2018年9月8日土曜日

Attention: No Posts For This Month

This month of September will not be featuring any trip reports. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.

2018年8月18日土曜日

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This month of August will not be featuring any trip reports. Please accept my most sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

2018年6月8日金曜日

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This month of June will not feature any trip reports. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.

2018年3月8日木曜日

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This month of March will not be featuring any trip reports. Please do accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.

2018年2月10日土曜日

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This month of February will not be featuring any trip reports. Please do accept my most sincere apologies for any incovenience caused.

2017年12月1日金曜日

🇯🇵 2017 Christmas Special: Travelling Around Japan In 15 Days For The End Of The Year In November & December 2017 ~ Section 1 🇯🇵

Ladies and Gentlemen, as the Northern Hemisphere year-end winter festive season fast approaches, I hope it is not too early to wish you all a 'Season's Greetings' in advance. To help enlighten your spirits for the coming holiday festive season, I would like to warmly welcome you to this year's Christmas special trip report detailing my long end-of-year winter vacation to Japan in November and December 2017. This new end-of-year winter trip report will be divided into a total of seven sections, for which, this will be the very first section of the end-of-year winter special trip report itself.

There will be a total of four focus topics, excluding the opening sequences, that will be covered in this first section of the entire trip report itself. They will mainly be the in-bound pre-dawn early morning shuttle flight to Kuala Lumpur, the early morning layover at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the continuing morning flight to Tokyo (Narita) and the late evening road trip to the Yachimata Villa. While the videos featured in this trip report can also be accessed via my YouTube channel, please take note that for safety reasons, it is forbidden to post or leave any user comments for all of these videos on YouTube. You may, however, post or leave your comments in the comment boxes at the end of each trip report segment.

Part 1 ~ The Opening Sequences

After my younger brother had completed his GCE 'O' Level examinations in his final year of secondary education, we spent the next upcoming days with our parents on deciding where to travel to in celebration of the end-of-year winter festive season. Barely a week later, my parents had decided to bring all four of us on an end-of-year winter vacation to Japan for a period of 15 days. Over the coming days, I was quite happy since I had gotten the chance to visit my most much-loved country before flying off Down Under to Perth, Western Australia, to commence my tertiary studies from January 2018.

Both my parents had originally planned to travel to the United States for this year's end-of-year winter holiday season. However, due to recent unforeseen circumstances, such as the 2017 Las Vegas shootings, 2017 California wildfires and a spate of recent political events, the travel plan was eventually changed to Japan at the last minute to ensure our safety and security for this end-of-year holiday festive season. I too had undergone two major personal shaking events that affected me emotionally in the course of the year, which resulted in me wearing a smile only on rare occasions, such as voluntary school events during my free periods.

After my younger brother had experienced a very life-threatening ordeal of a ruptured appendicitis, coupled with the sudden and unexpected demise of one of my ex-secondary school classmates over the summer, I knew that this year had been difficult for me and that I required this to aid my emotional healing. It was with these two major shaking and unfortunate events that I discovered my Boggart, or my worst fear, which was death, particularly if it were to happen to my younger brother, especially following his emergency medical surgery. However, I am also very thankful that my younger brother survived his ordeal and that he is still alive and here with me today.

In the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday (29 November), I was still up and about preparing the last remaining portions of my required baggage for the coming trip. To ensure that I was well-rested for the trip, I had completed all the necessary pre-travel errands by Monday (27 November) and managed to get some beauty sleep the previous day, waking up at around five o' clock in the evening. My parents had arranged for a MaxiCab to come and take us all to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 at four o' clock a few days before the end-of-year winter trip in advance.

As for the long in-bound early morning trip to Tokyo (Narita), we would first fly with Malaysia Airlines on flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur, which would be scheduled to depart from Singapore Changi Airport at six o' clock, and then arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 7.10 a.m. just after dawn. Upon arriving into Kuala Lumpur, we would have a morning layover of approximately 2 hours 40 minutes before catching Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita), which would depart from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 9.50 a.m., and arrive at Narita International Airport at 5.30 p.m. later that evening.

Given that all the non-stop Business Class tickets on Singapore Airlines were already sold out, we all knew that Malaysia Airlines would be the cheapest and most feasible airline option available for us. This particular end-of-year vacation would also mark our first trip with Malaysia Airlines, and the first time we would ever change flights in Malaysia. I had always wanted to try Malaysia Airlines, having read trip reports about Malaysia Airlines Business Class flights and learning from many trip reviewers that satay and teh tarik are the signature food and drink offered, with no one being able to have a true and authentic Malaysia Airlines experience without these items.

Having a shower and changed up into our attire for the coming trip, we laid out our baggage in the living room area before our MaxiCab arrived. Soon enough, our pre-arranged MaxiCab to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 finally arrived outside the front gate of our house at 3.55 a.m.. The MaxiCab driver, who was a Malay gentleman, alighted and assisted us in loading our baggage into the rear boot while we got in for the pre-dawn early morning trip to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2. With our baggage safely loaded in and everyone on board, we finally departed the familiar surroundings of our house at four o' clock for a short and quick pre-dawn early morning trip of 20 minutes over the Central Expressway (CTE) and Pan Island Expressway (PIE) to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2.

Later on, we finally arrived at the departures and drop-off point located at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 4.20 a.m.. While my younger brother and I headed to claim two baggage trolleys, the MaxiCab driver assisted my parents in unloading our baggage from the rear MaxiCab boot. Paying our cab fare, we all thanked the MaxiCab driver for his efficient services before heading into the departures and check-in hall at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 to the Malaysia Airlines Business Class check-in counters.

Soon enough, we finally arrived at the Malaysia Airlines Business Class check-in counters in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 4.25 a.m.. Getting out all our required travel documents and passports, we quickly commenced the check-in process for Malaysia Airlines flights MH 602 and MH 070 bound for Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo (Narita). It took not more than approximately five minutes to check in for Malaysia Airlines flights MH 602 and MH 070 bound for Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo (Narita).

Malaysia Airlines (Malay: Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad; Traditional Chinese: 馬來西亞航空公司) is the national flag carrier and the second-largest airline of Malaysia. Headquartered in the first floor of Administration Building, South Support Zone at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the airline maintains its main hub at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, with three secondary hubs located at Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Kuching International Airport and Penang International Airport. The airlines offers 59 destinations in Asia, Europe and Oceania, using a mixed fleet consisting of both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft of Airbus A330s, Airbus A380s and Boeing 737s.

The airline was established just two years after the end of World War II on 1 May 1947 as Malayan Airways, until it was divided into Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines in 1972. From 1 October 1972, the airline then developed its international routes progressively, also flying to Buenos Aires, Argentina, between 1993 and 2012, making it the first Southeast Asian carrier to serve South America. Malaysia Airlines then became a pure member of Oneworld from 1 February 2013, also maintaining mutual codeshare agreements with most fellow Oneworld carriers through its Enrich frequent-flyer program. It then ended service to the United States following the withdrawal of its Los Angeles route from 30 April 2014.

However, the airline suffered massive losses following the loss of two Boeing 777-200/ERs, with the first aircraft, 9M-MRO, lost as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing (Capital) after having vanished mid-way through the flight with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on 8 March 2014. Though extensive searches over the Indian Ocean were carried out over three years, the aircraft has not been found apart from a few pieces of debris. Less than six months later, its second Boeing 777-200/ER, 9M-MRD, was shot down over Ukraine while operating as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 017 from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam on 17 July 2014, claiming the lives of all 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. As a result of these losses, the airline was renationalised from 1 September 2015, with direct services to Amsterdam terminated from 25 January 2016.

