Lost in Translation – Korea/Japan 23-27 Dec 2011
After checking out, I used JR Yamanote Line to Nippori where I would transfer to Keisei Limited Express for Narita Airport.
The journey from Nippori to Narita Airport took an hour and I was lucky to get a seat.
Keisei mainline was more of a commuter train with several stops and beside those heading to the airport there were many commuters as well.
Some high school kids who got up half way got kinda rowdy and the guy who sat beside me actually grabbed one of the boys and warned them to behave themselves. It had an effect on them and they didn’t dare to cause any disturbance until their stop.
I happened to get onto a “lightly cooled” carriage (弱冷車) which got unbearably hot as the journey wore on and was really glad when the train pulled into Narita Airport station
As my SUICA had insufficient fund to pay for the 1,000 JPY trip from Nippori, I needed to make use of the top-up machine before exiting the station. It was easy enough and I topped up the additional 640 JPY required.
After the train gates there were security officers who were checking the passports for people entering the airport. Not sure why this procedure was in place though.
After quite a long walk which included going up several escalators, I reached to Terminal 1 South Wing, home of all Star Alliance airlines at NRT.
Check-in had already began by the time I arrived so I missed the greeting by the check-in agents. Served by a very polite (not surprising) agent who issued my boarding pass and lounge invitation.
Before going through the security, I went to the gift shop and spend my remaining yen on miyagegashi or “souvenir sweets” for friends and family. The total damage was 6400 JPY or more than 110 SGD.
I made a kettle’s mistake by leaving a bottled water inside my carry-on but besides that the security and immigration were hassle-free. As mentioned earlier T2 South Wing is Star Alliance-central of NRT.
The ANA business lounge wasn’t exactly easy to find for me and I didn’t like that it had no windows.
The coolest thing inside the lounge got to be the noodle bar.
With plenty of time to go, I headed for my gate.
Flight: Singapore Airlines SQ 637
Depart: Tokyo Narita (NRT) – 11:10
Arrive: Singapore (SIN) – 17:20
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 11 K
I made another kettle mistake after I boarded, taking 1K for my 11K. I blamed it on the excitement of experiencing SQ J for the first time.
After being pointed out (imagine my embarrassment) by a crew, I found my way to the assigned seat.
First impression of the seat? It was really wide!
The crew came along with newspapers and drink. Interestingly they requested me to put my carry-on onto the overhead compartment without offering to help. I believed that the OZ or NH crew would be fighting over that task.
Putting the newspaper aside I went to rummage through the seat pocket.
The plane began its taxi to the runway and ahead of us was a JAL bird.
Next up was us.
The crew delivered the post-takeoff drinks as well as slippers and eye masks after reaching cruising altitude.
I powered up the KrisWorld and loaded my first programme.
It turned out that I’ve watched the episode before so I switched to another programme.
While watching this rather interesting programme (Mary was helping a realty company to upgrade its customer service), satay was being served.
I hadn’t have satay for a long time and I didn’t expect to have it 35,000 feet above ground. Pleasant surprise.
I also realized that I should take a photograph of the menu.
Pretty nice starter; especially like the tuna. Not knowing which drinks to go with my meal, I asked the Japanese crew member who was serving my row. She recommended the red wine (after giving some serious thought) and went on to explain that although most people would have white wine with fish, the red wine would go better with the unagi which was quite rich in flavour.
Despite the heavy meal, I wanted to see what the dessert was.
I didn’t reject the cheeses nor praline.
I was really full by the end of the meal and I reckoned I put on several kilos by the end of the flight.
The remainder of the flight was spent on KrisWorld. One of the programmes that I watched was The Lives of Others, an excellent German movie set in 80s East Germany.
The seven hour flight never felt long. If only all my flights were on SQ J.
Too bad I was on the wrong side of the plane and could not capture Singapore’s skyline during the landing.