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After spending a few days in Tokyo, we were booked on a business class fight to Seoul out of Haneda on Japan Airlines. Because of Chris' One World Emerald status, we were able to wait for our flight in the First Class area of the Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge, which opened in August of this year.
You can find the JAL Sakura Lounge on the 4th floor of Haneda's international terminal near gate 112. When you enter the lounge, you will see the Sakura Lounge entrance on your left and the First Class Lounge entrance on your right. Once entering the First Class Lounge, after walking down a fairly long hallway, you will notice the incredible size of the lounge. Typically, First Class lounges are quite small, but this one is positively enormous.
The First Class lounge has no less than four different seating areas that span the length of the lounge and as you can see from the photos, the place was nearly empty, which made it feel even larger. The lounge boasts some excellent views and nearly every seat in the house is able to take advantage of them. Once walking in, you will pass some typical seating, followed by table seating for those enjoying the buffet, followed by another typical seating area, and at the far end of the lounge, you'll see the "Red Suite". I'm honestly not sure what the Red Suite is, but it is a nice departure from typical lounge decor and has quite a bit of interesting airline memorabilia, including books, vintage suitcases, and photos, and is a very quiet, nice area to rest while waiting for your flight. The Red Suite even has a champagne and sake room in case you're thirsty.
In the center of the lounge, you'll find the buffet area. The selection is quite extensive and is available to serve yourself. You'll find everything from finger sandwiches to noodles, tempura, sushi, pastries, fruit, and a salad bar. There's really something for everyone and there is quite a bit of food available. From what I understand, during certain times, you can have fresh cooked Teppanyaki and watch the chef prepare your sushi, but I think we were there at the wrong time to see this ourselves. The buffet area also has soda machines, tea and coffee, and bottles of liquor and wine available.
At the far end of the lounge, just before entering the Red Suite, you'll find a bar with a similar selection to the buffet area, except this one also has juice, milk, and various other drinks available in a refrigerator. Chris' favorite part was the pitcher full of Pocari Sweat, his favorite Japanese drink, which can be found in many of the Japanese vending machines.
The First Class lounge also has showers available to visitors looking for a refresh, however I didn't use them or check them out on this visit. The restroom is nice and was consistent with what I've come to expect from other lounges - I appreciate the privacy of the full length cubicles. It had the same simple, modern aesthetic of the rest of the lounge.
The lounge also offers massage chairs tucked away near the far end of the lounge, but unfortunately I didn't realize that until it was time to leave.
Overall, the First Class lounge is beautiful and is very tastefully decorated. I believe they were going for a modern Japanese style and I think they did a great job. There should be plenty of room in this lounge at any time due to the incredible size and you'll have no problem passing the time between or before your flight in here.
Just a twenty-something with a full-time job and a full-time obsession with traveling. It's best to LiveTraveled.