Saturday, June 13, 2015

Special Mid-Summer Birthday Vacation to Japan in June 2015 ~ Section 6

Welcome.

Part 1 ~ The Journey Back To Fukuoka Airport

After.

Part 2 ~ The Flight Back Home To Singapore

Airline: Singapore Airlines
Flight No.: SQ 655
From: Fukuoka Airport (Itazuke Air Base) (FUK / RJFF), Fukuoka, Japan
Aircraft: Airbus A330-343X
Registration No.: 9V-STA
Class: Business Class
Seat No.: 15K
Date: Friday, 12 June 2015

After spending approximately 50 minutes worth of using our electronics and having a few light bites and beverages in the Lounge Fukuoka in the International Terminal airside, the clock was finally showing 9.05 a.m.. Knowing that boarding for Singapore Airlines flight SQ 655 bound for Singapore would commence in 25 minutes' time, we immediately packed up our belongings and left the lounge by 9.10 a.m. for Gate No. 55. The entire walk from the Lounge Fukuoka to Gate No. 55 took no more than approximately five minutes.

Soon enough, we finally arrived at the passenger waiting area at Gate No. 55 at 9.15 a.m., which was just 15 minutes before boarding to commence. Looking at the number of waiting passengers in the passenger waiting area at Gate No. 55, Singapore Airlines flight SQ 655 bound for Singapore would have a somewhat light load today. For today, Singapore Airlines flight SQ 655 bound for Singapore would be operated using an Airbus A330-300, registered 9V-STA and powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 772B-60 engines.

9V-STA was delivered new to Singapore Airlines on 20 January 2009 as the very first Airbus A330-300 and the overall first Airbus A330 for the airline. The overall delivery would make the aircraft approximately 6.4 years old today. Between 2006 and 2007, Singapore Airlines placed an order for several Airbus A330-300s for use on regional routes previously served by its older Boeing 777s, starting with Kuala Lumpur and some Australian destinations. The airline has a total of 31 Airbus A330-300s in its fleet, as of 1 June 2015.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Special Mid-Summer Birthday Vacation to Japan in June 2015 ~ Section 5

Welcome to the fourth section of my special mid-summer birthday vacation to Japan in June 2015. This section of the blog report will cover a total of four sub-components. They will be a misty family day tour around Beppu in Oita Prefecture, my first day trip visiting Okayama, a cloudy and damp family day tour to Nagasaki and a southern day trip to Kagoshima located at the southern tip of the southern island of Kyushu.

Part 1 ~ Family Tour Around Beppu

The next morning, which was Monday (8 June), we woke up at 8.30 a.m. after receiving a wake-up phone call from my parents.

According to the train departure information board, the Limited Express Sonic No. 19 bound for Oita would be scheduled to depart at 11.19 a.m. from Track No. 2.

Sonic (ソニック) is the name of a limited express train service operated by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) between Hakata (Fukuoka) and Oita in Japan. Operating every half an hour daily, there are a total of 32 daily return workings running in each direction, with an average journey duration from Hakata (Fukuoka) to Oita taking approximately two hours. A few services also continue as far as Saiki and / or terminate at Yanagigaura, with trains also reversing direction at Kokura Station. The service is capable of reaching a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph).

The service commenced operations on 20 April 1995, using 883 series EMUs in five-car and seven-car formations at a maximum top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph). However, due to rising demand, the fleet of eight 883 series EMUs were lengthened to form as seven cars from 19 July 2008. From 3 March 2001, 6-car 885 series EMUs were introduced on these services at a top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph), just like the existing 7-car 883 series EMUs. Green Car (first class) accommodation is provided in half of Car No. 1. There are no extra charges necessary for the Sonic for foreign tourists travelling with a Japan Rail Pass.

Beppu Station (別府駅) is a railway station located in the mid-sized suburban coastal city of Beppu, Oita, Japan. Operated by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu), it serves as the main railway station serving the suburban seaside and hot spring city of Beppu, and is the gateway for its own famous local hot springs (onsen). The station is located on the Nippo Main Line. Beppu serves as a stopping point for limited express trains heading to Oita and Yufuin, and has two island platforms serving four tracks.

Ganso (元相). Noticing the way the waitress was struggling in the Japanese language, we could tell that she was from China. With that, she became comfortable when we spoke in Chinese, allowing communication and food-ordering to become easier for us.

After spending about 25 minutes of anticipated waiting on Tracks No. 3 and 4, a 6-car 885 series EMU, operating as the Limited Express Sonic No. 56 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka), finally arrived at Beppu Station at 7.20 p.m. on Track No. 4.

