Narita Airport, in Chiba Prefecture, is Japan's largest airport and the main international airport serving the Tokyo and Kanto area.
Narita, or to give the airport its full name, New Tokyo International Airport, also serves as an important Asian hub, especially for flights coming to and from the west coast of the USA.
Also many international flights that originate at other Japanese airports, such as Chubu International Airport, just south of Nagoya, fly to their destinations in Europe and the US via Narita.
Chances are then that visitors to Japan or Japan residents will spend some time waiting for a flight at Narita Airport.
There's a reasonable, though by no means outstanding, collection of shops, cafes and restaurants to help you pass the time between international flights. Besides the usual range of international brands to choose from, including Prada, Tiffany and Ferragamo, Narita has an interesting Oxygen Bar, where transit passengers can revive themselves, after a long trans-Pacific flight of breathing in recycled air, by sucking in some much-needed oxygen and a high-priced juice.
If you need to get online there are internet terminals charging 100 yen for 10 minutes, WIFI has yet to arrive.
Many shops will accept US dollars as well as Japanese yen, though if you have time on your hands you may wish to make use of the excellent bureau de change offices located in Narita Airport. Service is quick and efficient and charges low especially compared with such places, as say, Italy.
Finally, if you just have to shower and crash, Narita does have some short stay rooms open from 7.00am-9.30pm. A shower costs 500 yen (less than $5) and a single room is 1000 yen with a double room 1600 yen for the first hour with an 800 yen per hour charge after that for both single and double rooms.
The quickest way to get to Narita Airport is on the Narita Express from Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro or Yokohama Stations.
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Friday, February 22, 2008