To complement my photo essay from Tokyo Haneda Airport, I’ve compiled photos from my recent trip through Tokyo Narita. While Terminal 1 was not nearly as deserted as I found Haneda Airport last November, I am still amazed at this point in the pandemic that so many concessions, particularly the high-end fashion stores, remain closed. Of course that should not come as a huge surprise when Japan remains closed to all but essential travel.
Tokyo Narita Airport Photo Essay
As always when I travel though Japan, I am amazed at the cleanliness and the order. No blaring music. No blaring passengers. Mini luggage carts make it easy to tote around your hand baggage and well-marked signage ensures you never get lost. Every window is washed and every lightbulb is working. It’s just beautiful…there’s no other way to describe it.
While we are well past the darkest days of the pandemic, this moment in time captures how Japan remains far from returning to any sort of pre-COVID-19 norm.
> Read More: Photo Essay – Tokyo Haneda Airport During Pandemic
Now you have to do a similar trip with a OneWorld carrier (JAL, CX) anx experience again their First class lounges
Maybe I just did! 😉
Wow, that would be cool. Do you prefer Oneworld lounges or Star Alliance ones?
I have fond memories of the Pier First in HKG and the JAL ones in Narita and Haneda
Please share tips on how you managed to accumulate that insane amount of miles after 2 years of pandemic
I’d imagine it’s pretty similar in HKG, if not even more depressing.
Anyone been through HND lately? How does it look?
I was in HND a few weeks ago. Everything is pretty much back to normal. Almost all of the shops and restaurants were operating. All of the domestic flights I have taken have been 80-90% full.
This is an outstanding review! When we, in general, cannot go, this article serves as news and our reporter filing a story. This service is better than CNN. If CNN were to go on strike, there are alternatives. If LALF ends, even temporarily, we have a loss that cannot be replaced.
Are the Japanese people OK with this? Are they not prepared to move on. They don’t have a repressive government. I don’t understand why Japan seems like such an outlier. China, I understand. Japan, I don’t.
I wonder this too. At this point a Zero Covid strategy is unrealistic because the rest of the world has decided to learn to live with it. They can’t keep the borders closed forever and this is killing their tourism industry.
@Julia – Japan never had a zero COVID policy. It never had lockdowns, only a “state of emergency”. Things have been fairly normal here, especially compared to western countires. We have lived through the pandemic normally, but cautiously. We are quite happy with the lack of in-bound tourists. Over-tourism was a huge problem pre-pandemic so we are enjoying our country without the hordes of inconsiderate, disrespectful tourists. FYI, in-bound tourism only accounts for less than 5% of Japan’s GDP, so obviously not a priority.
Japanese are not known for being very open as shown by the Bye Bye Blackship comment.
Several GMs from 5 stars hotels in Europe and SE Asia told me they are happy not to see Japanese visiting their properties as well.
They described them as hypocritical guests. While they are showing a happy face during their stay, they somewhow often find a way to blast hotels with 1 star reviews weeks before they returned home for the most trivial reasons… they refused to mention during thei stay.
Let them stay isolated as no one really needs them. However, they panic and cry for help from the west once North Korea or Russia and China conduct military drills
We are perfectly fine with this. We support the government in their decision to keep foreign tourists out. Japan did not have a lockdown like with other countries. There was a “state of emergency” which basically was a guideline on preventative measures for us to follow. Things here have basically been fairly normal. Japan was about to open up its borders until the U.S. military brought in plane-loads of Omicron (thanks america!) leading to record number of COVID cases and record number of deaths. We are not eager to host foreign tourists.
Wow. You sound like a very open-minded individual.
Stop bashing those who protect your country or you will be left alone trying to defend your tiny islands from Kim and Vladimir
With your xenophobia, you must love Stephen Miller.
@Jerry: Japan’s ban on foreign tourists puts it in the company of fine nations like Libya, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Syria, in addition to China. This fact alone should be enough to inspire the Japanese government to change course, but then again, why would they? They’ve gotten a near-total pass on this from local and global media, including blogs like this one. None of the ire that dominated the coverage of travel bans in the US or UK is anywhere to be found.
@Robert Schrader – Why would Japan care what other countries think of them in regards to our policy in keeping tourists out? In-bound tourism accounts for a small percentage of the GDP. The majority of people support the government’s decision to ban in-bound tourism. Life in Japan has been fairly normal. Nobody has been locked-up in their apartment. People have taken the necessary precautions but have lived fairly normal lives. The policy to keep out foreign tourists will probably not happen until after the elections as it has been a popular policy amongst the native population.
Bye Bye Blackship posted the Typical 2-faced comment from a xenophobic Japanese. Several GMs from 5 stars hotels in Europe and SE Asia told me they are happy not to see Japanese visiting their properties as well.
They described them as highly hypocritical guests. While they are constantly showing a happy face during their stay, they somewhow often find a way to blast hotels with 1 star reviews weeks aftet they returned home for the most trivial reasons. Reasons… they refused to mention during their stay when asked about their experience.
Let them stay isolated as no one really needs them…
Wow. You sound like a very open-minded individual
That shuttered Prada store evokes images of Prada Marfa, the fake Prada storefront out in the middle of the desert in West Texas. Kinda sad, actually.
Currently connecting in Haneda. Yikes. Over an hour line to get through transit security and the JAL First Class lounge is just a normal crowded lounge with no premium liquor or privacy.
Gotta assume this is just Covid related. But still a little disappointing.
However, as always, perfect service. Hoping to visit again and not just connect sometime soon.
Great idea to report like this Matthew! How long did transit security take you?
…this moment in time captures how Japan remains far from returning to any sort of pre-COVID-19 norm.
“Japan” should be replaced by “Narita Airport” in this sentence. Life out here in Japan has been operating fairly normally throughout the pandemic. No lockdowns, no crazy fights on planes about masks wearing… I have lived my life as usual during this Covid era.
Well, I appreciate your point but the country remains closed off…as you alluded to, there is little appetite to change this. That does mark quite a departure from the pre-COVID days of packed transpacific flights. But I acknowledge your point.
Write this article again after you go through the process to return. Japan is the MOST frustrating and ineffecient airports to clear immigration. My best time in the last 2 years was 3.5 hours, and that was after going through great length to get the green QR code “fast pass”. They will make you have close contact with 20-30 people mostly checking the exact same documents over and over. Japan gets many things right, but the airport is definitely not one of them.