The departures and drop-off point located at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning shortly after we had arrived

Overlooking Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 from the departures and drop-off point located at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning shortly after we had arrived

The interior of the departures and check-in hall in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Finally approaching the Malaysia Airlines Business Class check-in counters in the departures and check-in hall in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Overlooking the FAST self-service check-in counters from the Malaysia Airlines Business Class check-in counters in the departures and check-in hall in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

The Malaysia Airlines Business Class check-in counters in the departures and check-in hall in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Shortly after completing the check-in process for Malaysia Airlines flights MH 602 and MH 070 bound for Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo (Narita) at the Malaysia Airlines Business Class check-in counters located in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, we finally received all our boarding passes and lounge invitation passes at 4.30 a.m.. The check-in agent then informed us that today, Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur would be expected to depart at six o' clock from Gate No. E25, implying that we would be transported to our aircraft at a remote aircraft stand by bus. Boarding would commence at 5.25 a.m., approximately 35 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

With that, we thanked the Malaysia Airlines check-in agent for her efficient and selfless services and went to the departure immigration checkpoints with our lighter carry-on belongings. In order to clear the departure immigration checkpoints, we made use of the automated thumbprint checkpoints, which is reserved exclusively for both Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs). This eventually allowed us to clear the departure immigration process in less than a few minutes.

Soon enough, we were finally in the main transit airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 4.35 a.m.. Given that we still had some time left before Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur, we decided to first head to the SATS Premier Lounge for some light early morning refreshments. With that, we proceeded to the escalators and took the nearest escalator up to the airline lounge level, with the entire walk to the SATS Premier Lounge taking not more than approximately five minutes.

My boarding pass for the first in-bound flight sector from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur

Overlooking the departures and check-in hall at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 shortly before we headed into the main airside in the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Finally in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

The departure flight information screens in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

About to take the escalators up to the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Walking across the airline lounge level in the direction leading to the SATS Premier Lounge in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Overlooking the miniature rainforest pond from the airline lounge level on route to the SATS Premier Lounge in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Finally arriving at the main entrance to the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

After walking across the main airside of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 for not more than approximately five minutes, we finally arrived at the main entrance to the SATS Premier Lounge at 4.40 a.m.. Heading over to the main SATS Premier Lounge reception counter, a lounge receptionist examined all of our boarding passes before permitting us to enter the main lounge area. Once we had been positively identified, we promptly went to secure a good seating area located near the self-service refreshment corner before helping ourselves to some light refreshments.

Realising that I had yet to change some Singapore dollars into Japanese yen, I decided to proceed to a nearby open currency exchange counter to change some of my money first. Leaving my belongings in the care of my parents, I departed the lounge at 4.45 a.m. and caught the nearest escalator down to the main airside in search of a nearby currency exchange counter, eventually reaching one at 4.50 a.m.. At the currency exchange counter itself, I changed aS$3,072.30, thus receiving ¥247,400 in total. This resulted in my amount of Japanese yen increasing from ¥120,671 left from December 2016 to around ¥368,071.

Once I had completed my currency exchange procedure, the clock was finally showing 4.50 a.m.. Since there was still some lounge timing left, I decided to head back to the SATS Premier Lounge for some more refreshments. Taking the escalators back up to the airline lounge level, I finally arrived back at the main entrance to the SATS Premier Lounge by 4.55 a.m.. Getting out my own electronics, I had a small glass of Coca-cola and did some personal surfing on my portable laptop to pass the remainder of the lounge time.

The interior of the common seating area in the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning shortly after we had entered

Overlooking the self-service refreshment corner in the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

About to have some Croix Du Marquis Sauvignon 2016 white wine for myself in the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

A glass of Croix Du Marquis Sauvignon 2016 white wine and some light pasta for myself in the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

The self-service refreshment corner in the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

The main entrance to the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning as I make my way down to the main airside level

Overlooking the miniature rainforest pond from the airline lounge level as I make my way down to the main airside to change some Singapore dollars into Japanese yen

Bypassing the So Chocolate duty-free store in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 as I make my way down to the main airside to change some Singapore dollars into Japanese yen

Finally arriving at a currency exchange counter located near Concourse E in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

Bypassing some closed duty-free shops in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 on the way back to the SATS Premier Lounge

About to take the escalators back up to the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Walking across the airline lounge level in the direction back to the SATS Premier Lounge in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Overlooking the miniature rainforest pond from the airline lounge level on route back to the SATS Premier Lounge in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Finally arriving back at the main entrance to the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

The interior of the common seating area in the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning shortly after I had arrived back

Preparing the draft for the first section of the trip report in the SATS Premier Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, with Frutiger CE to serve as the de facto core font for the trip report

Reading 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' on iBooks in the SATS Premier Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 through the chapter where Harry's Uncle Vernon throws a temper tantrum after his nephew tells his son, Dudley Dursley, to say 'please' to obtain more bacon at the breakfast table - "WHAT HAVE I TOLD YOU," thundered his uncle, spraying spit over the table, "ABOUT SAYING THE 'M' WORD IN OUR HOUSE?!"

A glass of Coca-cola for myself in the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

The interior of the SATS Premier Lounge near the self-service refreshment corner in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Part 2 ~ The Flight To Kuala Lumpur

Airline: Malaysia Airlines
Flight No.: MH 602
From: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN / WSSS), Changi, Singapore
To: Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL / WMKK), Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8FZ(WL)
Registration No.: 9M-MLK
Class: Business Class
Seat No.: 4A
Date: Wednesday, 29 November 2017

After spending approximately 25 minutes of having some light refreshments and using our electronics in the SATS Premier Lounge located inside the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, the clock was finally showing 5.05 a.m.. Given that boarding for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur would commence in 25 minutes' time, I promptly packed away my belongings and departed the SATS Premier Lounge for Gate No. E25 first, with my family also promising to meet me on board the aircraft later on. The entire walk linking to Gate No. E25 took approximately five minutes.

Soon enough, I finally arrived at the main entrance to Gates No. E24 and E25 at 5.10 a.m., which was in good time for boarding for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur to commence in 15 minutes' time. With just a rapid and simple security check, I took the staircase down to the passenger waiting area at Gate No. E25, thus reaching there by 5.15 a.m.. Observing the number of passengers in the main passenger waiting lounge at Gate No. E25, I could deduce that Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur would be almost filled to the brim today.

One final view of the SATS Premier Lounge near the self-service refreshment corner in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 shortly before I departed the lounge for Gate No. E25

The main entrance to the SATS Premier Lounge in the airline lounge level in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning as I make my way down to Gate No. E25

Overlooking the miniature rainforest pond from the airline lounge level on route back to the SATS Premier Lounge in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 as I make my way down to Gate No. E25

About to take the escalators down from the airline lounge level to the main airside level at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 as I make my way down to Gate No. E25

Bypassing some closed duty-free shops in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 as I make my way to Gate No. E25

The departure flight information screens in the main airside at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 as I make my way to Gate No. E25

The passageway leading to Gates No. E20 to E28 and Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Finally arriving at the main entrance to Gates No. E24 and E25 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Walking down the staircase to the passenger waiting area located at Gate No. E25 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 during the pre-dawn hours of the early morning

Finally in the passenger waiting lounge at Gate No. E25 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

The departure flight information screen in the passenger waiting lounge at Gate No. E25 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 detailing important information for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur

The passenger waiting lounge at Gate No. E25 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 shortly before the first boarding announcements for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur were made

After spending approximately 10 minutes of anticipated waiting inside the passenger waiting area at Gate No. E25, the first boarding announcements for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur were ultimately made at 5.25 a.m.. The Business Class passengers, including the Enrich club members and those needing priority assistance, were called out to be taken to the aircraft parked at the remote stand first. Since I was among the first passengers being called out to board first, I gathered all my belongings and proceeded to the airport tarmac bus stop outside Gate No. E25.

Boarding the nearest airport terminal shuttle bus, I secured a good window seat for the short ride to our aircraft parked at a remote stand. With the first bus already filled to the brim, I departed the main airport terminal building of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 5.35 a.m. for a short and routine airport terminal bus ride of just five minutes to our assigned aircraft located at Remote Stand No. 403 close to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 itself. Soon enough, I arrived at our assigned aircraft located at Remote Stand No. 403 at 5.40 a.m..

As for today, Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur would be operated with a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, registered 9M-MLK and powered with two CFM International CFM56-7B26 engines. 9M-MLK was delivered to Malaysia Airlines on 22 September 2011 as the 24th Boeing 737-800 and the 137th Boeing 737 for the entire airline company. The overall delivery would then make the entire aircraft approximately 6.2 years old today, thus making it one of the middle-aged Boeing 737 Next Generation planes in the Malaysia Airlines passenger fleet.