Part 2 ~ My First Day Trip To Okayama

Hakata Station at 10.15 a.m..

After spending 15 minutes of anticipated waiting on Tracks No. 13 and 14, an 8-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. S2, operating as the Shinkansen SAKURA Superexpress No. 548 bound for Shin-osaka, finally arrived at Hakata Station at 11.05 a.m. on Track No. 14. Once the train doors were opened, I quickly boarded the train via Car No. 6 and went into the Green Car (first class) cabin, before heading to my assigned Seat No. 12A for the early afternoon journey duration of 1 hour 50 minutes to the hustle and bustle of downtown Okayama located in the Chugoku region of Japan.

After spending approximately 1 hour 10 minutes of anticipated waiting on Tracks No. 21 to 24, an 8-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. S16, painted in the special Harry Potter livery and operating as the Shinkansen SAKURA Superexpress No. 569 bound for Kagoshima-chuo, finally arrived at Okayama Station at 6.11 p.m. on Track No. 22. Once the train doors were opened, I boarded the train through Car No. 6 and went into the Green Car (first class) cabin before settling into my assigned Seat No. 11D for the short early evening journey duration of 1 hour 48 minutes back to the hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka.

The seat next to me, 11C, would remain vacant for the short early evening return journey of 1 hour 48 minutes from Okayama to Hakata (Fukuoka). Once the clock struck exactly 6.12 p.m. sharp, all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen SAKURA Superexpress No. 569 finally pulled out of Okayama Station for the remainder of its very long evening journey duration of 4 hours 20 minutes from Shin-osaka to Kagoshima-chuo. I was then on my way for a short early evening return journey duration of 1 hour 48 minutes back to the very lively hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka located in the southern island of Kyushu.

Part 3 ~ A Family Historical Day Tour To Nagasaki

Kamome (かもめ) is a limited express train service operated by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) between Hakata (Fukuoka) and Nagasaki in Kyushu, Japan.

After spending approximately minutes of anticipated waiting on Tracks No. 3 and 4, a 6-car 885 series EMU, which would soon operate as the Limited Express Kamome No. 17 bound for Nagasaki, finally entered Hakata Station at 10.47 a.m. on Track No. 4.

Nagasaki Station (長崎駅) is a major railway station located in the mid-sized urban port city of Nagasaki, Japan. It is the main railway terminal serving the mid-sized suburban port city of Nagasaki, and currently serves as the western terminus for the Nagasaki Main Line with Hakata (Fukuoka). Nagasaki is connected with Hakata (Fukuoka) via the Kamome limited express service, and to Sasebo with the Seaside Liner rapid service. Nagasaki houses an Amu Plaza shopping mall above its station complex, and has three hotels in its vicinity.

Isahaya Station (諫早駅) is a railway station located in the city of Isahaya, Nagasaki, Japan. Operated by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) and Shimabara Railway, it is the main railway station serving the suburban seaside city of Isahaya, and serves as an interchange station for the Nagasaki Main Line, Omura Line and the Shimabara Railway Line. Isahaya is a mandatory stopping point for all limited express trains on the Nagasaki Main Line and for all commuter trains running on the Nagasaki Main Line and Omura Line.

Part 4 ~ Journeying Further Southwards To Kagoshima

For the in-bound trip to Kagoshima, I would catch the Shinkansen SAKURA Superexpress No. 547 bound for Kagoshima-chuo, which would be scheduled to depart Hakata Station at 10.42 a.m., and arrive at the Kagoshima-chuo terminal station at 12.07 p.m..

The Kyushu Shinkansen (九州新幹線) is a major Japanese high-speed Shinkansen railway line connecting the major cities of Fukuoka and Kagoshima in Kyushu, Japan. Operated by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu), the line passes through forested areas in Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto and Kagoshima Prefectures, and serves as the southernmost high-speed Shinkansen line in Japan, having its southern terminus at Kagoshima-chuo Station. The line has a maximum top speed of 260 km/h (160 mph).

The southern part of the line between Shin-yatsushiro and Kagoshima-chuo was opened on 13 March 2004, with 6-car 800 series sets introduced on TSUBAME services at a top speed of 260 km/h (160 mph). From Hakata (Fukuoka) to Shin-yatsushiro, Relay Tsubame limited express services, operated by 787 series EMUs, provided access to the Shinkansen service with a direct cross-platform interchange at Shin-yatsushiro Station. This Shinkansen cross-platform service was then discontinued on 11 March 2011.

