Tag Archives: tokyo narita

Lounge Review: Japan Airlines (JAL) First Class Lounge Tokyo Narita (NRT)

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the JAL First Class Lounge at Narita is the most underrated lounge I’ve ever been to. No one ever talks about JAL generally, and this lounge never makes it onto people’s top 10 lists, but I LOVED this lounge.

Now, this lounge doesn’t have private cars to your airplane or an hour-long massage (although they do have spa services that book up hours in advance), but what it does have is RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS food. Like delicious enough for me to want to pay for it. I can think of very, very few instances where I’d actually be willing to pay money in my everyday life for food provided in an airport lounge or on an airplane, which alone makes this lounge great to me.

Entrance to the JAL lounge

Entrance to the JAL lounge

Map of first class lounge

Map of first class lounge

This lounge is large, spacious, and tastefully decorated. It feels significantly larger than the ANA Suite Lounge, so it’s not overcrowded. There are large windows that look out on the apron, and they have massage chairs, which I love. They also have free ten-minute massages, but they book up very, very quickly (when I asked, they said it would be a wait of over 3 hours).

Seating in the lounge

Seating in the lounge

Work desks

Work desks

Massage chair!

Massage chair!

Smoking room

Smoking room

Bar area

Bar area

Now, I don’t really know anything about alcoholic drinks, but I did notice that they serve Hokkaido milk. I don’t really drink milk (being Asian and all), but I’ve had foods made with Hokkaido milk and they’re ridiculously delicious, so I imagine that Hokkaido milk by itself is pretty great. They also have Skytime, which is JAL’s signature drink (kinda like ANA and kabosu juice).

Drinks #1

Drinks #1

Drinks #2

Drinks #2

Drinks #3

Drinks #3

Drinks #4

Drinks #4

Snacks

Snacks

Snacks 2

Snacks 2

Now, onto the food, which I won’t do justice. I only tried a couple of things, but what I did try was delicious. I had some of the original beef curry, inari with quail egg and roe on top, Japanese sweets, and a weird-sounding thing called tofu refuse. It was all great. They also serve things like Maison Kayser breads, which I appreciate.

Delicious food

Delicious food

More delicious food

More delicious food

More delicious food

More delicious food

More delicious food

More delicious food

More delicious food

More delicious food

This lounge isn’t as exclusive or crazy as other first class lounges like the Lufthansa First Class Terminal or the Emirates First Class Lounge at Dubai, but honestly, this is one of my favorites. The food is delicious, and good food is the way to my heart. Granted, I was only there for half an hour, but I have a trip through Narita in the coming months, so I’ll definitely stop by again and report back if my feelings change.

Lounge Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge Tokyo Narita (NRT)

The second oneworld lounge I hit up in Tokyo Narita (NRT) was the Cathay Pacific lounge. Honestly, unless you’re looking to steal food (easy here because there’s lots of packaged food), I would skip this lounge.

For one, the lounge a little dark and claustrophobic compared to the AA or JAL lounges. The windows don’t let in much light, and while there plenty of seating, I feel like there’s so much that it feels a bit crowded.

Lounge seating

Lounge seating

Fake bar?

Fake bar?

Work stations

Work stations

One thing that I do appreciate about lounges is when they have packaged food. I know, it sounds weird, and I feel cheap stowing away food in my bag, but I always bring food onto flights (especially when flying economy) as I’ve been on enough delayed flights that I’ve been extremely grateful to have a small stash of calories in my bag (like the time I got delayed for 7 hours on an ANA flight).

This lounge definitely succeeds in the packaged food category, as they have things like instant noodles, snack mixes, and pre-packaged pastries. The pastries were a little bit odd in that the flavors were earl grey cake and adzuki bean Danish, but I’m all for things like that. Besides packaged food, there was also some sushi, sandwiches, and canapes.

Food

Food

Drinks

Drinks and snacks

More food

More drinks and food

More food

Sushi and sandwiches

Packaged food

Packaged food

Again, I’m not sure there’s much of a reason to go to this lounge unless you’re looking to steal food. If you have first class lounge access, the JAL lounge is the clear answer; otherwise, the JAL lounge is still probably the answer, or maybe the Admirals Club because of its size and spaciousness.

Lounge Review: American Airlines Admirals Club Tokyo Narita (NRT)

I’d been to the United Club, ANA Suite and Business Class Lounges, and the Korean Air lounge, but I’d never been to any of the oneworld lounges at Tokyo Narita until this trip, so I decided to do a little bit of lounge hopping. I started with the American Airlines Admirals Club, which must be one of the nicest Admirals Clubs in the network.

