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Lounge when connecting to domestic JAL at NRT

Lounge when connecting to domestic JAL at NRT

Old Jan 21, 20, 4:02 pm
  #1  
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Question Lounge when connecting to domestic JAL at NRT

So, I'm BAEC Silver / oneworld Sapphire, and I already have a British Airways round-trip premium economy booking to NRT on BA5. I'm now looking to book a separate one-way ticket for NRT-ITM on JAL3005 in Class J.

As this would mean ~5 hours of idle time at NRT, I'd be looking to spend that time in a lounge. However, having not been to NRT or flown with JAL before, I'm not exactly sure what I'm eligible for, and this mad chart makes my head spin.

What, if any, lounges do I qualify for at NRT, by virtue of either travel class, OW status, or Priority Pass / Lounge Club membership? Do you have any specific recommendations? Thanks a bunch in advance!
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Old Jan 21, 20, 4:09 pm
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just the domestic Sakura Lounge which is just a room with seats, drinks and shower, Don't waste too much time there.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 4:30 pm
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Hmm... based on the pictures I could find, it indeed does not spark joy.

What, if anything, should I do at NRT / vicinity to kill 5 hours? As I'm ultimately trying to get to Kyoto, an alternative would of course be taking ground transport... but I imagine after lugging heavy bags through the 4 transfers between NRT and ANA CP Kyoto, only to get there maybe 90 minutes sooner compared to waiting and taking the flight, I'm still leaning towards just sitting in the lounge with my laptop for the sake of my sanity and arms.

Suggestions for alternatives welcome!
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Old Jan 21, 20, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by groenroos View Post
Hmm... based on the pictures I could find, it indeed does not spark joy.

What, if anything, should I do at NRT / vicinity to kill 5 hours? As I'm ultimately trying to get to Kyoto, an alternative would of course be taking ground transport... but I imagine after lugging heavy bags through the 4 transfers between NRT and ANA CP Kyoto, only to get there maybe 90 minutes sooner compared to waiting and taking the flight, I'm still leaning towards just sitting in the lounge with my laptop for the sake of my sanity and arms.

Suggestions for alternatives welcome!
I would rather drop my bag off, grab some food at the airport, then take a hot shower. Make sure you eat before you go through security because there is literally nothing to eat in the domestic terminal after security (except for 1 udon stand). You could go into the city if you really want to, but if you're looking to take it easy it's not exactly worth it.

Taking the train is a possibility. If you've never done it I would suggest doing it on the way back since flights from Tokyo to Osaka are cheaper than train tickets, and if you use points it's essentially free (so cheap). Taking the train is pretty cool, as long as you don't have a lot of bags.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 5:42 pm
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Originally Posted by ETHFlyer View Post
I would rather drop my bag off, grab some food at the airport, then take a hot shower. Make sure you eat before you go through security because there is literally nothing to eat in the domestic terminal after security (except for 1 udon stand).
Very useful info, thank you! ^

Originally Posted by ETHFlyer View Post
Taking the train is a possibility. If you've never done it I would suggest doing it on the way back since flights from Tokyo to Osaka are cheaper than train tickets, and if you use points it's essentially free (so cheap). Taking the train is pretty cool, as long as you don't have a lot of bags.
This was my thinking, too. I have round-trip flights to/from NRT, and I've split the trip between 4 nights in Kyoto and 3 nights in Tokyo. I think just off a 12-hour flight I would be less amenable to take my bags on the train(s), vs. having had time to relax in Kyoto first, and then taking the train back - esp. since my Tokyo hotel is conveniently right next to the Shinagawa station.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 8:16 pm
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Arrive, pass immigration, collect bags, pass through customs, move to domestic NRT terminal (a short walk), check in and dump bags (hopefully you are within the free baggage limits).
and then
go back to international NRT terminal, get your YEN, exchange your JR pass (If you have one), buy a SUICA train card.
and if you feel like it, take the train to Narita station (10 minutes away) and visit the temple/have a look.
Essentially, you have 4.5 hours of waiting, and 4hours outside the airport. Too short to go all the way to Tokyo, but too long to waste in the airport.
If you have a book / computer or tablet with a movie or TV shows, you can binge through that to kill time.
There are no land-side showers in Terminal 2 International or Domestic side, so that's a bummer.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 2:50 am
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Jump on the Narita Express with luggage and all to Shinagawa, change to the Shinkansen to Kyoto. You'll be there far quicker that way.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by CPH-Flyer View Post
Jump on the Narita Express with luggage and all to Shinagawa, change to the Shinkansen to Kyoto. You'll be there far quicker that way.
My concern is that (according to Google Maps at least), the public transport route from NRT to ANA CP Kyoto is 3 to 4 different trains/buses, and takes at best 4h - 4h30m. Doing that with heavy bags, fresh off an 11-hour flight without a fully flat seat doesn't sound like a great time, even if it's ultimately an earlier arrival time.

Flying to ITM and taking a limousine bus to Kyoto seems more comfortable, but the cost of that is the waiting time at Narita, and being in Kyoto a few hours later.

