Spotting Report: Early Morning at Haneda After The Biggest Snowfall Since 2014

Spotting Report: Early Morning at Haneda After The Biggest Snowfall Since 2014

Yesterday, Tokyo experienced its biggest snowfall since 2014 resulting in serious disruptions in air traffic.

According to NHK, on January 22, 2018, over 300 flights domestic were canceled. Furthermore, international operations – mainly in and out of Narita – were disrupted as well with more than 9,000 people having no other option than overnighting in the terminal.

While the situation was unfortunate for the affected passengers, for Tokyo-based photographers, the heavy snowfall meant a fairly rare chance to get photos with snow on the ground at both Haneda and Narita.

I decided to take advantage of the change of scenery as well, and so I woke up early today to spend an hour at Haneda before heading to the office.

Observation Decks Closed Due to the Snow

Unfortunately, as soon as I got to Haneda, I realized that the opportunities to get photos would be very limited since all of the observation decks were closed due to the snow.

As such, I headed to terminal 2 where fairly good views of one of the runways and some of the taxiways and parking stands can be had through large windows. And while the location is backlit in the morning, I went there shortly after sunrise which provided for some interesting views.

Sunrise at Snowy Haneda Airport

Sun rising over Tokyo Haneda’s terminal 2.
ANA 737-800 Taxiing for Departure

ANA’s 737-800 taxiing for departure.
Solaseed Air 737-800 Taxiing

Solaseed Air 737-800 taxiing for departure.

Besides that, it was also possible to get decently lit photos of some of the aircraft being pulled to their departure gates.

ANA 777-200 Being Towed

ANA 777-200 being towed to its departure gate.
ANA 777-200 Being Towed

Another ANA 777-200 being towed through the slush.

And, since the skies were very clear, it was possible to see Tokyo skyline including Tokyo Skytree, as well as Makuhari (Chiba Prefecture) skyline.

ANA 777-200 Pushing Back in Front of Sky Tree

ANA 777-200 being pushed back in front of Tokyo Skytree.
Tokyo Haneda Airport and Sky Tree

A pair of 737s at snowy Haneda.
ANA 767-300 Taxiing

ANA 767-300 taxiing for departure with Tokyo Bay and Makuhari skyline in the background.

Overall, while I wish Terminal 1’s observation deck – which offers great views in the morning and would have provided for properly lit photos full of snow – was open, I am still glad that I was able to get at least some photos showing Haneda covered in snow.

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