From 12 March 2011, the northern part of the line linking to Hakata (Fukuoka) was opened for passenger service. However, in lieu of the Great East Japan Tsunami the previous day, opening ceremonies were cancelled and reduced to simple and silent observation events for rail fans. From the same date, new MIZUHO and SAKURA services, operated by new 8-car N700 series sets, were introduced, providing direct access to Shin-osaka and other Honshu destinations via the Sanyo Shinkansen line.

After spending about 10 minutes of anticipated waiting on both Tracks No. 15 and 16, an 8-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. S15, operating as the Shinkansen SAKURA Superexpress No. 547 bound for Kagoshima-chuo, finally arrived at Hakata Station at 10.40 a.m. on Track No. 15. Once the train doors were opened, I quickly boarded the train via Car No. 6 and went into the Green Car (first class) cabin, before settling into my assigned Seat No. 11D for the short early afternoon journey duration of 1 hour 25 minutes to the southern mid-sized urban port city of Kagoshima located at the southern tip of Kyushu.

Kagoshima-chuo Station (鹿児島中央駅) is a major railway terminal located in the southern urban port city of Kagoshima, Japan. Operated by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu), it serves as the central railway terminal serving the southern urban port city of Kagoshima, and as the southern terminus for the Kyushu Shinkansen line providing direct access from Hakata (Fukuoka), making it the southernmost Shinkansen station in Japan. It also serves as a major interchange station for the Kagoshima Main Line, Nippo Main Line and Ibusuki-Makurazaki Line.

The station was initially opened on 11 October 1913 as Take Station (武駅), initially serving the Kagoshima Main Line, Nippo Main Line and Ibusuki-Makurazaki Line, until its name was eventually changed to Nishi-kagoshima Station (西鹿児島駅) on 17 October 1927. From 13 March 2004, in collaboration the opening of the southern portion of the Kyushu Shinkansen line from Shin-yatsushiro Station, the station's name was changed to its current name. As of 14 March 2015, there are two elevated island platforms for the Shinkansen trains, and two side platforms with two island platforms for the JR Line trains.

After spending approximately 45 minutes of anticipated waiting on both Tracks No. 11 and 12, an 8-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. S9 finally arrived at Kagoshima-chuo Station at 5.01 p.m. on Track No. 11. The train had initially arrived from Shin-osaka as the Shinkansen SAKURA Superexpress No. 557 bound for Kagoshima-chuo earlier, and was to undergo a relatively long and extensive cleaning process before becoming the Shinkansen SAKURA Superexpress No. 570 bound for Shin-osaka. The entire cleaning process took approximately 50 minutes.

While waiting for the train to be cleaned, I did some Shinkansen train-spotting on Tracks No. 11 and 12. Once the entire cleaning process was finished, all the half-height platform screen doors were opened again at 5.51 p.m., allowing the passengers to board the train. With that, I boarded the train through Car No. 6 and went into the Green Car (first class) cabin, before settling into my assigned Seat No. 14A for the short early evening return journey duration of 1 hour 34 minutes back to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Special Mid-Summer Birthday Vacation to Japan in June 2015 ~ Section 4

Welcome to the third segment of my special mid-summer birthday vacation to Japan in June 2015. This segment of the report will cover a total of three sections. They will mainly be my mini-shopping trip to Narita International Airport cum Family Day in Tokyo and another mini-shopping trip to Kansai International Airport cum high-end tempura dinner in Kyoto, together with the Shinkansen journey to Fukuoka and the ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Fukuoka.

Part 1 ~ Narita International Airport Cum Family Day In Downtown Tokyo

My dad and younger brother, on the other hand, had plans to explore the most notable and lively shopping district of Akihabara located in the heart of downtown Tokyo. In order to gain access to Tokyo in the morning, they would be scheduled to catch the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 514 bound for Tokyo, which would leave Shin-osaka Station at 9.16 a.m., and arrive at the Tokyo terminal station at 12.10 p.m.. They were in luck as I had made the reservations for them in advance at Universal City Station two days earlier.

HIKARI (ひかり) is a major high-speed Shinkansen train service operating on the Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen lines in Japan. Slower than the limited-stop NOZOMI service, but faster than the all-stations KODAMA service, the HIKARI is the fastest train service on the Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen lines that can be used with the Japan Rail Pass. The service generally stops along the tourist stretches between major cities on the Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen lines, and is capable of reaching a maximum top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).

