Anyone who flew regularly into Japan prior to 2010 would have got used to arriving at Narita Airport, but after 2010 there was a new kid in town for international flights in the form of Haneda Airport’s new international terminal. In fact this airport has been around since the 1930s and used to be the Tokyo’s international airport until 1978 when Narita Airport opened and took over international flights. Today Haneda Airport is the 4th busiest airport in the world, and along with Narita Airport, Tokyo’s airport system is globally the 3rd busiest. Terminals 1 and 2 handle mainly domestic flights, so today we will have a look at the international terminal and introduce what you need to know if you have a layover at this airport.
One of the benefits in particular for long layovers at Haneda is that it is closer to Tokyo; you can be in central Tokyo in less than 20 minutes and Tokyo Station within 30 minutes. So, if you have more than a few hours to spare then you have no excuses! You must visit Tokyo! If you have a short layover then you can experience Japanese culture as well as take advantage of the opportunity to delight in the highest achievements in Japanese cuisine.
For a layover at this airport, visa rules will differ according to your nationality so please do check with your local Japanese embassy. For a short layover within the airport a visa is not needed, for a longer layover such as an overnight stay which will see you leaving the terminal you will need a tourist visa or a transit visa. Whichever the case may be you can certainly make the most out of your brief stay in Japan!
Overview of Key Services at Haneda Airport
If you need any help whatsoever then head over to your nearest information counter or look out for an Information Phone. They have staff who are qualified to help with elderly and disabled customers, they can arrange a wheelchair if needed, passenger carts for those with walking problems, and offer guidance for any other questions or requests you may have. In addition it is possible to rent (free of charge) a stroller, which is incredibly handy for those with young kids who are travelling without their own stroller.
There are first aid stations in the airport, two pharmacies on the 3rd floor near gates 105-108 and 112-114, and if you have a real medical emergency you will be taken to a medical clinic which is located on the 1st floor of the terminal building.
Police can sometimes be seen in the airport and will be on hand if police assistance is needed. They also maintain an office immediately outside the 1st floor of the terminal building.
There is a very hand porter service which both arriving and departing passengers can avail themselves of, however it must be reserved at least 24 hours beforehand via the 24 hour phone number +813-6428-0658. Arriving passengers can request that their luggage is taken from arrivals to another location in their airport, such as the check-in counter for your next flight if you need to check in again.
Short Layover in Tokyo at Haneda Airport
Business Lounges and Airport Lounges
If you are lucky enough to be travelling business class, or with an airline membership program that grants you access to an airline’s business lounge, then you are in luck as Japan’s business lounges are arguably some of the best in the world with a great range of food and drinks, as well as comfortable seating. Other airport lounges can be accessed, depending on the credit cards you have or the airline you are flying with, for a small fee, and these include 24 hour lounges.
Shopping and ATMs
Unfortunately, most shops are in the public parts of the airport, for example Edo Market and Tokyo Pop Town, but there are a handful of shops near the gates which offer a variety of souvenirs and other treats. You can also find a couple of Mizuho Bank ATM machines as well if you are in need of cash.
There are a number of different restaurants which allow you to try out some of the best food that Japan has to offer without ever leaving the airport, for example UOGASHI NIHON-ICHI near gates 112-114 serves up fresh sushi directly from Tokyo's fish market with individual pieces costing from just 100 yen. Japanese Bistro URARAKA allows you to try Japan’s superb yakitori and sake
Internet and Charging stations
You can get free WI-FI anywhere in the airport by connecting to HANEDA-FREE-WIFI, and you can use Internet PC stations for a low fee of 100 yen per 10 minutes as well as PC desks where you can use your own laptop which are scattered around the airport. Charging stations and outlets can also be found in seating areas.
Showers and Nap rooms
Unfortunately, within the departures area there are no shower or nap rooms, however there is a transit hotel run by the Royal Park hotel chain which has ‘refresh rooms’ that have private showers, sofa and TV and which cost 2000 yen for an hour and 1000 yen per 30 minutes thereafter. If you have a long layover, and don’t wish to leave the departure area, then you book a hotel room from about 18,500 yen
Sitting areas, Massage chairs, Children Areas and Baby Changing Facilities
There are plenty of sitting areas but massage chairs are largely confined to lounges. There are two children play areas located by gates 106-107 and 145-146 which are free to use. Baby changing facilities have everything you could dream for, from private nursing rooms to fully equipped changing tables and hot water machines, these can be found throughout the airport.
Long layover in Tokyo's Haneda Airport
If you have a long layover but don’t feel like leaving the airport, then you can take advantage of the many facilities and recreational areas of the airport. In the arrival lobby there are shower rooms, while in the departure lobby you can book a room at the Royal Park Hotel. There is nothing quite like taking a stroll through Edo Market with its many shops and restaurants, in particular because it looks like a mini-traditional Japanese town!
Using the Tokyo Monorail you can be in central Tokyo (Hamamatsucho Station) in under 20 minutes and for the low cost of 490 yen, while the Keikyu Line will land you in Shinagawa in exactly 20 minutes for 410 yen.
From Hamamatsucho you can get to Tokyo Station in a handful of minutes from where you can easily enjoy shopping in nearby Nihonbashi or the Imperial Palace. Shinagawa offers the delights of the Epson Aqua Park Shinagawa which is really fun to visit if travelling with children. What you can do in Tokyo will depend on the length of your layover, but from either Shinagawa or Hamamatsucho you can easily reach famous areas such as Roppongi, Tsukiji and Shinjuku. In just one day you can see everything from the traditional, like Meiji Shrine in Shibuya, to the famous Electric Town of Akihabara.
Baggage Delivery and Storage
Whether you just have ten hours or an overnight stay it is really helpful to travel luggage-free, and Haneda has just the answer for you! There are 24 hour counters for luggage storage at both the arrival lobby and the departure lobby, and it costs just 500 yen per day for, as an example, a medium suitcase.
There are coin lockers as well and for 500 yen per day you can use a large locker. If you have an overnight stay in Tokyo and don’t want the hassle of dragging your luggage across town then you can arrange for it to be delivered to your hotel.
There are 24 hour counters in the arrival and departure lobbies and you can arrange for your luggage to be taken to your destination, and from your destination back to the airport again. Fees will depend on the number, size and weight of your luggage.
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