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Sunday, September 16, 2007

JL772 - Sydney to Toyko Narita

At check-in at Melbourne we were told that she couldn't give us boarding passes for this flight and we would have to just get them in Sydney.

We landed at Sydney Domestic but our flight leaves from Sydney International so it was a case of hopping on the the transfer bus. When we arrived we were left a little confused as our original instructions were quite vague. We couldn't go straight through as that was only for those with boarding passes so we had to brave the terminal itself.

At the Qantas information desk we were told we had to go to the JAL check-in which just so happened to be at the other end of the terminal. It never ceases to amaze me why that always seems to be the case.

Once again we managed to bypass the massive queues and head fairly quickly to a counter. We still weren't certain that we were at the right place but as it so happened, we were.


Check in was painless our luggage having disappeared into the system at Melbourne. The hand luggage scan went without a hitch, Paalo remembering to remove his phone this time.

After this we headed to TRS to claim back the gst on new camera we'd purchased - for those that are interested it's the Nikon d80 with 18-200 VR lens. One thing we didn't realise is that when we come back we have to declare the camera and pay duty on it! Now I understand why some people just don't bother.

JAL Sakura Lounge:

Our plane doesn't leave until 9:35am so we've got a bit of time to kill. The lounge is quite small but has floor to ceiling windows offering views of the surrounds. There's quite the heat load coming in at this time of the day, the sun shining full force straight in.

As you would expect the offerings are more on the Japanese side of things - sake, sushi, wasabi crackers.

The Flight:

From the ticket we knew we were on the upper level we just didn't know whereabouts. Row 15 is actually the first row.

Not a bad position but the seats were another thing. They have got to be one of the most uncomfortable seats found in business and I'd say they are the worse airline seats I've experienced. What compounds the situation is that the cabin is quite warm and the valour covering is just acting as a heat trap. I don't like the heat at the best of times, stuck in a metal box only makes matters worse.


The menu is structured in two - western and Japanese. We decide to try both with Paalo nabbing the Japanese.

To start we are given a packet of Otsumami (nuts and crackers) and Dry Natto to snack on with our drink of choice - I've gone for the Plum wine and Paalo for the


The dry natto is surprisingly good.

otsumami dry natto

For the western meal you get

Grilled Scallop and Prawn with Boiled Asparagus
Linguine pasta with Tomato Concasser
Fillet of Beef with Mustard Sauce - grilled fillet of beef steak with wholegrain mustard demi-glace sauce, accompanied by boulangere potatoes, broccoli and carrots
Fresh Salad

scallop and prawn

pasta salad


The Japanese Menu consists of:
Zensai: Beef Skewer, Chicken Meat Ball, Rolled Salmon with Asparagus, Sweet Potato Mousse
Mukouzuke: Baked Eggplant and Mushrooms with Lime Sauce
Kobachi: Cold Japanese Noodles "Soba"
Dainomono: Steamed assorted fresh seafood with oriental sauce
Steamed Rice, Japanese Pickles, Miso Soup

and it looked like this:



mukouzuke and rice parcel

kobachi and miso

For both menus desserts are the same and is a choice of:
Orange Chocolate Cake; Hazelnut Cheese Cake, Strawberry Tart, Japanese Sweet or Cheese and Fresh Fruit.

I picked the rather pretty strawberry tart

strawberry tart

and Paalo had the Hazelnut Cheesecake



In case you are wondering it takes 9 and a half hours to fly from Sydney to Tokyo.

With a few hours before we land we are offered the snack which consisted of:
Vegetable Quiche and Smoked Salmon Open Face Sandwich
Prepared Fresh fruit
Vanilla Ice Cream
with a choice of coffee, tea or consommé soup

snack plate

fruit salad ice cream

green tea

Our general impressions are that the food was quite good - the Japanese menu, according to Paalo was the best airline meal he has ever had. The western menu was better than average though they could hold off on putting sun-dried tomatoes on everything.

The comfort level is extremely poor and I've never been as uncomfortable as I was here. The heat was unbearable, our hands swelling so much it was painful to bend our fingers and the fingertips were losing feeling. Those are sensations you really don't want to experience at the best of times.

It came as a relief that we landed on time however we then sat on the tarmac close to 40 minutes as another plane was still in our slot, it was only after waiting for 30 minutes that they decided to go to another slot.

When we finally disembarked we're met with unexpected conditions - it's hot and humid! From one of the temperatures gauges its 30 degrees and about 90% humidity.

The immigration and customs process is pretty quick and very well organised, so we are through the airport in no time.


  1. Anonymous16:16

    You make it sound like they sat there twidling their thumbs on the runway - if you only understood how hard it is to find another spot when your's is still occupied you would appreciate how it ONLY took 30 minutes for this to be arranged... Most airlines would simply wait until their spot eventually became free, but it seems JAL took some initiative on this one!

  2. dear umm anonymous -This was one of the worse flights I'd been on - temperature wise it made me feel sick and to top it off we were stuck on the tarmac with no relief. I think I was fairly even tempered in this post but then again I'm only the person that paid for the flight not an employee.


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