There are only a dozen daily domestic departures from Okayama airport in the west of Japan split equally between Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways. In spite of that, there are three lounges available – one operated by each of the two airlines, and one credit card lounge.
Prior to my departure from Okayama back to Tokyo yesterday evening, I had a chance to briefly visit one of them, the JAL Sakura Lounge.
Continue reading this review to see what the fairly new lounge which was opened in February 2019 is like.
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.
Location, Opening Hours & Access
The JAL Lounge at Okayama airport can be found after clearing security, in its compact domestic departures area. It’s a ten second walk from gate 3 which most (if not all) of JAL’s flights out of the airport use.
It’s open every day from 6:10AM until 6:30PM. The opening hours are set so that both passengers departing on the first JAL flight of the day at 7:05AM as well as on the last one at 6:25PM can use the lounge.
JAL’s elite status holders as well as other oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members can access the lounge together with one guest (children under 3 years old don’t count as guests).
The lounge can also be used by passengers connecting to an international JAL flight in business or first class until 6AM the following day and those connecting to another domestic first class flight. While technically it can also be used by domestic first class passengers departing Okayama, currently there are no flights out of the airport offering first class.
Finally, JAL Sakura Lounge vouchers that come with selected credit cards and that can be acquired during campaigns, etc. can be used to enter the lounge.
Past the lounge’s entrance, there was a small reception area with a reception desk, as well as eight or ten luggage lockers. The lounge itself was “T” shaped.
The reception led into the longer part of the lounge (the “horizontal” part of the “T”) which consisted of a number of seating options.
Near the entrance, there was a row of dining tables for two with chairs on one side and a long bench on the other. Then, there was a counter with a dozen or so seats. There was also another bench with some coffee tables.
Further back, there was a seating area with twenty sofa chairs.
The “vertical” part of the “T” included a counter with drinks and snack (more about that below) as well as another long bench with some tables spread along it.
Besides the seating areas, there was also a “phone booth” where passengers could take calls without disturbing others. And, there were some newspapers and magazines – although all of them were Japanese.
There were also many power outlets throughout the lounge.
The one thing that the lounge lacked were restrooms. However, that is understandable given how small the lounge was and the limited space available in the small terminal. In fact, there were restrooms right outside the lounge.
Food and Drinks
Just as with other Japanese domestic lounges, there was no “real” food in the lounge. As such, if you are hungry, make sure to get something from one of the stores at the airport before entering the lounge.
There were, however, some candies at the reception desk, as well as packs of rice crackers in the snacks and drinks area.
As for drinks, there was a selection of sodas and other soft drinks available from a dispenser. There was also “yuzu honey drink” which was excellent. And, there were water, tomato juice, and milk available.
Hot drinks included coffee, green tea, and black tea.
Finally, there were some alcoholic drinks as well.
Those included Suntory whisky and four brands of beer available from automatic dispensers that Japanese lounges are well known for. Namely, they were Asahi Super Dry, Kirin Ichiban Shibori, Sapporo Black Label, and Suntory Malt’s.
JAL Sakura Lounge Okayama Summary
Since the lounge is fairly small and there are quite a few elite status holders in Japan, the lounge can get fairly crowded. That said, I still had no trouble finding an empty seat during my visit.
In terms of facilities, it’s nothing to write home about. The furniture is similar to other domestic JAL lounges and so are the drinks and snacks offered.
Still, if you find yourself departing from Okayama airport with JAL and eligible for access into the lounge, you may just as well pay it a visit for a quick cup of coffee or tea before getting onboard.