Review: JAL Sakura Lounge (International) at Osaka Kansai Airport

Review: JAL Sakura Lounge (International) at Osaka Kansai Airport

Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
Hirofumi is an aviation enthusiast based in Zama, Japan. He fell in love with commercial aviation when he was eight, and ever since then has flown on more than 600 flights with more than 70 airlines. If you happen to read Japanese, also make sure to check his personal blog here.

Besides numerous domestic lounges at airports throughout Japan, Japan Airlines also operates a network of international JAL Sakura Lounges both in and out of Japan.

The ones in Japan can be found at Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Nagoya Centrair, and Osaka Kansai airports.

Some months ago, I had a chance to visit the international JAL Sakura Lounge at Osaka Kansai airport prior to catching a Singapore Airlines flight to Singapore.

Read this review to see what the lounge was like.

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Location, Opening Hours & Access

The international JAL Sakura Lounge at Osaka Kansai airport is located airside – after immigration and security check. It can be found between gates 37 and 38, and is open between 7:00AM and 12:40AM every day.

Besides admitting premium class and elite passengers of Japan Airlines and its oneworld partner, it is also used by some other airlines. Some of those include Singapore Airlines, China Airlines, Emirates, Garuda Indonesia, Air China, and Vietnam Airlines.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport
Entrance.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport
Airlines offering access into the lounge.

Lounge Tour

The first area that could be found past the lounge’s reception was a locker room.

Going further, there was a dining area with the buffet and some dining and communal tables. When I visited the lounge – around 8:30AM – the dining area was quite packed, and there was a queue in front of the buffet.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Lockers
Lockers.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Dining
Crowded buffet area.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Dining Room
Dining area.

Luckily, the rest of the lounge was less crowded.

The rest mainly consisted of a lounging area with rows of sofa chairs. Other than that, there was a smoking room, a small business center with a printer, and a partitioned off area with a pair of massage chairs.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Seating
Lounging area.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Smoking Room
Smoking room.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Massage
One of the two massage chairs.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Business Center
Business center.

There was plenty of power outlets available throughout the lounge, and there was even a mobile phone charger on one of the counters in the dining area.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Mobile Phone Char
Mobile phone charging station.

No showers were available in the lounge.

Before talking about the food and drinks in the lounge, I should also mentioned that the lounge offered nice views of the tarmac.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Apron Views
Apron view.

Food and Drinks

Now, let’s continue with the highlight of the lounge – the food and drinks. Both of those were considerably better than at JAL’s lounge at Tokyo Narita airport – perhaps because Osaka is the “food capital” of Japan.

Starting with soft drinks, there were pitchers with milk, ice tea, and JAL’s original Sky Time kiwi drink among other drinks, and there was a soda dispenser.

There was also a coffee machine and a limited selection (green and black) of teas.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Soft Drinks
Milk, Sky Time, and water.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Soft Drinks
Soda dispenser.

Alcoholic drinks included three different Japanese brands of beer – Kirin, Asahi, and Suntory – served from automatic dispensers, as well as a selection of wine and liquor.

The part that impressed me the most, though, was the selection of “umeshu” (plum wines) limited to this JAL Sakura Lounge. There were three types – normal, mandarin orange-flavor, and honey-flavor – bottled on Kii Peninsula near Kansai airport.

Not coincidentally, the peninsula is famous in Japan for its plums, mandarin oranges, and honey.

 

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Beer
Beer.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Alcoholic Drinks
Alcoholic drinks and tea.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Umeshu
Plum wine selection.

As for food, there was the beef curry that JAL is well known for. In addition to that, though, there was also Halal-certified vegetable curry – that one is not available in the airline’s lounge at Narita airport.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Rice
Rice.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Curry
Curry.

Lighter items included a salad bar, some Japanese pickles, a selection of breads, and tortillas. There were also “pork cutlet sandwiches” and “fruit sandwiches” – both of which are considered to be Osaka’s invention.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Salad
Salad bar.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Bread
Bread and pastries.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Japanese Pickles
Japanese pickles.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Pork Cutlet Sandw
Pork cutlet sandwich.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Fruits Sandwich
Fruits sandwich.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Light Food
Tortillas and other lighter items.

There were also some snacks such as rice crackers and cookies.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Snacks
Snacks.

Finally, hot items other than the curry mentioned earlier included minestrone and miso soups, simmered mixed vegetables, sausages, and omelettes.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Soups
Soups and cookies.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Hot Breakfast
Sausages and omelettes.
International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport Hot Breakfast
Simmered vegetables.

JAL Sakura Lounge Osaka Kansai Summary

While the lounge – especially its dining area – can get crowded at times, it’s still a nice place to visit if you have some time to spare before taking your flight out of Kansai airport.

International JAL Sakura Lounge Kansai Airport My Meal
My meal.

During my visit, there were plenty of seats to choose from, and the food and drinks selection was good as well. Especially so the selection of local items including pork cutlet and fruit sandwiches as well as plum wines.

It’s also worth mentioning that the lounge’s buffet spread was much better than the one that can be found in JAL Sakura Lounge at one of the airline’s hubs, Narita airport.

 

Click here to read more JAL Japan Airlines flight and lounge reviews

 

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