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  2. Here is some extra info to follow up on @chadbag. Check out aerolopa.com for seat info as it seems to be the most up to date nowadays. Seatguru.com used to be good but has not been updated for a long time. It is helpful to know the specific model - and that info will be available when you go to look at flight options. For example, ANA's B777-200s are used in domestic service and have 31" seat pitch in economy but they use B777-300ERs for international service and their seat pitch in economy is 34". To compare with United and Delta, they use 31" in economy and 34" in their Economy Plus and Comfort Plus sections. I am getting older by the day - I can remember when you just bought a ticket and seat pitch in economy was not so bad - 34" used to be the minimum but 31" is more common now and some airlines are even worse. It can really be a drag to try to sort through options and fees. But then, you can be in Japan from EWR in about 13 hours so there's that! Ciao, Tony
  3. Today
  4. Also, check the planes that service the routes you are looking at for the various airlines. You can find things like economy class seat pitch etc. I've found that a lot of the foreign airlines have a greater seat pitch than the US based airlines do in economy class. A couple extra inches makes a big deal in comfort for the long flight. We flew Singapore once from LAX to NRT and their seats in economy were significantly more comfortable than any of the United flights we've had (all our AA flights we've had were actually code share on JAL but unfortunately not our United). I've not flown Delta to Japan since 2000 (and that was business class on a system wide upgrade that Delta used to have) but the wife did a few years ago to visit her mom when she was sick with a cancer diagnosis. She said it was OK and in looking at Delta planes that serve various flights to Japan their seat pitch seems to be very slightly better than United or AA, at least when I last checked. It still was not as good as Singapore or otehr foreign airlines I checked. Anyway, my main point is to check the planes flying the routes and go look up on one of the sites that shows each airlines configurations and specs for the seating etc. It may be worth paying a little more for a better quality seating arrangement (even if all are labeled economy and not any sort of Plus).
  5. The CF7 is a... unique... looking locomotive, isn't it. 🙂
  6. I tend to start monitoring prices about 6 months out but have found that 4 months and 2 months seem to be the points where you find the deals to Japan (at least in my past experiences). We were originally planning on going this summer (leaving last week) but due to some issues we have to postpone to next year or whenever. But I put in a Google Flights search request for the dates (and thereabouts -- slightly flexible) we had hoped to go and it sent me very regular updates on the prices for those dates through its system. I would also do my own individual searches, periodically, since early spring, when I was needing a distraction. The general results confirmed my previous thoughts that 4 and 2 months, approximately, are when airlines tend to run fare "sales" to Japan. To shore up their bookings and start to fill the flight. The last 2 weeks it always shoots way up. Start monitoring and when the price gets to where it is acceptable for you, make the booking. Don't try for the very cheapest and least expensive you can find, as you will inevitably miss it and miss what would have been a decent deal while holding out for the bottom of the market. It's like timing the stock market -- its very hard to do and you usually miss it. Just pull the trigger when the price gets to where you find it acceptable. Also, remember that ANA is partners with United and JAL with AA and you can find United and AA issued (and listed) tickets that are actually served by the ANA and JAL planes and people so you get the great ANA and JAL service at a cheaper price (but you're also stuck with United and AA baggage allowances and policies).
  7. YouTube member TSG Multimedia just posted a very interesting cab view video of the Santa Cruz Beach Train from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk up into the redwoods up to Felton, CA on the Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway: You can see quite a lot of street running the train heads away from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk before heading into the redwoods for the climb up to Felton.
  8. Arunine kits are quite nice and go together very easily with little soldering or gluing needed (except for details). They also are a great value and many are designed to fit onto Kato pocket train power units. jeff
  9. Yesterday
  10. Actually, it all comes on a brass sheet and you cut out the frame in one piece and fold on the lines. The flawlessness had nothing to to with me lol. There are individual parts like the brass overhang and the roof and parts of the cab, Thanks.
  11. Kamome442

    Yūrakuchō

    A Little Work on a Little Shop I have fine tuned the dimensions of the 7-Eleven, it took a little while to work out that the doors are slightly off centre. I still need to rearrange the bricks as there is a lot of repetition from cutting a pasting the same two rows of bricks. I did do a test print to check the colours work with the existing brick work. I am planning to print the final version on waterslide transfer paper. I have drawn up the frame for the arch. I added a hole at the top for wires to be able to light the sign. I will get the window and door frames etched. I will also etch a frame for the sign to represent the 3 separate illuminated sections.
  12. Having flown both JAL and ANA I would say definitely go with them if you can afford it. They aren't the cheapest but the service is much better, and so are the seats. Personally I think JAL used to have better food, but now it looks like they share a menu with ANA. Still, it's good stuff. I just wish you could get the "quick and light meal", basically a sandwich, in economy class. About incognito mode, try a VPN if you have one too. Or just use your phone when out and about. Otherwise they may notice the same IP address keeps checking.
  13. @mojo - not trying to be too contrary but I tend to look about 60 days out which seems to work for me. Those seat maps are not completely reliable since a lot of the seats that appear to be booked may not really be - they are often held for higher status fliers. I often see different seats when I look before and after logging into an airline web site. And some are held for sale by OTAs and become available at other times. The airlines' revenue management systems are constantly changing prices and info. A lot of very serious frequent fliers - and I am not one - subscribe to Expert Flyer. You can get a free subscription but that only provides limited information. @Kingmeow - Solo Travel Japan has several videos on JAL, including both economy and business. He raves about both and JAL economy (as well as ANA economy) both have greater seat pitch than the US airlines. Both Delta and United have delayed their sale announcements. Delta sent me an e-mail indicating they would send out the sale announcement "soon". They completely melted down this past weekend - more than 4000 flights cancelled due to issues beyond the CrowdStrike problem and are not back up to normal. United advised they postponed the announcement until next week. And I am jealous of your house sitter! We had someone who can no longer take care of our pets so have to resort to other options. Between that and my music schedule, I lack some flexibility but such is life. Anyway, Fall is a great time to go. Just watched another NHK video about Morioka and it had lovely views of the city in the Fall. Cheers, Tony
  14. cteno4