Once the bus had come to a stop and the door was opened, I headed up the movable staircase to 9M-MLK, eventually stepping foot on the aircraft before 5.45 a.m.. At the front aircraft door, a Malay flight steward welcomed me on board and showed me the direction to my seat in the Business Class cabin. As I stowed my belongings into their respective storage spaces, I settled into my assigned Seat No. 4A for the short and quick pre-dawn early morning shuttle flight of just 1 hour 10 minutes over the Malaysian Straits to Kuala Lumpur.

The Business Class seats we would be using for this short and quick pre-dawn early morning shuttle flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur would be the old regional Business Class seats that are not part of the Boeing Sky Interior. These seats are capable of reclining up to 60º, and are suited for all regional and short day flights around Asia. Soon enough, my family finally joined me on board 9M-MLK at 5.50 a.m., settling into their assigned Seats No. 2C, 2D and 2F respectively upon stowing their belongings.

The flight attendants then went around the Business Class cabin distributing the pre-departure beverages to the Business Class passengers. No newspapers were provided as this was a short pre-dawn early morning shuttle journey. To commence the pre-dawn early morning shuttle flight to Kuala Lumpur, I had a glass of orange juice and apple juice for myself to freshen up for the flight. I then settled back into my own seat while the boarding process for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur was still in progress at Stand No. 403.

The airport terminal shuttle bus about to take the passengers to Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur at Gate No. E25 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

The interior of the airport terminal shuttle bus that would soon take the passengers to Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur at Gate No. E25 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

A SilkAir Airbus A320-233, registered 9V-SLS, being serviced at Gate No. E24 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 in preparation for her short and routine pre-dawn early morning shuttle flight to Malaysia as SilkAir flight MI 320 bound for Kuala Lumpur

Finally departing Gate No. E25 in Concourse E at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2

A Jetstar Asia Airways Airbus A320-232, registered 9V-JSI, resting at Gate No. D42 in Concourse D at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

Travelling across the main airport tarmac near Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 2 on route to Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur

A Jetstar Asia Airways Airbus A320-232, registered 9V-JSL, resting on the main airport tarmac near Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1

Our aircraft for today, 9M-MLK, being serviced at Stand No. 403 near Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 2 in preparation for her short pre-dawn early morning return flight back home to Malaysia as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur

A good view of 9M-MLK being serviced at Stand No. 403 near Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 2 in preparation for her short pre-dawn early morning return flight back home to Malaysia as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 bound for Kuala Lumpur

A view of my seat, 4A, during the boarding process at Stand No. 403 near Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 2

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 Old Regional Business Class cabin during the boarding process at Stand No. 403 near Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 2

A glass of orange juice and apple juice during the boarding process at Stand No. 403 near Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 2

Reviewing the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 safety information brochure during the boarding process at Stand No. 403 near Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 2

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 Old Regional Business Class cabin shortly before pushback from Stand No. 403 near Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 2

Awaiting pushback from Stand No. 403 near Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 2

After the clock struck around 6.05 a.m., all of the aircraft doors were closed, and we finally pushed back from Stand No. 403 on the airport tarmac, which was approximately five minutes behind schedule. With the safety procedure information video being shown on the overhead panel information screens, the aircraft began to make its way to its assigned runway in preparation for its short and quick pre-dawn early morning departure back to Kuala Lumpur, also taxiing past a few aircraft parked at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 on the way. The entire taxi linking to our assigned runway took not more than approximately 10 minutes.

It was not long before we finally reached our assigned runway for the short and routine pre-dawn early morning departure to Kuala Lumpur. Later on, the two twin CFM International CFM56-72B6 engines spooled into life, and the aircraft finally lifted off from Singapore Changi Airport at 6.15 a.m. for its short and quick pre-dawn early morning shuttle flight of approximately 45 minutes back to the modern and colossal federal capital of Malaysia. We then climbed into the early morning sky for a short and routine pre-dawn early morning shuttle flight of approximately 45 minutes back to the lively and modern federal capital of Malaysia.

Finally pushing back from Stand No. 403 near Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 2

The safety briefing information video being shown on the overhead panel screens during pushback from Stand No. 403 near Singapore Changi Airports Terminal 1 and 2

A Thai Airways International Boeing 777-2D7, registered HS-TJB, about to be serviced at Gate No. D47 in Concourse D at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 in preparation for her regional early morning return flight back home to the Kingdom of Thailand as Thai Airways International flight TG 402 bound for Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi)

Taxiing past Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 on route to our assigned runway

Taxiing past the aircraft maintenance hangars located away from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 on route to our assigned runway

Finally approaching our assigned runway for the pre-dawn early morning departure to Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia Airlines MH 602 ~ Pre-Dawn Morning Take-Off From Singapore Changi Airport

Climbing into the pre-dawn early morning sky shortly after taking off from Singapore Changi Airport

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 Old Regional Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after taking off from Singapore Changi Airport

Cruising over the Johor Straits close to Singapore while turning to the direction leading to Kuala Lumpur

Shortly after taking off from Singapore Changi Airport, all the seatbelt signs were switched off at around 6.25 a.m., which was approximately 10 minutes into the flight. As the flight attendants sprung into action to commence the in-flight service, I went to the lavatory and sat back into my seat to enjoy the rest of the flight. Considering the shuttle flight distance between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, light snacks and beverages were served to all passengers throughout the cabin, irrespective of flight classes.

Later on, a flight attendant then came by my seat to record my refreshment order. Given that I was not feeling that hungry, I simply requested for a glass of apple juice and orange juice, together with a glass of hot Milo. With that, the flight stewardess went back to the front galley and appeared again with the in-flight refreshment cart. Once our requested beverages were delivered to us, we sat back to enjoy them before the flight stewardess cleared all our used mugs and glasses, thereby allowing us to enjoy the rest of the morning flight undisturbed.

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 Old Regional Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after taking off from Singapore Changi Airport

The rear view of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 Old Regional Business Class cabin during cruising altitude somewhere over Johor Bahru

A view of my seat, 4A, during cruising altitude somewhere over Johor Bahru

Cruising over Johor Bahru as the lights continue to shine below us with dawn gradually breaking over Malaysia

A mug of hot Milo for myself during cruising altitude over Johor Bahru

My glasses of apple juice and orange juice during cruising altitude over Johor Bahru

Cruising somewhere over Malacca as daylight gradually breaks over Malaysia

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 Old Regional Business Class cabin from my seat during cruising altitude between Malacca and Kuala Langat District

Cruising somewhere over the Kuala Langat District as daylight gradually breaks over Malaysia

In accordance with the Malaysian Standard Time, all the seatbelt signs were illuminated again at 6.45 a.m., which was approximately 15 minutes prior to the descent cum arrival into Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Given that we had limited time left before our early morning arrival into Kuala Lumpur, we promptly stowed all of our belongings back into their respective storage areas and buckled our seatbelts in preparation for the aircraft to commence its one final approach into Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The in-flight cabin attendants then went around the cabin conducting all their pre-arrival safety checks at the same time.

Dawn was rapidly breaking over the plantations of Malaysia as the aircraft began to make its final approach into Kuala Lumpur International Airport. After a short and routine pre-dawn early morning shuttle flight of just 45 minutes over the Johor Straits from the island city-state of the Republic of Singapore, we ultimately touched down into Kuala Lumpur International Airport at seven o' clock, approximately 10 minutes ahead of schedule. We then taxied through the main airport tarmac briefly towards our assigned arrival gate at the Main Terminal building.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (a.k.a. KLIA) (Bahasa Malaysia: Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur; Traditional Chinese: 吉隆坡國際機場; Simplified Chinese: 吉隆坡国际机场) is a large major Malaysian international airport complex located in the Sepang District of Selangor, Malaysia. It is the main international airport serving the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, the main international gateway for travellers coming into Malaysia via air travel and the busiest international airport in Malaysia, with at least approximately 52.6 million passengers commuting through the airport in 2016. The airport currently serves as a hub for AirAsia, AirAsia X, AsiaCargo Express, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, MASkargo and UPS Airlines.

