VIDEO: Stray into age of samurai at modern, cutting-edge Haneda Airport

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

VIDEO: Stray into age of samurai at modern, cutting-edge Haneda Airport

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

A 30-minute drive or train ride from Hardy Barracks, Haneda Airport, also known as Tokyo International Airport, is Japan's busiest airport and ranks among the world's five busiest with 38,400 landings and over 84 million passengers annually (as of 2019).

Haneda Airport opened in 1931 and was known Tokyo Hikojo (flying field) . In 1978, the then newly constructed Narita Airport took over most of Tokyo's international air traffic, while Haneda was designated to handle the capital's domestic air traffic. Haneda resumed handling an increased number of international flights in 2010.

Known for its user-friendly, modern and clean terminal facilities, Haneda Airport has frequently been named World’s Cleanest Airport and holds a 5 star in the Global Airport Ranking system by SKYTRAX, the international air transport rating organization.

But what surprises passengers most is modern-age airport is also home to a photogenic floor designed to look like an old Japanese town, complete with a large wooden traditional Japanese-style bridge.

The Airport’s International Terminal (Terminal 3) impresses passengers with its traditional Japanese-style shopping and restaurant area called Edo Street on the 4th floor. Nihonbashi Bridge is a half-size reproduction of a famous bridge in Tokyo dating back to the Edo period (1603–1867).  

If you are flying out for a trip or seeing off your family or friends at the airport, be sure to drop by Edo Street for some souvenir shopping - Japanese chochin paper lanterns, shoji (sliding paper doors), byobu (colorful folding screen) and Kanban (wooden signboards) at various shops and booths. And when you’re done shopping, grab a bite to eat.

From the observation deck on the 5th floor, you can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the spacious airport while watching planes land and take off.

At Japan’s busiest airport, there’s so much more to do than just wait for your plane.

Haneda Airport
Location: 3-3-1 Haneda Kuko, Ota-ku, Tokyo

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