Introduction: SkyTeam SakuraTiming in Japan

Hello! Thank you for your support towards JakartaPotato. Today, I’m really excited to share with you our first-ever trip report! We travelled to Japan on SkyTeam member airlines in time for hanami.


I had initially intended to visit Okinawa Prefecture on this trip, having found incredible prices for JAL flights to Naha. Alas, that was not meant to be, much to the irritation of Jyaga. First lesson for Raymond: If JAL Sakitoku fares to Naha are available, don’t think twice before booking!!

Instead, the only cheap fares left were on flights to Sapporo… hmmm not the first destination that comes to mind for spring.

Planning the journey

Now that the destination has been settled, how to even get to Tokyo? As expected from spring time, most flights were absurdly expensive. At that point, Japan Airlines was charging in excess of IDR17,000,000 (£900) for an Economy Class return ticket… not exactly the most ideal price for an 8-hour flight. So let the great Google Flights search begin!

China Airlines

In the spirit of reviewing more airline products, we decided to make use of one-way itineraries on two different carriers. The return portion was easy enough… I found a pair of China Airlines flights from Narita to Jakarta that effectively cost half of a return ticket. Great! What made it better is that China Airlines is a SkyTeam member. Taking this flight would help Raymond requalify for his KLM Flying Blue status.

China Airlines Boeing 777-300ER at Narita Airport

Vietnam Airlines

But what about the departure? Well, this is where things got a bit creative. Since one-way flights to Tokyo from Jakarta were absurdly high, I finally found something on Vietnam Airlines from Singapore that would cost just half of a return ticket. To sweeten the deal, a stopover in Ho Chi Minh City was possible for an addition of around USD50 (£41). Vietnam Airlines is also a SkyTeam member, so all the better!

Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787-9 at Narita Airport

The (not so) low-cost way to Singapore

Finally, all that was left was finding a way to Singapore. Whilst we could have flown a straightforward direct flight from Jakarta to Singapore (as Jyaga would’ve wanted), I found a great deal from Bali… Business Class on Scoot (ScootPlus) for IDR1,500,000 (£80). Raymond in his right mind couldn’t pass off such a deal… there’s that. For the final finally, we decided to try AirAsia for the first time for our flight to Bali.

Scoot Boeing 787-8 in Bali

Here we go!

In the end, the itinerary looked like the following… well, not the most efficient way to Japan, but that’s fine, right?

Over the next couple weeks or so, I will be sharing all the reviews from this trip. As a teaser, please refer to the following list to see what review you can expect to see! The list will be updated with links to the reviews as soon as they are ready.

Thank you so much and please stay tuned~ ♪

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