The airport was opened for service on 30 June 1998 in preparation for the 1998 Commonwealth Games, displacing Subang's Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport as the main international gateway to Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. However, in light of the East Asian financial crisis and other circumstances, several airlines terminated their service to Kuala Lumpur, only serving 13.2 million passengers by fiscal 1999. It also consisted of one terminal building, divided into the Main Terminal and the Satellite Terminal building. From 2 May 2014, a new low-cost carrier terminal, klia2, was opened for revenue service to cater to low-cost carriers, replacing the former Low-cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) that operated 23 March 2006 to 9 May 2014.

The airport is easily accessible from downtown Kuala Lumpur with the KLIA Ekspres train service, which connects to and from Kuala Lumpur Sentral (KL Sentral) railway station in 28 minutes via the Main Terminal, and 33 minutes via klia2. The slower and commuter KLIA Transit service also shares the same route as the KLIA Ekspres, but makes additional stops at smaller cities, like Putrajaya & Cyberjaya, before heading between the airport and KL Sentral. Several cabs and limousine bus services also connect the airport with other Malaysian cities, with some limousine buses going as far as Singapore.

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 Old Regional Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after the seatbelt signs were illuminated in preparation for the descent cum arrival into Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Cruising somewhere over Port Dickson as the aircraft begins to commence its final approach into Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Overlooking the Straits of Malacca somewhere over Port Dickson as the aircraft begins to commence its final approach into Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Cruising over several rural settlements in Selangor as the aircraft begins to commence its final approach into Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Malaysia Airlines Flight 602 ~ Early Morning Arrival Into Kuala Lumpur

Overlooking Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (klia2) serving AirAsia and several other low-cost carriers shortly after touching down into Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Taxiing across the main airport tarmac to the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-8H6(WL), registered 9M-MXI, resting at Gate No. A4 in the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport after arriving from her short pre-dawn early morning domestic flight within Malaysia as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 1133 from Penang

Finally docking onto our assigned arrival gate, Gate No. A2, in the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 Old Regional Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after docking onto Gate No. A2 in the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

After taxiing through the main airport tarmac for approximately 10 minutes to the Main Terminal building, we finally docked onto our assigned arrival gate, Gate No. A2, at 7.10 a.m.. Once the seatbelt signs had been turned off, we promptly unbuckled our seatbelts and retrieved all our belongings from their respective storage areas in preparation for the disembarkation process to commence smoothly. We then did a final check around our seating areas to ensure that there was nothing left behind on board the aircraft.

Upon conducting a final check around our seating areas, the in-flight cabin attendants opened the front aircraft door while we rolled up behind a few passengers in preparation for the disembarkation process to commence. As we disembarked from the aircraft through the front aircraft door, the flight attendants thanked us for our patronage with Malaysia Airlines and wished us a pleasant continuing flight to Tokyo (Narita). We then walked across the jet bridge of Gate No. A2 to the Main Terminal building with the rest of our belongings.

Following each individual flight sector, each airline I travel with will receive an airline grade based on holistic descriptors. This grading system allows me to determine the suitability of flying with a particular airline on any route. The holistic descriptors consists of five scoring segments, which are the seat, food, service, aircraft cleanliness and legroom space. Each score section will carry 20 points, which totals up to a maximum of 100 points. If one segment is not taken into account, the total aggregate score will be reduced.

To attain a pass grade, each airline has to attain an overall aggregate holistic score of at least 45%, or at least a 'D' grade per flight sector. Grade 'A+' is a good quality pass, while Grades 'A' and 'B' are considered acceptable passes. The lower pass grades, Grades 'C' and 'D', are borderline passes, followed by Grades 'E' or lower being considered below passes, with 'U' being classified as ungraded. A revised grading system is expected to be introduced from 1 January 2018 in line with increasing competition worldwide amongst many major airline companies, and is to be changed every three to four years. The airline grading system will be as follows, as of 1 November 2017:

A+: 85% or above (Airline has an excellent rating and performance)
A: 75% ~ 84% (Airline has a very good rating and performance)
B: 60% ~ 74% (Airline has a good rating and performance)
C: 50% ~ 59% (Airline has a satisfactory rating and performance)
D: 45% ~ 49% (Airline has an adequate rating and performance)
E: 35% ~ 44% (Airline has a fair rating and performance)
S: 20% ~ 34% (Airline has a poor rating and performance)
U: Below 20% (Airline has failed to meet the pre-requisite for the minimum grade)


Malaysia Airlines Flight 602 Score Report

Seat: 12 / 20
Food: Not applicable as I did not eat
Service: 11 / 20
Aircraft cleanliness: 13 / 20
Legroom space: 12 / 20
Total: 48 / 80
Grade: B (Acceptable)

Overall, Malaysia Airlines has obtained a total aggregate score of 48 points upon 80, which is equivalent to 60%, meaning that they have attained a 'B' grade for the sector between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. But, given that this was just a regional shuttle flight between two neighbouring countries, high expectations would not be realistic, whether it is for the seat, in-flight refreshments or in-flight service. Other than that, I could say that the flight was quite uneventful, despite it being rather short.

Part 3 ~ The Morning Layover At Kuala Lumpur International Airport

After disembarking from Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 from Singapore at Gate No. A2, we walked across the Main Terminal building with the rest of our belongings. On the way, we stopped at the departure flight information screens to check the gate number for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita). According to the departure information screens, Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita) would depart at 10.20 a.m. from Gate No. C14. Boarding would commence at 9.50 a.m., approximately half an hour before the scheduled departure time.

Considering that Gate No. C14 was located in the Satellite Terminal building, we knew that we had to take the intra-terminal Aerotrain in order to access the Sattelite Terminal building from the Main Terminal building. With that moment, we walked through Concourse G in the Main Terminal building in the direction leading over to the Aerotrain station to the Satellite Terminal building, eventually reaching there at 7.15 a.m. to catch the next Aerotrain bound for the Satellite Terminal building.

Soon enough, three conjoined Bombardier Innovia APM 100 EMUs finally arrived at the Main Terminal building at 7.20 a.m.. Boarding through the front car, we settled down before being transported over to the Satellite Terminal building, eventually reaching there at 7.25 a.m.. Upon alighting with our belongings at the arrival platform, we went to the information counter to check whether there were any airline lounges available for our transit use before our connecting morning flight bound for Tokyo (Narita).

The information receptionist informed us that the Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge in the Satellite Terminal building was closed for renovations from 12 October 2017 until 29 January 2018. She then told us that we could use the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge instead during the renovation process, which was also located on the mezzanine level. With that, we walked through the Satellite Terminal building and took the escalator up to the mezzanine level, with the entire walk linking to the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge taking not more than approximately five minutes.

Taking the escalator up to Concourse G in the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly after disembarking from Malaysia Airlines flight MH 602 from Singapore at Gate No. A2

Walking across the moving passageway in Concourse G in the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in the direction leading to the Aerotrain station to the Satellite Terminal building

The departure flight information screens in Concourse G in the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport during the early morning rush hour

Bypassing some duty-free shops in the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on route to the Aerotrain station to the Satellite Terminal building

Finally arriving at the Aerotrain station platforms leading to the Satellite Terminal building in the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The Aerotrain station platforms leading to the Satellite Terminal building in the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport during the early morning rush hour

Three conjoined Bombardier Innovia APM 100 EMUs used for Aerotrain intra-terminal services finally arriving at the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The interior of the Bombardier Innovia APM 100 EMU used for Aerotrain intra-terminal services during the boarding process at the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Finally departing from the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the Satellite Terminal building

Overlooking the airport tarmac on route to the Satellite Terminal building from the Main Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport during the early morning rush hour

Finally arriving at the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The Aerotrain arrival platform in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport during the early morning rush hour

Walking across the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport during the early morning rush hour

Taking the escalator up to the mezzanine level of the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport during the early morning rush hour

Finally arriving at the main entrance to the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge in the mezzanine level of the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport during the early morning rush hour

After walking across the Satellite Terminal building for approximately five minutes, we arrived at the entrance to the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge at 7.30 a.m.. Heading to the lounge reception counter, a lounge receptionist examined all our boarding passes before permitting us to enter the lounge area. Once we had been positively identified, we secured some good seats for ourselves. I then secured a good seating area for myself located close to the observation area before getting my electronic devices out.

