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Haneda Airport is very convenient for visitors to Tokyo. If you can choose whether to fly in/out of  Narita or Haneda, I would recommend you choose Haneda. Not only because it saves your time allowing you to spend more time in the city, I think Haneda Airport is more fun than Narita. Here’re what you can do in Haneda all before proceeding to the immigration.

 

1. Play Flight Simulator (TIAT Sky Road 5F)

There are four flight simulator machines and the price is 200 or 300 JPY depending on the model. There’s a model for kids and also intermediate to advanced models for adults.

This one I played was intermediate-advanced model, and I chose LAX-HND flight. Yes, you can chose which flight you want to try like HND-Milan and HND-Honolulu. That’s exciting enough right? But it’s very difficult to play… My airplane was flying up to the sky like a rocket, straight up vertically (oh no!), and I think it shouldn’t be that way.

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2. Take the last-minute Japan-ish photos (4F)

The 4th floor where shops and restaurants are located has the “wa” or Japan-ish atmosphere.

The shopping street is named Edo Market (Edo koji in Japanese), and it looks like an old Japanese town. The Edo period is between 1603 and 1868 when arts and culture flourished.

There’s a replica of the old Nihonbashi bridge from the Edo Period as well.

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3. Shopping (4F & 5F)

Most o the  shops popular among tourists can be found in Haneda International Airport. So, even if you didn’t have time to buy some gifts to your family and friends in the city, don’t worry. Sanrio, Ghibli, Pokemon characters’ items, toys, yoku moku, medicines, candies, stationary, packed food… you can find all in there. There’s Don Quijote, a discount chain shop and they sell all kinds of matcha flavored candies perfect for sharing with your friends and family.

If you want to buy halal-certified candies, go to Edo-Shokuhinkan shop. It’s the big shop that sells all kinds of sweets. There’s a shelf with only halal-certified products. There aren’t many but if you want to buy something with “halal” label, that’s where you should go. I saw chocolate, castella, and few kinds of osenbei (rice cracker)  including rice crackers made with Japanese rice (Yamada Nishiki Rice cracker box 30, Halal and small shrimp crackers box g 11 x 14).

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4. Play slot car racing game (5F)

In Hakuhinkan toy shop, there’s 50m slot car racing circuit. For 200 JPY, you can play for 5 minutes.

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5. Haneda Airport purikura (5F)

For your souvenir, take purikura (sticker picture)! They have Haneda Airport and Japan themed purikura machines that you can’t find anywhere else.

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Restaurants serving halal meals & prayer room

(New!) Kebab Kobo (Kebab Stand) (4F)
Halal certified by Nihon Asia Halal Association.
http://www.haneda-airport.jp/inter/en/premises/tenant/5200100013810000/index.html

Dompierre Jet (3F)
Certified “Friendly halal” by Japan Islamic Trust. They have halal chicken and mutton curry meal, and vegetarian curry meal.
http://dompierre.jp/jet/

CAFÉ AND DINER PISTA(2F)
According to Halal Media Japan, they have no-pork, no-alcohol menu. It does not have halal certification.
http://www.halalmedia.jp/ja/archives/4326/cafe-and-diner-pista-tokyo-welcomes-muslims-with-halal-restaurants-in-haneda-international-airport/

Prayer room(3F)
Prayer room is located on the 3F, departure lobby. It has a washing area too.

 

Save your time and energy!

The biggest benefit of flying into Haneda is the time you save. But I want to stress that it’s not just the time you save. You also save your energy by cutting the travel time from the airport to the central Tokyo. Walking around with a suitcase and getting on a crowded train in Tokyo is very tiring. Especially when you have to take the train during the rush hour…it’s terrible. Unless you will take a comfortable NEX (Narita Express) or Limousine shuttle bus, travelling from Narita could be a stressful experience.

 

Haneda ticket really more expensive?

Even if the ticket arriving at Haneda was a little more pricier compared to the one arriving at Narita, when you think about the transportation cost from Narita to the central Tokyo, the prices could be about the same in the end.

If the difference is big like US$100 though, Narita is cheaper. There are cheap ways to get to the central Tokyo from narita such as the budget shuttle bus (1000JPY/one-way) or the local train.

It’s worth calculating the budget including the public transportation fee you will spend to and from the airport.

 

I need a vacation…

I love the exciting feeling of being in an airport before going overseas. The announcement telling the flight number and its destination makes you realize you are really at the gateway of the country. When you are at the airport without your passport and a ticket though…it’s boring! I did enjoy my last visit to Haneda airport checking out those facilities I listed above but my wanderlust kept on whispering in my ears “when’s my next vacation? where’s my ticket? beach or jungle?” It’s time to plan my next trip.

Written by mochi-tomo