No menus were offered in economy, but the menu for the flight was viewable on JAL's website. This was what was offered for breakfast. There was no options to choose from.




Meal tray was delivered. On the tray was a salad with dressing, yoghurt, cut fruits, roll with butter and a main course of omelette with chicken sausage, potatoes and beans. Metal cutlery was used. Also had a coffee and apple juice, with the juice served in plastic cups much larger than on most other airlines. The quantity of the breakfast was definitely very generous and way better than breakfasts served on SQ.






Yoghurt, fresh salad and fruits.




The omelette was like the normal airplane omelette, but portion was pretty generous (beans were hidden under the cutlery). Overall a satisfying breakfast.




View of the B767 cabin after breakfast.

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Old 14th November 2017, 12:20 AM   #4
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Visit to the lavatory, which was only equipped with the basic amenities. However, toothbrushes can be obtained from the crew.




There were handwritten notes by the crew pasted in at least 2 of the lavatories. A really cute gesture by the JAL crew.






A peek out of the aircraft window.




A look into the forward economy cabin during descent.




Reaching the destination soon. The crew serving my side actually came down the aisle to thank each and every passenger during the descent! Impressive! I think it was her own initiative as the other crew on the opposite aisle did not do the same.




We landed in Tokyo Haneda right on schedule and only had a very short taxi to the gate. Disembarked and passing the Business Class cabin.




It was a very comfortable red-eye flight on JAL. The economy seat was spacious (though recline a bit limited) which allowed some sleep. Service was impecable and polite, and catering was generous. IFE selection, though not as much variety as the likes of SQ/EK etc, is sufficient for the mid-haul. Certainly a very good international flight experience on JAL.

Lots of JAL aircraft during the walk to immigration.




For this work trip, I stayed at Excel Hotel Akasaka. The room is spacious for japan standards.




The hotel offers either a Western buffet breakfast or a Japanese set breakfast. I had the Japanese selection on both days at the hotel.




Since this was a work trip with working lunches and dinners, I would not post much other than a Japanese bento lunch I had on the second day.




On the last working day, I and a couple of colleagues went out for our own dinner at Beefsteak Kawamura Ginza, a restaurant famed for its Kobe beef. We did not order the highest quality beef, but had the lower grade Tajima beef, but still a very good quality beef.

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Old 14th November 2017, 11:19 PM   #5
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The elaborate meal commenced with 2 starters, a simmered beef in stock and a seared kobe beef dish.






Next was a very frothy and light carrot and potato soup. There were also a bread course and salad course which I did not take photos of.




The vegetables and beef were prepared right in front of us. End result, very delicious medium steak and crispy vegetables!!






Ended with a selection of desserts. It was a wonderful meal!




I extended a night in Tokyo and moved to another hotel for a night's stay. Booked Hotel Mystays Hamamasutcho, a 3-stars hotel near the monorail to Haneda. The room was of decent sized.




There was an Ippudo ramen restaurant just behind the hotel, where I grabbed a late ramen supper.




View from my hotel room the next morning, and the only free day I have in Tokyo.




A leisurely walk to Shimbashi after checking out of hotel and depositing luggage at 11am.







The walk to Shimbashi was to have the awesome Buta-don at Buta Daigaku.

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Old 15th November 2017, 12:40 AM   #6
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Thanks for the TR ycp81.
Food in SATS lounge seems quite yummy.
Tokyo is always a great culinary destination, even though one’s primary purpose is for work.
In fact, I am heading there tomorrow.
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Old 15th November 2017, 10:05 PM   #7
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After brunch, I proceeded to Shinjuku Gyoen to view the autumn leaves.




It was towards the peak of the autumn leaves season and hence beautiful colours can be viewed in the park.














There is a rose garden in the park, with a variety of roses.






Enjoying the great weather on the lawn.




Passing the Shinjuku entertaiment district.




Bought a slice of cake from Harbs.

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Old 15th November 2017, 10:31 PM   #8
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Last meal in Tokyo was my all-time favourite Ichiran ramen!




Proceeded to Haneda via a 20min monorail ride from my hotel. Checked in for the flight using one of the self-check in kiosks and dropped my bags. It was rather busy as it was the midnight red-eye peak at the international terminal.








Boarding pass issued by the kiosk.




FIDS




View from the observatory deck.




Gate for the flight.




Our aircraft was towed into the gate about an hour before departure.





12 November 2017
Japan Airlines
JL 35
Tokyo Haneda (HND) - Singapore (SIN)
B767-300ER
JA619J
Economy Class
Flight Time: 6H54M



Boarding commenced and again priorities were enforced.




Boarding the B767 and warmly welcomed by the JAL crew.




Similar to the previous flight, a pillow and blanket were already preset on each seat.

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Old 16th November 2017, 11:59 PM   #9
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Boarding in progress and very efficient. Again, it was a fairly full flight on this red-eye.




View out the window.




Pillow, blanket and headsets. One feedback that I have was that the blanket seemed too short for me.




Doors closed and the 90s era safety video was shown.




Starting the taxi to the runway.




It would be a 7hrs red-eye tonight.




We had a very powerful takeoff from the shorter bay runway Rwy05.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8vf0jcaIbc


Once seatbelt signs were switched off, the crew came around to distribute bottled water to each passenger.




This was quickly followed by giving out of hot towels. I watched the latest Transformer movie.




Refreshments were served immediately after.




As no menus were offered, the online menu would have to suffice. At a glance, the menu for the flight did not looked too appetising, but boy was I wrong!




For the late night refreshment, a packet of rice crackers and a bread was offered, which I washed down with a cup of apple juice. This was a sufficient snack prior to bedtime.




After the snack service, I paused my movie and had almost 4 hours of sleep. Surprisingly, I was able to sleep quite well on this flight.

Slept all the way till the cabin lights were turned on and crew came around again with hot towels, signalling the start of breakfast service. Again, breakfast was served exactly 2hrs before arrival. Having seen the online menu, I did not have too high hopes for breakfast, but it actually turned out to be the most delicious inflight breakfast I have ever had on a flight in economy, and probably business too! On the breakfast tray were 2 starters, fruits, yoghurt and a main course.

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Old Yesterday, 12:43 AM   #10
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Main course revealed. I also had an apple juice and hot green tea to go along.




The starters consisted of mixed mushroom, and a smoked salmon with ham and potato salad. Both were delicious! Fruits were sweet and ripe.




Yoghurt was a brand I had not seen before, but was very smooth and creamy. Loved it.




The highlight was the main course, which was a superb warm bread roll with thick ham and melted cheese within, along with sides of still-runny scrambled eggs and brocolli. Honestly, this breakfast dish was amazing and I wondered how did the caterer managed to conjure up such a delicious meal in economy! Even my colleague also commented that the breakfast was fantastic!




Ending the meal with green tea while continuing with my movie. A very satisfying breakfast indeed!




Lavatory was nothing special with the basic amenities.




View of the cabin.




Descending and approaching Singapore.




Dawn is breaking while on final approach.




Landed on Rwy20R almost 20min ahead of schedule.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHEWlvNcCC4


Thank you for flying with JAL.




Disembarking the aircraft.






Again a very good flight on JAL on this mid-haul red-eye flight. Service was excellent again and the food was amazing for economy class standards. Definitely I would have no reservations flying JAL again in the future!

Thanks for reading this rather short review.
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