Japan Airlines operates a pair of business class lounges in the international part of Tokyo Narita’s terminal 2. Before taking a flight to Delhi onboard JAL’s excellent business class on my way to Slovakia, I had the chance to visit the one located in the main terminal rather than the satellite building.
The lounge is easy to find since its well-marked entrance is located right past security and immigration. However, one might get confused since the title says “First Class Lounge” and “Sakura Lounge” – without mentioning business class.
The simple explanation is that the reception – which was decorated with a nice Christmas tree at the time of my visit – of the first and business class lounges is shared, with the latter one being called Sakura Lounge.
After presenting my boarding pass at the reception, I was directed to the right where a pair of escalators led downstairs into the business class lounge.
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Downstairs, the main part of the lounge was L-shaped with the stairs leading to the “corner of the L.”
On the right side, just past the escalators, there was a children’s room. And, there was also a number of phone booths ideal for making calls in private without disturbing other visitors. (Something I wish all the lounges had!)
Continuing straight, led to a part of the lounge that was long and fairly narrow.
On the right side, there was a drinks and snacks area.
On the left side, there were large windows looking over a small part of the apron.
Throughout the rest of that area, there was a variety of seating including lounging chairs facing the windows, rows of sofa chairs, as well as some larger sofas with coffee tables.
At the very end of this part of the lounge, there was a smoking room, as well as a business center.
The business center was equipped with cubicles in which one could work on a laptop, as well as with desks with computers available for use.
Going back to the escalators that led me into to the lounge and turning to the left instead of going straight, there was a cloak with lockers, a flight information display, as well as a rack with some Japanese and English reading materials.
Then, there was a staircase that led to the upper level of the lounge – but more on that further down.
The part of lounge past the stairs was quite spacey, and featured some more seating areas ranging from rows of chairs in a “typical lounge arrangement” to more “living room-like” seating.
There was a drinks and snacks station in this area as well.
And, in the far right corner of the area, there was a couple of counters with bar-height chairs.
Finally, in the very back of this section of the JAL Sakura Lounge, there were more phone booths as well as reading materials – and also some semi-private rooms with massage chairs.
Upstairs, there was a dining area which was significantly smaller than the seating areas on the lower level of the lounge.
Besides the buffet counter – the contents of which I’ll talk more about in a bite – there were some communal tables as well as counters along the windows.
One thing that was immediately noticeable was how (over)crowded the area was compared to the downstairs lounging area.
I understand that they wanted to separate the dining part of the lounge from the general seating areas. But, I think it would have made more sense to have the dining area downstairs with more seating, and have a quiet relaxation area or something else upstairs.
Food and Drinks Selection
Food and drinks in the JAL Sakura Lounge at Narita airport could be found in three areas – in the two snack areas on the lounge’s lower level, and in the upper level dining area.
Starting with the snack areas, the only food available there were cookies, rice crackers, etc. That was not an issue though, since the dining area had a more extensive selection.
There were some cold items including bread and kinds of pastries, salads, yoghurts, and so on.
Then, there were some Japanese options including mentaiko (seasoned cod roe) and tamagoyaki (Japanese-style omelette), as well as Japanese pickles.
Warm Western options included two kinds of soup, as well as scrambled eggs, sausages, and potatoes.
Finally, warm Japanese options included miso soup as well as beef curry – JAL Sakura Lounge’s signature dish.
As for drinks, there were soft drink and beer dispensers, as well as the obligatory coffee machines.
Besides beer, there were also bottles of liquor, sake, and wine.
JAL Sakura Lounge Tokyo Narita (International – Main Terminal) Summary
Overall, I found the lounge – especially the seating areas downstairs that were deserted during my visit – to be a pleasant place to relax before a flight.
At the same time, though, I wish the lounge was designed a bit better in terms of its dining. Having visitors only eat on the upper level might make the cleaning job easier for the lounge’s staff, but it certainly results in overcrowding of the upstairs area.
As for the food and drinks offered in the JAL Sakura Lounge, I thought they were adequate – although not exceptional. I most certainly enjoyed the curry rice, but I wished there were some more warm options. But then again, part of the problem might have been the fact that I visited the lounge in the morning.
Given that I expect to earn my one world status in February, I hope to have a chance to visit the lounge during lunch or dinner time again sometime soon.