Japan

Lounge Review: Narita (NRT) Terminal 1 United Club Lounge, 30 January 2017

Narita Airport Terminal 1 United Club Lounge

Where: Terminal 1, Near Gate 31, Narita International Airport
Hours: 7.30 am – 8.30 pm

So, United Club doesn’t suck, as long as it’s not in the USA. I accessed this spacious lounge with tarmac views with my United Airlines Business class boarding pass.

There are several seating areas, separated by dividers. Aside from the dining area near the bathrooms, the rest of the lounge is sofa seating.

Narita Airport Terminal 1 United Club Lounge

Food/Drinks

The food selection pales in comparison to the ANA Lounge, but is orders of magnitude better than what’s served in domestic United Club lounges (like snacks… sucky ones). There was some sushi, sandwiches, soup, and some snacks.

Narita Airport Terminal 1 United Club Lounge

The alcohol selection is also decent, and range from draught beer to various sakes, and some hard liquor.

Narita Airport Terminal 1 United Club Lounge

Bathroom/Shower

The bathroom was clean. I didn’t use the shower.

Narita Airport Terminal 1 United Club Lounge

Service

Service was unobtrusive, and dirty dishes got cleared often enough.

Narita Airport Terminal 1 United Club Lounge

Wifi/Power Outlets

Wifi was available, and decent. Power outlets were also easily available in the lounge.

Narita Airport Terminal 1 United Club Lounge

Overall

This is a decent lounge. I got some food (although I didn’t like it). Honestly, I’m just grateful it isn’t just pretzels and nuts.

There was also a rather interesting incident. Apparently, I sat opposite some Japanese celebrity. I have no idea who he is (and still don’t know who he is), but a bunch of people came up to him, and requested for pictures.

So, maybe come here for an off chance you may spot a celebrity?

Categories: Airport Lounge, Japan | Tags: | Leave a comment

To the Islands: Guam, Palau, Tokyo – the Non-Survivor Edition, 29 Jan – 07 Feb 2017

Palau

I’ve actually never watched Survivor, but Palau is on my list, because it’s a miles&points redemption dream. It’s one of those places that’s so close (~2000 miles from Singapore as the crow flies), yet so expensive (over 1000 USD) and hard to get to (multiple stops).

Enter United miles. Palau is in the same region as Japan and Korea, making it a cheap redemption (12,500 miles one way for economy saver). It’s not often that one can get over 500 usd for a 12,500 mile redemption. Ok, in reality I paid 50,000 United miles because while waiting for my friend to confirm, economy saver availability went away, and I ended up taking business class saver one way, and economy standard the other way.

Anyway, here goes my island-hopping itinerary!

29 January 2017: Singapore to Haneda (on Japan Airlines Business Class redeye for 25,000 Alaska Miles)

30 January 2017: Narita to Guam (on United Airlines Business class, priced as a free stopover, 25,000 miles)

31 January 2017: Guam

01 February 2017: Guam to Palau (on United Airlines Business class)

02 February 2017: Palau

03 February 2017: Palau

04 February 2017: Palau to Narita (redeye, United Airlines)

05 February 2017: Tokyo

06 February 2017: Tokyo

07 February 2017: Tokyo – Singapore (Delta, I paid for it, and got 5,000 Alaska miles from the flight)

Categories: Itinerary, Japan, Miles&Points, Palau, Premium Travel, USA | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Lounge Review: Narita (NRT) Terminal 1 ANA Lounge, 21 December 2016

Narita Airport Terminal 1 ANA Lounge

Quite frankly, I didn’t explore the extent of the Narita Airport Terminal 1 ANA Lounge – it looked like it was circular, and went around the space for a bit, so let’s just assume it’s big. It is white-themed, with high ceilings and tarmac views. When I visited in the late afternoon, it was pretty busy. I only confined myself to the dining area, which did have plenty of seating, but service also had some problems keeping up with clearing the dirty dishes because it was busy.

Narita Airport Terminal 1 ANA Lounge

First order of business, a shower. The shower room was excellent. It was clean, and they left a basket of amenities, including towels, and all different shower products.

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Narita Airport Terminal 1 ANA Lounge

Narita Airport Terminal 1 ANA Lounge

Next up, the buffet selection is slightly small, but they do have a noodle counter, where there’s food cooked to order. I ordered a curry rice, and got buzzed after 5 minutes. It was pretty decent curry rice. I also tried their fried chicken on offer, which was pretty decent as well. There was Japanese draught beer on tap, and a couple of sake selections. You can check out their rotating selection here.

Narita Airport Terminal 1 ANA Lounge

Overall, this is an excellent lounge, where you can get a good meal and a nice shower.

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Japan – Ishigaki, 15 October 2012

When we woke up, we were in Ishigaki, Japan. Ishigaki is part of the Okinawa. For most of history, Okinawa was an independent kingdom known as Ryukyu kingdom, and shared intimate connections with Southeast Asia. It acted as a trading port of sorts between China and Southeast Asia. But in the present, due to its fairly tropical weather, beautiful beaches, clear waters, and reefs, it is now a popular honeymoon destination for Japanese couples who opt for a domestic location.

As part of the entire cruise vacation idea, Star Cruise also offers several land packages at extra cost. My parents signed up for the Kabira Bay and Limestone Cave tour. Kabira Bay is certainly pretty, with clear turquoise waters. For tourists who want to get closer to marine life, right after we got off the bus, there were multiple offers for glass bottom boats, from which you could view the marine life without discomfort. Rates start from 8000 yen for adults. We didn’t bite. Still, it was a nice view from the top. There were plenty of little islets from the top of Kabira Bay. It reminds me a little of Komodo, actually. As there was some time, we ended up sitting at a coffee shop, and having some of their local gelatos, with very interesting flavors. Unfortunately, I’m not known to venture far beyond chocolate ice cream, so I can’t really comment. But you can check out the other flavors available on my flickr page.

Next stop – limestone cave was slightly disappointing. After having been to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang caves, it was kinda hard to be impressed by this. The lighting was somewhat tacky, but they are somewhat different from previous limestone caves, because they are really wet. Walking around was slightly scary, as I was afraid to slip and fall. I shall let the pictures do the talking.

After lunch, and a trip to the super mart, we returned to the boat before 2 pm. After re-embarking, we were informed that the second part of our trip to Naha has been cancelled, as a typhoon was making its journey through the seas, and the port of Naha will be closed. Consequently, we have to make a premature return to Keelung.

Kabira Bay

Fish Eye of Kabira Bay

Ishigaki Limestone Cave

Ishigaki Limestone Cave

Coral in Ishigaki Limestone Cave?

 

Coral in the limestone cave?

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Itinerary: Taiwan and Japan, 13-18 October 2012

13 October: Taipei, Taiwan

14 October: Taipei/Keelung, Taiwan (board Superstar Virgo)

15 October: Ishigaki, Japan

16 October: Naha, Japan

17 October: Keelung/Taipei, Taiwan (I have some plans to go watch the Taiwan series [baseball], but I’m not sure if it’ll work out)

Categories: Cruise, Events, Itinerary, Japan, Taiwan | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Itinerary: Japan – Hokkaido, 10 – 16 May 2010

Family trip with parental units and other extended family, and it was with a tour group, so much of it was fuzzy.

10 May: Singapore – Narita – Chitose

11 May: Chitose – Shiraoi – Noribetsu

12 May: Noribetsu – Otaru – Sapporo

13 May: Sapporo – Toya

14 May: Toya – Hakodate

15 May: Hakodate – Tokyo

16 May: Tokyo – Singapore

Categories: Activities, Itinerary, Japan | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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