Tag Archives: flights

Always down for business

So flying to London for the big switch was with Emirates Business Class, and what can I say? This is the way to fly (but not if you’re paying the full cost). The difference between this and Economy is astounding! With Emirates, it’s comforting knowing you have someone to drop you off at the airport (even if its leaving home at 3am in the morning) and someone to pick you up at your destination.

The first thing I noticed stepping on board is they have a lot of staff serving the top deck. The leg from Sydney to Dubai was pretty empty, we probably had a 1:1 ratio of staff to passengers.

Then you get to your seat and its like your own little cubicle, water and soft drink provided in a little mini-bar to your side and so much storage to place your things for easy access, there’s a little table to place your belongings.

Champagne on arrival too, even at 6am. Why not?

In terms of kit, there’s heaps of things to keep you comfortable, pillow and quilt and when you’re ready to sleep, a topper that goes on your seat to turn it into a comfy bed.

There’s heaps of storage so you don’t have to balance things on your lap or constantly go to the overhead bins. Storage for your shoes too!

1:2:1 configuration means there’s no one to disturb if you need to leave for the bathroom, or the bar.

The comfort pack is a nice bag from Bvlgari with essentials like a toothbrush and proper toothpaste (that doesn’t taste like ass), shaving kit, moisturiser, cologne and more!

Entertainment wise, you get a huge screen in front of you as well as a tablet for additional browsing if you like, talk about overkill!

Next is towels, hot towels all the time! Towels on arrival, towels before meals and after meals too!

Food is next level and makes you feel like you’re in a restaurant, the hostess comes by and asks you for your choice form the menu (the leg from Dubai to London had choices of 4 dishes for entrée, mains and dessert!)

First meal was breakfast, omelette with sausages, potato gratin and fresh fruit with yoghurt.

Second meal was a pumpkin soup entree and hot bread followed by a filet mignon which still had a slight pink centre. No dessert because I was quite full.

Last meal was a entree of salmon and cream cheese and seared tuna. A main of lamb shank and mash followed by a chocolate cheese cake for dessert.

Plenty of alcohol to go round as well with a nice choice of wines and plenty of premium spirits. Canapes, nuts and snacks were always present at the bar in the rear as well. Great way to break up the flight.

As great as the experience was, I doubt I’d ever pay the actual cost of a business class flight though.

Day 1 – Osaka

So after boarding a plane from the Gold Coast where a fellow traveller snapped like 10 photos because the camera was on continuous mode (while claiming he didn’t think it worked, it just vibrated a lot), we were off to Kansai International Airport. The flight was Jetstar’s JQ19 with rather comfortable seats for a budget airline.

Jetstar!

Slept through most of the flight, probably about 6 hours of it until enjoying a nice chicken wrap and Asahi beer (expensive though at $15 all up). There was a rather nice skyline view as the sun began to set as well.

Beautiful sunset above the clouds

Landing in Kansai was an easy experience with plenty of English signs to lead us where we needed to go.

This way for Arrivals
Towards the exit
Welcome to Kansai

There was a short shuttle train trip to get out of the airport and through customs/immigration where we then headed to the JR train station to collect our JR passes and book a seat for the trip to Tokyo the next day, unfortunately we’re stuck in the smoking carriage as the train is full, hopefully it’s not too bad.

Kansai Station

I forgot to take a picture of the JR pass, was expecting a techy kinda plastic card, but it’s just a nice folded cardboard kinda thing. Plenty of vending machines around, and I decided to buy something, ended up being a coffee, had no idea what it was looking at it. Quite nice, but wasn’t really after a coffee at that time.

Cold Coffee drink

After an hour trip to our stop, Shinimamiya (which I’m still having trouble pronouncing) we wandered the streets to find our hostel. Was a bit hard because when we printed the directions, it didn’t include the Japanese characters making the directions a bit empty, but in the end we made it to Hotel Mikado. Place was rather warm inside and the rooms were actually quite small (I’ll take a picture tomorrow), but the inclusion of a hairbrush, towels, toothbrush, etc was surprising considering the tiny cost of $20ea for the night.

After dropping our stuff of we headed to eat, the hostel recommended this Chinese place nearby and the noodles there were rather good, not too badly priced either, with my bowl costing 680 Yen. No idea what it actually is, but it had a variety of veges, some seafood and meat in a rather thick sauce.

Some noodle dish
$8 in Yen, doesn't look like much at all

Post dinner we walked around the area finding this nice little dessert joint called ‘Petit Young squared’ with a charismatic old woman running the place, we found it hard to avoid purchasing something from her. I settled for a simple ice cream while the others went for a crepe.

Old lady running a dessert store
Petit Young Squared

We also walked into a 100 yen shop which was a bit deceiving seeing as everything was 105 yen.

Flet's 100 Yen Shop

Ended up buy some random things, not too sure what everything is supposed to be. The chip-like things in the middle were rather nice and the candy was rather ordinary, nothing too unique. The Chelsea thing had ‘Yoghurt Scotch’ written on it and had a interesting taste, kinda nice but kinda not. We’re yet to try the chocolate but Gavin said it’d be good.

Random snacks

Bought myself a pair of gloves here as well, not bad for 105 Yen, or a little over a dollar.

We also ventured into a Lawson Station which was some type of convenience store where we bought some water and some alcohol to try out. Kirin Strong, Kiring Strong Zero and a Pink Squash, none of them were very tasty in my opinion and the Kirin’s were bitter with a hint of lemon, not really something I enjoyed. They were cheap though at 148 Yen, equating to less than $2. Not bad for 8% alcohol content.

Some alcohol

Anyways, that’s the first night here and the plan for the trip is going to be:

  1. Land in Osaka
  2. Tokyo
  3. Kyoto
  4. Korea
  5. Osaka
  6. Nagoya
  7. Kurashiki, Okayama and Naoshima Island
  8. Hiroshima and Miyajima
  9. Kobe
  10. Back to Osaka and back to Sydney by midday on the 9th of December

Looks like it’s going to be a very tiring trip with minimal sleep to ensure we have the maximum amount of time available for travelling. Also think we’ll be hitting the clubs tomorrow night so you probably won’t get another post for another couple of days.