Given that Abhishek’s school life has begun, it was only me going to Tokyo. While I had a few meetings set up through contacts, it seemed like I would have plenty of free time to roam around, see and think.
I took the ANA direct flight to Tokyo. It completely changed my view of what an international flight was supposed to be! ANA’s 737-700 BusinessJet had only business class – and only 36 (or 40, I am not sure) seats. There were just about a dozen of us on the flight. Boarding was complete in five minutes!
ANA operates a daily service between Mumbai and Tokyo. The return leg is much longer, with a refueling half to Fukuoka in Japan, which extends the journey to about 13 hours (as compared to the 8 hours it takes to get to Tokyo).
The return flight was on a similar aircraft, but this time around it had a mixed Economy-Business configuration. Occupancy was under 50%.
The Mumbai-Tokyo flight is through the night (dep 9:05 pm, arr 8:45 am) , while the return is through the day (dep 10:10 am, arr 7:45 pm).
The hotel I stayed at in Tokyo (the same one where my friend was also staying) was ANA Intercontinental, also in Akasaka. It is very conveniently located – and most of meetings were short cab rides away.