Japan

Tag Archives for Japan.

Shinkansen Sprint -Trip Report: Hiroshima-Kyoto

When I was three, my grandparents bought me my first book of trains. My second book followed when I was four. I must have read that book a hundred times and memorised every word. It was in that book, that I was introduced to the Japanese “Bullet Train” which was launched the year I was born. In 1964, they ran at speeds of up to 210 km/h (130 mph). Now they go up to 320 km/h(200 mph ). Today Japan’s high-speed network is the fourth largest in the world (after China, Spain, Germany) and has the second highest…

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Japanese Efficiency at its best -flying JAL Japan Airlines

JAL became the 97th airline, I have travelled with, 49 years since my first ever air flight. I have a goal of having flown 100 different airlines by my half-century anniversary of flying in May 2018*. Booking Japan has several major airlines. If I had been longer in Japan, I would have liked to sample them all! I chose to fly Japan Airlines (JAL), flag carrier airline of Japan and its second-largest carrier because I wanted to add another airline to my One World collection! Their main rival is ANA (All Nippon Airways) Japan’s largest-they also own Air Japan and low-cost carrier Vanilla Air. Skytrax…

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Why Japan is in my Top Five countries! 

I have just had a week in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto (with a dinner in Kobe and a lunch in Osaka!). Japan was the 69th country to get to! Sadly it has taken me so many decades to finally get there! Why is Japan so amazing? Seven reasons why Japan has made it to my Top Five countries: 1. Easy to get around I was blown away by the phenomenal transport infrastructure. What impressed me was the brilliant signage which meant navigating the trams (streetcars) in Hiroshima, the Shinkansen and the Tokyo metro so easy. You…

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Off to Japan

Japan will be my 69th country – and my 18th Asian country. (After Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam). I have been fascinated with Japan since studying it in my High School Modern History class. From the Edo Period with 260 years of stability and isolation ending in 1912 before the country slid into militarism culminating sadly in World War Two. Then came the last 60 years with its massive economic and technological growth. Home to 127 million with 35 million people…

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Who is the best One World airline?

It’s an interest obsession of mine to “collect” airlines flown. I am inching closer to 100 different airlines flown. Some of those carriers are no longer flying. In most cases this a tragedy (eg Pan Am, Ansett Australia, Malev) and in others, probably a good thing (Air Australia). I’ve flown airlines that belong to all of the three major airline alliances (One World, Skyteam and Star Alliance).  Truth be told, 40% of my flights have been with One World carriers, however. So I pricked up my ears when on Wednesday, the CEO of IAG (Iberia/British Airways) suggested…

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ANA’s Spectacular Star Wars C3PO Jet joins the ANA Star Wars Fleet

Last Friday, at a Star Wars Celebration Europe event in London, Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) launched their latest Star Wars themed jet: C3PO. In a deal signed with Disney, one of their 777-200s will carry the bright gold C3PO colours for five years from March 2017. The plane will operate on domestic routes across Japan. The plane’s interior will reportedly duplicate the theme with seat headrests mimicking the golden droid. Contrary to rumour, C3PO robots will not be serving the drinks on board.  This video was launched with the announcement. Even if you are not a Star Wars…

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Skymark’s Rescuer is ANA

All Nippon Airlines (ANA)  has beaten Delta Air Lines in a race to turn around the fortunes of Japan’s third largest air carrier Skymark Airlines. Skymark have been  in bankruptcy since January, 2015. Skymark launched in 1996 after airline deregulation in Japan. The carrier grew rapidly but in recent years has been impacted by significant growth in the number of low cost carriers in Japan and by the falling Japanese currency.  Since 2010, Skymark had planned to become an A380 operator. Their aim was to charge fares between Japan and Europe/USA that were less than half of those of…

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Vietnam’s 787 in service

Those watching June’s Paris Air Show saw Vietnam Airlines magnificent 787-9 debut. Now the aircraft is in service after being delivered to the airline on July 6. Vietnam Airlines has will be using the 787-9 operation on their Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to London Heathrow and Hanoi – London Heathrow routes. Originally the airline ordered 787-8s but switched the order to the larger model back in 2010. The Vietnam Airlines B787-9 Business Class has 28 seats, the airline has configured its business class cabin with a 1-2-1 layout featuring the Zodiac Cirrus seat. Each seat has…

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Seven things not to pack

After two million+ kilometres (1.4 million miles) of flying, I have developed a list of what not to pack. Not being a fan of checking in a suitcase, I have refined my list again and again. Now, I check a suitcase once every 30 flights. These are invariably flights home to Australia with items bought as holiday gifts!   1. Every Electronic Gizmo I don’t really need a camera, two phones, an ipad, a kindle and a laptop. Travelling with multiple gadgets creates more possibilities to lose or forget things and increases the possibility of target…

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The Return of JAL

There are very few success stories in the airline world about bankrupt airlines. The trading of Japan Air Lines (JAL) shares, this week, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after a two and a half year absence, was welcome news. Generally, when a flag carrier fails, it vanishes. Consider Malev and Pluna this year. When Japan Air Lines failed on January 19, 2010, it had  a phenomenal $US 25 billion in debts. One would have assumed that would be farewell. Instead, the carrier is flying high after its massive $US8.5 billion float on the Tokyo Stock Exchange a few months ago,…

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