|Newly opened Sakura Lounge at Sapporo New Chitose. Image from Japan Airlines|
|Location of the expanded Sakura Lounge. Image from Japan Airlines|
|Special snacks from Hokkaido available at JAL Sakura Lounge at CTS. Image from Japan Airlines|
|Refurbished Sakura Lounge. Image from Japan Airlines|
JAL has issued a press release (Japanese only) regarding the lounge refurbishments. It contains specific dates on when new furnitures will be rolled out to these lounges.
Kumamoto (KMJ) - March 28 2013
Matsuyama (MYJ) - March 28 2013
Hiroshima (HIJ) - March 29 2013
Kagoshima (KOJ) - March 29 2013
Osaka Kansai (KIX) - April 1 2013
Not sure if it's an oversight, there's no mention of KMQ in the press release.
Even though there's a new expanded lounge opened at CTS, JAL hasn't forgotten about the old Sakura Lounge there. JAL has planned to refurbish the old Sakura Lounge on March 29 2013. Similar to those who have gone through the process, new wallpaper and carpet will be installed, as well as new power outlets and new JAL original sofas. More details can be found on JAL website (Japanese only)
Osaka Itami Sakura Lounge
|Rendered image of the renovated Sakura Lounge at Osaka Itami. Image from Japan Airlines|
The renovated lounge will be equipped with telephones, fax machine (for sending), WC, Wi-Fi, charging stations for phones and tablets from DoCoMo, au, Softbank, Apple (iPhone 5 is NOT supported) and Android devices. Newspapers, magazines, snacks, soft drinks, and alcohol will also be provided although unlike the CTS Sakura Lounge, there's no mention of special snacks from Osaka. However, new massage chair will be installed on the 3rd floor. New wallpaper, carpet and JAL original sofas will be installed as well as power outlets will be available throughout the lounge.
For more details on the renovated ITM lounge, you can refer to JAL website (Japanese only)
It is nice that JAL is investing in its domestic lounges and try to provide a consistent design. But install the same carpet isn't enough. It is so strange that they would hire two different designers to design the ITM and CTS lounge. Personally I prefer the look of the CTS lounge (not that because he's an award-winning designer :P). It seems more modern, elegant and clean. And it kind of matches the designs of the Haneda lounges. The ITM one on the other hand, it still has that 80s look of the old school Sakura Lounge LOL. Maybe it's the crowded layout :P
One thing that wasn't completely clear to me is whether the March 29 and 31 dates are the start of the renovation or the completion of that. I haven't been to those lounges recently. Last time when I was at CTS in December, the lounge was open as usual and I haven't heard any partial closure of these lounges either. So anyone knows?
Also JAL is supposed to refurbish the international lounges at Tokyo Narita (NRT), Fukuoka (FUK), Honolulu (HNL), Frankfurt (FRA), and Manila (MNL). So far no news on those yet (although I vaguely remember reading something about the HNL lounge but I am not 100% sure).