Review: Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda

Introduction: Flying Halfway Around The World For Half A Day
Review: China Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Taipei
Review: China Airlines Lounge Taipei
Review: China Airlines Business Class A330 Taipei To Singapore
Review: Singapore Changi Airport Transit Hotel
Review: British Airways Lounge Singapore
Review: SATS Premier Lounge Singapore
Review: Japan Airlines Business Class 767 Singapore To Tokyo
Review: Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Haneda Airport
Review: Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda
Review: Japan Airlines Business Class 777 Tokyo To San Francisco


I left the Royal Park Hotel Haneda Airport at around 8PM, plenty early for my 12:05AM flight to San Francisco. Perhaps the only redeeming quality of the hotel is that it’s connected to the international terminal, so it’s super easy to get between the hotel and the airside terminal.

I already had my boarding pass for my flight to San Francisco, so I headed straight towards security and immigration. It couldn’t have been more painless, as I was through both security and immigration in less than five minutes.

From there I made a right turn, and then immediately saw the escalators to the Japan Airlines Lounge, located across from gate 112. I was excited to check out the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Haneda Airport, as previously I’ve only used the Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport. Furthermore, the lounge was renovated just a couple of years ago.

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Escalator to Japan Airlines Lounge Tokyo Haneda

The exterior of the lounge was very similar to the one at Narita Airport, with horizontal wood panels.

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Entrance to Japan Airlines Lounge Tokyo Haneda

At the reception desk I was welcomed by four polite JAL employees. Upon scanning my boarding pass, they pointed me right towards the first class lounge. The lounge has both a first and business class section. While I was flying business class to San Francisco, I could use the first class lounge on account of my top tier oneworld Emerald status.

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Japan Airlines Lounge Tokyo Haneda reception desk

I was blown away by the decor of the lounge from the moment I walked down the hallway towards the first class section. To me, the Narita JAL Lounge feels a bit shabby, while this one is gorgeous.

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda entryway

Halfway down the hallway was a small business center with a few computers, as well as well as some individual moon-shaped private chairs.

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda seating

I’d say the lounge has four distinct “main” areas, and the above business center area led into the first main area.

This was a large area with more traditional lounge seating, along with a long counter by the window overlooking the taxiways.

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda seating

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda seating

The chairs themselves were beautiful, and they had individual pillows and ample outlets.

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda seating

The next section was the dining area, which was probably the largest part of the lounge. There were plenty of individual tables, along with a square, center communal table, with a tree growing out of the middle of it.

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda dining area

While the other room had carpet, this one had a pretty cool tile design. I’ll talk more about the food selection a bit later.

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda dining area

The next section of the lounge was similar to the first one, and had more traditional lounge seating. In this section all the seats were dark brown.

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda seating

I loved that each seat had a small adjustable table, as it was perfect for placing your laptop while working. I also liked that there were partitions between each row of seats.

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda seating

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda seating

Along the window in this area were chairs with ottomans, which were extremely comfortable.

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Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda seating

This section of the lounge also had a self serve drink selection, including liquor, soft drinks, juice, and beer machines.

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JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda self serve drink station

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JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda self serve drink selection

Past this area was the snazziest area of the lounge, called the Red Room. This is possibly the most gorgeously designed area of any lounge out there, in my opinion. It’s separated into four zones.

The first zone is the Library Room, with all kinds of travel artifacts, books, etc.

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JAL First Class Lounge Red Suite Library Room Tokyo Haneda

Then in the back left corner is the Gallery Room, with several travel items from the “good old days,” including vintage aviation art, suitcases, etc.

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JAL First Class Lounge Red Suite Gallery Room Tokyo Haneda

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JAL First Class Lounge Red Suite Gallery Room Tokyo Haneda

In the back right corner is the Play Room, with chess and other games. The walls are covered with flight route maps, which any aviation geek will appreciate.

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JAL First Class Lounge Red Suite Game Room Tokyo Haneda

Then lastly is the Bar Room, with self serve Laurent Perrier champagne, as well as sake.

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JAL First Class Lounge Red Suite Bar Room Tokyo Haneda

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JAL First Class Lounge Red Suite Laurent Perrier champagne Tokyo Haneda

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JAL First Class Lounge Red Suite drink selection Tokyo Haneda

There’s also a huge display case with more champagne.