The service commenced operations on 1 October 1964, in collaboration with the opening of the Tokaido Shinkansen line, using 0 series sets at a maximum top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph), until they were finally retired on 14 December 2008 after 44 years worth of passenger service. From 1985 and 1992, 100 series sets and 300 series sets were introduced on these services at speeds ranging from 230 km/h (143 mph) to 270 km/h (170 mph) until they were both decommissioned from regular passenger service on 16 March 2012.

From 1 October 2000, 700 series sets were introduced on these services at a maximum top speed of 285 km/h (177 mph), gradually displacing the older 100 series sets and 300 series sets used. From 15 March 2008, N700 series sets were introduced on these services at a maximum top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), starting with a one-way early morning working from Shin-yokohama to Hiroshima. There is no smoking permitted on these services, with segregated smoking areas available in Cars No. 3, 7, 10 and 15 of the 16-car formation.

On 11 March 2000, a special promotional service, known as HIKARI Rail Star (ひかりレールスター), was introduced by West Japan Railway Company (JR West). This service is limited to the Sanyo Shinkansen line, and is designed to compete with domestic airliners between Osaka and Fukuoka. It uses special 8-car 700 series sets at a top speed of 285 km/h (177 mph), and sport a grey body with a black stripe running across the windows, separated by a sunny yellow stripe running just below the window linings.

Though there is no Green Car (first class) accommodation available on these services, the reserved seating cars are arranged in a 2-2 configuration. However, with the opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen line between Hakata (Fukuoka) and Shin-yatsushiro, many HIKARI Rail Star services are gradually being replaced with newer SAKURA services, which can provide more through service Kagoshima. From the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012, HIKARI Rail Star services using the special 8-car 700 sets became entirely non-smoking.

After spending about 35 minutes of anticipated waiting on Tracks No. 23 and 24, a 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. B9, which would soon operate as the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 506 bound for Tokyo, finally entered Shin-osaka Station at 6.16 a.m. on Track No. 23. Once the train doors were opened, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 8, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, and settled in my assigned Seat No. 1A at the rear of the cabin for the long early morning journey duration of 3 hours 13 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo.

The seat adjacent to me, 1B, would remain vacant for the entire long early morning journey duration of 3 hours 13 minutes from Shin-osaka to Tokyo. Once the clock struck exactly 6.27 a.m. sharp, all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 506 finally pulled out of Shin-osaka Station for its early morning journey duration of 3 hours 13 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo located in the Kanto region of the country. I was then on my way for an early morning travel duration of 3 hours 13 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of the national capital city of Japan.

After spending approximately 1 hour 05 minutes of anticipated waiting on Tracks No. 16 and 17, a 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C32 finally arrived at Tokyo Station at 7.47 p.m. on Track No. 17. The train had just arrived from Shin-osaka as the Shinkansen KODAMA Superexpress No. 670 bound for Tokyo earlier, and was to undergo extensive cleaning prior to becoming the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 533 bound for Shin-osaka. It took approximately less than 15 minutes to clean the entire train's interior cabin.

Once the whole in-car cleaning process was completed, the train doors were finally opened at eight o' clock, allowing the passengers to board the train to Shin-osaka. Without wasting anymore time, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 7 and went into Car No. 8, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, before settling into my assigned Seat No. 7D for the rainy evening return journey duration of 3 hours 13 minutes back to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka in western Japan.

The seat next to me, 7C, would remain empty for the entire evening return trip from Tokyo to Shin-osaka. Once the clock struck exactly 8.03 p.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen HIKARI Superexpress No. 533 finally pulled out of Tokyo Station for its long and rainy early evening return journey duration of 3 hours 13 minutes to the hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka located in western Japan. I was then on my way for a long evening return journey duration of 3 hours 13 minutes back to the hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka.

Part 2 ~ Another Mini-Shopping Trip To Kansai International Airport

After spending approximately 45 minutes of anticipated waiting on Tracks No. 30 and 31, a 6-car 281 series EMU finally arrived at Kyoto Station at 2.02 p.m. on Track No. 30. The train had arrived from Kansai International Airport as the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 84 bound for Kyoto earlier, and was to undergo an extensive cleaning process before becoming the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 27 bound for Kansai International Airport. The entire cleaning process took approximately less than 10 minutes.

