Tuesday, 27 May 2008

CDG-NGO with JAL in C

This is a photo record of a rehabilitation trip I took. Thanks to an offer with Air France, I was able to use miles I had to get award flights to Nagoya at a phenomenal discount. I knew that staying, eating and travelling in Japan can be very cheap (especially if one forgoes the JR Rail pass) and realised I could afford to spend two weeks in Japan despite my precarious finances. It's also a country where I feel very safe, perfect after a year in bed when your confidence is still rock bottom.
I stayed at the Sheraton Miyako in Osaka for US$30 a night, the Raizan Kitakan cost 2,100yen a night and the Okayama International Villa on Shiraishi Island cost 3,000yen a night for a room of my own (if you share a room it's 2,5000yen a night). My food and drink budget was 2,000yen a day. To avoid foie gras on the JL flight I had to order a 'special' seafood menu, it was the same food you get in Economy class but presented with a little more finesse. It wasn't particularly good - the little onigiri set I bought from a service station on my budget 1,900yen coach trip to Osaka was much better. The actual service on the CDG-NGO flight in Business WAS fantastic, I was made to feel like a rock star. However, the service on the return flight in Economy was every bit as good. I like to sleep on the way to Japan and remain awake on the flight back, so even though there was no Business class availability for the return trip, the arrangement suited me very well. The Economy seat was actually a little more comfortable in the upright position than the other seat was (but my opinion is skewed by fearsome sciatica and a bad back). I had my own noise-reducing headphones which let me sit back and enjoy the films and both flights were amongst the nicest I've ever had. The crew on both legs were really exceptional!