Mount Fuji seen from our plane
Over the next few weeks I’ll try to catch up with our spring break traveling, sightseeing, cherry blossom extravaganza. For the first installment: I love flying in Japan!
I booked round trip tickets plus one night hotel stay from Tokyo to Osaka through Yahoo! Japan Travel. We left Maebashi with plenty of time to get to the airport about 90 minutes early, however, I soon found out that we could have slept in a bit more.
When we checked in there was no line at the gate. I was a little confused at first because I had thought we were flying into Osaka Itami Airport, but actually our tickets were to Kobe Airport. No problem, though, it wasn’t too much farther, and we were able to take an afternoon side trip to Himeji Castle after we arrived this way. After check-in, you can have your bags x-rayed and then check them, or just skip this step if you’ve only got carry-on. Since bag-check is at a separate counter, the check-in line doesn’t get nearly as long as it does at home. Since we were flying in and out of Kobe Airport instead of Osaka, I was a little concerned about scheduling our train schedule, so I asked what time we should arrive to check in for our return flight. We were told that we could arrive up to 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time! Wow, what a surprise!
Security at the airport was much less of a hassle than it usually is at home. If you want to take off your shoes (you don’t have to), they provide you with slippers. If you have a water bottle, just take a sip to show that it’s water. If you accidentally set off the metal detector, you can have another chance to take off your belt, jewelry, and pocket change instead of going straight to the pat down. Of course, this is only for domestic flights; if you’re flying internationally you’re out of luck. The flight was quick, we had a great view of Mount Fuji since they tried to accommodate as many passengers as possible with window seats, and even with the hotel stay it cost only about half as much as round trip tickets on the shinkansen.