Japan’s Newest Air Gateway Opens!
Haneda Airport, which has long served as hub airport for domestic flights, expands its role as the gateway to Japan this autumn. Just 13 minutes from central Tokyo, Haneda Airport now has a new runway that accommodates more flights around the clock. It will soon start service for scheduled international flights, linking the international city of Tokyo to the world easier than ever. A new international passenger terminal will also be opening, which will not only increase passenger convenience but also offer Japanese food and unique shopping experiences. Learn more about Haneda, which has evolved into a full-fledged international airport. Please note that ground transportation travel times between the airport and the city center given in the suggested itineraries are approximate and may vary, depending on traffic conditions.
Full International Operations Begin at Easily Accessible Haneda
The most outstanding feature of the expanded Haneda’s new international passenger terminal opening on October 21, 2010 is the great access to central Tokyo—just 13 minutes away by train and two minutes away from the domestic terminals.
Airport officials proudly claim that “the ‘new’ Haneda’s appeal lies in its short distance—15 km—from central Tokyo, and a terminal building layout that is simple and easy for users to navigate.”
Shortest travel time between the new Haneda Airport International Terminal Station and Hamamatsucho and Shinagawa, two stations on the JR Yamanote Line, is just 13 minutes by train. This is one of the quickest travel times between an airport and downtown of the world’s capitals. In the case of Narita International Airport which handles an extensive network of international flights, fastest access from downtown is 36 minutes via Narita Sky Access’ new Skyliner.
Tokyo is not just Japan’s largest city and the country’s center of business and economic activity, it’s also Japan’s biggest tourist destination and a place that people and information gravitate to, offering fine dining, fashion and culture. Looking at the proximity and accessibility to the city center, the Haneda’s new service is a nice surprise to business and leisure travelers from abroad, and this makes it possible to start shopping in Ginza only 30 minutes after arriving at Haneda Airport.
Access to Haneda
From Haneda Airport International Terminal Station to Hamamatsucho Station by Tokyo Monorail: 470 yen, runs at 3–5 minute intervals.
From Haneda Airport International Terminal Station to Shinagawa Station by Keikyu Line: 400 yen, runs at 5–20 minute intervals.
Greatly Improved Convenience for Travel within Japan Too
The New Haneda also provides easy and fast connection between international and domestic flights to all destinations in Japan. It takes only two minute from Haneda Airport International Terminal Station to Domestic Terminal Station on Keikyu Line. Another train service at Haneda, Tokyo Monorail, also connects International Terminal Station and 2 domestinc terminal stations within no more than 5 minutes. Shuttle buses also run between the international passenger terminal and the domestic passenger terminals, usually at every six-minutes.
Haneda was already Japan’s largest domestic hub airport, with flights to 49 destinations within Japan. The latest expansion improved connection between international and domestic flights, and opens more domestic destinations to visitors from overseas.
Haneda’s convenience even reaches to Japan’s cutting-edge technological achievements; high-speed rail travel on Shinkansen, the Japan’s bullet train. Keikyu Line takes you to Shinagawa Station, where you can switch to the Tokaido Shinkansen. Travelers can reach to Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto in just a little over two hours. Other major cities—Osaka and Kobe, as well as Kyushu area, are also accessible by Shinkansen.
Haneda’s newest runway for international flights is built offshore, eliminating noise problems and allowing round-the-clock operation. This enables Haneda to service for direct flights to 17 major cities in Asia and around the world (as of October 7, 2010). It would not be a dream any more to fly to Haneda from Asian countries for a weekend getaway in Tokyo for dining, shopping or sightseeing, or visit other parts of Japan. Geographically, the Japanese islands stretch from north to south, from snowy Hokkaido in winter to sub-tropical Okinawa, showing vastly different faces to visitors. Take advantage of easy access from Haneda to discover appealing new aspects of Japan that you never knew before.
Enjoy the New International Passenger Terminal’s Facilities
Haneda’s new international passenger terminal offers plenty of attractions itself.
This five-story structure is laid out with the arrivals level on the second floor and the departures level on the third floor. The fourth and fifth floors are given over to shopping and entertainment, offering touches of Japanese hospitality everywhere.
In the middle of the second floor arrival concourse is a work by Hiroshi Senju, a world-renowned nihonga (Japanese-style painting) artist welcoming newly arrived travelers an immediate taste of Japanese nature and culture. The flow from immigration through luggage claim and customs is generally laid out in a straight line, and the entire immigration procedure can be completed smoothly on the same floor. Next to the domestic connection counter is a travelers’ station where passengers can take a shower to freshen up in preparation for sightseeing in Japan.
The 18 restaurants and 14 shops on the fourth floor, called “Edo-koji” (the laneways of Edo), have been designed to look like an old-fashioned Japanese street for experiencing a uniquely Japanese atmosphere inside the airport. Transported back in time to the Edo period, visitors can enjoy sushi, sukiyaki, oden stew, soba and udon noodles and other Japanese dishes, or Italian, French or Chinese cuisine, all prepared with the freshest of ingredients. This is also the place where visitors can get a closer look at typical Japanese articles like tenugui (hand towels) and versatile furoshiki (wrapping cloths) and at stationery, clothing, bags, watches and other items that embody the best of Japanese tradition, technology and tastefulness.
In sharp contrast to the traditional atmosphere of the fourth floor is “Tokyo Pop Town” on the fifth floor, where visitors are whisked into contemporary Tokyo and Japanese culture. Divided into a “Hot Zone” and a “Cool Zone,” this floor has shops selling merchandise featuring Japan’s best-known anime and characters and fashionable miscellaneous goods. Hakuhinkan Toy Park, located in the Hot Zone, carries a wide range of toys to look at, play with and enjoy, and even has a 50-meter long slot car circuit where thrilling races take place. In the Cool Zone is the Planetarium Starry Café, featuring a cutting-edge planetarium, a first for an airport. Customers enjoy meals under skies with 40 million twinkling stars. Also on the 5th floor is an observation deck offering a 270-degree panorama and close-up views of aircraft taking off from the runways.
Concierges are on duty 24 hours a day on the first to third floors of the new terminal. Keikyu and Tokyo Monorail also have information counters offering multilingual assistance, so language is not likely to be a problem. This is also a good place to ask for travel information.
Haneda’s new international passenger terminal incorporates many universal design features designed to facilitate passengers with special assiatance. According to an airport official, “the terminal is superb for its simple, easy to navigate design. The departures and arrivals levels are each on a single floor, allowing passengers to complete departure or entry procedures without moving between floors.” The terminal also features the world’s first step-less air bridges between aircraft and terminal, and has even set aside an area for service dogs.
Money-saver Information: Bargain Domestic Fares
Connecting to the domestic flights from Haneda brings 49 domestic destinations, from Hokkaido to Okinawa, within reach. Special bargain domestic airfares are available for international travelers, which can be used for up to five domestic sectors. For example, using the Oneworld Yokoso/Visit Japan Fare, the fare per sector on Japan Airlines and its group companies is only 10,000 yen, so a return trip between Haneda and Sapporo would cost 20,000 yen. Note that certain restrictions apply: all additional sectors must be booked at the same time; advance purchase of at least one week is required; and the tickets are only valid for a certain period. Please check ahead of time with your airline for more information.
To turn in their Exchange Orders (voucher) for the Japan Rail Pass, go to the JR East Travel Service Center, on the second floor of Tokyo Monorail’s Haneda Airport International Terminal Station. In conjunction with inauguration of international flights at Haneda, visitors may now use their Japan Rail Pass on the Tokyo Monorail. The Travel Service Center at this station is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more information and details, see here.