Updated August 2015
Tokyo International Airport - Haneda
Haneda airport has become the favourite of the two international airports serving Tokyo - the other being Narita - due to its proximity to the centre of Tokyo. It is located about 14 Km to the south of City Centre, against around 60Km for Narita. It is the fourth busiest airport in the world, just behind London's Heathrow.
The International Terminal was built in 2010, to supplement the two Domestic Terminals that received most of the domestic and charter flights heading for Tokyo.
It has three Terminals: 1 and 2 for domestic flights, connected by an underground walkway (T1 is mostly used by JAL, T2 by ANA); and the International Terminal on the other side of one of the runways.
Transit passengers with a transit pass obtained at the information counter may use the monorail or Keikyu Railway between the domestic and international terminals without charge. Alternatively, passengers transiting to domestic flights can check-in in the International Terminal and use the special buses that operate directly to the secure areas of the respective departing terminals. See below: Domestic Connecting Flights.
There are 5 floors altogether at the terminal building (the ground floor is labelled as 1F (first floor):Arrivals on 2F; Departures on 3F. Floors 4F and 5F are reserved for shopping and catering and on the higher floor, even a Planetarium, as well as a large viewing area to watch aircraft taking-off and landing.
There are various ATMs, as well as Currency Exchange offices, open 24 hours a day, on the first three levels of the Terminal, and also airside.
Compare rates, as from personal experience they can be quite different. Recently, airside, the Shinhan Bank Japan offered a better exchange rate than Travelex Japan.
SIM Cards and Cell Phones
Japan introduced legislation in 2006 to restrict the sale and use of voice-capable SIM cards to permanent residents. A temporary hotel address did not suffice and, therefore, tourists and other visitors were barred from having a temporary telephone number, from which to make calls. With the 2020 Olympics in mind, the laws were relaxed and SIM cards for non-residents are now available.
The desks of the Softbank Global Rental in the Departures level, and the Mobile Communication Service Counter, in the Arrivals level, to the right as you leave the Customs area, advertise prepaid SIM cards for travellers. Prices start at ¥3000, and go to ¥5000 and ¥8000. By calling a designated number, part of the credit (¥2,916) can be converted to Data use. Topping up is possible at many convenience stores. The cards expire after 14 days.
Please check that the SIM cards work in your phone. Some of the adverts state that they are for Android and iPhone devices only. Note also that GSM phones (those mostly used in Europe) do not work in Japan, where CDMA technologies are in place. However, most modern phones (3G or 4G - Japan's own 2G standard was not compatible) should present no problem, and comply also with the local phone networks and frequencies (e.g. 3G CDMA2000 800 MHz, 3G UMTS 2100 MHz, or LTE band 1). If you have an old mobile phone check the details.
An alternative, still used extensively, is to rent a phone from the companies mentioned above. As with SIM cards, incoming calls are free, and domestic outgoing calls have comparable tariffs, typically between ¥40 and ¥100 per minute. There is a daily rental fee of around ¥200 to ¥500 for regular phones, and up to ¥1500 for smartphones. There are various companies providing the service in the International Terminal.
Large baggage carts are available free of charge, or coin deposit, and can be found at all drop-off points, whether you are arriving by train, monorail, bus, taxi, or private car. On level 3, the check-in area, the airport provides wheel-chairs and baby push-chairs that double up as hand-baggage carts. On arrival they are located by the carousels in the Baggage Hall.
Once you are airside, past Security and Immigration, there are mini-carts suitable for hand-luggage.
Left luggage and Lockers
There are 2 Left Luggage offices in the International Terminal: one is located beside the ATM and currency exchange counter near the arrivals exit on the 2nd floor; the other is next to the group check-in counter Z on the 3rd floor. Items can be left for a maximum of 2 weeks. The cost per day ranges from ¥300 to ¥800 depending on size and there is a limit of 300cm in length or 30Kg in weight, although exceptions can be made if shape can be accommodated. Additionally, coin operated lockers can be found on Levels 2 and 3 - large ¥500; small ¥300.
It is normal in Japan for people to send their luggage ahead to a hotel or the airport, or indeed their home. On the Arrivals level, near the Domestic check-in area, there are two counters dealing with this type of service.
Domestic connecting flights
International arriving passengers connecting to domestic flights can check-in at the far left end of Level 2 (International Arrivals) and proceed through Security, on the same level, from where they board special buses that take them to the appropriate Domestic Terminal. They disembark already airside (that is, past Security).
It is interesting to note that in Japan, on domestic flights ONLY, liquids are allowed past Security. They scan the bottles in special machines to make sure they are not of a dangerous kind; so you can carry your 2-liter bottle of water into the departure lounge, and from there onto the plane: enter an oasis of civilization!
To get to the city there are basically four alternatives:
Referred to as the Airport Limousine the service operates from all 3 terminals to various points of the city and beyond, including Narita Airport. The route list, timetables, and fares can be found here. On arrival, you can buy the tickets from the desks opposite the exit from Customs on the left, and the way to the bus stop, below, printed on the ticket, is well marked. The buses are efficient and comfortable. Your bags are labelled and can be collected at the destination against the stub of the tags.
As an example, the bus to the popular Shinjuku area leaves every 15 minutes and takes from 30 minutes to over an hour depending on traffic. The one-way fare is ¥1230 during the day, and ¥2000 after midnight (until 5 am). Departures from the airport run from 5.45 am to 1.10 am (the last 3 buses leave at midnight, 0.20 and 1.10)
Everybody tells you that taxi drivers in Tokyo are professional and honest. If you accept that, and I do, getting into a taxi and arriving at your destination should be a stress-free experience, if expensive... A ride to central Tokyo, say Shinjuku, should cost somewhere around ¥8,000 or ¥9000, plus the tolls, which are the passenger's responsibility to pay (there is also a late night surcharge, from 10pm to 5 am, typically around 20%). Make sure that you have the destination printed in Japanese as it is unlikely that the driver speaks English. If it is a hotel ask them in advance to send the name and address by email in Japanese script (the Information Desk in Arrivals could also be helpful).