Throughout our time in the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge, we used our own portable electronic devices and had some light refreshments, also doing my usual plane-spotting activities from the safety of the lounge. The only major drawbacks would be that the lounge did not have any shower facilities and that it was relatively small, in comparison with the SATS Premier Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2. Despite that, the transit time we spent in the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge was rather uneventful.

The interior of the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge in the mezzanine level of the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly after we had entered the lounge

A Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-323X, registered 9M-MTG, being serviced at Gate No. C22 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in preparation for her regional early morning flight to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 072 bound for Hong Kong

A China Airlines Boeing 737-8MA(WL), registered B-18655, being pushed back from Gate No. C33 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in preparation for her regional early morning return flight back home to the Republic of China (Taiwan) as China Airlines flight CI 726 bound for Taipei (Taoyuan)

A Malindo Air Boeing 737-8GP(WL), registered 9M-LCG, being serviced at Gate No. C31 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in preparation for her regional early morning flight to the southern part of the People's Republic of China (Mainland China) as Malindo Air flight OD 814 bound for Haikou

A cup of hot cocoa and a bowl of chocolate chip cookies for myself in the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge in the mezzanine level of the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The self-service refreshment corner in the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge in the mezzanine level of the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport during the early morning rush hour

Watching 'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)', through the scene where a persistent great white shark follows Mort the mouse lemur into Mount Kilimanjaro while attempting to eat him, in the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge in the mezzanine level of the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The interior of the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge in the mezzanine level of the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport during the early morning rush hour

An Emirates Boeing 777-31H/ER, registered A6-EBH, taxiing to Gate No. C26 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport after arriving from her long overnight trans-Indian Ocean flight from the United Arab Emirates as Emirates flight EK 344 from Dubai

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, registered JA815A, taxiing across the main airport tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International Airport for her long early morning return flight back home to Japan as All Nippon Airways flight NH 816 bound for Tokyo (Narita)

A Bangkok Airways Airbus A319-131, registered HS-PPG, being pushed back from Gate No. C33 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in preparation for her regional early morning return flight back home to the Kingdom of Thailand as Bangkok Airways flight PG 952 bound for Koh Samui

The interior of the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge in the mezzanine level of the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly before departing for Gate No. C14

Part 4 ~ The Flight To Tokyo (Narita)

Airline: Malaysia Airlines
Flight No.: MH 070
From: Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL / WMKK), Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
To: Tokyo, Narita International Airport (NRT / RJAA), Narita, Chiba, Japan
Aircraft: Airbus A330-323X
Registration No.: 9M-MTJ
Class: Business Class
Seat No.: 7K
Date: Wednesday, 29 November 2017

After spending approximately 1 hour 20 minutes of using our own portable electronic devices and having some refreshments in the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge located in the Satellite Terminal, the clock was already showing 8.50 a.m.. Knowing that boarding for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita) would commence in half an hours' time, I quickly packed my belongings and left the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge for Gate No. C14. My family then promised to meet me on board the aircraft later on. It took not more than approximately 10 minutes to walk over to Gate No. C14.

Soon enough, I finally reached the main entrance to Gate No. C14 at nine o' clock, which was just in good time for boarding for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita). However, a rather long queue of waiting passengers was already forming at Gate No. C14, who were also destined to be heading to Tokyo (Narita) on the same flight. With my turn for a simple security check coming at 9.05 a.m., I was finally inside the passenger waiting area located at Gate No. C14 at 9.10 a.m.. Observing the number of waiting passengers at Gate No. C14, I could see that Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita) would be scheduled to be nearly filled to the brim today.

For today, Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita) would be operated with an Airbus A330-300 aircraft, registered 9M-MTJ and powered by two twin Pratt & Whitney PW4168A engines. 9M-MTJ was delivered new to Malaysia Airlines from 21 September 2012 as the 10th 'second generation' Airbus A330-300 and the 28th Airbus A330 for the entire airline. The overall delivery would make the aircraft approximately 5.1 years old today, thereby making it one of the more middle-aged Airbus A330s in the Malaysia Airlines passenger fleet.

One final view of the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge in the mezzanine level of the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly before I began to make my way to Gate No. C14

Walking across the mezzanine level of the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly as I make my way to Gate No. C14

A Qatar Airways Airbus A330-202, registered A7-ACL, being serviced at Gate No. C35 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in preparation for her long trans-Indian Ocean flight back home to the State of Qatar as Qatar Airways flight QR 845 bound for Doha

Bypassing some duty-free shops in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly as I make my way to Gate No. C14

Walking across the passageway to Gates No. C11 to C17 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on route to Gate No. C14

Finally arriving at the main entrance to Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Finally inside the passenger waiting area at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Our aircraft for today, 9M-MTJ, being serviced at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in preparation for her long morning flight to Japan as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita)

A closer view of 9M-MTJ being serviced at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in preparation for her long morning flight to Japan as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita)

The departure flight information screen at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport detailing important information for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita)

An additional view of 9M-MTJ being serviced at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in preparation for her long morning flight to Japan as Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita)

The passenger waiting area at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly before the first boarding announcements for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita) were made

After spending approximately 15 minutes of anticipated waiting inside the passenger waiting area at Gate No. C14, the first boarding announcements for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita) were made at 9.25 a.m., approximately five minutes behind schedule. The Business Class passengers, including the Enrich club members and those requiring priority assistance, were called out to board the aircraft first. As I was amongst the first passengers being called out to board, I held on to my belongings and stood at the front row for the boarding process to commence smoothly.

Walking through the jet bridge to Door A, I was finally on board 9M-MTJ at 9.30 a.m., which was in good time for a 9.50 a.m. departure bound for Tokyo (Narita). At the front aircraft entrance door, two flight attendants welcomed me on board and showed me the direction to my seat located in the Business Class cabin. Stowing all my belongings into their respective storage spaces, I secured my assigned Seat No. 7K in preparation for the long morning flight of 6 hours 40 minutes to Tokyo (Narita). My family then met me on board at 9.35 a.m., settling into their assigned Seats No. 6D, 6G and 7H upon stowing their belongings.

The Business Class seats we would be using for this upcoming long morning flight between Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo (Narita) were the newer version of long-haul Business Class seats. Manufactured by the Thompson Aero Seating company, these seats were introduced from April 2016 with the refitting of the airline's Airbus A330-300s, and were installed on all Airbus A330-300s by the end of September 2016. They can recline up to 180º, allowing passengers to sleep during long-haul flights, and will also be featured on the upcoming Airbus A350 XWBs.

The in-flight cabin attendants then went around the cabin distributing the free newspapers and pre-departure beverages to the passengers seated in the Business Class cabin. To commence the long morning flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo (Narita), I had my normal pre-departure glass of orange juice, which I consumed in just a few minutes. While boarding for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 bound for Tokyo (Narita) was still underway at Gate No. C14, I had a good look through the in-flight dining menu to see what main course I wanted for the in-flight lunch service later during the flight.

A view of my seat, 7K, during the boarding process at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin from my seat during the boarding process at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

My usual pre-departure glass of orange juice during the boarding process at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The cover page for the in-flight dining menu for the sector between Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo (Narita) during the boarding process at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Reviewing the in-flight dining menu for the sector between Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo (Narita) during the boarding process at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Reviewing the wine list for the sector between Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo (Narita) during the boarding process at Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin from my seat shortly before pushback from Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The 'no smoking' and fasten seatbelt' signs illuminated shortly before pushback Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Awaiting pushback from Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

At around 9.55 a.m., all the aircraft doors were closed, and the aircraft finally pushed back from Gate No. C14 at the Satellite Terminal building, which was approximately five minutes behind schedule. With the safety demonstration video being shown on our personal front video screens, the aircraft began to make its way over to its assigned runway for the morning departure to Tokyo (Narita), bypassing some aircraft parked at the Satellite Terminal building on the way. The entire taxi linking towards our assigned runway took not more than approximately 25 minutes.

It was not long before we arrived at our assigned runway in preparation for the morning departure to Tokyo (Narita). Soon enough, the two twin Pratt & Whitney PW4168A engines spooled into action, and the aircraft finally lifted off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 10.20 a.m. for its long early afternoon flight of 6 hours 20 minutes across the South China Sea and East China Sea to the modern and colossal metropolitan capital city of Japan in the Far East. We then climbed into the bright early afternoon sky for a long early afternoon flight of 6 hours 20 minutes across the South China Sea and East China Sea to the modern and lively metropolitan capital city of Japan.