After spending approximately half an hour of anticipated waiting on Tracks No. 3 and 4, a 6-car 281 series EMU finally arrived at Kansai Airport Station at 6.06 p.m. on Track No. 4. The train had arrived from Kyoto as the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 33 bound for Kansai International Airport earlier, and was to undergo extensive cleaning before eventually becoming the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 34 bound for Kyoto. It took about less than 10 minutes to clean the entire train.

Once the entire cleaning process was completed, the train-cleaning signs were removed at 6.14 p.m., allowing all the passengers to board the train bound for Kyoto. Without wasting anymore time, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 1, which was the Green Car (first class) coach, and settled into my assigned Seat No. 8C for the early evening journey duration of 1 hour 15 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Kyoto located to the north of Osaka in the Keihanshin metropolitan area.

I was to be the only passenger in the Green Car (first class) cabin for the entire journey from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto. Once the clock struck exactly 6.16 p.m. sharp, all the train doors were closed, and the Kansai Airport Limited Express Haruka No. 34 finally pulled out of Kansai Airport Station for its short early evening journey duration of 1 hour 16 minutes to the hustle and bustle of downtown Kyoto. I was then on my way for a short early evening journey duration of 1 hour 16 minutes to the historical capital city of Japan.

Tenichi (天一).

Part 3 ~ The Journey To The ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Fukuoka

After spending about 15 minutes worth of anticipated waiting on Track No. 20, an 8-car JR Kyushu N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. R4, which would soon operate as the Shinkansen SAKURA Superexpress No. 549 bound for Kagoshima-chuo, finally arrived at Shin-osaka Station at 9.10 a.m. on Track No. 20. Once all the train doors were opened, we boarded the train via Car No. 6, and went into the Green Car (first class) cabin. Stowing our baggage at the rear of the train, we settled into our assigned Seats No. 12C, 12D, 13C and 13D for the morning journey of 2 hours 46 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka.

I was to be seated with my younger brother, who was seated in Seat No. 13C, for the entire morning journey duration of 2 hours 46 minutes from Shin-osaka to Hakata (Fukuoka). Once the clock struck exactly 9.18 a.m. sharp, all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen SAKURA Superexpress No. 549 finally pulled out of Shin-osaka Station for its long morning travel duration of 4 hours 23 minutes to the mid-sized urban port city of Kagoshima located at the southern tip of the southern island of Kyushu. We were then on our way for a morning journey duration of 2 hours 46 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Fukuoka.

12.04 p.m. on Track No. 15.

Rooms No. 1403 and 1424

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Special Mid-Summer Birthday Vacation to Japan in June 2015 ~ Section 3

Welcome to the third segment of my special mid-summer birthday vacation to Japan in June 2015. This segment of the blog report will cover a total of four focus topics. They will mainly be spending a family trip to the popular and modern western Universal Studios Japan theme park, together with a special self-birthday afternoon shopping journey to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) in celebration of my 20th birthday.

Part 1 ~ Family Day Trip To Universal Studios Japan

Universal City Station (ユニバーサルシティ駅) is a railway station located on the Sakurajima Line (Yumesaki Line) in Konohana-ku, Osaka, Japan. Opened on 1 March 2001, the station is operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West), and is the main railway station for Universal Studios Japan, the first Universal Studios theme park located outside the United States. As of 14 March 2015, the station has two side platforms serving two tracks, with the station's building designed by local architect, Tadao Ando.

Nishi-kujo Station (西九条駅) is an interchange railway station located in the urban district of Konohana-ku, Osaka, Japan. Operated by both West Japan Railway Company (JR West) and Hanshin Electric Railway, it serves as a major interchange station for the Osaka Loop Line, Sakurajima Line (Yumesaki Line) and the Hanshin Namba Line, and as an important access station for passengers visiting Universal Studios Japan. With all JR line commuter trains stopping, select Kuroshio limited express services also make stop here.

Part 2 ~ Birthday Celebration Trip To Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

The next morning, which was Thursday (4 June), June 2014.

For the in-bound trip to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport), I would be scheduled to catch the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, which would be scheduled to depart Shin-osaka Station at 8.57 a.m., and arrive at the Tokyo terminal station at 11.30 a.m.. Upon arrival at Tokyo, I would connect to a Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line Rapid Service train bound for Ofuna, which would be scheduled to depart Tokyo Station at 11.45 a.m., and arrive at Hamamatsucho Station at 11.49 a.m..