An alternative that may overcome the language difficulty is to pre-book a taxi. If you know where to find the car, it actually works out cheaper, based on a fixed tariff. However, if you need the driver to wait for you outside Customs with the usual name card, the cost may be a little more expensive. Find out, in advance, whether the tolls are included, and at what stage you are supposed to pay (at destination?). Either way, you are supposed to call the taxi company, once you reach the baggage hall. It means that your mobile phone must be able to work in Japan. Note that the Japanese mobile phone network adopted the 3G standard, and therefore your device must comply with this technology. Of course, there are also coin boxes, but that could be an added complication, if you never used one in Japan.
The Monorail line stretches from Hamamatsucho to the airport with stations at all 3 terminals, in as little as 13 minutes. Currently, it operates towards the airport from 5.11 am to 5 minutes past midnight.
The one-way fare from/to the International Terminal is ¥200 (¥100 for children). Hamamatsucho connects with JR lines giving access to the whole of the Tokyo Subway system with direct JR lines to Tokyo Station, and Shinjuku, in the opposite direction.
This is a good way of avoiding traffic if you have little or no luggage. Besides, you can travel for free along the JR lines if your "JR Pass" is activated and valid.
The independent Keikyu Railway operates services from all 3 terminals with trains that continue either north to central Tokyo, or south towards Yokohama and Zushi(both via Shinagawa Station). The last train from International Terminal leaves at 1 minute past midnight. See the Keikyu website.
As with the Monorail you can change onto the subway system at Shinagawa (one-way ¥410, and 11 minutes away), which is also on the JR Yamanote Line. This service is ideal for those travelling to Yokohama or other destinations on this line.
Free WiFi is available at Tokyo Haneda Airport for 3 hours, using the "HANEDA-FREE-WIFI" network. There are instructions to download an app (Haneda Free Wi-Fi), via your device's store and choose "Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi". After installation you will be asked to fill in a form that asks for email address, name, gender, and age (don't lie...). The account will be valid for 90 days, and will provide free internet all over Japan by accessing hot-spots of a number of providers.
In fact, at the airport, all you need to do is register once you arrive at the airport, and request a further 3 hours if you need them. After that, you would need to register again with a different email address... The strength varies in different parts of the airport, being weak in the check-in area, except around the dedicated PC desks, but better in the floors above, and airside.
There is a counter in the check-in level, and self-service vending machines, airside, in the departure area (near gates 108, 110, and 112).
Better still, buy in advance.
Mobile charging stations
There are two areas in the check-in level, both sides of the Information Desk, which you see as you arrive via the escalator or the monorail station, where you can charge your phone, laptop or other gadgets.
The same area have computer stations with a fee of ¥100 per each 10 minutes. These offer a higher level of security.
Similar facilities are available airside, in the public area of the Arrivals level, and on the top floor, before you exit to the Observation Deck.
There are pharmacies both in the check-in area and airside. Please, bear in mind that Japanese pharmacies request doctors' prescriptions for many medicines, which are sold without them in both Europe and America, ear drops being a recent example.
Shopping and Catering
Each of the five floors of the International Terminal has something to offer in the way of shops or catering facilities. However, the majority is concentrated in the two top levels. In the fourth rows of restaurants attempt to replicate, successfully, the atmosphere of an old street of Tokyo; and in the 5th, which houses a variety of shops some dedicated to Japanese cultural items.
The third floor (the check-in area) has a number of shops, most related to mobile phones, and foreign exchange. There is also a drug store (pharmacy).
Pets have not been forgotten, and small animals from dogs to rabbits that have their own runs to keep them fit, plus hamsters and guinea-pigs are looked after, fed, and trimmed while you are away.
Location: International Terminal Parking Area, 1F.
There is NO departure tax. All taxes, if applicable, are already included in the cost of the tickets.
Post office facilities
There is no Post Office in the International Terminal. The nearest is in the Domestic Terminal 1, used by Japan Airlines. However, there are 3 large, red post boxes, one of them on the check-in level inside a shop, Blue Sky Premium , behind the F row of check-in desks.
As expected, smoking is not allowed anywhere in the International Terminal, except in designated rooms, which can be found at every level, both in the public areas, and airside, and are well marked.
Japan has inconsistent policies regarding smoking. You will find areas of Tokyo (e.g. Shinjuku) and other cities where it is forbidden to smoke even in the streets. Yet, the legislation does not cover restaurants, where smokers may come and sit next to non-smokers. It is left up to the catering establishments to decide if the habit is allowed in their premises, or if smoke-free zones are created.
The International Terminal has a number of Executive/VIP lounges:
SkyLounge for eligible card holders only (VJA Group, JCB, Diners Club International, DC, UFJ,NICOS, MUFG, UC, SAISON, JACCS, American Express), or cash guests (¥1030; children ¥520).
SkyLounge Annex for eligible card holders only (VJA Group, JCB, Diners Club International, DC, UFJ, NICOS, JACCS, SAISON).
TIAT Lounge for eligible card holders (TS CUBIC, Porsche Card, MICARD), or by airline invitaton only (China Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Delta Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Air China, Cathay Pacific Airways).
TIAT Lounge Annex as for main TIAT Lounge.
JAL Lounge for their Executive Class passengers.
Ana Lounge for their Executive Class passengers.
Cathay Pacific for their Executive Class passengers.