park hotel tokyo - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)
REVIEW – Park Hotel Tokyo (Artist Room – Geisha)
October 18, 2016
cathay 747 first class
REVIEW – Cathay Pacific : First Class – Tokyo Haneda to Hong Kong (B747)
October 18, 2016

REVIEW – JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

JL F lounge

Japan Airlines (JL)

  • Location: Tokyo (HND)
  • Class: First
  • Access:
    • OneWorld First Class ticket holders
    • OneWorld Emerald status holders
  • Date: October 2015


After an all too brief visit to Tokyo it was time to gather our bags, hop on the monorail and head back to HND.

The proliferation of international routes from this city centre airport has had a hugely positive impact on my travels recently. Whilst travel to and from NRT requires significant time and a not insubstantial cost, HND is a quick half hour trip costing around $10.

The airport itself also features newer facilities and is less busy than its sister airport.

I love this temple-like shop/ restaurant which overlooks the check-in counters
27751780350 53e321147d c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

We arrived around 2.5 hours before boarding for this morning flight. We were checked in and through fast track security in around ten minutes.

It is worth noting thought that security lines are something of a bottleneck at HND. If you are not in F, even the J lines can be quite overwhelming. I’ve never quite understood it because once you’re airside everything seems quiet again.

 


JAL First Class Lounge


It’s no secret that JL’s new F lounge is one of the best lounges in the world. Having recently visited for a short while I was excited to come back and spend a more significant amount of time at this beautiful new facility.

Once past the lounge dragons you are faced with this amazing hallway lined with Japanese screens, capped with a screen depicting a pair of contrails intersecting. I love how this serves to build both physical and metaphorical distance between the lounge and the terminal.
27418200444 733a117ac9 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)
Immediately to the left is a quiet area with amazing runway views. In terms of views, this really has to be one of the best lounges in the world. It was definitely designed by an #AVGeek.
28032229355 62c11717bb c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)
Past this small room is the main dining area. The chef makes an absolutely amazing breakfast galette.
27997906976 6f357c5129 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)
There are also countless hot and cold buffet options. The small plates are particularly creative and delicious.
27930106322 5217dc9477 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)A freshly made egg galette, curry with scrambled eggs, braised vegetables, double espresso and a glass of Laurent Perrier. Not a bad breakfast!
27418365344 b4d031da52 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

Followed by more LP and a chicken liver parfait.
27418527563 c99fdb5084 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27418532093 602079cb1b c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

On the far side of the restaurant area there is another quiet seating zone
27418550243 bec7dbb7b6 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

Beautiful lacquer sculpture
27418336534 43b53b7d50 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

Here you can also find some more relaxed lounge chairs, with foot stools, facing the runway. During fine weather, the outdoor viewing platform (landside) is usually full of spotters.
27929898652 c0bf40fc84 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

Also located within this quiet area is a large self serve bar. The Hibiki was trying to hide from me but did not succeed.
27929860892 95b3114956 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

I also took the opportunity to have a quick go on one of the massage chairs. You can actually get a massage performed by a genuine human but honestly the chairs can just deliver way more pressure and there’s no wait… and they look like Gundams.
27997894396 1e62e122fd c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

On to the best part of the lounge. The absolute heaven of aviation geekery. The RED Suite.
27418560713 ba60f8d5a1 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

Upon entering you are immediately faced with a display cabinet containing all manner of amazing JAL memorabilia.
27418436534 17c0b8bb32 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27418424914 f36285bd36 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

This room is where the John Lobb shoe shine area is located. This guy did an awesome job on my Ashills. He was great to talk to and was keen to talk to me about Jermyn street, visits to Northampton shoe factories and the rise of Japanese bespoke makers. As both an AV Geek and a shoe geek, this place is my nirvana.
27930056202 0ff82c1ee5 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

28032509885 5f2b870b46 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

One day I will own a house with a study that looks like this and a living room that looks like The Pier in HKG
27752054970 933194a15f c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27752045790 82f957bffe c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

To the right of the polishing room is the champagne room.
27997684016 80bd55f946 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

28032248935 dc3af42fae c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27418462863 b6bee7550b c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

A selection of chilled sake
27954507271 71a09374a7 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

Doesn’t look like they’ll be running out any time soon
27418495123 2a76ec30d8 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

To the left of the main room there is an area with even more memorabilia, including this amazing desk.
27751985800 335017b9f3 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

I spent a good hour here editing photos for this trip report: The Singapore Four – SQ new J, A380 J, 77W F, 380 Suites + Fairmont Singapore Suite
27954650181 bd00c26739 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27997889886 28243c0f6a c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27954658481 1c3f760ef8 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27929974062 c0aabf0475 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27997815776 d7b5f2afae c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

This is as busy as I’ve ever seen the RED Suite. I honestly don’t get it. It is such an amazing place!
27751982220 c56a765415 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27997806536 9941b446b2 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

At the far end of the RED Suite is the games room. The stitching on the stools is reminiscent of the new SQ F seats.
27997827616 19317982cf c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27418647783 1bdd89f82f c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

27418527904 0d6aaa2795 c - REVIEW - JAL First Class Lounge, Tokyo HND (October 2015)

 


Conclusion


This is truly one of the best lounges in the world. No question about it. I would way rather spend time here than the Thai Airways Royal First lounge in BKK or the Concorde Room at LHR. Great food, decent champagne, beautiful glassware, fantastic views, a ton of airline memorabilia, massages and John Lobb shoe shining. If I personally had to design a lounge from scratch this would probably it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.