The wonderful thing about travel is the experience of something different than what you're used to. And for a European it doesn't get any more different than Japan. When you're in Japan, you know that you're 5,000 miles away from home.
However, one thing that’s Japanese that I am used to is their food. I seek out Japanese restaurants no matter where I am in the world. It was four years since my last trip to Japan so another visit was well overdue. I’d been hearing that the food capital of Japan was Osaka, so, of course, I booked a flight there.
I used some of my Avios (British Airways) miles to book a business class flight with Japan Airlines direct from Bangkok to Osaka for 20,000 Avios + £26.90 ($34.10 USD / €32.08 EUR) in cash. An excellent value redemption considering the cash price of the same ticket was £963 ($1221 USD / €1148 EUR).
It was a 5 hour flight but fortunately Japan Airlines use a long haul aircraft for the route. Long haul is usually defined by most airlines to be over 7 hours. The benefit of flying in a long haul aircraft is that you get a flat bed in business class rather than just a big seat. And with a 23:25 takeoff I needed it.
I got a solid 3 and a half hours sleep in. The cabin crew asked me before lights out if I wanted to be woken up for breakfast or left to sleep. Of course I value food higher than sleep so I wasn’t going to miss my first Japanese breakfast of the trip.
With the 2 hour time difference the flight landed at 6:25. Early morning arrivals are good in that you get a whole day at your destination. In fact, more than a full day for me because I generally don’t get out of bed before midday. But they are bad in that it’s usually way too early to check into a hotel.