After arrival at Hamamatsucho Station, I would have a very short 10-minute layover before immediately catching a Tokyo Monorail Haneda Express train bound for Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport), which would be scheduled to depart Hamamatsucho Station at 12 noon, and arrive at the Haneda Airport Terminal 2 terminal station at 12.19 p.m.. I was lucky since I had made my Green Car (first class) seat reservations at Osaka Station three days earlier, and that I had arranged with the hotel for a cab to transport me to Shin-osaka Station at 7.45 a.m. the previous day.

My family, on the other hand, were planning to travel to Hiroshima and Kure on this day. To access Hiroshima, they would be catching the Shinkansen SAKURA Superexpress No. 551 bound for Kagoshima-chuo, which would be scheduled to depart Shin-osaka Station at 9.59 a.m., and arrive at Hiroshima Station at 11.26 a.m.. They were quite lucky since I had made the Green Car (first class) seat reservations at Universal City Station for them in advance on the way back to the InterContinental Hotel Osaka the previous day.


The cab drop-off area located outside the Shinkansen entrance to Shin-osaka Station on a bright summer's early morning

The Shinkansen ticketing concourse at Shin-osaka Station during the early morning rush hour

The Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen ticketing gates in the Shinkansen ticketing concourse at Shin-osaka Station during the early morning rush hour

The Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen concourse leading to the platforms at Shin-osaka Station during the morning rush hour

Finally arriving at Tracks No. 25 and 26 at Shin-osaka Station

A 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N16 (K16), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 212 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 27 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N16 (K16), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 212 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 27 at Shin-osaka Station

The logo of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N16 (K16), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 212 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 27 at Shin-osaka Station

The departure information board for eastbound Tokaido Shinkansen trains bound for Nagoya and Tokyo departing from Tracks No. 25 and 26 at Shin-osaka Station

A 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C42, which would soon operate as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 300 bound for Tokyo, entering Shin-osaka Station on Track No. 26. I remember riding on this train as the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 800 bound for Tokyo between Odawara and Tokyo in June 2013

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C42, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 300 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 26 at Shin-osaka Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C42, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 300 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 26 at Shin-osaka Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C42, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 300 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 26 at Shin-osaka Station

The logo of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C42, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 300 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 26 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C18, operating as the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 638 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The logo of the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C18, operating as the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 638 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The logo of a 16-car JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G12, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 110 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G12, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 110 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z38 (X38), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 214 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 26 at Shin-osaka Station

The logo of the 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z38 (X38), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 214 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 26 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G13, operating as the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 512 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The logo of the 16-car JR Central N700A Series Shinkansen Set No. G13, operating as the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 512 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

A 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C55, which would operate as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 306 bound for Tokyo, entering Shin-osaka Station on Track No. 27

The logo of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C55, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 306 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 27 at Shin-osaka Station

The logo of a 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z46 (X46), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 112 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 26 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z58 (X58), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 216 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 26 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z16 (X16), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 114 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The logo of the 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z16 (X16), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 114 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

Tracks No. 25 and 26 serving some of the eastbound Tokaido Shinkansen trains bound for Nagoya and Tokyo at Shin-osaka Station during the morning rush hour

The logo of a 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N3 (K3), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 2 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station. I clearly remember riding on this particular train as Set No. N3 as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 7 bound for Hakata (Fukuoka) from Tokyo during my end-of-year winter vacation to Japan in December 2014

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. N3 (K3), operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 2 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The departure information board for eastbound Tokaido Shinkansen trains bound for Nagoya and Tokyo departing from Track No. 25, indicating that the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo would be the first train to depart from Track No. 25

Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station shortly before the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo arrived at the station

After spending approximately 1 hour 10 minutes of anticipated waiting on Tracks No. 25 and 26, a 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, which would operate as the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, finally entered Shin-osaka Station at 8.40 a.m. on Track No. 25. Once the train doors were opened, I boarded the train through Car No. 8, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, and settled into my assigned Seat No. 1A at the rear of the cabin for the upcoming morning journey duration of 2 hours 33 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo.

The seat next to me, 1B, would remain empty for the entire early morning journey of 2 hours 33 minutes from Shin-osaka to Tokyo. Once the clock struck exactly 8.57 a.m. sharp, all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 310 finally pulled out of Shin-osaka Station for its early morning journey duration of 2 hours 33 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo located in the Kanto region of the country. I was then on my way for a morning 20th birthday journey of 2 hours 33 minutes to the very lively hustle and bustle of the national capital city of Japan.


