Review: JAL First Lounge Tokyo Narita (NRT)

We awaited our flight to Sydney (SYD) in the JAL (JL) first class lounge at Toyko’s Narita (NRT) airport. While not nearly as impressive as JAL’s new lounge at Haneda International Airport – Tokyo’s other airport – it is a solid first class lounge offering, with excellent food.

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Located in Narita’s terminal two, near the A gates, the first class lounge shares a common entrance with JAL’s Sakura lounge (business class and oneworld sapphire), and welcomes oneworld first class passengers and emerald members, and their guests.

Walking into the reception area, the first class lounge reception is on the left, with business class on the right (with most of the business class lounge being located down an escalator).

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The lounge is very spacious (particularly for a first class lounge) but, as it allows oneworld emerald members in, does get crowded. Before the bank of US flights depart in the evening, every seat was taken and the lines to the sushi bar were long. The crowd did thin out very quickly however as a number of flights departed ahead of our flight to SYD, which along with JL4 to New York JFK is one of the last departures of the day.

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After passing by the reception desk at the entrance to the lounge, almost immediately on the left is a hallway to the showers / spa. At the spa reception we added ourselves to the waiting list for showers. The attendant gave us a pager which vibrates to let us know when there is a shower free – and went to great lengths to explain that it only vibrates, it does not beep.

We also made a reservation for a complimentary ten-minute massage and were given a reservation card.

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After leaving the spa and continuing into the lounge, there is an alcove for luggage storage. There were eight lockers, although when the lounge was full these were also all taken. Having lockers is a common lounge feature in Japan and Korea. It is a great feature for those of us that travel with carry-on baggage that we might want to lock away for a few hours.

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The lounge is laid out as follows:

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We took a seat and were immediately approached by one of the waiters (with radio earpieces) to welcome us to the lounge and offer to bring us sushi. We didn’t see this welcome happen to anyone else in the lounge, so perhaps it is only for first class passengers.

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The sushi here is delicious (as you would expect).

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The bar had a full selection of drinks available, with a selection of spirits ranging from Suntory Hibiki 17 year old whiskey to Wild Turkey bourbon. The champagne is Heidsieck & Co Monopole Silver Top. There is also a sake bar.

We found it a little odd that the only water was in cheap looking plastic bottles, located in the lower fridge.

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There is a sake bar in the middle of the lounge, with chefs preparing a la carte food.

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There is also an extensive buffet, with an impressive selection of options… particularly if you desire to make your own salad.

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We settled down at a table by the window and admired the view.

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Away from the windows, at the other end of the lounge, is more seating…

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There is also a smoking room in the back corner of the lounge.

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There are a few small telephone rooms near the bathrooms. A highlight for us are the two massage chairs found in the back corner of the lounge. We found these very vigorous in their massaging.

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Before long our shower pager started vibrating to signal our shower room was ready. The attendant gives you a key card to open your assigned shower room.

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Rounding out the lounge is a small business centre.

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Despite the crowd, this is a very pleasant lounge in which to await an international flight. We found the additional personal service as a first class passenger to be a nice touch, although a bit underwhelming.

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2 Comments on "Review: JAL First Lounge Tokyo Narita (NRT)"

  1. did you order a la carte food? how did you find the food quality and service?

    i’ll be arriving the lounge about 3 hrs before my departure to SYD… what do you recommend to do first? eat? massage? shower?

    thank you.

  2. @Lantean – the sushi the lounge staff proactively bought us was very good.

    We recommend going to the shower counter to get a pager for a shower and get a massage reservation first for a time that suits you. Then sit down and relax.

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