Right after I finished work on April 1, 2016, I went to Tokyo Haneda to take some photos at night. What was supposed to be a shooting until around midnight turned into an all night shooting that started at 6:30PM and ended at 4:00AM the next morning.
A Streak of ANA Domestic Specials
After I got to the airport around 6:30PM, I headed straight to the observation deck on ANA’s domestic terminal which offers fairly good night photo opportunities.
Just as I was getting there, I saw one of two ANA’s Star Alliance 777-200 being pushed back. While I managed to set-up my camera and tripod on time, unfortunately due to the very strong wind, I was not able to get a usable photo.
As that Star Alliance Triple Seven was waiting to start its taxi for departure, another one arrived and entered the spot that the first one left. What a scene – two Star Alliance 777s getting out of and into the same spot.
As it was windy and cold outside, I spent most of the time inside the terminal, only going outside when necessary. The next reason to go outside was the push back of the second Star Alliance 777.
Next up on the list of interesting ones was the Star Wars 767. Unfortunately, this one was ruined due to wind too. Well, that’s part of the game!
The Star Wars was followed by another 767 in special colors – the “Yume Jet.” There was, however, a plane at the gate next to it, and so only a close-up photo was possible.
The final domestic aircraft I photographed was an ANA’s Boeing 777-300 shortly after 8PM. Once done with that, I went downstairs to have a dinner, and then headed to the international terminal.
Rainy International Terminal
By the time I got to the international terminal, it was raining fairly heavily. As such, I stopped by the convenience store to get an umbrella which got broken by the end of the night due to wind. I also made another stop at the store later on to get a towel to wipe my lens with and cardboard to use to protect the lens from the rain.
Throughout the night, we were of course able to photograph ANA and JAL aircraft. While there were some regular livery examples, my luck with special colors was continuing. The BB-8 Jet which was the main goal of the visit was followed by the special ANA 787 “saba/mackerel” livery and by two JAL OneWorld colored 777s.
It was also nice to be able to photograph Peach – the Japanese low-cost airline that recently started flying from Haneda to Taipei and Seoul.
The local airlines were supplemented by a nice stream of foreign carriers. While most of the major airlines moved to the satellite terminal after it was finished, it was nice to be able to photograph the fairly recently started flights to Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The last aircraft I took from the deck of the international terminal was of a V Air A321 heading back to Taipei at 3AM.
The “N” Spots
Our final stop for the day (or should I say the night) was at the airport gate next to the “N” parking spots.
The night was finished around 4AM after spending some time taking pictures of a nice BBJ and of a Cathay Pacific Jumbo resting overnight on a remote stand.
It was definitely a tiring photo session, however, the results were definitely worth the sleepless night!