Time Travel to  the World of Old Edo at Haneda Airport

Time Travel to the World of Old Edo at Haneda Airport

Date published: 15 September 2017
Last updated: 2 March 2018

Haneda Airport’s International Terminal isn’t just an important gateway to Japan, it also offers a fantastic entertainment area built in the style and spirit of Edo, the old name of Tokyo. “Edo Street,” located on the terminal’s 4th floor, is a faithful recreation of a Japanese townscape of the Edo Period, filled with shops and booths that all convey the aesthetics and traditions of Old Japan. With the first step, you’ll feel like you’ve slipped back in time and entered a world long gone. Let’s take a tour through Haneda Airport’s very own Edo!

▲The atmosphere is set right after you step out of the elevator and onto the 4th floor.

Taking the elevator up to the 4th floor of Haneda Airport’s International Terminal, Japanese paper lanterns welcome you with their warm, relaxing glow. Called “chochin,” these lamps were, once the sun had set, one of the main sources of light for the people of Edo. Today, they’re no longer a daily necessity, but the hand-made, well-crafted paper lanterns are fairly sought after as a souvenir, or as symbolic and atmospheric decorations for festivals all over Japan.


Continue on, passing the lanterns on the right, and you will find yourself in Okonomi-Yokocho, a beautiful alley home to shops offering gourmet delights and choice sweets. Tasting real dashi, fish stock broth, belongs to every authentic experience of Japanese cuisine, so head over to Nihonbashi Dashiba. Another must-try shop is Tsukiji Miyagawa, serving unagi (eel) since over 120 years, as well as Zunda Saryo, a sweets specialty store that uses green soybeans for their intriguing treats. Just walking along the shops is sure to inspire and refresh your mind.

Next to Japanese gourmet delights, look forward to Turkish cuisine as well, often considered to be one of the world’s Three Grand Cuisines. Simply called Kebab Stand, this halal-certified food stall serves excellent kebab specialties. Enjoy them without worrying about ingredients or preparation method at a table or at the nearby resting space.

▲Haneda’s Nihonbashi on the 5th floor.

Further ahead is the large Haneda Nihonbashi, one of the symbols of the airport. It is a faithful reconstruction of the original Nihonbashi Bridge of Edo, as it looked like in the first half of the 19th century. About half the size of the old original, the bridge is entirely made out of cypress.

▲The Haneda Nihonbashi Edo-zu Byobu, or folding screen with Edo-style paintings.

On the wall behind Haneda Nihonbashi bridge is the image of the Edo-zu Byobu, a famous folding screen that depicts the bustling day to day life of Nihonbashi during the Edo Period. Back then, this bridge was practically the center of the city and the starting point of almost every journey from Edo. As you cross the bridge, it’s almost as if you can hear the townsfolk talking, the merchants trying to sell their wares, and the river gurgling below. See Nihonbashi bridge as the starting point of your own journey.

▲Omatsuri Hiroba, the Festival Plaza on the 5th floor.
▲Ema, wooden plaques on the 5th floor.

After crossing Haneda Nihonbashi, you’ll find yourself at the Omatsuri Hiroba, or the Festival Plaza. The big, decorated festival float is one of Haneda Airport’s main landmarks and eye catchers, making for both a wonderful photo opportunity and resting space. If you’re wondering what the wooden tags are that hang on the wall, those are called “ema” and are plaques on which people write their wishes and prayers. These ema are sold in vending machines nearby, so why not write one and become a little part of Japanese culture yourself?

▲5Take the escalator from the 5th to the 4th foor and Edo Koji.
▲Edo Koji on the 4th floor.

After leaving the festival square and returning to the 4th floor, atmospheric Edo-style shopping streets sprawl out in front of you. They’re called Edo Koji and Edomae Yokocho, incorporating both traditional Japan and modern architecture. Go on a shopping spree like the people of Edo and buy stylish souvenirs with authentically Japanese designs. If you’re getting peckish, snack on Edomae sushi, yakitori, oden, and other delicious street food. Just stroll along the stalls and shops and take in the atmosphere – it’s like a scene of a Japanese period drama come to life.

▲Itoya in Edo Koji on the 4th floor.

We especially want you to visit Itoya, a stationery specialty shop that was founded in Ginza in 1904. From pens to accessories, the shop has an astonishing selection of items to enhance your daily life, with beautiful Japanese designs and patterns. Especially little knickknacks made out of Japanese paper and hand towels called tenugui make for excellent souvenirs.

Itoya – Haneda Airport International Terminal
Address: Edo Koji 4F, Haneda Airport International Terminal
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
TEL: 03-3747-0800

▲Tsurutontan on the 4th floor.

If street food wasn’t quite enough to sate your appetite, why not try a signature dish of Japanese cuisine? Tsurutontan is a restaurant popular both in Osaka and in Tokyo and serves Kansai-style udon, thick Japanese noodles. Because the restaurant strictly sticks to traditional cooking methods, you might just enjoy the best udon of your life there!

Tsurutontan - Haneda Airport
Address: Edo Koji 4F, Haneda Airport International Terminal
Hours: 6:00 a.m. – midnight (last order at 11:30 p.m.)
TEL: 03-6428-0326

▲Edo Budai on the 4th floor.

The last spot on our Edo tour through Haneda Airport is Edo Budai, magical place evoking the spirit of a traditional kabuki stage. The vermillion-red pillars are a beautiful eye catcher. Throughout the year, a variety of events take place on this stage, and the lush decorations change with each passing season.

▲You may find japanese paper lantterns in Edo Koji

Haneda Airport offers a wonderful experience of Japanese culture from the moment you enter Japan and even provides one last beautiful sight just before you return back home. Take your time and explore the shops, enjoy the food, and maybe find a very special memento of your trip – in the most Japanese way possible!

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