The Flight to Dusseldorf via Dubai

I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve always been team window seat.

This is mostly due to the fact that I like to sleep on airplanes, and the window seat makes it easier to snuggle. But there are times I’m forced to keep awake so I can smoothly transition to local time when I land. There’s nothing worse than jet lag the entire week, so I usually adjust my sleep schedule accordingly by watching movies, listening to podcasts or just simply stare out the window.

It may depend on weather or geography but technically the view from an airplane window is always pretty amazing. So of course I have to take photos. Sometimes I end up with just as many photos from inside the plane as during my travels!

This time around, I flew from Haneda to Dusseldorf, with a short layover in Dubai. x

Here are some photos:

 

The Many Airports and Flights

When I think back on the holidays, the memories of Christmas morning, New Years sunrise, and good jolly time with family is what comes to mind.

But when I look at my photo library on my cellphone, I realized that there were just as many photos of my time at various airports and on flights. In the span of two weeks, I went through five different airports and (mostly slept through) six flights.

Despite my over ambitious flight schedule, I only missed one flight, which I think is pretty good for holiday travel. Then again, I am one of those people who likes airport security and only needs is a good book to keep me company. And maybe a bag of chex mix wouldn’t hurt.

I suspect my love of flights probably stems from the fact that I get motion sickness on most moving vehicles. All except airplanes. Thus flights are my safe haven. Kind of ironic, seeing as they are the only ones that provide you with a barf bag. But I get great views, time to read and sleep like a baby, all without turning green, so I’m happy!

What keeps you happy at airports and on flights?

My Detroit Airport layover…
This tunnel between the terminals was amaze-balls.
Intense colors changing to the beat of a holiday melody.
Catching up on reading at my gate.
You know what, I’ve heard horror stories but Delta wasn’t bad at all.
Someday I really want to explore Detroit.
Metro stations in DC remind me of batman and his cave.
One of my favorite airports, festive for the holidays.
Watching the guy throwing our luggage in the back while our plane gets ready.
Aisle seats aren’t too bad either.
God bless America, they feed you on every flight no matter how close your destination.
My layover at Detroit was short but it began to snow while we were boarding.
A slight delay to de-ice the aircraft…
Looking out the window and doodling during the delay.
Finally in the air, somewhere over Canada.
I can never get enough of this view. The world IS round!
Cotton candy pink clouds.
I did a lot of looking out the window, if you couldn’t tell.
Somewhere over Russia…looks pretty cold down there.
Well, equally cold up here, too.
Hello Chiba! Back in the motherland…a little too late to make my connecting flight.
Next day at Haneda, heading home to Ehime via Okayama airport.
Last flight of 2015.
Okayama station, where I get on the express train to Imabari.
The said express train, heading back to Okayama. Caught the 4:35am train…can you tell?
Okayama has the cutest packaging for its omiyage.
Waiting to board the airplane while watching Hakone Ekiden news…first flight of 2016.
The airplane landed in Haneda…and I headed straight to work to start the year!

The Flight to Okinawa

My love of staring out the airplane window continues.
Before I post the Okinawa photos, I thought I’d share some from my flight there (like I did previously with Matsuyama and Melbourne). It was a morning flight. A manseki (満席, full with no vacant seats) morning flight. Which means really long lines and lots of waiting.
But it was worth it because I got to see Mt Fuji from above and let me tell you, it was magnificent! Something about the new years season that always makes me think of Mt Fuji. Maybe I was Shinto in a previous life. Anyways, as always, I took tons of photos of the view from my window.
Here are some photos:
The line to board the airplane.
The airplane in line to take-off from Haneda airport.
There’s Yokohama port and Yokohama Bay Bridge.
I could already see Mt Fuji in the distance from above Yokohama.
And here we are with a closer view of Mt Fuji, flying right above Shizuoka.
It looks incredibly small AND huge at the same time…if that makes sense.
I actually spotted the path I took when I climbed to the top of Mt Fuji. Wow.
I think Mt Fuji looks even more beautiful with the snow, don’t you think?
The mountains of Minami Alps National Park were also covered in snow as well.
As much as I love looking down on land…there’s nothing like flying above the clouds.
I have no words for how amazing this view is.
First view of the motherland!
The ocean is so blue.
Blue ocean and green land…this is all I need to relax really.
Finally landed in Naha airport!
It is almost a 3 hour flight going there…but only a little more than 2 hours flying back to Tokyo.
And finally, you know you’re in Okinawa when these orchids welcome you in the terminal 😀

