I have been going to Japan regularly for the past decade and I can confidently say that the country is the definition of perfection. There’s so much to love about Japan. Service is outstanding everywhere as the people prides themselves on the art of selfless hospitality.
Omotenashi (yes, there’s even a Japanese term for it) is the authentic spirit of extreme awesome service…. meeting demands so much as anticipating them… knowing what you need before you even know it…. seriously, if you have not yet visited, just hop on a flight and go now… it’s one of the most stimulating cultural experiences you’ll ever have in your life.
Travel to Japan is more than a trip. It’s a journey… and what better way to start your journey in a flight on Japan Airlines First Class.
Being a part of OneWorld alliance, all Japan Airlines First Class passengers have access to LAX Qantas First Class Lounge, which in my opinion, is one of the best lounges in America. Though not Japanese, they have a generous a la carte selection that rivals fine dining restaurants in the Los Angeles area.
Japan Airlines First Class has eight seats in its cabin. Upon booking, we opt for 2A with preference for window seat and privacy. As it turns out, the seat didn’t matter since there’s only two passengers in this entire cabin 🙂
Its high end offerings starts the moment you sit in your seat. For this flight, the airline gifts a limited edition Porsche Design amenity set for all its passengers.
Japan’s fine dining and bar selection gets to the level of insanity at 38,000 ft. The airline offers one of the best omakase dining you’ll ever experience in the air.
The experience starts off with champagne. For Japan, they offer a rare vintage 2006 Salon Le Menil Blanc de Blancs Brut to pair with your appetizer. Wine Enthusiast voted it 100 points for 2017. It usually retails for $400 USD, but since this vintage is so rare now… this bottle can be charged up to a premium of $600+ USD!
Verdict? Just like the $1000+ USD cognac on Emirates First Class, I can’t taste the $600+ USD, but compared to Dom Perignon and Krug on other First Class flights, the flavors are definitely more crisp, airy, and intense.
Not an alcohol person? Japan Airlines also offer premium ice tea from Queen of Blue Deluxe. This is certainly no “Ito-En” tea. To give you a little history, these leaves are hand-picked only once a year and have strict standards in its cultivation and elegantly bottled in limited batches. San Francisco hipsters, this is your “artisanal locally sourced” tea heaven.
Wow, and this is just the appetizer.
Get ready for a gastronomic display of Japanese eats.
From the top of the pentagon shaped (clockwise)
- Egg Cake topped with Caviar
- Jellied Spring Vegetables
- Sea-bream roll with Vegetables
- Shrimp Patty with Japanese Style Salad
- Jellied Foie Gras & Spinach
Is this miso soup? Nope! Opening the elegantly presented bowl, their clear soup features a fancy scallop cake garnish.
I am so glad I’m hungry because after that we get the seared sashimi tuna, steamed sea urchin, and smoked salmon.
For the main Kaiseki omakase dish, there’s the Japanese style beef steak with steamed rice. Don’t want your fancy scallop soup? No worries, Japan Airlines have the traditional miso soup if you crave that too.
For the dessert, it’s a wagashi style offering that pairs really well with matcha tea.
After this amazing meal, we opt to change into our pajamas. And of course, even the airline’s sleep wear is Porsche Design…
With an empty cabin, the flight attendant staffs generously offered all the middle seats as our bed in the sky. What a sweet BOGO deal – enjoying TWO First Class seats for the price of one!
Fun fact, Paul unfortunately was not on this flight… so we decided to rub First Class in his face by video chatting with him in the air.
I think Japan Airlines offer complimentary satellite WiFi to its passengers just for this purpose 😉
Finally with video chat, food coma, and a nibble of midnight cravings, Miki opted to sleep for the rest of this amazing flight…
Overall, Japan Airlines sets the bar for airline hospitality. With its country’s omotenashi standards, the in-flight accommodations in its delivery in warmth, respect, and attentiveness tops any airline we have ever experienced.
What a delightful way to get a first taste of Japan.
Trust me Paul, you definitely missed out.
Oh well, guess we just have to go to Japan again?