Narita International Flight Hub
Narita International Airport took 14th place in the 2015 SkyTrax World’s Best Airports poll of 12 Million airport customers. This is up two places from their 16th place in 2014. Let’s take a look at why Narita is faring really well with their customers.
The Narita flight hub is an international airport but also offers domestic destinations as well; fly to Okinawa and Hokkaido through this amazing mega airport. They also just introduced a new Terminal 3 that serves more airlines, but also allows for more room within the airport which means more passengers are traveling through the Narita hub in 2015. Directions are given on the airport’s website as far as which airlines have been moved to Terminal 3, and which new airlines were added to the airport and their location.
A new Hospitality Program for International Transit Passengers was also introduced in 2015. This Program allows passengers meeting the International Transit definition to have free use of the Lounge areas and half off their use of the showers. The free use of the lounge is a 50% discount over 2014 prices which were being presented as a 50% discount from full price. The full price to use the lounge is 1030 Yen ($8.66 US Dollars). The 50% off showers is a carryover from 2014. Full price of the showers range from 1000 to 1030 yen depending upon shower location. A 50% discount in US Dollars would mean a shower will now cost you about $4.00. Not a bad little program!
Japanese culture is a new focus at the Narita hub. You can find Rickshaw rides, Bonsai demonstrations, Kimono wearing, Maiko Apprentice Geisha walk, and you can engage in Japanese culture workshops! There is a big movement by the Narita airport hub to bring Japanese culture to those passing through the airport so don’t forget to check for new and rotating monthly features.
For more Japanese culture, as if you could get enough (!), visit the Kabuki Gate found on the third floor Central area of Terminal 1. The Kabuki Gate is a store, but also an experience “gallery” where you can find information about the traditional performing art. At the gallery you will find full sized mannequins in Kabuki costume and Kumadori, which is the extravagant makeup that the performing artists wear. The mannequins feature traditional clothing and makeup in the famous plays.
When visiting Japan with your cellular device, there is an app called Tabimori. This app serves as your guide while traveling in Japan. Compatible devices include iPhones with version 6.0 and later and Android with versions 4.0 and later. Simply pull up the website on your device and download the application for free. You can find information regardless of whether or not you have internet access—a really great feature. Find information such as weather, speech translation, transfer information, emergency information, a phrase book and more. This is an extremely handy tool and not to be missed. The best part is that it’s FREE!
To further serve guests flying through Narita International Airport, you can get help on your cellular device through NariCo. NariCo is a service that helps you to orient the airport right from your phone. It is a free app that you can download from the Apple app store it’s also available on Google Play on Android. You use the service just like Siri, for those of you familiar with that service. You simply pull up your application on your phone, press the microphone and ask a question…you can ask things such as “Where am I?” Or “Where can I eat?” Because of the noisy environment at the airport, it’s best to download the application before you get to the airport—don’t forget to follow all of the prompts and authenticate the download. Then, you are ready to go.
Traveling with Pets? Why not let them rest at the Pet Inn ROYAL while on you longer lay over? They need rest too! This service is located in the basement floor of Narita transit hub Terminal 2. This service is also available for those departing on overseas trips. At the Inn, there is a veterinarian and a grooming service. Although the service might make more sense for local Japanese residents leaving on a long trip, it’s also available for those traveling with pets, too.
Feeling exhausted after your long flight and have a long layover? You can rest right in the airport without leaving the airport grounds by renting a day room. Day rooms are like mini hotels with beds and bathroom facilities. Consider the rooms as private nap rooms and as a place to rest and lay down before your connecting flight. Nap rooms rent for 1540 Yen for the first hour and 770 Yen thereafter. For example a three hour nap room would cost 3080 Yen or about $26 US Dollars. Single and double day rooms are available.
If you are just looking to freshen up, perhaps opt for a shower room instead. The showers cost 1030 Yen or $8.64 US Dollars for 30 minutes and you can tack on extra time if needed. Don’t forget the Hospitality Program that allows passengers that are international customers, you will get a 50% discount on the shower rooms.
The Narita flight hub has an oxygen bar for travelers. There is not much information about it, but it is pretty unique so thought it was worth mentioning. It is located in the Central building on the third floor. A visit to the oxygen bar cost 800 Yen for 10 minutes. This is about $6.71 US Dollars–pretty pricey! Given that new trends spread through international airports, perhaps this is all the rage that will be gaining in popularity.
If you are traveling with kids and small children there are several facilities that Narita airport hub offers. There are two kids play areas for the kids to let off some steam while waiting for their flight or on a longer layover. There are four Kids Parks in Terminal 1 and three Kids Parks in Terminal 2. These are unsupervised play areas where parents and guardians have to watch their children while using the play area. Smaller children might enjoy the Play room that is a more enclosed space. This area is not supervised so adults need to stay with their children. Narita also has many nurseries for mothers with very small children. There are five rooms in Terminal 1 and four in Terminal 2. These facilities contain couches, changing tables and hot water for making infant formula.
If you feel like shopping you’ll find brand name Duty free shopping that includes accessories, tobacco, liquor, cosmetics, perfume and much more. Don’t forget about the restaurants you can find at Narita, there are restaurants from all corners of the world…Thai, European, and of course Asian cuisine!