A couple of days ago, I wrote about eight things that you might find enjoyable around Tokyo if you are an aviation enthusiast. One of those was a free tour of maintenance hangars at Tokyo Haneda airport.
In fact, All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) are probably the only two airlines in the world offering free tours of their hangars to the public.
Unfortunately, the booking of the tours for both airlines is in Japanese only. If you follow this guide, you will be able to reserve the tour even if you do not speak a single word of Japanese. Below, all the necessary steps from filling out the booking form all the way to getting to the tour starting location are described in detail.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
The ANA Haneda Maintenance Facility Tour
The ANA Haneda maintenance facility tour is offered as part of ANA’s corporate social responsibility program. The tour takes place at ANA’s facilities at Haneda airport. It consists of two parts:
- Presentation – In the beginning, a presentation is given about aircraft in a lecture room. It takes about 30 minutes, and is entirely in Japanese.
- Hangar visit – The more interesting part of the tour, of course. After the presentation, you will be taken into the hangar, and will visit parts of it. You will have a chance to see both the facilities themselves, as well as the aircraft under maintenance from up close.
If this sounds like something you want to experience, continue reading to learn how.
Booking the Tour
BEFORE YOU PROCEED: As was pointed out by one of the readers, the tour bookings work on an “honor” basis. As such, if for one reason or another you cannot take the tour you booked, please cancel the booking as soon as you find out you cannot go.
Step 1: Go to the ANA Hangar Tour Website
To begin with the process, you will have to go to the hangar tour booking page on ANA’s website:
Step 2: Choose Your Preferred Date and Time
The hangar tour takes 90 minutes, and is held four times every weekday. The four time slots are as follows: 10:00-11:30, 13:00-14:30, 14:00-15:30, 15:00-16:30.
You can book the tour anytime between one week and six months before the date. However, keep in mind that the tour gets booked out really fast, and so you should try to secure your spot as soon as you know the dates you will be available.
The availability is displayed on the website’s schedule using the following simple symbols.
Let’s get into the actual booking now!
After you go to the page mentioned in Step 1, first, you will have to pick the month and day when you would like to visit the hangar.
Once you refresh the schedule to reflect the date you would like to take the tour on, you need to click on the preferred time slot.
Step 3: Enter the number of participants
Once you click on the preferred time slot, you will be taken to the next page.
Here, first you will have to tick the checkbox that you agree with the tour’s terms & conditions.
Those include standard (and common sense) things like:
- You will not touch the aircraft and aircraft parts.
- The tour might be cancelled in case of unforeseen circumstances.
- You will not bring large luggage with you into the hangar.
If you want to know all the details, Google Translate should be handy.
Second, you have to type in the number of participants.
Keep in mind that children of elementary school age and older are allowed on the tour. Also, you will have to put in the number of “adults” (junior high school children and older) and elementary school kids separately as shown in the picture below.
Step 4: Fill out your personal details
After clicking on the orange button, you will be taken to the next step.
The first part of the page will show the information that you already entered- time of the tour and number of participants. If the information is correct, proceed. If not, click on the revision button and start over.
Next comes the most challenging part of the booking process. You will have to enter your personal information including address. In Japanese. The picture below shows the fields you will need to fill out. Further down, I will take you through each of them.
Entering Your Name
Before entering anything, you will need to convert your name from alphabet into “katakana” (one of Japanese scripts). To do so, you can use this tool:
Simply enter your last name into the “English” field, press the “Convert to katakana” button, and copy-paste the Japanese text into the two “Last Name” fields on the ANA website form.
Repeat the same with your first name.
Finding Your Hotel’s Address in Japanese
After you enter your name, you have to enter your phone number and address. In case you live in Japan, that should be simple. If you are not living in Japan, use your hotel details.
First, you will need to find your hotel’s address in Japanese. The most convenient way to do that for this purpose is to use:
Once you are on the English Booking.com website, search for your hotel.
Then, go to the hotel page and switch the language to Japanese as shown in the screenshot below. In this example, we will use Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu.
With the hotel page switched into Japanese, you should have all the pieces of the hotel’s address you need, in Japanese.
Entering Your Hotel’s Address
The postal code field is simple. Simply, copy the first three digits from the Booking.com page into the first postal code box, and the last four digits into the second box.
Next, you have to choose the prefecture from the dropdown box. In the picture below, I highlighted and translated four of the prefectures you will likely be staying in. If you are staying elsewhere, you will have to do a bit of “decoding” and find out which item in the dropdown box matches with the prefecture part of the hotel’s address.
