My departure time for East Asia Tour Volume-2 was only a day away. There was still one stage of my itinerary which was still scattered and unfinished, i.e the deadlock of my transfer mechanism from Tokyo to Osaka. Three months ago, I wasted a cheap bus ticket from Tokyo to Osaka for 5,700 Yen just because I kept thinking and looking for other options. Some time later when the weekend came, the price of bus fare increased to 9,700 Yen. While the Shinkansen ticket price reached 14,000 Yen.
It mean that apart from the bus, the Shinkansen was also impossible for me to choose. The bullet train was too expensive for my pocket. Inevitably, I have to go back to rummaging through information about Japanese transportation.
I started tracking how many commercial airlines which Land of Rising Sun owned. Previously, I had booked one of their airlines to move from Kaohsiung (Taiwan) to Tokyo, that airline was Vanilla Air. But this airline in fact set a fairly expensive price for Tokyo to Osaka route, around 10,130 Yen.
From my persistence in exploring cyberspace, my mouse touch found another LCC (Low Cost Carrier) airline belonging to Japan, namely Peach Aviation. The airline’s attributes rely on a combination of orange and pink colors, forming a pale orange color known as peach. I started looking for a route. Finally I found Tokyo-Osaka route for 7,150 Yen, a slightly cheaper price than taking the bus, Shinkansen or Vanilla Air.
The incident of delay and accidentally drinking alcohol became a bad memory before I left Tokyo. However, I started to smile when my flight number was mentioned in airport announcement. I started queuing in line. I began to imagine the beauty of Osaka Castle in every second of my queue. Until I arrived, my boarding pass and passport were checked by a female ground staff who was very young.
“I’m sorry, this is not your flight. Your flight will be depart 30 minutes later”.
“Are you sure?”, I half asked.
“Yes, sir. This flight is MM320 and your flight is MM6320, almost similar”.
“Oh God, I’m sorry. This is my wrong”, I slapped my forehead while trying to hide my embarrassment.
I stepped back from the queue and sat in one of empty rows of seats that had been left by prospective passengers to enter the plane. I was still watching the queue until the last person entered the plane. Now I was back waiting….
30 minutes later…..
Unmistakably, this was my flight, I made sure flight number information on the LCD screen was correct, then I matched it with the same number in my boarding pass….Yup, this was MM6320. I immediately entered the queue. Then at the queue gate, I gave my boarding pass and passport to be checked by one of ground staff. Finally, I was allowed to enter the plane.
The cabin dominance with a peach color made the room so cheerful, slightly reducing my fatigue in struggling with delays. Every cabin crew was so quick to help passengers put their luggage into luggage compartment. Several times, a flight attendant didn’t hesitate to take off her shoes and stood into a chair edge to push some large luggage and tidy it up in luggage compartment.
After preparation, Peach Aviation MM6320 began to crawl towards runway accompanied by a demonstration of flight safety procedures by cabin crew. Moments later the flight captain asked for permission to take off. Shortly after, the Airbus A320-100 sped away from Narita International Airport from Terminal 1.
The sky in Tokyo seemed to be clear that night. I didn’t feel any turbulence during 1 hour 35 minute flight. Osaka is Japan’s third largest city, 500 km in west of Tokyo. Throughout flight, most passengers prefered to close their eyes, but I still turned on the reading light because I was interested in the abundance of tourism information which contained in Peach Aviation’s inflight magazine. I took pictures one by one of that tourist information sheets, I needed it while in Osaka. Apparently my activity was noticed by a flight attendant from behind. Even at one time she came to me.
“Do you still reading, Sir?” .
“Yes, Ms. I need some information from this magazine”.
“Oh ok, Sir. It doesn’t matter. I just make sure”.
She smiled and sat back in her flight attendant’s seat at back. Even after that, I made sure that throughout the flight I never turned off the reading light. On 23:53 hours, flight captain started talking into his microphone to simply announce that the plane would soon be landing at Kansai International Airport Terminal 2. All passengers rushed up, got ready and tidied up every seat. The cabin crew continued to check back and forth according to safety procedures for landing process.
I still didn’t know about actual conditions down there because I was sitting in aisle seat. I was able to feel when the plane began to lower and occasionally rocked to stabilize its position. Until finally the smooth pounding of plane’s wheels informed me that Peach Aviation had touched the runway of Kansai International Airport, in Terminal 2 to be exact.
There was no welcoming aerobridge, all passengers must descend the stairs and be picked up by Narita apron shuttle bus to the terminal building.
That night, I decided to spend the night at Kansai International Airport Terminal 2 and would leave for downtown on the next day.