700系新幹線 C34編成 のぞみ310号 東京行き 新大阪駅に入線シーン

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The logo of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

Getting ready to board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

Another front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

Another rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, during the boarding process on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

A view of my seat, 1A, during the boarding process on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, from my seat during the boarding process on Track No. 25 at Shin-osaka Station

Crafting out my report for the in-bound segment between Shin-osaka and Tokyo on my blog

Reading through the most hilarious quote in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" on iBooks in my laptop, where Harry's Uncle Vernon throws a temper tantrum after Harry tells Dudley to say 'please' to get more breakfast ー "WHAT HAVE I TOLD YOU," thundered his uncle, spraying spit over the table, "ABOUT SAYING THE 'M' WORD IN OUR HOUSE?!"

Awaiting departure from Shin-osaka Station

700系新幹線 C34編成 のぞみ310号 東京行き 新大阪駅から京都駅間

Making a brief stop at Kyoto Station

My Green Car (first class) Shinkansen tickets for the in-bound segment from Shin-osaka to Tokyo


A view of my seat, 1A, between Kyoto and Maibara

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, between Kyoto and Maibara Stations

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, between Kyoto and Maibara Stations


The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 310 bound for Tokyo, from my seat between Kyoto and Maibara Stations



Passing through Maibara Station




Passing through Gifu-hashima Station



Making a brief stop at Nagoya Station

700系新幹線 C34編成 のぞみ310号 東京行き 名古屋 (発車) ~ 豊橋 (通過)

700系新幹線 C34編成 のぞみ310号 東京行き 浜松 (通過) ~ 静岡 (通過)

700系新幹線 C34編成 のぞみ310号 東京行き 三島 (通過) ~ 小田原 (通過)

700系新幹線 C34編成 のぞみ310号 東京行き 新横浜駅から終点東京駅間

After an early morning trip duration of 2 hours 33 minutes from the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo, I finally arrived at the Tokyo terminal station at 11.30 a.m. on Track No. 14.

After spending about 10 minutes of anticipated waiting on the departure track, a 6-car Tokyo Monorail 1000 series EMU finally arrived at Hamamatsucho Station at noon, approximately three minutes behind schedule. The train had just arrived as an 11.35 a.m. Rapid Service train bound for Hamamatsucho from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) earlier, and was to become the twelve o' clock Haneda Express service bound for Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport). Once the train doors were opened, I quickly boarded the train via Car No. 6 and secured a front row middle seat by the driver's observation cab.

With the clock striking around 12.03 p.m. sharp, the train doors were closed, and the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Express train finally pulled out of Hamamatsucho Station for its short and quick routine afternoon travel duration of 19 minutes to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) located in the outskirts of downtown Ota-ku, Tokyo. I was then on my way for a short early afternoon trip of 19 minutes to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) located in the suburban outskirts of downtown Ota-ku, Tokyo.



東京モノレール1000形 (1078F) 空港快速 東京国際空港行き 浜松町駅から羽田空港第2ビル駅間


1) Air France Airbus A330-203 Herpa Scale 1:500 (518482-001)

2) American Airlines Boeing 777-323/ER Herpa Scale 1:500 (523950-001)

3) Lufthansa Airbus A330-343X Herpa Scale 1:500 (514965-001)

4) Thai Airways International Boeing 787-8D7 Dreamliner Herpa Scale 1:500 (526869)

After.




東京モノレール1000形 (1079F) 空港快速 浜松町行き 羽田空港第2ビル駅から浜松町駅間

After a short mid-afternoon return journey from Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) in the suburban outskirts of downtown Ota-ku, Tokyo, I arrived back at the Hamamatsucho terminal station at 4.01 p.m.. Checking to see that nothing had been left behind, I promptly alighted from the train and took the escalators down to the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line concourse before proceeding to the ticketing gate leading to the JR Line interchange concourse of the station building, eventually reaching there in less than a few minutes.


The entrance to The Tokyo Phoenix Chinese Restaurant located on the 12th floor at Daimaru Department Store Tokyo shortly before making my way back to Tokyo Station

The elevator lobby located on the 12th floor at Daimaru Department Store Tokyo as I begin to make my way back to Tokyo Station

The passageway leading to the Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen ticketing concourse at Tokyo Station from the Daimaru Department Store Tokyo

The Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen ticketing gates in the Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen ticketing concourse at Tokyo Station during the early evening rush hour

The Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen concourse leading to the platforms at Tokyo Station during the early evening rush hour

About to take the escalators up to the upper concourse leading to Tracks No. 16 to 19 at Tokyo Station during the early evening rush hour

Finally arriving at Tracks No. 18 and 19 at Tokyo Station

The LED destination panel of a 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z79 (X79), operating as the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 523 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