Entrance to the Admirals Club at Tokyo Narita

Entrance to the Admirals Club at Tokyo Narita

It wasn’t crowded at all when I was there, so there was plenty of seating with nice, large windows with views of the apron. There were lots of different seating options including loungers, work cubbies, and phone rooms (I kinda think that more lounges should have phone rooms, but I guess they’re a little moot if people on phones don’t actually use them).

Spacious, good lighting

Spacious, good lighting

Lots of seating

Lots of seating

Views of the apron

Views of the apron

Working cubicles

Working cubicles

More seating

More seating

The wifi in the lounge was decent, and there were a lot of power outlets all over the place, which is key for an airport lounge if you’re trying to get any work done.

Drink options

Drink options

More drinks

More drinks

Compared to other Admirals Clubs, there was a ton of free food; compared to other international lounges, the food was pretty meh. There was some sort of stuffed pastry, a quiche, sandwiches, sushi, and soup. The food looked to be of similar quality to the stuff that you find in the United lounge, which is to say not very high, but people seem to rave about the United Club at NRT, so whatevs.

Food

Food

Sushi

Sushi

Soup

Soup

Overall, this Admirals Club is great for an Admirals Club, and it was quite spacious with lots of seating, so if you’re just looking for some peace and quiet, this is the oneworld lounge for you at NRT. If you’re looking for food or amenities, this is not the lounge you’re looking for.

Review: United Club Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT)

The United Club in Tokyo Narita was actually the very first airport lounge that I had ever visited. At the time, I was amazed that you could shower at the airport and that there was free food (although the food was devoured almost instantly whenever a server would put out more food as the lounge was extremely full).

Returning to this lounge on my most recent visit, my expectations weren’t very high as I’ve since been to some awesome lounges like the Emirates First Class Terminal in Dubai, the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, and the Qatar First Class Premium Terminal in Doha. This lounge offers some great tarmac views, and it’s a pretty large space, but it’s often ridiculously crowded, and it can be hard to find a good seat.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by my visit to the United Club this time. It’s definitely showing its age, and the lounge was still crowded, but there were definitely seats available, including some coveted seats by the windows.

Seating

Seating

Coveted window seats

Coveted window seats

One thing I was a little surprised by was the fact that there were very, very few Asian people in the lounge. It honestly felt like I was back in the US. Is this just because all of the Japanese people go to the ANA lounges?

Even though I had already showered at the United Club in Hong Kong, I figured I might as well take another shower in Narita. The United Club in Tokyo has many showers, and this time I didn’t have to wait at all to get a shower room.

Shower

Shower

I was glad to see that there are more food options than there were when I last visited the club. The first time around, people were stalking the servers waiting for the one plate of sushi to come out, and it would be gone almost instantly. Now, in addition to sushi and edamame, they have things like noodles and soups. For what it’s worth, there are two main food stations, one with more savory foods and the other with more sweet foods, so definitely check out both stations.

Beer machine

Beer machine

Alcohol

Alcohol

Sushi

Sushi

Edamame

Edamame

Noodles

Noodles

Soups

Soups

Desserts

Desserts

This United Club is a little old and could use some updates, but the amenities offered are better than just about any other United Club. It can get quite crowded at times, but it’s still a good place to take a shower, grab a beer, and eat some food. That being said, I would almost always choose the ANA lounge over the United Club, so unless you’re getting lounge access through a day pass or a United Club membership, I would probably head to an ANA lounge instead.

Review: Korean Air Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT)

On my way back from Hong Kong, I had about a two hour layover in Tokyo Narita, so I decided to check out two lounges I hadn’t yet reviewed, as I had already been to the ANA Suite and Business Class lounges a couple of weeks prior.

My first stop was the Korean Air Lounge, which is accessible via Priority Pass. This lounge is located near Gate 26 in Terminal 1.

Entrance to the Korean Air lounge

Entrance to the Korean Air lounge

The lounge is just one large room. It’s a pretty spacious room, and it was only sparsely populated while I was there. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s pretty functional with lots of seating.

Seating

Seating

More seating

More seating

There was a separate first class section, although for the 45 minutes I was in the lounge, I didn’t see anyone use it.

Designated first class section

Designated first class section

Seeing as this is Tokyo, there were the famous beer machines, which are supposed to pour a perfect glass of beer every time. There was also a sparse selection of other alcoholic beverages.

Beer machines

Beer machines

Booze

Booze

I was mostly interested in the food. Although everything was pre-packaged, I thought the food was decent for a business class lounge. They had lots of onigiri (rice balls stuffed with things), cups of noodles, and pastries, and I took a couple of things for the road, which was made easier by the fact that everything was pre-packaged. In retrospect, I was super, super glad that I had taken some stuff from this lounge, as I ended up being delayed for 7 hours on arrival into the US (most of that time stuck on a plane in Portland) and was so happy to have had some food in my bag.

