Sunday, November 29, 2015

Flying Skymark Airlines Sapporo - Tokyo 10/25/2015


Most things in Japan are kind of old hat for me at this point, but flying domestically there ironically still feels exotic. Most tourists (including myself) just fly to their destination and either stay put or take the train to wherever else they're going. This time we flew Skymark back from Sapporo to Tokyo, my first time experiencing a purely domestic Japanese airline. If you've heard of Skymark at all before, you probably know them for this:


That image is actually from Akihabara News, a US-based site specializing in geeky Japanese stuff. But do a Google image search for "Skymark" and their mini-skirted flight attendants are all you're going to see. Skymark knows how to get covered in the US press.

But sorry to disappoint you guys, Skymark actually had these 1960's-inspired uniforms only for a short time and only on their long-haul A330's, which they no longer fly. You can see their regular uniforms (well, with the addition of a straw hat) here. Pretty conservative! This is what they fly around Japan in.

Our flight was really smooth - I shot video of a lot of it:


Sorry about the changing aspect ratio - I shot this with my phone, initially with the flip cover closed (which makes the aspect ratio square) and then with it open.

If you're thinking about flying Skymark, you'll notice that it sounds pretty much like any other flight. They even do the cabin announcements in both Japanese and English, for domestic flights.


I sprang 1,000 yen (about $8) extra for a better seat, which put me in seat 1A at the very front of the plane. Their regular seats have 32" of seat pitch, which is surprisingly comparable to most US legacy airlines, but I'm pretty dang tall so even that's tough for me, and all they had left otherwise were middle seats. The upgrade is so cheap that it's easily worth it, and you even get 300 yen of it back with a free drink.

Overall it was really not a bad experience, and I'm a guy who hates flying domestic back home. But such is the case with a lot of things in Japan vs. the United States. Most things we think of as really unpleasant just aren't outside this country.

If you for some reason need proof of my geek credentials, they were selling model airplanes on board (who still does that here?) and I bought one:


My house is starting to look like a travel agency.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.

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I'm married. I like to travel. I have no kids. I have a house... that I'm bad at maintaining. I used to collect classic video games. I own a lot of musical equipment that far outstrips my ability to use it. When I was younger, I was in a band. I like gadgets, and I'm an Android guy. Someday, I would like to live on a different planet.

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