I think in either case we'll be too tired to properly do anything in Kyoto that night, so the first day'll be a wash. Unlikely to matter much what time we arrive.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 6:35 am
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Originally Posted by groenroos View Post
My concern is that (according to Google Maps at least), the public transport route from NRT to ANA CP Kyoto is 3 to 4 different trains/buses, and takes at best 4h - 4h30m. Doing that with heavy bags, fresh off an 11-hour flight without a fully flat seat doesn't sound like a great time, even if it's ultimately an earlier arrival time.

Flying to ITM and taking a limousine bus to Kyoto seems more comfortable, but the cost of that is the waiting time at Narita, and being in Kyoto a few hours later.

I think in either case we'll be too tired to properly do anything in Kyoto that night, so the first day'll be a wash. Unlikely to matter much what time we arrive.
Assuming you just miss the NEX, 30 minutes wait for the next, 70 minutes to Shinagawa, 15 minutes to make it to Shinkansen, 130 minutes to Kyoto Station

5 hour wait for the flight 50 minutes flight, 30 minutes to get off the plsbr get luggage and get to the bus counter, max 20 minutes wait for the next nu, 50 minutes to Kyoto station.

Both need a taxi from Kyoto Station.

Even with luggage I'd prefer not to wait for the flight. 3 hourss early arrival at a comfortable hotel would be my choice.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 7:30 am
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How much luggage will you have? Usually I send my big suitcase to my destination via courier and it arrives the next day (even possible for it to arrive in the morning, before noon). There is a JAL ABC Counter right next to the JAL domestic checkin at NRT where they can arrange baggage delivery. Used it many times and it's very convenient.

Note that the Tokaido Shinkansen (the one that runs between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka) does not have a lot of space for large suitcases.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by mhy View Post
How much luggage will you have? Usually I send my big suitcase to my destination via courier and it arrives the next day (even possible for it to arrive in the morning, before noon). There is a JAL ABC Counter right next to the JAL domestic checkin at NRT where they can arrange baggage delivery. Used it many times and it's very convenient.

Note that the Tokaido Shinkansen (the one that runs between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka) does not have a lot of space for large suitcases.
There'll be 2 of us with 1 x carry-on and 1 x checked bag each.

The baggage courier sounds interesting - though where would I send it in this case? Shinagawa station?
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Old Jan 22, 20, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by groenroos View Post
There'll be 2 of us with 1 x carry-on and 1 x checked bag each.

The baggage courier sounds interesting - though where would I send it in this case? Shinagawa station?
If your initial destination is Kyoto and you are spending a few days there, you can have it sent to your hotel there.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by groenroos View Post
There'll be 2 of us with 1 x carry-on and 1 x checked bag each.
The baggage courier sounds interesting - though where would I send it in this case? Shinagawa station?
If you havent booked your domestic flight, just switch to the shink and it will save you a lot of hustle.
The domestic flight still lands you at ITM airport, and then a bus or 2 trains to Kyoto, and then the cab to your hotel.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Tokyoite View Post
If you havent booked your domestic flight, just switch to the shink and it will save you a lot of hustle.
The domestic flight still lands you at ITM airport, and then a bus or 2 trains to Kyoto, and then the cab to your hotel.
I haven't booked yet, as I'm still on the fence about it...

I haven't ever travelled on the Shinkansen, but ultimately, I think getting off an 11-hour flight, and immediately lugging bags through at least three different stations into trains with limited storage space for an additional 4 hours of sitting still, sounds like a lot of hassle to me. Even with the baggage courier service, that amount of extra travelling without a break doesn't sound appealing to me.

Additionally, from what I can tell, the NRT-ITM flight is circa 14,500, plus 1,340 for the bus to Kyoto station. Comparing this to the rail alternative (where I'm just going to take a wild unresearched guess that us two 6'3" travellers will need the Green Car), which then seems to come to 23,750 for the Shinkansen, plus N'ex at 3,250. So, flying clearly seems like the economical choice, in addition to being quicker and less physically exhausting.

I like the suggestion of leaving bags at the domestic NRT terminal (if indeed we can check-in for the flight 5 hours early?), and nipping out to see the Narita temple etc. Seems like a better way to actually experience something for a few hours (as opposed to sitting still in a train for those hours, watching it whizz by).

But on the other hand, I have 0 experience here, and many of you here seem to be suggesting the Shinkansen as the way to go, so... as I said, I'm on the fence.

Regardless of mode of transport, once we finally do reach our hotel in Kyoto, wise money will be on us grabbing some McDonalds from Kyoto station and falling asleep eating it. We'll definitely be starting our proper Japan experience the following day.

Last edited by groenroos; Jan 23, 20 at 12:16 pm
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Old Jan 23, 20, 12:44 pm
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Shinkansen has plenty of legroom. My 6'2" friend says it was comfortable with legroom to spare, so green car is probably unnecessary. Total in ordinary car NEX+shinkansen from NRT to Kyoto station should come out to 17000.

Even if you flew to ITM, you still have to lug them onto a bus, then to taxi. I personally find it much more relaxing to ride the train than plane, and would opt to use a luggage delivery service and ride the train w/ minimal luggage in tow.
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