Introduction: Quick First Class Trip to Tokyo and Back!

Meiji Shrine Park tokyo japan

Introduction: Quick First Class Trip to Tokyo and Back!

Introduction: Quick First Class Trip to Tokyo

As you probably saw in the Trip Alert post, I’m leaving tomorrow for a quick 4.5 days in Tokyo!

While this will be my second official trip to Tokyo, the first one was only about 12 hours long, so I don’t really count it.

Tokyo, Japan

Mandatory peace sign selfie from trip #1

I know, I know – what am I doing going all the way to Tokyo for less than 5 days? Well, the wife only gets a few days off, so I’m taking advantage of whatever time with her I can get.

Unlike most of our trips, this one really hasn’t been planned for that long. I didn’t even know when I’d be able to take this trip until about 5 weeks ago, and then I furiously started planning (obviously).

As a travel nerd, the two immediate aspects of the trip that come to mind are the flights and hotel(s). Let’s start with the flights.

When thinking about a trip to Asia, my mind immediately thought of how many amazing options I’d have. Then, as I processed the short time I’d be there, I realized I may be more limited than I first thought. I’ve flown JAL with Kev before, and didn’t feel like I had time to route through Singapore or Hong Kong (plus they didn’t have award availability at first glance). That really left my choices for new airlines at Korean Air, ANA, and Asiana.

Japan Airline First Class

JAL FC with Kev

ANA seemed like a no-brainer as I could fly non-stop from the Illinois (where I’d be for the weekend) and has a fantastic product I’d be excited to fly. Flight 1 = ANA.

So now, what about the way home (to Florida)? I could have easily flown ANA back through either ORD or JFK, but I really wanted to fly another airline. Korean Air through Seoul and Atlanta? Or Asiana through Seoul and JFK? Decisions, Decisions. After some pondering and browsing through my points and what I’d have to transfer, I decided I’d keep this a full on Star Alliance trip! Flight 2 = Asiana.

I ended up booking the roundtrip first class flights through ANA (transferred from SPG and Amex) for 180,000. The same flights booked on United would have cost 220,000! So it’s a steal, right? It’s a lot of points, but that’s what they’re for!

Anyway, now that the flights are set, let’s talk hotels. I looked through the Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton properties. I decided on The Prince Sakura Tokyo Tower for the first night. Since we’d get in late, around 9:30 p.m., I didn’t want to splurge too much on a shortened stay. When looking at the Hyatt properties for the rest of the stay, I honestly wasn’t that excited by the reviews of the Park Hyatt (my usual go-to), and decided to save some points (and money) and do a cash+points stay at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo for 3 nights. For the final night, I decided on the airport hotel at Haneda. The wife will already be gone, so it didn’t make sense to stay in the Grand Hyatt by myself with a 6 a.m. flight anyway!

With all that said, this trip should be fantastic, albeit short. Here’s what I’m looking to review:

  • Introduction: Quick First Class Trip to Tokyo and Back!
  • Lounge Review: United Polaris Lounge Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
  • Flight Review: ANA 777 First Class Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Tokyo Haneda (HND)
  • Hotel Review: The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo
  • Hotel Review: The Grand Hyatt Tokyo
  • Hotel Review: Royal Park Hotel The Haneda
  • I don’t speak Japanese – 4 days in Tokyo!
  • Lounge Review: ANA Lounge Tokyo Haneda (HND)
  • Flight Review: Asiana A380 First Class Seoul (ICN) to New York (JFK)

You’ll notice there’s no lounge review for ICN at the moment. That’s because we already reviewed the Asiana First Class lounges at ICN, and honestly it doesn’t seem like there are a lot of other fantastic reviews to be had. Subject to change!

Asiana Airlines First Class Lounge ICN

Asiana Airlines First Class Lounge ICN

So that’s it! While the best part of this trip will absolutely be seeing my wife, there should be some fantastic flight, hotel and lounge experiences as well!

Stay tuned.

5 Comments on “Introduction: Quick First Class Trip to Tokyo and Back!

  1. nice! How was your experience booking on ANA? Online or did you have to call? Have flown both products and you’lll enjoy!

    • Evan – Booking through ANA wasn’t very difficult. I transferred the points in and once they hit booked everything online – no call needed. Very excited to try these new products out!

  2. Any chance the rest of the reviews after the Polaris Lounge will ever be published? It’s been a month and I was looking forward to reading them.

    • Ben, I promise it’s coming. Work has been a bit crazy, but I plan on having one (at least) done this weekend! Thanks for being so patient!

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