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JAL First Class Lounge Red Suite champagne fridge Tokyo Haneda

While I think the all around most gorgeous lounge in the world is Cathay Pacific’s First Class Lounge in Hong Kong, I think these particular rooms are the most gorgeous parts of any lounge I’ve been to.

There’s also a shoeshine service in this part of the lounge. In theory that’s a lovely feature, but it almost makes the entire area uncomfortable, which is why no one seems to use it. The person doing shoeshines is so attentive and always just standing there and observing the whole area, that it makes it awkward to sit there.

For that matter, the area is beautiful in the sense that it feels like a museum, and I’m not sure it actually feels inviting or comfortable, if that makes any sense.

Now let’s talk about the food in the lounge, located back in the dining area. The self serve food area is extensive, and consists of several self serve areas. The centerpiece of the dining area is the teppanyaki grill, where a chef prepares an incredible beef dish.

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JAL First Class Lounge dining area HND Airport

However, other than the made to order beef, I found the selection a bit underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, it was fine, but it doesn’t really compare  to the other top first class lounges out there. I’ll let the pictures of the selection speak (mostly) for themselves.

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JAL First Class Lounge buffet selection HND Airport

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JAL First Class Lounge buffet selection HND Airport

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JAL First Class Lounge buffet selection HND Airport

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JAL First Class Lounge buffet selection HND Airport

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JAL First Class Lounge buffet selection HND Airport

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JAL First Class Lounge buffet selection HND Airport

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JAL First Class Lounge buffet selection HND Airport

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JAL First Class Lounge buffet selection HND Airport

So I thought the buffet as such was rather limited, and also lacked cohesiveness. Individually a lot of the things were fine, but the selection just seemed like a little bit of everything.

The one part of the food offering that was fantastic was the made to order beef dish.

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JAL First Class Lounge teppanyaki grill HND Airport

You simply go up to the chef and tell him what kind of sauce you want, and then he hands you a buzzer.

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JAL First Class Lounge teppanyaki beef HND Airport

My dish was prepared within about five minutes.

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JAL First Class Lounge teppanyaki beef buzzer HND Airport

It was spectacular, and I almost wanted to order a second one.

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JAL First Class Lounge teppanyaki beef HND Airport

The drink selection was pretty good, though, including the famous Japanese beer machines.

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JAL First Class Lounge drink selection HND Airport

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JAL First Class Lounge beer machines HND Airport

One of the other unique features of the lounge is that it has a spa. I had no problem securing a reservation for just about anytime I wanted. I figured I’d get my massage sooner rather than later, so I made an appointment for 8:45PM.

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JAL First Class Lounge massage appointment HND Airport

The lounge has legitimate massage rooms, though the treatments are just 10 minutes long. You leave your shirt on, and then they place a towel over your shirt, and the massage consists mostly of hitting pressure points. It’s a lovely way to refresh, though it’s not to the level of the hour-long massage you’ll get in the Thai Airways First Class Lounge in Bangkok, for example.

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JAL First Class Lounge massage room HND Airport

Next to the massage room were three massage chairs, which I briefly used as well.

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JAL First Class Lounge massage chair HND Airport

I spent a couple of hours getting caught up on work, and then I decided to shower before my flight (I hadn’t showered in the hotel). The shower rooms were one of the underwhelming aspects of the lounge. While the shower itself was fine, the shower room didn’t have a toilet. I find that to be rather annoying, especially in a first class lounge.

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JAL First Class Lounge shower room HND Airport

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JAL First Class Lounge shower room HND Airport

Lastly, back near the entrance of the lounge was a smoking room.

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JAL First Class Lounge smoking room HND Airport

I left the lounge at 11:20PM, in anticipation of the 11:35PM boarding time for my flight to San Francisco. Fortunately my flight was leaving from gate 112, which was right across from the lounge.

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Gate 112 HND Airport

The gate area was still fairly empty.

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Gate 112 HND Airport

JAL had set up separate signs for first & business class, and as a oneworld Emerald member I could board with first class.

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JAL first class & oneworld Emerald boarding

Watching how Japanese airlines board has to be one of my favorite things ever, as it’s so reflective of the service culture in the country. They have about 10 gate agents, and several of them are responsible for holding up signs to help people form queues, even though there are already signs indicating where each cabin boards.

Boarding was scheduled for 11:35PM, and at 11:34PM the gate agent made an announcement, apologizing profusely that boarding for the flight will be delayed… until 11:37PM. Man, you’ve gotta love when an airline makes a habit of boarding exactly at the scheduled time, and not a minute later or earlier. Nowhere else in the world will you get an apology when boarding is delayed by two minutes.