Before going to the “address” part, copy-paste the hotel name into the “building name” field.
The “address” part gets a bit complicated as you will need to convert the Booking.com text from half-width to full-width. To do so, use:
In the converter, paste the “address” part from the hotel’s Booking.com page into the big text box. The full-width version of the text will automatically appear in the left-side box below the big one. Copy-paste the result into the ANA form.
Entering Your Hotel’s Phone Number and Your Email Address
Finally, you will have to enter your hotel’s phone number and your email address.
As for the email address, just type it into the two (main and confirmation) email address fields.
As for the phone number, if you have your hotel’s phone number on the booking confirmation, enter retype it into the form. The first box is for area code (2 or 3 digits, “03” for Tokyo), and the other two boxes are for the phone number itself (4+4 or 3+4 digits).
If you do not have the phone number, search for it on Google as pictured below.
Proceeding to the Next Step
After you fill out the form, it should look something like the screenshot below.
With the form filled, scroll down. Do not input anything into the next two sections (crossed out in the picture below).
Click on the orange button to proceed.
Step 5: Confirm your booking
In the final step of the web form, you just have to scroll down (while confirming the content), and click the orange button. Do not click the button more than once.
After you click the button, you will be taken to the final confirmation screen like the one pictured below. Once it loads, you can close the page.
Congratulations, you have successfully booked the tour!
Step 6: Print and fill out your booking confirmation
Shortly after you press the final confirmation button (Step 5), you should receive a confirmation email similar to the one below.
Then (sometimes a couple of minutes, sometimes a couple of hours, sometimes even a couple of days later), you will receive another email. That email will contain a form that you will have to print out, fill out, and take with you on the day of the tour.
For this form, filling it out in English should be alright. The screenshot below should help you with understanding the fields on the form.
On the Day of The Tour
Things to Take With You
Before you get out of your house or hotel, make sure you have the following two things:
- Your photo ID – If you are coming from overseas, your passport. If you are living in Japan long-term, your residence card should do the job.
- Form from Step 6 – Print out the email and fill out the form as instructed in the last step of the booking process above.
Of course, you should also take your camera with you as taking photos inside the hangar is allowed.
Getting to the Facility
The tour takes place at ANA’s Haneda airport hangar. The address for the building where the reception is located is as follows:
Hanedakuko 3-5-5, Ota-ku, Tokyo 144-0041
See on Google Maps
While you could give the address above to a taxi driver to get there, it is fairly simple (and considerably cheaper) to get there using public transportation. The hangar is about a 10-minute walk from one of the stations on the monorail connecting Hamamatsucho station with the airport.
The monorail station you will need to get off at is:
See on Google Maps
To get there, you will first need to get to Hamamatsucho station on the JR Yamanote Line. There you will need to follow the signs for monorail. Once on the monorail platform, you will need to take the LOCAL (普通) monorail – the one that stops at every stop. From there, it is about a 20 minute ride.
After exiting the monorail station, walk straight towards the main road, and turn right. Keep walking straight until the very end of that street, and the hangar will be on your right. However, the reception is in the ANA building on the left.
For detailed information, just put in your hotel as the origin and the address above as the destination into Google Maps. You will get detailed instructions including where to walk and which lines to take.
Check In & Enjoy!
When you enter the building, there will be a reception on the left hand side. Hand in the form you printed and filled out to the staff, and you will be directed into a lecture room.
There, the first part of the tour will take place. While it is all in Japanese, during a short break, you will be at least able to see some of the aircraft parts and models displayed there. Also, you will get a small gift at the end of the presentation.
The main part will come after the presentation. The big group will be split into smaller ones, and you will walk over to the maintenance hangar.
While it can be slightly challenging to sign-up for the ANA hangar tour, it is still easier than the JAL tour. Combined with the fact that ANA and JAL are probably the only two airlines in the world offering service like this, it is definitely worth joining a tour on your next visit to Tokyo.
I hope the guide above will be helpful to you if you decide to participate in the tour!
…and just as mentioned above, please cancel your booking as soon as possible if you book the tour, but eventually are not able to join it.
If you have any troubles with the booking, leave a comment or send me an email.
Will you try to take the tour next time you are in Tokyo?
If you have taken the tour before, did you find it enjoyable?
Do you know about any other similar tours open to public?