The logo of the 16-car JR Central N700 Series Shinkansen Set No. Z79 (X79), operating as the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 523 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

A 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, which would soon operate as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 401 bound for Shin-osaka, entering Tokyo Station on Track No. 19

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 401 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 401 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 401 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

The logo of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C34, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 401 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

The logo of a 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C16, now operating as the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 677 bound for Nagoya, on Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station

A 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C16, now operating as the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 677 bound for Nagoya, on Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C16, now operating as the Shinkansen "KODAMA" Superexpress No. 677 bound for Nagoya, on Track No. 17 at Tokyo Station

The departure information board for Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen trains departing from Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station, indicating that the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 401 bound for Shin-osaka would be the first train to depart

A 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. B12, which would soon operate as the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 525 bound for Shin-osaka, arriving at Tokyo Station on Track No. 18

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. B12, now operating as the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 525 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 18 at Tokyo Station

The 16-car JR West 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. B12, now operating as the Shinkansen "HIKARI" Superexpress No. 525 bound for Shin-osaka, undergoing an extensive cleaning process on Track No. 18 at Tokyo Station

Tracks No. 18 and 19 serving some of the Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen trains bound for Nagoya, Shin-osaka and Hakata (Fukuoka) at Tokyo Station during the early evening rush hour

The departure information board for Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen trains departing from Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station, indicating that the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka would be the first train to depart

Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station shortly before the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka arrived at the station

After spending approximately 25 minutes of anticipated waiting on both Tracks No. 18 and 19, a 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C60, which would operate as the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka, finally entered Tokyo Station at 5.56 p.m. on Track No. 19. Noticing that the seating arrangements were facing in the opposite direction, the cleaners boarded the train to do an extensive cleaning process before allowing the passengers to board the train, which took approximately 10 minutes.

Upon completion of the entire in-car cleaning process of the entire train, the train doors were finally opened again at 6.07 p.m., thus allowing the passengers to board the train bound for Shin-osaka. Without wasting anymore time, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 8 and headed into Car No. 9, which was one of the Green Car (first class) coaches, before heading to my assigned Seat No. 16D located at the rear of the cabin for the early evening return travel duration of 2 hours 33 minutes back to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka.

The seat next to me, 16C, would remain vacant for the whole early evening return journey of 2 hours 33 minutes between Tokyo and Shin-osaka. Once the clock struck exactly 6.13 p.m. sharp, all the train doors were closed, and the Shinkansen NOZOMI Superexpress No. 403 finally pulled out of Tokyo Station for its early evening trip of 2 hours 33 minutes to the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka located in the Kansai region of Japan. I was then on my way for an early evening return journey duration of 2 hours 33 minutes to the very lively hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka in the centre of the Keihanshin metropolitan area.


The 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C60, which would soon operate as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka, undergoing an extensive cleaning process on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

The LED destination panel of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C60, now operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

The logo of the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C60, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

Getting ready to board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C60, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka, on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C60, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

The rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C60, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

A view of my seat, 16D, during the boarding process on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

Another front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C60, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

Another rear view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C60, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka, during the boarding process on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

The view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 16-car JR Central 700 Series Shinkansen Set No. C60, operating as the Shinkansen "NOZOMI" Superexpress No. 403 bound for Shin-osaka, from my seat during the boarding process on Track No. 19 at Tokyo Station

After a quick early evening journey duration of 2 hours 33 minutes from the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo, I finally arrived at the Shin-osaka terminal station at 8.46 p.m. on Track No. 22. Checking to see that I had left nothing behind on board, I quickly alighted from the train and took the escalators down to the main Shinkansen concourse. Upon arriving at the Shinkansen concourse at 8.50 p.m., I headed over to the Shinkansen ticketing gates to show my Japan Rail Pass at the staffed Shinkansen ticketing gate.

Overall, my 20th birthday journey to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) has been a very pleasant experience, and one of the best birthdays I have ever had in so many years of history. The particular highlight of this special day trip was a ride on the NOZOMI service on an older 700 Series Shinkansen set, and like my previous NOZOMI train rides, this was way better than the Korea Train Express (KTX) in South Korea. I shall not hesitate to embark on such special train trips again for my future birthdays when the opportunity comes.

This officially brings the second segment of my special mid-term birthday vacation to Japan in June 2015 to a formal conclusion. The remaining three segments of the trip report will be published once I have managed to select the highest quality photographs and videos for all of them. However, please do be patient as these require time and effort for the trip report to become more intriguing to all bloggers.