    Plarail

    Desk toys are the best! jeff
  15. I'd book ASAP. I'm looking at flights in January and they are already filling up. I wouldn't worry about the temperature in November. I'm always too hot anyway, but often I'm walking around in a t-shirt in December and early January. On paper it's around 12-16C that time of year, but with the sun on you... I'm actually looking for a lighter jacket that has plenty of pockets but which is cooler than my Uniqlo down one.
  16. I have to agree, the Terunofuji v Ura match was exceptional. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTjy5Qj_ZqQ
  17. TimWay4

    Plarail

    Yeah I now have two 180 degree turns linked by two straights and a C11 pulling two Takis on my desk when I get bored or need to calm down, they get a run around
  18. Oh BTW, now that we are in or near the end of July, that's 3 months from end of October. Is it still true that you need to book "at least 3 months out"? I know the earlier the better but if we book in August for end of October, will that be too late? I rather not travel too much into November as it may get too cold(?). (Not planning to go too much north of Tokyo.) Thanks to all again.
  19. Thanks @Tony Galiani for the excellent tips! Please post if you receive the e-mail deals from United/Delta. I think Delta flies more out of JFK than EWR so I rather go out of EWR if possible. But if it means cheaper and better times, I'll schlep over to JFK. As we are both retired and now our son has started working after graduating college (thus we have a "permanent" house sitter 🤣) we are extremely flexible on our dates. We're even flexible on how long we stay! @mojo great advice on the flight comparison sites. We always book direct with the whatever airlines we will go with. Like you said, easier to deal with if something goes wrong. Maybe even better perks too. After posting I did a QUICK check for late October on Google Fares and found JAL direct economy from JFK for $780! 😲 That seems awfully good, compared to what we paid last September, but I did not read the fine print so there may be stipulations. Had we clicked the button we would have gone with Premium Economy for under $1400 which includes JAL lounge access (might be a shared lounge at JFK). I didn't even check Business class so that's an option too if the price is right. Thanks for all those tips. I'll post what I find as I go down this journey.
  20. cteno4

    Distorted Moon over Tokyo (2024)

    Terunofugi is back from his injuries and seems quite unstoppable this week! Great battle with Ura a couple of days ago, one of those grand matches. next time I get to Japan a sumo match is very high on the list, one of the things I’ve missed on doing in the past. Kicking myself as I had a great opportunity many years ago and I ended up doing a competing fun thing. But never had a bad adventure in Japan, everyone was great and worth it. Just too many to do! jeff
  21. For the steam engine, are the parts glued? (Or soldered from the inside?) Flawless assembly! 👍
  22. Yugamu Tsuki

    Distorted Moon over Tokyo (2024)

    Yes, we'll be aiming for a masu once the tickets go on sale in September. Hoping our friends back in the States can catch us in the background when NHK airs the daily highlights. The tickets don't seem too difficult for foreigners to get, I think the harder ones will be the horse race which is traditional chuusen lottery. Ura is truly a crowd favorite with a very unique ritual to get started. I like him, Midorifuji, Tobizaru the Flying Monkey, and Endo who I believe has the most kinboshi of active wrestlers at the moment. Truth be told I have been to the other 3 islands but never to Kyushu before so I am excited for this visit. We were going to try to hit Hitoyoshi and Kumamoto but with the current condition we felt it may take too much time to travel. Hopefully when we go back (because she sure as heck is already planning at least a second trip to hit Hokkaido and the northern half of Japan) the rails are back in order and maybe visit it them.
  23. Any particular wrestlers you want to see? I always enjoy watching Ura.
  24. Kamome

    Distorted Moon over Tokyo (2024)

    The Fukuoka Basho at the Kokusai Centre lacks some of the esteem of watching Sumo in the Ryogoku Kokugikan, but it's arena access corridors are quite tight so your mum will literally be rubbing shoulders with the wrestlers. Will you get a Masu box? We've done this a few times when family have visited in November. They can be a bit tight for 4 westerners to sit in for a prolonged period of time but give you a great view of the action. November will definitely be a great time to come for Autumn leaves. As you'll be travelling east to west, you'll get perfect changing somewhere along your journey.
  25. A few items showed up today from RG-ROKKO a few TOMIX Koki without containers and some of my favorite Yamato containers and Koki. I also received a decoder from dRM for my EH200 which I'm looking forward to installing, In the box was a Casco 11-car bookcase for the new Koki that I received. Last but not least an Aru Nine A1045 Steam Engine which I've almost completed per the pic. For the decoder-holicics in the room there should be ample room for the smallest decoder to fit,
  26. tripel7

    Trains in anime/manga

    Some trains in the intro of Persona 4, JR 485: https://freeimage.host/i/doZuUHF https://freeimage.host/i/doZuvcP Me thinks an E231 on the Yamanote Line: https://freeimage.host/i/doZukKB Something diesel-ish: https://freeimage.host/i/doZu8S1 Timestamped linked to the full scene:
  27. bc6

    Lets see your Koki

    Here are some of the latest Koki that I've received
  28. Last week
  29. Yugamu Tsuki

    Distorted Moon over Tokyo (2024)

    Outstanding! We'll at least look at it from the outside and then figure out if we want to go in or not. Many thanks!
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