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Sunday, March 21, 2010

November 2009 Trip Report Part VI - Sakura Lounge at Narita

Japan Airlines (JAL) Sakura Lounge First Class Lounge at Narita (NRT) airport
JAL First Class Lounge and Sakura Lounge at Tokyo Narita

Sorry i haven't been posting the trip reports lately. It's March now and I am still writing about my November trip! Well, I have been busy and Japan Airlines filing for bankruptcy didn't help either. Anyways, here's my report on the Sakura Lounge. I actually took the picture above a while back (more than a year ago) but the entrance/wall didn't change :P The Sakura Lounge and First Class Lounge share the same entrance and are located next to gate 61 at the main building. The Satellite Sakura Lounge is next to gate 92. But for this report, I will focus on the lounge at the main building as I only had enough time to visit one of them and the one at the main building is definitely better :)

Luggage Storage
There are some storage area downstairs next to the escalator. There are shelves and lockers. Most of the times the lockers are full as there are only around 10 of them. The shelves are non-secured open areas and I wouldn't suggest you leave your valuable belongings there (a while back CX caught someone who repeatedly steal luggage from their lounges in Hong Kong)

Shower
The showers are located at the lower level (so is the massage room). There are at least 5 shower rooms available (I have been assigned to number 5 all the time so I know there are at least 5 :P) but it could get busy sometimes. There were times I could use the shower immediately but there were also times that I have to wait for an hour to use the room. So I would recommend go straight to the shower facility to make your reservation. You can make reservation for massage at the same time. If there are no room available, they will take your name and flight information, then give you a buzzer. You can see the buzzer in the picture below (which I took during my December trip :P)

(Japan Airlines (JAL) Sakura Lounge buzzer for shower room
Buzzer for Sakura Lounge at Tokyo Narita

You can enjoy a nice view from the Sakura Lounge while waiting for the shower/massage. I even saw the Eco-Jet 2 which made my day :)

Japan Airlines (JAL) Sakura Lounge view at Narita (NRT) JAL Eco-jet 2
View from the Sakura Lounge at Tokyo Narita

When it is your turn to use the shower, they will give you a key card with a number on it. Just swipe the card and the door will unlock. High tech right? :P Inside the room, there is one of those fancy Japanese toilet, a bench for you to put your belongings, and of course the sink and shower!

Japan Airlines (JAL) Narita (NRT) Sakura Lounge Shower Room bench
Sakura Lounge shower facility at Tokyo Narita

There are all the amenities you need including tooth brush, shower cap, hair dryer, shampoo, soap, etc

Japan Airlines (JAL) Sakura Lounge shower amenities
Sakura Lounge shower amenities at Tokyo Narita

Finally it's the shower itself. There are yet another bench inside the shower stall! You can sit there if you want (preferably on top of a towel :P) and enjoy a hot shower. The water temperature is great and it is stable. And so is the water pressure. There are at least 7 shower heads! I love to turn on all of them an enjoy a nice hot shower before I fly back to LAX/HKG. I wish my shower back home is as nice as this one...

Japan Airlines (JAL) Sakura Lounge shower
Sakura Lounge shower facility at Tokyo Narita

Japan Airlines (JAL) Sakura Lounge multi-headed Shower
Sakura Lounge shower facility at Tokyo Narita

Food
I didn't take much pictures at the open buffet because it was kind of crowded. There were way more passengers there than my previous visit in July. At the time I thought maybe things are getting better for JAL (and now I know it isn't). One of the explanations is JAL had a promotion which allows some of the economy class passengers on ex-NRT China bound flights to use the Sakura lounge. The food didn't change much since my last visit. Still the same curry. There was one item I didn't see before. It looks like some kind of seafood gratin but I didn't quite enjoy it. Main problem was it was cold and I was expecting some hot food :P Below are the legendary "special beef curry". You should definitely try this. Below are the miso soup, beef curry with rice and seafood gratin. Another highly recommended dish is the cold udon. The udon at JAL Sakura Lounge is the best I had ever had. I love the texture of it and it is cooked just right. Let me know if you know the brand of udon JAL uses (or is it hand made?)

Japan Airlines (JAL) Sakura Lounge food beef curry miso soup at Narita (NRT)
JAL's famous special beef curry and miso soup at Sakura Lounge at Tokyo Narita

After this, time to fly back to LAX :(

Previous parts of the November Trip Report:
I: Snacks
II: Amenities
III: LAX Oneworld Lounge
IV: Meals on JL061
V: Sky Gallery

Related Posts:
Sky Gallery wins Good Design Award
JL062 on July 28 2009
JL061 on July 2 2009

2 comments:

  1. Hi, thanks for sharing all the information about JAL. I wish to know will there be any promotion during December 2010 - Jan 2011 for the flight from Malaysia to Tokyo(return)? Sorry if this comment is not related to the above post. I really wish to get a cheaper flight tic. Thanks a lot.

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  2. Hi chee,

    Thanks for posting. Actually you can e-mail your questions if you don't want to post unrelated comments on the blog. You can find my e-mail address from my profile. But posting comments work for me too :)

    Just to be clear, I don't work for JAL or in the travel industry for that matter. But I can provide the information I know. JAL has not released the discounted fares for the December 2010 travel periods yet. Most likely only normal fares are available right now. You will have to wait till maybe end of summer for the discounted fares. But part of December is peak season and fare could get expensive even for the lower booking classes!

    JAL will revise its international network in October. According to the COO they will make drastic changes. So that's another thing to worry about other than high fare. Hopefully JAL won't suspend Malaysia - Narita. But you never know. And I expect the changes to be announced some time during the summer.

    So I would definitely wait till summer to book your Dec ticket. Hope this helps!

    Pak

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