Finally pushing back from Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The safety briefing information video being shown on my front seat video screen during pushback from Gate No. C14 in the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

An Oman Air Airbus A330-343X, registered A4O-DI, taxiing to her assigned runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in preparation for her long trans-Indian Ocean return flight back home to the Sultanate of Oman as Oman Air flight WY 822 bound for Muscat

Finally taxiing away from the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Taxiing past the remaining gates at the Satellite Terminal building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on route to our assigned runway

A Malindo Boeing 737-8GP(WL), registered 9M-LCF, taxiing to her assigned runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

A Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) Boeing 777-268/ER, registered HZ-AKS, taxiing to her assigned runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in preparation for her long morning trans-Indian Ocean and Islamic Umrah pilgrimage return charter flight back home to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) flight SV 3823 bound for Medina

Finally approaching our assigned runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Malaysia Airlines Flight 070 ~ Morning Departure From Kuala Lumpur

Climbing into the bright early afternoon sky shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport

After taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, all of the seatbelt signs were switched off at 10.30 a.m., which was approximately 10 minutes into the flight. As the flight attendants sprung into action to commence the in-flight service, I went over to the lavatories and got my electronic devices out for my own entertainment during for the flight. An announcement was also made by the captain that hot beverages would not be served whenever the seatbelt signs were illuminated for safety reasons to prevent any injuries.

Soon enough, a flight attendant came by to my seat to take down my main meal order for lunch. While my younger brother chose to sleep for the rest of the flight, I decided to select the Peruvian style beef 'lomo saltado' with mixed peppers, red onions, steamed rice and roasted sweet potatoes as my main course. Furthermore, I decided to have a glass of Chateau Rochemorin Blanc 2014, Bordeaux white wine to accompany my main meal course. With my main meal order recorded, the flight attendant went back into the front galley to bring out the beverage trolley and satay trolley with the other in-flight cabin attendants.

The flight attendants then went around the Business Class cabin distributing packets of premium mixed nuts, with my glass of white wine delivered to me at the same time. The packet of mixed nuts were a good start to the in-flight lunch service, with my glass of white wine also going rather well with them. This was then followed by the tantalising smell of the signature satay trolley, which showed up at my seat at 10.55 a.m.. Requesting for a combination of beef and chicken satay each, my wine glass was also constantly refilled with the same white wine I had earlier on. The satay tasted quite tender as if the skewers were cooked fresh out of the grill, with the peanut sauce resonating well with the meat.

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after the seatbelt signs were switched off

A view of my seat, 7K, during cruising altitude between Negeri Sembilan and Kuantan

The rear view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin during cruising altitude between Negeri Sembilan and Kuantan

Cruising over West Malaysia between Negeri Sembilan and Kuantan

The flight route indication map indicating our cruising altitude between Negeri Sembilan and Kuantan

A glass of Chateau Rochemorin Blanc 2014, Bordeaux white wine and a packet of premium mixed nuts for myself

A platter containing four skewers of Malaysia Airlines' signature satay (two beef & two chicken) for myself

Cruising into the clouds over the South China Sea between West Malaysia and Vietnam

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin from my seat during cruising altitude over the South China Sea between West Malaysia and Vietnam, with the seatbelt signs illuminated due to unexpected turbulence

After spending the first hour of enjoying the first few pre-lunch appetisers, including the Malaysia Airlines' signature satay, the flight attendant finally re-appeared with our meal trays containing our first courses at 11.35 a.m.. The first lunch course consisted of a timbale of both tuna and quinoa with cream cheese and microherbs, together with some salad. With my in-flight meal tray on my dining table, I took a bite of the tuna and quinoa, which had quite a weird taste for my own preferences, eventually resulting in me deciding to save my appetite for the main course.

Later on, the flight stewardess finally re-appeared at my seat again at 11.55 a.m.. This time, she had my main course of Peruvian style beef 'lomo saltado' with mixed peppers, red onions, steamed rice and roasted sweet potatoes in her hands. With my main meal course on my dining table, I promptly tucked into my lunch. The beef tasted quite hot and peppery, as expected, with the roasted sweet potatoes and white rice accompanying my meal tasting rather dry, which made the meal rather unspectacular but filling.

Once I had finished eating, the flight attendant came by to collect my used meal tray and asked whether there was anything else I wanted. To conclude the in-flight lunch service, I requested for a tub of triple chocolate Kapiti ice cream, which was delivered me by 12.05 p.m.. Finishing my dessert, my used ice cream tub was promptly collected by the flight stewardess and I was left to my electronics for my personal entertainment before eventually deciding to get some sleep for the next three hours at 12.20 p.m..

The first course: Timbale of tuna and quinoa with cream cheese and microherbs

Cruising into the clouds over the South China Sea between East Malaysia and Vietnam

My main course: Peruvian style beef 'lomo saltado' with mixed peppers, red onions, steamed rice and roasted sweet potatoes

A small tub of triple chocolate Kapiti ice cream for myself to conclude the in-flight lunch service

The flight route indication map indicating our cruising altitude over the South China Sea between East Malaysia and Vietnam

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin from my seat shortly before I decided to get some afternoon rest

After getting approximately three hours of undisturbed rest, I finally woke up at around 3.20 p.m. over the Taiwan Strait. Given that the seatbelt signs had been illuminated due to turbulence over the Taiwan Strait, I remained seated and used my personal electronic devices until they were all switched off at 3.40 p.m.. Once the 'fasten seatbelt' signs were turned off, I went to the lavatory to freshen up in preparation for the early evening descent cum arrival into Narita International Airport later on.

Noticing that I was already awake, a flight stewardess asked me whether I wanted anything to drink. I then requested for a mug of the signature teh tarik to freshen up further, which the flight attendant delightfully obliged. Once my mug of teh tarik was delivered to my seat at 3.45 p.m., I promptly took a sip of the tea, which tasted really refreshing and delicious. Once my used tea mug was cleared away, I was left to my own electronic devices for the rest of the flight until the seatbelt signs were illuminated for the early evening arrival into Narita International Airport.

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after I woke up

Cruising over the East China Sea between Okinawa and Kagoshima Prefectures in Kyushu

The flight route indication map indicating our cruising altitude over the East China Sea between Okinawa and Kagoshima Prefectures in Kyushu

The rear view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin during cruising altitude over the East China Sea between Okinawa and Kagoshima Prefectures in Kyushu

A view of my seat, 7K, during cruising altitude over the East China Sea between Okinawa and Kagoshima Prefectures in Kyushu

A mug of Malaysia Airlines' signature 'teh tarik' for myself during cruising altitude over the East China Sea between Okinawa and Kagoshima Prefectures in Kyushu

The flight route indication map indicating our cruising altitude between Kyushu and Shikoku

Cruising over the East China Sea between Kyushu and Shikoku

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin from my seat during cruising altitude between Kyushu and Shikoku

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-312/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (524858)

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin from my seat during cruising altitude between Ise Bay and the Izu Peninsula

Cruising over Ise Bay and Izu Peninsula as the sun begins to set over Japan

In accordance with the Japan Standard Time, the seatbelt signs were turned on once again at 5.20 p.m., approximately 20 minutes in preparation for the descent cum arrival into Tokyo (Narita). Given that we had less than half an hour before the evening arrival into Narita International Airport, we stowed our belongings back into their respective storage areas and buckled up our seatbelts in preparation for the aircraft to commence its one final approach. The flight attendants also went across the cabin collecting the used in-flight entertainment headsets and conducting their pre-arrival safety checks at the same time.

The sky was already becoming darker as the aircraft began to make its final approach into Narita International Airport. After a long morning flight of 6 hours 20 minutes across both the South China Sea and East China Sea from the modern and lively federal capital of Malaysia, we finally touched down into Narita International Airport at 5.40 p.m., which was approximately 10 minutes behind schedule. We then taxied through the main airport tarmac briefly to our assigned arrival gate located in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2.

