I don’t know about you, but typically, the idea of a 12-hour flight would fill me with dread (and initially it did). But, after my first flight to Japan from the U.S., I actually look forward to the long flight now. Here’s why.

It’s a Chance to Disconnect and Relax

The long flight to Japan is a chance for uninterrupted “me” time. I spend the flight watching movies, napping and just generally doing whatever I feel like doing. There are no calls from the office and no distractions. (And I love catching up on the latest movies I don’t have the time to watch at home too!)

No Cell Phones

Japanese Flights are Quiet and Relaxing

There’s that word again: Relax. Unlike domestic flights in the U.S., which are usually crowded, cramped and can be noisy, flights to Japan are generally pretty quiet (especially on weekdays). I try to fly Monday  – Thursday when traveling to and from Japan (and I also sit in the rear section of the plane). By doing this, on my last 6 flights I have had the entire row to myself (and on my other flights, I have had a minimum of a seat between myself and another passenger), allowing me to stretch out and relax.

While I have noticed a reduction in how often I get a row to myself in the last couple of years, if you fly on a weekday and upgrade (if you can) from Economy, you’ll still usually have at least a seat between you and another passenger. 

Woman relaxing on plane

Japanese Airlines Have Great Food and Service

Let’s just say the majority of U.S. airlines are not known for their high-quality service. They get you from point A to point B and that’s about it. Japanese airlines however, pride themselves on their service, and in fact, JAL recently was awarded World’s Best Airline for On-Time Flights in January 2016, and in 2015, ANA received its fourth coveted 5-Star Airline rating from Skytrax (awarded to only 7 airlines worldwide), for onboard service and products. So, if you can find a good fare on a Japanese airline like Nippon, ANA, EVA Air or JAL, give them a try and see for yourself.

EVA Air attendants

Experience Japan Before You Even Get There

To start your Japanese experience before you even arrive, book a flight on EVA Air or ANA. Their planes are adorned with Hello Kitty and Pokemon (respectively) from tip to tail, insuring your flight to Japan will be filled with plenty of omotenashi hospitality and kawaii moments before you arrive.

EVA Air plane

So, as you can see, flying to Japan is not all that bad (other than the fares). The long flight gives you a chance to relax, take time for yourself, and get ready for your visit to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Happy flying!

For Japan travel info, check out 10 Reasons You’ll LOVE Japan

Source:  Airline Quality

Images:  Top & 4 , 1 ,  2 , 3