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Posts for Tag: Japan

The Flying Diaries : BOM - NRT - BOM ( ANA Business )

The Flying Diaries series on the Blog have always featured flying experiences onboard Emirates. I was really eager to attend the Abu Dhabi GP but unfortunately guest passes couldn't be arranged. Thankfully the Japanese GP came through and I had to draw up plans for travel and stays fairly quickly. ANA, also known as All Nippon Airways was the airline of choice. I chose to fly into Tokyo even though it was a bit farther from Nagoya ( the city closest to the town of Suzuka ). Tokyo has 2 airports - Narita International Airport & Haneda International Airport; both airports are connected with the Centre of Tokyo by Road and Rail. The best way to travel from either is by Rail - Narita Express / Haneda Express.

ANA operates a solitary service to and fro from Mumbai. The Outbound journey was on 9th October and the Return on the 18th.

So how was the experience in Business Class on ANA? Lets have a quick look!

Mumbai - Tokyo ( ANA Business ) ( 9th October 2019 ) :

Bags are packed and ready!

Shots of the GVK Business Class Lounge, East Wing Section. The East Wing is as good as its Western Counterpart and less populated.

The Spread, as good as ever!

The ANA Business Class seat on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, roomier and more comfortable than it looks!

The Amenities on offer, they even Loan Pyjamas in the Business Class :

Pushback and taxiing to the Runway :

Lets Fly!!

Video Link for Takeoff :

The Elaborate Menu on offer, dominated by Japanese Cuisine. Would have been nice to have a more International menu. I opted to go for an Indian Non-Veg Meal ( better known as Hindu Non-Veg Meal ).

Opted for the Aromatic Kabosu, a signature drink ( Citrus ) on ANA with some little eats followed by a Chicken Tart, Chicken Tikka Starter, Jeera Rice, Lentils and Chicken Makhanwala. The Royal Chocolate Cake with some Green tea was the perfect ending to a good meal.

The Bed is ready, time for a nap before landing into Tokyo :

Enroute to Tokyo, the Interactive Map offering great info on the Flight path :

Nearing Touchdown at Narita International Airport, early in the morning the next day :

Landing at Tokyo Narita International Airport ( Video Link ) :

Here we are in Japan!

Tokyo Narita Express, the most economical, fastest & comfortable way to get from Narita International Airport to the heart of Tokyo. I opted for Business Class Seats on these too, they offer reclining and better cushioning.

I was in the heart of Tokyo 90 minutes later and then continued my journey to Nagoya with the JR Shinkansen ( Bullet Train ), the Nozomi Express.

Tokyo - Mumbai ( ANA Business ) ( 18th October 2019 ) :

The journey began early in the morning from Shinjuku in Tokyo to Tokyo Central to catch the Narita Express to Narita International Airport. I just made it in time for my ride to the airport.

I decided to walk around the terminal for a bit post security check.

Some shots of the Narita International Airport :

ANA has 2 separate lounges for Business and First Class. It is nowhere near as good as the ones in Dubai and the spread majorly features regional dishes.

The ANA Business Class Lounge :

I decided to head to the gate after a bite.

The wait begins :

The Chariot for the return journey awaits!

Business Class for the return journey, the same aircraft that flew us in but this time a different seat :

Commencing Pushback and Taxi to the Runway :

A busy morning at Narita International Airport :

Takeoff from Tokyo Narita International Airport ( Video Link ) :

Aerial views of Tokyo :

Views from 38000 feet, so beautiful!

The Menu for the evening :

Commencing meal service with the Kabosu ( I developed a liking for it ) followed by some savouries, a Vegetable salad, Chicken Masala, Steamed Rice and some Dry lentils. Frankly, the meal service on the return journey was an utter disappointment. I did enjoy the Light eats ( Chips and Ice cream ) though but ANA need to have a serious relook at their menu options.

