Tuesday, 6 August 2013

ANA Maintenance Tour

It's the start of my summer vacation here in Tokyo and what that really means is that airfares go through the roof making it prohibitive to travel anywhere away from here (except the beach which I've been trying to go often, but it has been raining or overcast on my days off lately).

Like the recent G-Cans excursion, I'm open to ideas that cost little or no money. Enter stage left, the ANA maintenance tour!

To get there you have to get the Tokyo monorail from Hamamatsucho to Shin Seibijo (470 yen). (Hamamatsucho is on the Yamanote line so it's really easy to find your way there.) From the station it's a five or so minute walk to the ANA building. It's NOT the ANA building you see as you exit the station. Give yourself at least one hour leaving from central Tokyo.

We arrived there for our 1pm tour. Most of the people were kids today. They commenced with a talk and video about the different kinds of aircraft and how planes fly. It's all in Japanese but I got the gist and the music was better than the other G-cans video presentation. I was getting a bit of Top Gun vibe here. This part lasted about forty minutes.

Next we were given hair nets and blue helmets to proceed to the maintenance area. All up the tour lasted about an hour and a half. The tour guides were very generous, allowing everyone time to take plenty of photos and didn't mind that we, meaning I, lagged behind a bit to take even more photos.

As a nice memento we were given a plastic airplane.

Like the G-Cans tour it is free, but MUST be pre-booked and gets booked out very heavily. Checking it now I see the first available day is in December! Don't give up hope though. There can be cancellations.

If you want to see something a little bit different this is an enjoyable day out. Not far away is the Haneda domestic airport so also a good (photo) opportunity for some plane spotting!

For reservations go to the ANA tour booking site (Japanese) here. Highly recommended.