We really like layovers at Tokyo Narita airport. It’s not the fanciest or most efficient in the world but from shopping to food, it’s full of things we like. The Japan Airlines First Class Lounge at Tokyo Narita International Airport in the main building is among my favorites in the world.
I’ve been meaning to show you around inside especially since Japan Airlines flies direct between Tokyo and San Diego. I should throw out two disclaimers. I am half-Japanese and because we lived in Hong Kong, we gravitate toward travel in Asia more than anywhere else in the world.
The second thing to know is that do not like to take photos in airport lounges. I think it’s disruptive so these are taken on my iPhone as quickly as humanly possible without people noticing (much).
Main Terminal Japan Airlines First Class Lounge
International flights typically pass through the main terminal so that’s the lounge we typically use.
Truthfully, I’ve been passing through Narita International Airport regularly over the last 15 years and its layout is still puzzling to me, though I always find where I need to go.
The Japan Airlines business class lounge here also holds a spot near and dear to my heart. We didn’t fly as much when my daughter was a baby but I’ve changed many a diaper in there. Both lounges have super family-friendly bathrooms with baby chairs attached to the wall so moms can freshen up with two arms free (why we don’t have these in the US, I have no idea).
The highlight of the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge at Narita Airport is the made-to-order sushi bar. Choose from a handful of options. My plates from our last two visits.
As you might imagine, given that it’s the flagship lounge and the type of people who use it regularly, the quality is top-of-the-line. To say that the tuna melt in your mouth might just be an understatement.
Around the corner, a buffet including salads and various Japanese specialties is neatly hidden off-to-the side against a wall behind the sushi bar. Here you’ll find bread from MAISON KAYSER, soup from Soup Stock Tokyo and cookies from qu’il fait bon.
I’m a huge fan of the Japanese curry in Japan Airlines lounges. Take a paddle full of exquisite Japanese rice and then ladle on a scoop. (You might need to look for the chunks of beef in the pot, as people do dig them out.)
This isn’t the most elaborate first class lounge on the planet, I realize, but we love it and always stop in.
When it comes to drinks, there’s nothing more satisfying after a dehydrating flight than cold green tea on tap (right next to Asahi on tap). A nice full bar complete with champagne, wine, and beer is also always available.
In addition to everything mentioned above and luggage storage. The other highlights include a business center and relaxation services which include short massages. I’ve never had time for the latter because we’re either in a hurry or eating.
WiFi is always easy to long on to and use.
Narita Airport Duty-Free
Did you know that Tokyo Narita International Airport has basically all the souvenirs you need to bring home? If anything edible is on your list, I highly recommend at stop into Fa-So-La’s TAX FREE AKIHABARA.
You’ll see the long line (it moves faster than you’d think) and know you’re in the right spot. But, they have exclusive Kit Kat flavors to Narita Airport and Tokyo Banana, which I’m told is the number one food souvenir right now. It’s sort of like a gourmet, banana-flavored Twinkie (I like it) but the Tokyo Banana Kit Kats are better in my opinion. When in Tokyo with kids, you must try some of these delights.
My daughter makes us stop here sometimes. On tight connections, I’m always nervous that the long line will mean we can’t stop into the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge. We’ve always made it in though and I suggest you do the same.
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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