2018 Incredible Japan – Day 1

SYDNEY to TOKYO – the samurai is on the move

Saturday – today is the day – Japan here I come.

The sun is shining and I take that to be a good omen for the trip ahead of me. As usual, Stuart drives me to Revesby station for a relaxing journey to the International Terminal – I always get to the airport early so that I can get everything organised and I am not rushing.  My flight departs at 9.35pm but I am leaving home at 4pm.  Sorry, but that’s me to a tee.

The lady sitting next to me on the train loves to chat – I am in a good mood so it doesn’t upset me.  She wishes me well when she gets off and then an older gentleman sits down and starts the conversation.  He asks me where I am going and when I tell him, he says that he has been to Tokyo and found it crowded but he coped and then he wished me well.

So now we arrive at the station and the trek to the counters begins.  Well, not a good start as everything is automated now and I have to print my baggage tags.  So much for swanning up to the Premium Economy counter – sometimes change is not for the better. Bag drop and everything goes well,  17kg for the checked suitcase – hope it has a nice journey and that we meet again in Tokyo.  Cabin bag was fine at 7.1kg.

I have a pass for the Qantas Lounge and I have a bit of time to look around the Duty Free (I did not buy anything) and then it’s time to head for comfort, quiet, food and drinks.  Sure beats the hell out of screaming kids and Maccas.

On entering, the Qantas staff make me feel welcome as if I do this all the time – but when I find a seat inside and go to put my bag on it, a member of the Grey Fakers Club nearly knocks me over to have that particular chair.

It’s not as if there are no chairs, there are spare chairs everywhere but she wants that particular one.  I snarl and then pick up my bag and move to another chair, as far away from her the hubbie.  Nevermind priorities are put into place – wine and nibbles.  After getting my first lot of refreshments – cheese and bikkies – I sit and look out the window.  Come to think of it – there is not much of a view for the Qantas Club Lounge.

One would think that it could be a lot better than this – –

After a couple more visits to the food and drink display – it’s time to get organised and head to the gate.

I have my cabin bag, handbag and the ever faithful point and shoot which is doing a sterling job.  There are a lot of people at my gate and I notice a crowd of Japanese schoolies – all dressed in their uniforms and looking immaculate.  Maybe they will fill the Economy section of my flight?  I must also add that they are very well behaved.

I find a seat, snap a couple of photos and wait until I become one of those obnoxious people who board first – I love it.

This is my seat – 37A.  It is not long before the attendants come around with a welcome drink of either juice, wine or water.  I choose juice as I think that maybe, just maybe I have had enough wine.

The entertainment screen is secreted in the arm rest on my right side so no pre-flight details for you.  I love flying – it is such a buzz,  although at night you can’t get any good photos.

Oh well, that is the price I paid for wanting a direct flight from Sydney.  A great take off and then as soon as we level out and the seat belt sign goes out I can remove the screen.

Horror of horrors – the flight screen does not work – panic attack.  How will I know we are headed in the right direction?  How will you be able to cope without all the details?  I bring this to the attention of the attendant who reboots the system – it works for about 30 seconds and then it goes off again.  Everything else is working OK but I do not want to watch moves or anything else.

They finally get the screen to work but it only shows the details down the bottom – there is no map.  The Cabin Supervisor is most apologetic and offers me a complimentary bottle of wine or 5,000 points.  I take the points.  (Spoiler alert: when I get home and check they have given me 10,000 points. I just love Qantas).

The first of the flight details for you – calm down and take a deep breath – –

Altitude – 10363 metres / Time to Tokyo – 8.19 hours / Local Tokyo time – 8.27pm / ETA 4.45am / Outside Air Temp: -50 degrees C / Distance Travelled – 679km.

That should hold you for a while.

Supper has arrived so I pull out the tray table from the left side of my seat.  They hand me a white linen cloth to put down and then hand me my pre ordered supper on a grey tray.  Looks delicious.

Mushroom Tortellini with Cream Sauce, Kale, Capsicum, Pinenuts and Parmesan.  Served with a Salad of Garden Leaves with Neil’s Vinaigrette and Crispy Bread Roll.  Finished off with Olive Oil and Pistachio Cake.

Unfortunately I was not very hungry due to the pre-flight pig out but I managed to eat most of it.  During the meal my blue screen comes up with a message requesting content ????

A map comes up and then it disappears and the dreaded blue screen returns.  I will have to take photos of the information only – not the usual service you expect from me but the details will still keep you enthralled.

And saying that – the novelty soon wears off and this will most probably be the last lot of details for you as I cannot be bothered taking photos of every screen.

Time to Tokyo – 7.36 hours / Local Time Tokyo – 9.08pm / Altitude – 10363 metres / Distance Travelled – 1329 km / Outside Air Temp – -41 degrees C.

After I have finished they seem to take forever to come and collect the tray – I need some sleep.  Unfortunately I have a restless night with just a few naps. There is no turbulence so that’s good – also lots of space for me so that is good as well.

With an hour to go before arrival – it is time for breakfast.  I have chosen Fruit Salad – pineapple, orange, grapes and grapefruit (sour shock).  Orange juice and coffee finishes it off – nice and light.

Tokyo – I am here.




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