Chubu International Airport or Centrair is Japan's third largest airport after Tokyo's Narita Airport and Kansai International Airport near Osaka.
Located on a man-made island off the west coast of the Chita Peninsula to the south of Nagoya, Centrair is only 25 minutes away from Kanayama Station and 30 minutes from Nagoya Station by express train.
Centrair is yet to take off as a real Asian hub but if you do find yourself waiting for a flight or an onward connection be sure to visit the Sky Town shopping and dining center on the 4th floor of the airport.
Unlike shopping at Narita, Centrair has not really gone down the international brand name route and its shops and restaurants are meant to represent the best of the Chubu area of central Japan.
As you ascend the escalator to Sky Town, on your left is a recreation of a number of Meiji-era buildings - Renga Dori (Brick Road) - housing up-market shops, restaurants and cafes. To your right is the faux Edo-Period Chochin Yokocho (Lantern Alley) with traditional Japanese restaurants and the "Miya-no-yu" bath-house with views of the planes taking off and landing as you soap and soak.
Between Renga Dori and Chochin Yokocho is an event space and beyond that is the outdoor wooden viewing deck.
Tastefully done, Renga Dori and Chochin Yokocho are fun to stroll if you have time to spare at Centrair.
Other facilities at the airport include WIFI hotspots, computer terminals, a post office, bureaux de change, convenience stores and a Tourist Information Office on the first floor near the Meitetsu train station.
The quickest way to get to Centrair is on the μ sky Rapid Limited Express operated by Meitetsu Railways. There are also buses to Nagoya, Fukui, Shizuoka, Gifu, Mie, Toyota and Toyohashi.
There are regular boats to Tsu, Matsuzaka and sightseeing cruises to Nagoya and Yokkaichi ports.
There is a Comfort Hotel at Chubu International Airport.
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Thursday, February 28, 2008