Another meal, another letdown :

Some more views of the dusk approaching :

Our Flying Route on the Interactive Map, a major part of flying over China :

Home beckons :

Landing at Mumbai International Airport ( Video Link ) :

The Staff are excellent on ANA in Business Class, warm, welcoming and hospitableThe 787 Dreamliner by Boeing offered very comfortable seats. The biggest disappointment was the meal service, I do hope they improve over time. The Airline is rated 5 start and its a good product by itself but I feel Emirates has an edge with their award winning Entertainment System ( I found the Entertainment options onboard to be very limited with mediocre headphones ), a really elaborate menu onboard, Chauffeur services, wider seats and a more comfortable and elegant looking lounge. However in terms of connectivity and timings, this still is the best airline to fly with to the land of the Far East.

The Flying Diaries series comes to an end..hopefully there will be more in 2020.

The Paddock Weekends - 2019 Japanese GP - Day 3 ( Day 2 called off )

Typhoon Hagibis had wrecked havoc in mainland Japan on Saturday. The Circuit organizers had decided to shift Qualifying to Sunday Morning while cancelling all events on Saturday ( and rightly so ). The storms lasted for the night but the sun came out in the morning! It was great to behold the morning sun on what promised to be a very very busy Race Day!


A Glorious Morning after a Stormy Saturday!

We had learnt our lesson and decided to use the Trains to make our way into Suzuka. The first leg of my journey consistent of a one stop Metro ride to Nagoya Central Station.

Taking the Metro to Nagoya Central Station :

The train ride to Shiroko Station and a 15 minute Taxi ride to Suzuka from there.

Shiroko to Suzuka :

The journey was fairly brisk and we reached the Paddock Gates at 9 in the morning. There were others from the F1 Fraternity making an entry with us!

The F1 Supremo, the CEO, Mr. Chase Carey :

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Principal Toto Wolff :

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team :

Welcome to the Japanese GP Paddock!

Chocolate and Cappuccino to go with breakfast :

Post breakfast, I made my way down to the F1 Village to see what the stores had on offer.

The F1 Village, completely packed with passionate fans. It is pretty evident that Kimi Raikkonen is a big hit in Japan.

An hour of walking around and it was time to head to the Viewing Terrace for the start of Qualifying.

The view from the Terrace on Sunday Morning :

Shots from Q1 :

Charles Leclerc was the fastest in Q1 from Lewis Hamilton & Max Verstappen. Both the Alfa Romeos made it into Q2!

Returning to the Pits at the end of the session :

Q2 Underway :

Valtteri Bottas was the Fastest in Q2 from Lewis Hamilton and Alexander Albon! Antonio Giovinazzi qualified in P11 while Kimi Raikkonen finished in P13, both Alfa Romeo cars out in Q2 sadly.

Shots from Q3 :

Video Link for Start of Q3 :

Sebastian Vettel grabbed Pole position from Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas, a great position to start for Scuderia Ferrari F1 Team!

Alfa Romeo would be disappointed to narrowly miss being in the top 10, but a free tyre choice should promise them a strong race!

The various levels of Access in the Paddock World of F1. Complex and confusing!

Post Qualifying, it was time for the Pit Lane Walk :

Shots from the Pit Lane Walk :

The Alfa Romeo Racing Garage getting prepped :

Lunch :

The Motorhome, a busy place. Everyone grabbing a quick bite before heading back to the garage to prepare for the race :

Grid Kids making their way down to the grid :

I found my vantage spot on the Terrace and it was time to get ready for the Grid Presentation and the Race Start!

The Starting Grid - a hub of activity before the Race Start :

The Drivers gathering for the National Anthem before the race :

The chariots being readied for their riders :

The Alfa Romeo crew getting the machines ready :

The Boys getting suited up for battle :

Time to get buckled in :

Final checks before the Formation Lap :

The Timer running down :

The Grid is cleared for the start of the Formation Lap :

Formation lap time!

Video Link To Start of the Formation Lap :

Cars forming up on the grid for the Race Start :

2019 Japanese GP Race Start ( Video Link ) :

Shots from the race :

Charles Leclerc Pit Stop ( Video Link ) :

Alex Albon Pit Stop ( Video Link ) :