Food options

Food options

More packaged foods

More packaged foods

All in all, not a fancy lounge by any means, but the wifi was fast, there was plenty of seating, and the fact that all the food options are packaged means it’s very easy to take a snack for the road (even if you’re not technically supposed to take food out of airport lounges…). It’s definitely much less crowded than the United Club or ANA Lounges, so it can be a good alternative if you just want a quiet place to sit.

Burn, United (Miles), Burn: ANA Suite and Business Class Lounges Tokyo Narita (NRT)

Introduction
Planning
United Global First Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
Lufthansa Business and Senator Lounge Washington Dulles (IAD)
ANA First Square Class Washington Dulles to Tokyo Narita
ANA Suite and Business Class Lounges Tokyo Narita (NRT)
ANA Business Class Tokyo Narita to Beijing
IBIS Beijing Capital Airport Hotel
Air China First Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
BGS Premier Business Class Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Business Traveler’s Lounge Beijing (PEK)
Lufthansa A380 First Class Beijing to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa B747-400 First Class Frankfurt to New York JFK
United PS Business Class New York JFK to San Francisco


After deplaning from my previous flight and heading through the transfer security checkpoint, I was spit out right in front of the entrance to the ANA Business Class Lounge and Suite Lounge.

Entrance to the lounges

Entrance to the lounges

Additional doors to the Suite Lounge side

Additional doors to the Suite Lounge side

Upon checking in, I was directed to the Suite Lounge side, but my first order of business was to grab a shower after the 14-hour flight. The showers aren’t located in either lounge, but rather they’re in a shared area to the side of the check-in area. I was immediately given a shower room and a small package with Shiseido amenities.

Shower room with Shiseido amenities provided

Shower room with Shiseido amenities provided

I then made my way into the Suite Lounge. The first thing that I noticed was how crowded and busy it was for a first class lounge, as there were very few empty seats open when I arrived. A lounge attendant greeted me, saw my look of mild shock and apologized for the scarcity of open seats, and asked me to sit down where she brought me a wet towel and a drink. After this initial greeting, everything else was self service.

Overlooking the Suite Lounge

Overlooking the Suite Lounge

Seating in Suite Lounge (once it got much less crowded)

Seating in Suite Lounge (once it got much less crowded)

Although I had gorged myself on my flight, I knew that I had to check out the food options and at least get a bowl of noodles. I was more than satisfied with the food choices as the noodles I had were delicious, and I enjoyed the inari and small desserts that I sampled.

Hot food options

Hot food options

Noodle bar options

Noodle bar options

Kitsune udon

Kitsune udon

Sushi

Sushi

Cold options

Cold options

Packaged snacks

Packaged snacks

Vaguely hidden Haagen Dazs freezer

Partially hidden Haagen Dazs freezer next to the noodle bar

Liquor selection

Liquor selection

Beer machine

Beer machine

One of the displays advertised relaxing massage chairs, and after sitting in a massage chair in an airport lounge at Shanghai Pudong, I knew I wanted to seek these out. An attendant told me they were located in the business class lounge, so off I went.

If I thought the Suite Lounge was crowded, that was nothing compared to the regular lounge. The lounge was quite large (probably 3x the size of the first class side), but nearly every seat was taken, and they were making periodic announcements to ask people to make space for other passengers.

The business class side is very, very large

The business class side is very, very large

But also very, very crowded

But also very, very crowded

Unfortunately, this also meant that all of the massage chairs were occupied by people who were using them as regular seating, so I didn’t get my massage.

In spite of how busy the lounge was, the food options also looked good particularly because there was also access to the noodle bar.

Buffet in business side

Buffet in business side

DSC03320 DSC03321 DSC03322 DSC03323

Sake bar on business side

Sake bar on business side

Having failed in getting a massage, I returned to the Suite Lounge where I checked out the personal cubicles, which might be the place I return to next time if the general lounge area is crowded.

Personal cubicle in Suite Lounge

Personal cubicle in Suite Lounge

Personal cubicles

Personal cubicles

As it was, by the time I got back to the Suite Lounge, the lounge was considerably less crowded than when I arrived, so it was a lot more peaceful. There were also some opportunities for plane spotting, including two kinds of planes that I’m planning to fly in the coming months.

Thai A380!

Thai A380!

ANA 787

ANA 787!

I think it’s also worth noting that the wifi in the lounge was too slow to use when I arrived and the lounge was super crowded, but after many people had left, I was able to use it successfully.

With about 30 minutes to go before my flight, a lounge attendant came up to me to tell me that my flight was beginning to board. Impressive stuff for such a busy lounge! Although she also told me the wrong gate to go to, but that’s possibly because there had been a gate change maybe an hour before the flight.