The Flight to Melbourne

I am finally dipping my toes into my trip to Melbourne!
Can I just start out by telling you how little I packed (by my standards) for my nine-day trip to Melbourne and Singapore? I don’t even know how I pulled this off but my suitcase was so small that I could actually bring it on to the plane with me as a carry-on (although I didn’t). My first time using this packing method and it really worked! Yay me!
Also, have you ever taken an international flight out of Haneda International Airport?
I’ve landed here before but this was my first time flying out of Haneda’s International terminal (as opposed to Narita International Airport). Because there aren’t as many flights scheduled there, the whole process of checking-in your luggage and going through immigration is over before you know it. It’s the smoothest and quickest process ever!
But on the other hand…because people are so scarce, the inside of the terminal is quiet as a tomb. No hustle and bustle of people heading to various gates. No attendants calling out for people late to board. At times it was like a deserted airport or a very large library.
I’m not exactly sure which I like better, busy Narita or quiet Haneda.
Well, all that aside. I made it to my gate with plenty of time to spare, which is rare for me. I had time to charge my phone in preparation for the 7+ hour flight to Singapore and then the next 7+ hour flight to Melbourne, which was great. I slept through most of it and before I knew it, I was in Melbourne!
Here are some airport and airplane photos:
I’m still patting myself on the back for my small luggage (especially compared to before).
What do you usually eat as your last meal before travelling overseas?
My dinner at the airport. I usually miss rice while travelling so I got the ocha-zuke set.
This was delicious! I love ume-boshi with a passion!
My first time flying on Singapore Airlines….loved the wide seats!
Cold rainy days are the perfect time to travel miles and miles away.
Why I will always fly with Singapore Airlines when travelling in Asia Pacific…Haagen-Dazs for dessert!
I slept through the entire flight but woke up 30 minutes before landing to see this view.
Australia is HUGE!
I am always in awe of the view from an airplane window.
My hobby is to identifying the places I see…this is parts of the Greater Bendigo National  Park.
Google Map tells me the dark patches are part of the Pilchers Bridge Flora and Fauna Reserve.
This is Lake Eppalock, a man-made lake and dam built in the early 60s on Campaspe River.
I was really fascinated with this lake…I mean, look at that beautiful shape!
As much as I love to sleep on flights, I’m starting to enjoy the view from my window!
More (actual) Melbourne posts to come! x

The Tiny Plane To Matsuyama

I got on the tiniest plane ever this summer.
Okay, I exaggerate a little…but not by much. It has definitely been a while since I’ve been on an airplane that has propellers and only one aisle, so I thought I’d write about it. Especially because I got great pictures, too!
Sitting by the boarding gate at Itami Airport, I saw a tiny plane land right outside my gate from the corner of my eye. I thought it was a cargo plane or something and didn’t even give it a thought. But then my flight to Matsuyama Airport was announced and once we passed the gate…we were guided outside.
Well, that doesn’t happen very often.
I’m not a nervous flyer at all but I’d be lying if I said my eyes weren’t glued to the propellers when we lifted off (not that I could do anything if they had stopped). I definitely felt the G’s, which was kind of fun. Also, because the airplane was cruising at a lower altitude, I had a great view of the Seto Inland Sea from above. All in all, I loved it!
Do you prefer larger airplanes? Or enjoy smaller ones?

Boarding our Bombardier DHC8-Q400 airplane!
Going up up up above the city of Osaka.
Onaruto Bridge (大鳴門橋) connects Awaji and Tokushima across the Naruto Straight.
A view of Seto Ohashi Bridge (瀬戸大橋), which goes from Okayama and Kagawa.
I’m almost positive this is the island of Nakajima (中島) near Matsuyama (松山).
We also had a super moon the day before…so pretty!
I love how the clouds look like cotton candy!
Enjoying the beautiful view while simultaneously checking for loose screws (just in case!).
It was too cloudy to see from below but we got a good view of the moon from here!
Isn’t this like an oil painting? Love the colors!
Ta-dah! We landed safely at Matsuyama Airport!
My sister’s airplane from Tokyo landed a little later and we both headed home to Imabari together!

The Sign of Spring in Tokyo

Despite the snowy weekends we’ve been having in Tokyo (here and here), blossoms have been popping up here and there.
And you know what that means!
It’s a sign. The very best sign of all. It means warmer days are just around the corner (which is all I need really) and mother earth is starting to snuggle out of her winter blanket so we can enjoy her magical spring transformation (obviously I’ve forgotten how bad my hay fever is during the winter…but I don’t care!). Can. Not. Wait.
Major blossoms in Japan are ume (梅 – plum) and sakura (桜 – cherry). I love the ume for its delicate and fragrant blossoms and the sakura for its lush gorgeous trees. 
I’ve been seeing ume blossoms around the city but my absolute favorite blossom of all time is this yellow blossom. It’s called Robai in Japanese and Winter Sweet in English. (The kanji for Robai uses the characters wax (蠟) + plum (梅), apparently got the name from the fact that the blossoms look like waxwork.) It has an strong sweet fragrance and I couldn’t make up my mind whether to snap a shot or just keep on sniffing.
Aren’t they gorgeous?

PS: If you want to see ume blossoms in Tokyo, here is a great guide to the best spots!

The Rainbow After The Storm

Typhoon number 18 pass through Japan this morning.
I have a bad habit of getting excited over natural phenomenons and I always feel guilty about it because people actually get hurt or even pass away. But even when I was younger in Michigan, every time there was a tornado warning, I’d get excited and run outside to watch the sky turn all green and eerie. Little pebbles would start to fly around and the air would be would of energy. It was always the most amazing feeling watching mother nature express herself.
I ended up sleeping through most of this typhoon. But when I went outside to go grocery shopping, the whole sky was lit up in bright pinks and oranges. It was so bright that not just the sky but even the air seemed to be pink. Isn’t it a gorgeous way to end our three-day weekend?
Hope you all had a great long weekend, too! x