Narita International Airport (Japanese: 成田国際空港; Traditional Chinese: 成田國際機場; Simplified Chinese: 成田国际机场) is a major international airport complex located in the suburban outskirts of the city of Narita, Chiba, Japan. It is the central international airport for passengers coming into the Greater Tokyo Area by air, one of the two major international airports in the Greater Tokyo Area and the second-busiest airport in Japan, with approximately 39 million passengers using the airport in fiscal 2016. The airport serves as a hub for All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Japan, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Peach and Vanilla Air, and is an integral Asian hub for several United States carriers, like Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

The airport was opened for service on 20 May 1978 to handle the increasing number of tourist arrivals coming into the Greater Tokyo Area, and to ease overcrowding issues at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport). Since then, Narita International Airport has taken over most of the international flight traffic coming into the Greater Tokyo Area. However, from 21 October 2010, Haneda Airport became more open to regular international flights in the late night hours when Narita International Airport is closed, resulting in competition for international tourist arrivals coming into the Greater Tokyo Area for both airports.

Narita International Airport is accessible from the Greater Tokyo Area via the Narita Express limited express train service by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), which provides connections to Tokyo Station in under an hour, and to the major downtown and urban districts of Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Yokohama. Rapid services bound for the Sobu Main Line and Yokosuka Line are also available, with both services covered under the Japan Rail Pass. Keisei Electric Railway operates the Skyliner limited express train service to Ueno via the Narita Sky Access Line in 44 minutes, thus making the Skyliner limited express service the fastest and cheapest limited express train option between the airport and downtown Tokyo. Some commuter services on the Narita Sky Access Line also offer direct service to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) via the Toei Asakusa Line and Keikyu Lines.

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after the seatbelt signs were illuminated in preparation for the early evening descent cum arrival into Narita International Airport

The flight route indication map indicating our cruising altitude over the Boso Peninsula close to Chiba Prefecture

Cruising over the Boso Peninsula close to Chiba Prefecture as the aircraft begins to make its one final approach into Narita International Airport

Cruising over the suburban city of Choshi close to the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture as the aircraft begins to make its one final approach into Narita International Airport

Malaysia Airlines Flight 070 ~ Evening Arrival Into Narita International Airport

Taxiing across the main airport tarmac at Narita International Airport shortly after we had landed

Overlooking Narita International Airport Terminals 2 and 3 as we taxi across the main airport tarmac to our assigned arrival gate in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2

Taxiing past Narita International Airport Terminal 3 on route to our assigned arrival gate in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2

A Japan Airlines Boeing 767-346/ER, registered JA611J, receiving her final minute preparations at Gate No. 88 in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 in preparation for her regional early evening flight to the Republic of China (Taiwan) as Japan Airlines flight JL 809 bound for Taipei (Taoyuan)

A Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, registered JA827J, receiving her final minute preparations at Gate No. 85 in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 in preparation for her regional early evening flight to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as Japan Airlines flight JL 735 bound for Hong Kong

Overlooking the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 as we make our way to our assigned arrival gate

A Japan Airlines Boeing 777-346/ER, registered JA737J, resting at Gate No. 93 in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 after arriving back from her long transpacific return flight from the United States as Japan Airlines flight JL 061 from Los Angeles

Finally docking onto our assigned arrival gate, Gate No. 98, in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2

A Japan Airlines Boeing 767-346/ER, registered JA619J, receiving her final minute preparations at Gate No. 99 in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 in preparation for her regional early evening flight to the Republic of China (Taiwan) as Japan Airlines flight JL 811 bound for Kaohsiung

The view of the Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 New Business Class cabin from my seat shortly after docking onto our assigned arrival gate, Gate No. 98, in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2

After taxiing through the main airport tarmac for approximately 15 minutes to the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2, we finally docked onto our arrival gate, Gate No. 98, at 5.55 p.m.. Once the seatbelt signs were turned off, we promptly unbuckled all our seatbelts and retrieved all of our belongings from their respective storage areas. We then checked our seats again to ensure that there was really nothing left behind on board the aircraft itself.

Once we had conducted a final check around our seating areas, we rolled up behind the rest of the other Business Class passengers for the disembarkation process to commence smoothly. As we disembarked from the aircraft via the front aircraft door, the flight attendants thanked us for our patronage with Malaysia Airlines and wished us a very pleasant end-of-year winter vacation in Japan. We then walked across the jet bridge located at Gate No. 98 in the direction leading to the arrival immigration checkpoints.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 070 Score Report

Seat: 13 / 20
Food: 13 / 20
Service: 15 / 20
Aircraft cleanliness: 16 / 20
Legroom space: 13 / 20
Total: 80 / 100
Grade: A (Acceptable)

In total, Malaysia Airlines had obtained a total aggregate score of 80% for the second segment between Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo (Narita), meaning that they have attained an 'A' grade. The flight was relatively uneventful, though the seat and legroom were slightly narrow for me. One particular area for improvement would be the food catering, although the ice cream satay and teh tarik were the highlights of the meal service. Nevertheless, it was a good start for my first long-haul flight with Malaysia Airlines.

Part 5 ~ The Evening Road Journey To The Yachimata Villa

After disembarking from Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 from Kuala Lumpur at Gate No. 98, we walked through the main terminal passageway linking to the arrival immigration checkpoints in Narita International Airport Terminal 2. Considering the relatively long distance linking from the Satellite Terminal building to the Main Terminal building, we walked through the passageway linking from the Satellite Terminal building to the Main Terminal building. It took approximately 10 minutes for us to walk between both airport terminal buildings.

Entering the Main Terminal building at 6.10 p.m., we took the escalators to the arrival immigration checkpoints, where we went to the foreign visitors section. Despite the early evening rush crowd building up with several local and foreign people waiting to enter Japan, we had all of our passports and travel documents prepared to be examined by the immigration officers. The entire arrival immigration process at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 took not more than approximately five minutes for us.

Upon clearing the arrival immigration process, I proceeded to check which baggage belt number our bulkier check-in baggage would be scheduled to arrive at. According to the baggage claiming information screens, all bulky check-in baggage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 from Kuala Lumpur would arrive at Belt No. B3. With that, we took the escalators down to the baggage claiming hall to get three baggage trolleys before proceeding to Belt No B3 to claim all our bulkier check-in baggage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 from Kuala Lumpur.

One final look at 9M-MTJ at Gate No. 98 in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 as we begin to make our way to the arrival immigration checkpoints in the Main Terminal building

Walking across the moving passageway leading to the arrival immigration checkpoints in the Main Terminal building from Gate No. 98 in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2

Overlooking several Japan Airlines aircraft parked in the Main Terminal building from the intra-terminal airside passageway linking to the arrival immigration checkpoints from Gate No. 98 in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2

Walking across the intra-terminal airside passageway linking to the arrival immigration checkpoints in the Main Terminal building from Gate No. 98 in the Satellite Terminal building at Narita International Airport Terminal 2

After claiming all our bulkier check-in baggage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH 070 from Kuala Lumpur at Belt No. B3 and loading them onto the three baggage trolleys with the rest of our lighter cabin baggage, we were finally inside the arrivals and meeting area at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 at 6.25 p.m.. Given that we were feeling hungry and that it was still early before contacting our Airbnb host, we decided to obtain our portable Wi-Fi Internet routers and find a nearby fast-food restaurant to get some dinner.

Without wasting anymore time, we walked across the arrivals and meeting hall to a QL Liner Wi-Fi Internet router counter located on the other side to claim our portable Wi-Fi Internet routers first. Once we had received all our portable Wi-Fi Internet routers, my mum taught us on how to utilise them and keep it safe in our hands at all times. With our portable Wi-Fi Internet routers already safe in our baggage, the clock was showing 6.50 p.m., thus implying that the only thing left was to get a fast-food dinner.

Proceeding to the nearest elevator lobby, we caught the elevator upwards to the main departures and check-in hall on the third floor, thus reaching there by 6.55 p.m.. As the elevator we took could only go up to the third floor, we knew that we had to change to another elevator behind the airline check-in counters to get to the fourth floor, where most of the shops and restaurants were located. Taking the nearest elevator up to the fourth floor, we found a McDonald's fast-food restaurant, where we purchased some fast-food dinner for ourselves.

