Review

Japan Airlines Sakura First Class Lounge Review – Tokyo Narita Airport

This is the next instalment from my trip to Japan earlier this year, just a little late in coming!

The return flight was in JAL First Class, and flying in JAL First or as a oneworld Emerald status frequent flyer you have access to the Japan Airlines Sakura First Class Lounge in Tokyo on departure.

While not generally on the list of ‘must-see’ airline lounges globally, my great First Class experience on JAL on the way up from Sydney set the tone and I was keen to see how JAL do their First Class ground experience.

JAL’s First Class Check in at Narita

I arrived at Narita on one of the standard hotel buses, arranged by the Andaz Tokyo after an hour or so on the bus.
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JAL First Check In Tokyo

The First Class check in for JAL was well signed, and JAL literally roll out the red carpet for their First Class passengers at check in.

JAL First Check In Tokyo (1)

All bags were tagged with unmissable red First Class tags, and then I was personally escorted through security to immigration.

JAL First Check In Tokyo (2)

JAL First Check In Tokyo (3)

The Japan Airlines Sakura First Class Lounge

The entrance to the Sakura First and Business lounges are behind these frosted glass doors, almost immediately past immigration.

JAL Sakura Lounges Entrance at Narita

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita

On walking in you can turn right to access the Sakura Business Class Lounge, or left toward the First Lounge.

JAL Sakura Business Lounge Narita Entrance

JAL Sakura Business Class Lounge entrance

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Entrance

JAL Sakura First Class Lounge entrance

On entering you are then presented with a swathe of dark wood and leather, and at night, the blackness surrounding Narita Airport with planes and airport lighting only to look at out of the tall windows.

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Tarmac Views

There are some nice views to take in while you sit and have a drink or grab a bit to eat.
JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Tarmac Views (2)

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Tarmac Views (1)

At the far end of the lounge, there are two dining options – a Sushi Bar and a large buffet serving Japanese and Western options.

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Sushi Bar (1)

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Sushi Bar

The Sushi chefs will make you the sushi of the day on demand.

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Sushi Bar (2)

The buffet selections were fairly broad, and tasty – but like most buffets, lacking in presentation compared to a meal served from a kitchen.

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Buffet Dinner

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Buffet Dinner (1)

Next to the Sushi Bar there’s also a Sake Bar with a wide range of selections from all over Japan. I was tempted, but didn’t partake!

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Sake Bar

There’s also a free-pour spirits bar too.

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Bar

The lounge has a good amount of seating, all of it comfortable, and with plenty of power points and different configurations to relax in.

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Seating

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Seating (1)

At the rear of the lounge there are couple of private rooms with massage chairs.

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Massage Chair

There’s also a smoking room for those so-inclined.

JAL Sakura First Lounge Narita - Smoking Room

My thoughts – Japan Airlines Sakura First Class Lounge, Tokyo Narita

This is likely to be my one and only visit to this lounge for the foreseeable future, and I think my experience of seeing it in the dark would be quite different to the daytime.

The highlight of the lounge, by far, is the Sushi Bar. Watching skilled Sushi chefs produce your own personal plate is pretty special. I’m no Sushi connoisseur but it was pretty tasty too.

Otherwise, it was a nice place to spend time in, but with no other major wow-factor of some of the other First Class lounges that are out there now, given this is Japan Airlines flagship lounge for their premium customers.

It looks like JAL have invested in their Haneda Lounges last year – while the Narita lounge didn’t feel tired, maybe it could be taken up a level with some new design approaches.

Japan Airlines Sakura First Class Lounge Review – Tokyo Narita Airport was last modified: August 26th, 2016 by Keith

Comments Expand Comments

  1. croweater

    Hi,

    How early can one check in luggage for JAL and also go to the F lounge? I have an upcoming First Class with JAL and have time to kill that day too.

    Cheers

  2. nelson

    Cool review Keith, lots of pics always welcomed!
    It seems like it is an understated lounge like a private country club, which suits some people.
    I thought they offered complimentary massage ?? I know they do for business class.
    Anyway the sushi bar has got to the highlight, that looks so cool, and beats eating stale dried up sushi made with long grain rice (seriously) at the Etihad lounge.
    Freshly made sushi .. mmm yes!
    I will be trying this lounge out later this year, I’ll be sure to turn up 3 hours before, so I can make the most out of it.

    • Keith Author

      I didn’t see anything about massage/spa but maybe I was blinded by the sushi. I could have missed it. It’s a nice spot to spend some time, I’d like to see it in daylight.

      Where are you headed – back to Australia from Tokyo?

      • Nelson

        Hi keith,
        good to see you at the Melb points meet.
        I’m on the morning flight NRT-JFK.
        JL6, departing 11AM. So I’ll check in around 9AM, to take advantage of the sushi bar opening.

  3. Jamie

    Hi Keith

    Did you get a chance to check out the buisness class section on the other side of the lounge ?

    I am flying the same route in August (sadly on the configuration that does not have F) and have a few hour to kill between flights.

    Thanks for the review.

    Jamie

    • Keith Author

      This was using British Airways Avios one way and Qantas Points on the return, from memory. Review of JAL F return flight coming!

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