Haneda Airport, also known as Tokyo International Airport, is situated in Ota City, the largest of Tokyo’s 23 wards, and serves as the Kanto region’s main hub for domestic flights around Japan.
In recent years, with the rise of budget airlines, Haneda has expanded to offer a wide selection of international destinations. Flights now serve such popular cities as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Sydney, Vancouver, Honolulu and London.
For those who must – or choose – to spend time in the terminals of Haneda, there are plenty of diversions to occupy one’s self. In the international terminal, spend a bit of time wandering along Edo Alley, on the 4th floor of the international terminal. Around 40 shops and restaurants tempt travelers with a selection of locally-made goods and gourmet bites such as yakitori and simmered oden. A replica of the Nihombashi bridge – the starting point from which all roads were measured in the Edo Period – connects the terminals 4th and 5th levels. On floor 5, Tokyo Pop Town is a mecca for anime and manga fans, where character-based souvenirs (such as beloved icon Hello Kitty) can be picked up for adoring fans back home.
In the domestic terminals, don’t miss a night visit to the viewing deck on the 5th floor of Terminal 2. As darkness falls, over 4000 LED lights enliven the scene. On a clear day or evening, Mount Fuji can be seen looming on the horizon. Those seeking to petition for a safe flight will find a small aviation-themed shrine dating back to 1931 tucked away in Terminal 1. And craft beer fans are well catered to in Terminal 1’s Sky Station, where the Haneda Sky Ale – created by local brewery TY Harbor – can be exclusively enjoyed (the beer is not sold anywhere outside the airport).
Haneda is a short ride from Tokyo’s Shinagawa Station, a main transportation hub for both the shinkansen and the local metro and JR train lines. It is also connected to JR Hamamatsucho Station by the Tokyo Monorail, allowing for passengers to transit between the city and the airport in as little as 15 minutes. For passengers needing to connect to Narita Airport for an international flight or long-haul domestic route (ie Okinawa), a limousine bus frequently makes the journey between the two hubs.
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