Upon obtaining our own McDonald's fast-food dinner, the clock was finally showing 7.20 p.m.. Given that there was no place to sit down to eat as the benches were taken up, we took the elevator back down to the departures and check-in hall, where we changed over to the other elevator lobby back down to the arrivals and meeting area. While waiting for a message signal from our Airbnb accommodation host, we all secured some seating areas in the arrivals and meeting lobby to have our fast-food take-out dinner.

Finally inside the arrivals and meeting hall on the first floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

Walking across the the arrivals and meeting hall on the first floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

Bypassing some baggage storage counters in the arrivals and meeting hall on the first floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

The departures and check-in hall on the third floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

Walking across the departures and check-in hall on the third floor on route to the shops and restaurants level on the fourth floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

Finally in the shops and restaurants level on the fourth floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

Stopping at the McDonald's fast-food restaurant in the shops and restaurants level on the fourth floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

Walking down the escalators to the departures and check-in hall on the third floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

Bypassing the Qatar Airways check-in counters in the departures and check-in hall on the third floor at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

After having our McDonald's fast-food take-away dinner inside the arrivals and meeting hall, we finally received a signal from our Airbnb host at 7.40 p.m., informing us all that he would be coming over to the pick-up point in 25 minutes' time. With that, we grabbed our belongings and headed out to the pick-up area and sorted out all of our belongings while waiting for him. Soon enough, our Airbnb accommodation host, Mr. Reo Yamamoto (山本 れお), finally showed up in a black Toyota Alphard car at 8.05 p.m.. Alighting from his car, Mr. Yamamoto assisted us in loading our baggage into his rear car boot while we got in for the evening road trip to the Yachimata Villa in Yachimata, where we would be staying at for the next six days of the trip.

Once our baggage had been loaded into the rear boot of Mr. Yamamoto's large black Toyota Alphard car, we ultimately departed the busy vicinity of Narita International Airport at 8.10 p.m. for a routine night road trip of 1 hour 10 minutes to the Yachimata Villa situated in the sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata slightly to the south of Narita. On the way, we stopped by briefly at a local supermarket, known as Food Market Kasumi (Yachimata Asahi Branch) (カスミ 八街朝日店), to purchase some groceries and some light snacks for our stay at the Yachimata Villa.

Yachimata (Japanese: 八街市; Chinese: 八街市; Korean: 야치마타 시) is a small suburban and sparsely-populated city located in the northern area of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. With a population of 69,315 as of 1 October 2017, it is a regional commercial area in Chiba Prefecture and is highly concentrated on agriculture, with the city being famous for its peanuts. The city is accessible from Yachimata Station on the Sobu Main Line, with all the Shiosai limited express services providing access between Tokyo and Yachimata within less than an hour.

The arrivals and pick-up point located outside the arrivals and meeting hall at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

Our black Airbnb Toyota Alphard car, owned by Mr. Reo Yamamoto (山本 れお), arriving at the arrivals and pick-up point located outside the arrivals and meeting hall at Narita International Airport Terminal 2 during the early evening rush hour

Awaiting departure from the arrivals and pick-up point located outside the arrivals and meeting hall at Narita International Airport Terminal 2

Finally departing the arrivals and pick-up point located outside the arrivals and meeting hall at Narita International Airport Terminal 2

Travelling under the departure flyover bridge close to Narita International Airport Terminal 3 shortly after departing from Narita International Airport Terminal 2

Travelling across the road near one of the airport tarmacs shortly after departing from Narita International Airport Terminal 2

About to turn into the road junction leading to the suburban cities of Sakura and Tomisato in the suburban city of Narita

Travelling across the small highway leading to the suburban cities of Sakura and Tomisato in the suburban city of Narita

About to turn into the road junction leading to the suburban cities of Sakura and Tomisato in the small and sparsely-populated suburban town of Shibayama

Travelling across a dark road close to the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences in the small and sparsely-populated suburban town of Shibayama

Travelling through a dark forested road in the small and sparsely-populated suburban town of Shibayama

Travelling past some small housing settlements in the small and sparsely-populated suburban town of Shibayama

Travelling through a dark forested road in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Tomisato

Travelling past some small housing settlements in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Tomisato

About to make a turn at a secluded road junction leading to the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Tomisato

Travelling across the dark road leading to the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Tomisato

About to stop at a local supermarket, known as Food Market Kasumi (Yachimata Asahi Branch) (カスミ 八街朝日店), in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata to purchase some groceries on route to the Yachimata Villa

The car parking area located outside Food Market Kasumi (Yachimata Asahi Branch) (カスミ 八街朝日店) at night

Stopping at a small yakitori skewer store, known as Yakitori Ryuho (やきとり竜鳳), located outside the main entrance to Food Market Kasumi (Yachimata Asahi Branch) (カスミ 八街朝日店) at night

Finally departing Food Market Kasumi (Yachimata Asahi Branch) (カスミ 八街朝日店) for the Yachimata Villa

Travelling across a dark road by some farming areas in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata shortly after departing Food Market Kasumi (Yachimata Asahi Branch) (カスミ 八街朝日店)

Travelling across a dark road by some farming areas leading to the neighbourhood of Yoshikura in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata

About to cross a road traffic junction located near a Lawson convenience store in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata

Travelling down the hilly roads in the sparsely-populated neighbourhood of Yoshikura in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata

Travelling through the dark forested road leading to the Yachimata Villa in the sparsely-populated neighbourhood of Yoshikura in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata

Finally arriving at the surroundings near the Yachimata Villa

After a short and routine late night road trip of just 1 hour 10 minutes from Narita International Airport Terminal 2 in the outskirts of the suburban city of Narita, we finally arrived at the Yachimata Villa at 9.20 p.m.. Once the car had come to a complete stop, Mr. Yamamoto assisted us in unloading all our baggage from his rear boot and gave us the main key to the front entrance of the Yachimata Villa. Carrying our baggage into the house, Mr. Yamamoto took the kind opportunity to show us around the place and how to use the available facilities.

The first floor consisted of a bathroom and laundry area with a toilet cubicle, whereas the second floor consisted of an additional toilet cubicle, kitchen a three-bed bedroom and a Japanese-style tatami bedroom. With the facilities shown to us, we all thanked Mr. Yamamoto for his services, who informed us that he resided just next door to us and that we could contact him should we require his services, even in the mornings. Once Mr. Yamamoto had left us to enjoy the house for the night, we spent the next half an hour unpacking our baggage and sorting out our attire for the next coming days in Yachimata.

The front entrance door to the Yachimata Villa in the sparsely-populated neighbourhood of Yoshikura in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata at night

The kitchen and living area in the second floor of the Yachimata Villa in the sparsely-populated neighbourhood of Yoshikura in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata shortly after we had entered the house

The three-sleeper bedroom, where my parents and younger brother would sleep, in the second floor of the Yachimata Villa in the sparsely-populated neighbourhood of Yoshikura in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata at night

The Japanese-style tatami bedroom, where I would sleep, in the second floor of the Yachimata Villa in the sparsely-populated neighbourhood of Yoshikura in the small and sparsely-populated suburban city of Yachimata at night

After spending approximately half an hour of unpacking all of our baggage and arranging our attire for the next upcoming days in Yachimata, the clock was finally showing ten o' clock. Given that we were beginning to feel a bit peckish after the road journey from Narita International Airport, we opened up some snacks for ourselves to share and enjoy. While both my parents and younger brother chose to sleep in the three-sleeper bedroom, I chose to have the Japanese-style tatami room to sleep in.

Given that there was nothing much left to do for the remainder of the night, we had a hot shower and changed into our pyjamas before setting up all our portable electronic devices to be fully charged up in preparation for the next day. As we would be heading to the city of Narita to get our rented caravan for the vacation the following afternoon, my parents informed us not to stay up too late. Upon doing some personal surfing on our electronic devices, we finally turned in at around 12.30 a.m. for a well-earned good night's rest.

This officially brings the first section of my end-of-year mass winter vacation to Japan for 15 days in December 2017 to a formal conclusion. As with other existing trip reports featured in this blog, do feel free to post any questions and / or comments in the commenting boxes below. The remaining sections of this trip report will be publicly posted once I have chosen the best quality photographs and videos for each of them. Please do be patient as it requires a certain amount of time and effort to publish them effectively.