Travelling by air has long been made accessible to us, so at a time like this, we can’t help but miss the experience — the hustle and bustle at the airport, the boarding procedures, the friendly greetings of the cabin crew, the flight itself, even the aeroplane food!
But while the entry restrictions, visa suspensions and quarantine measures are still in place, there’s a way for you to curb the wanderlust and enjoy air travel without leaving the safety of land. What’s more, there’s no need for a plane ticket because the aeroplane experience just got a lot more accessible this January!
This is because JAPAN RAIL CAFE and Japan Airlines have come together to help satiate your Japan travel yearnings. From 2 to 31 January 2021, JAPAN RAIL CAFE diners will be able to enjoy a selection of Japanese food through ‘in-flight meals’, the opportunity to purchase exclusive Japan Airlines merchandise, a chance to participate in a lucky draw, as well as qualify for attractive airfare discounts.
For this limited time, you can ‘travel to Japan’ at JAPAN RAIL CAFE, the first travel-themed café in the world operated by the East Japan Railway Company. The experience will be made complete through Japan Airlines, which has been a part of so many travel adventures for a long time and has been operating flights between Singapore and Japan for more than 60 years.
Explains Kentaro Dobashi, Vice President and Regional Manager of Japan Airlines Singapore: “This partnership represents the timeless synergy between two industries – air and rail – that is so instrumental to a memorable travel experience in Japan. We are delighted that our friends in Singapore will be able to relive happy moments – whether it is the anticipation of arrival while enjoying a meal on board, or purchasing a memento of your journey – through dining at JAPAN RAIL CAFE.”
Hiroyuki Hayashi, Director of Lifestyle Business, JR East Singapore, which operates JAPAN RAIL CAFE, elaborates, “We are honoured to host this collaboration, and thank JAL for this opportunity to showcase a snippet of air experience on land. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our cosy café for a memorable ‘onboard’ dining opportunity!”
On the JAPAN RAIL CAFE menu: Japanese food and aeroplane meals
Prepared by SATS, Asia’s leading provider of food solutions and gateway services as well as Japan Airlines’ inflight caterer in Singapore, these Japanese food meals on the JAPAN RAIL CAFE menu are strictly limited in quantity — there will only be 600 meals available during the month-long promotion.
Served true to form on Japan Airlines trays and compartmentalised into two appetisers, a main and dessert, these two menu varieties were specifically chosen for their popularity among passengers. On land, these in-flight meals will be no less delicious and are great opportunities for the ‘gram.
Both choices come with Zaru Udon – chilled udon noodles served with wasabi and soba dipping sauce, Kobachi – a ‘small bowl’ or side dish of spinach, corn and shimeji mushrooms in a savoury broth, as well as Japan Airlines Signature Earl Grey Chiffon Cake, which makes a pillowy soft and fragrant end.
On the JAPAN RAIL CAFE menu is the Salmon Miso Yaki Dainomono, which finds grilled miso-marinated salmon fillet, shiitake mushroom, carrot, snow peas, and shredded tamago on Japanese rice. Likewise, Japanese food favourite Chicken Takiawase Tamago is another option, which is a succulent chicken thigh with shiitake mushrooms, green beans, red peppers and shredded tamago on Japanese rice.
Included in the price is a choice of coffee (Hot Drip Coffee or Cold Brew) or tea (Hot Citrus Green Tea or Iced Citrus Green Tea) by JAPAN RAIL CAFE Singapore. These are non-refillable, and additional non-alcoholic drinks are available at a $2 discount. For every in-flight meal ordered, the customer will get a chance to enter the grand lucky draw whereby two winners will win one JR East pass each.
Keepsakes from your travel to Japan: Japan Airlines Merchandise
Your travel to Japan will not be complete without a souvenir, so make sure to grab a Japan Airlines keepsake, exclusively available at JAPAN RAIL CAFE Singapore for the first time! Shop from 19 unique items that include cute chopstick holders ($17) and Japanese stationery to handy tote bags, model planes as well as branded golf balls and markers. The Japan Airlines Furoshiki ($14, Japanese wrapping cloth) will also be available and might jog a memory or two for those who participated in an online class as part of The Japan Rail Fair in November 2020, whereby Japan Airlines cabin attendants taught viewers the art of furoshiki wrapping.
Lastly, Japan Airlines’ Singapore-based cabin crew will be at JAPAN RAIL CAFE every Saturday and Sunday of January starting from 9 January 2021, from 12 pm to 6 pm, to share with interested customers the art of wrapping gifts with furoshiki, as well as folding origami.