JAL First Class Lounge Tokyo Haneda bottom line

The JAL Lounge at Haneda Airport really impressed me. It’s significantly nicer than the JAL First Class Lounge Narita Airport. It’s much more modern, the design is practical and beautiful, the Red Room is really neat, and Haneda Airport is easy to use.

I’d say this ranks up there as one of my four favorite oneworld first class lounges, along with the Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney, Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Hong Kong, Qatar Airways First Class Lounge Doha (I’m excluding multiple lounges from one airline, though).

If you’ve visited the Japan Airlines Lounge Tokyo Haneda, what was your experience like?

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Timely post, Ben. I’m currently in the lounge about to leave for JL2. I actually love the food spread here, and I prefer this lounge to the Cathay First lounges in HKG, though I realize that’s probably a little controversial.

  2. I spent 8 hours in the JAL Lounge at HND three weeks ago, en route from BKK to LAX. We were in the Business Class lounge but I explored the first class lounge (I am OW emerald, but the rest of the family is not, so I wasn’t allowed to bring them in). I agree with all of your assessments. The lounge is beautiful. I was there around 10pm on a Monday night and it was very quiet. The one thing that was most surprising to me was that the food was essentially the same as the spread in the Business Class Lounge. Not bad (especially compared to most spreads at US airports), but once I saw what they had in Biz, I expected the First Class side to be a step up. Other than display, it was not.

  3. No sushi/sashimi bar like at NRT? Terrible…The all you can eat maguro is the best part of the JAL lounge offering

  4. I used the same lounge and found three different types of champagne in the three different areas! Tried them all!

    I do wish they had a better selection of Japanese whi skies which are all the rage right now.

    The shoe shine guy you refer to is a service from John Lobb the bespoke shoemaker from London. A pair will run you around $3000 and a year in the making. The service is really quite good….

    In Japan punctuality is extremely important and the two minute delay borders on the sacrilegious.

  5. Agree that the food at HND first class lounge is underwhelming, especially the buffet. No waiters, either, so doesn’t compare to something like QF first at LAX or even BA Concorde room at LHR. I did have the beef teppanyaki from the chef but I just found it to be fine, nothing special. I could easily see that beef being in a warmer on the buffet line and you probably wouldn’t have thought it was anything special.

    Agree with the previous poster that the buffet is exactly the same in the business class lounge in the other side, sort of confirming that there’s not much that’s first class about the dining in the F lounge. Too bad, because otherwise it’s a nice lounge. I didn’t like it as much as you did, Lucky, but it’s certainly a fine place to wait for your flight.

  6. Is there only one JAL first class lounge at HND? Compared to the three JAL first class lounges at NRT, I’d give a slight edge to HND due to the Red Suite and game room. On the other hand the JAL first class lounge in the NRT main terminal has a sushi bar, better beverages (surprisingly) and a shoe shine service. The JAL first class lounge in the NRT satellite terminal has a very nice dinning area. The dinning area in the main terminal is pretty ordinary.

    The lounge reviewed here and the JAL F lounges at NRT are no Cathay Pacific Pier at HKG or Qantas F lounge LAX (as far as food anyway, decor in the Qantas lounge is average), but when flying business or coach as an EXP I have zero complaints with the JAL F lounges.

  7. Regarding the shower rooms, I also thought it was odd that they had no toilet. I later went back to the Sakura Lounge next door to check their shower rooms, and those did have a toilet in them.

  8. thanks for the review. have been wondering what the Haneda lounge is currently like. It has been hard finding info about it.

  9. Another excellent and extremely thorough report as usual! I thought the lounge was nice and definitely agree about the food selection being somewhat underwhelming, but overall, it was a great lounge option for HND.

    I reviewed it a while back here: http://goo.gl/DOf8JM

  10. Hi Ben,

    Good to see my frequent used Lounge in your reviews 🙂
    Apart from the beef, if you fly in the morning, you get like egg pancakes from the grill.
    Its somewhat underwhelming compared to what you had.

    Cathay Business in Haneda, while the noodle bar is good, it lacks a shower. But understandably, you dont need a shower for a flight to HK from HND (3 hours or so).

    Keep up the great work!
    Happy flying and thanks for visiting Tokyo!

  11. Came here to say the same as many others, the best part of NRT was the sushi bar. Those chefs rocked my world.

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