Same routine as per Thursday morning; before 1000 on the terminal
level 4 outside, and afterwards on the observation building. The
weather had cleared and it was a glorious, sunny day.
The wind was still northerly though, and it seemed we had lost our
opportunity to get landing shots on runway 24. Unusually though at
about 1230 they switched ends, and what was the first aircraft to
land on 24 ?, an Asiana 737-400 !. Unfortunately the one we'd seen on
the production line at Renton last October !!. We could only stay for
45 minutes before leaving to check-in, but we managed landing shots
on 24 of six or seven aircraft, the last before our departure for the
terminal being the 'Snoopy' All Nippon 747SR, one of the two
specially painted All Nippon Jumbos, which still provokes great
interest from the locals !.
A word of warning if you're here when the sun is out; the sea air
(you often forget that you're well out to sea) makes it very easy
to burn here, and we got the old 'spotter tan' yet again.
We collected our bags from the hotel concierge, who had kept them
free of charge for the morning, and checked in for JL114, one of the
easiest and fuss-free check-ins I'd ever had. We had noticed the day
before that this flight had been a 777, and sure enough on our stand
was JA8982 !. The flight to Haneda was full, and un-eventful,
although it was the first I'd been on that showed a camera view from
the nose-leg (?) on the tv screens in the cabin. Full marks to World
of Transport Travel (Paul and Ray) for getting these internal flights
organised, costing us 106GBP for NRT-NGO/KIX-HND.
Haneda was different to what I had expected, meaning that when we
landed on a runway I didn't even know existed (16L), I was a bit
dis-orientated, confused, and worried that spotting would be
difficult. I should have trusted what I had been told about the
viewing deck here, as it truly is superb. How many airports with
runways either side of the terminal complex would benefit from such
a lofty perch !. It's free too !. We spent 3 hours here before it got
too cold and dark, and in the meantime logged approximately 90
domestic Japanese airliners !. It truly is one of the world's
greatest airports, with a constant stream of arriving and departing
We also bumped into Mick Coad too ! ... he sends his regards !.
We had booked a hotel in a suburb of Tokyo called Hamamatsucho, which
is 23 minutes away from Haneda Airport on a monorail system (470Yen).
Fortunately they had faxed us a map showing directions, or we would
have never found it !. This seemed to be a business district,
although it was also a little run-down. We ate in a Wendy's (!), Y650
for a chicken sandwich meal, and then had 'a couple' in a nearby bar,
full of Japanese yuppies in suits !. It had to be one of the smokiest
environments I'd ever been in; smoking seems a major pastime for all
out here (as does drinking - it's interesting how many boozy
breaths you smell at any time of the day !). We retired early again,
in one of the smallest hotel rooms we'd ever been in !.
Highlights of the 19 I got new at Kansai were my third-last (!)
China Eastern A.300-600, another Korean MD.82, and another Austrian