Spotting Report: Colorful & Rainy Night at Haneda Airport

Colorful & Rainy Night at Haneda Airport

Right after I finished work on April 1, 2016, I went to Tokyo Haneda to take some photos at night. What was supposed to be a shooting until around midnight turned into an all night shooting that started at 6:30PM and ended at 4:00AM the next morning.

A Streak of ANA Domestic Specials

After I got to the airport around 6:30PM, I headed straight to the observation deck on ANA’s domestic terminal which offers fairly good night photo opportunities.

Just as I was getting there, I saw one of two ANA’s Star Alliance 777-200 being pushed back. While I managed to set-up my camera and tripod on time, unfortunately due to the very strong wind, I was not able to get a usable photo.

As that Star Alliance Triple Seven was waiting to start its taxi for departure, another one arrived and entered the spot that the first one left. What a scene – two Star Alliance 777s getting out of and into the same spot.

JA711A & JA712A
One of the ANA’s Star Alliance 777s is almost ready to taxi while the other one is waiting for the first one to get out of the way so that it can enter the parking spot.

As it was windy and cold outside, I spent most of the time inside the terminal, only going outside when necessary. The next reason to go outside was the push back of the second Star Alliance 777.

“JA711A” preparing to taxi for departure.

Next up on the list of interesting ones was the Star Wars 767. Unfortunately, this one was ruined due to wind too. Well, that’s part of the game!

The Star Wars was followed by another 767 in special colors – the “Yume Jet.” There was, however, a plane at the gate next to it, and so only a close-up photo was possible.

“Yume Jet” – one of ANA’s special liveries.

The final domestic aircraft I photographed was an ANA’s Boeing 777-300 shortly after 8PM. Once done with that, I went downstairs to have a dinner, and then headed to the international terminal.

“JA757A” ready to taxi for departure to Fukuoka.

Rainy International Terminal

By the time I got to the international terminal, it was raining fairly heavily. As such, I stopped by the convenience store to get an umbrella which got broken by the end of the night due to wind. I also made another stop at the store later on to get a towel to wipe my lens with and cardboard to use to protect the lens from the rain.

The umbrella at the end of the day – still usable, but bent by the wind.

Throughout the night, we were of course able to photograph ANA and JAL aircraft. While there were some regular livery examples, my luck with special colors was continuing. The BB-8 Jet which was the main goal of the visit was followed by the special ANA 787 “saba/mackerel” livery and by two JAL OneWorld colored 777s.

First, an ANA 787 in the standard livery.
Followed by the main target of the night – the recently rolled-out BB-8 Jet.
The very first ANA Dreamliner wearing the special colors only worn by the first two 787s reflecting nicely on the wet apron.
The first of the two OneWorld 777s.
…and the second, shorter one.

It was also nice to be able to photograph Peach – the Japanese low-cost airline that recently started flying from Haneda to Taipei and Seoul.

Peach A320 ready to taxi for departure to Seoul.

The local airlines were supplemented by a nice stream of foreign carriers. While most of the major airlines moved to the satellite terminal after it was finished, it was nice to be able to photograph the fairly recently started flights to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Hong Kong Express ready to go back home.
First time for me to see the American Airlines Dreamliner – this was headed to Los Angeles.
Dragonair – another visitor from Hong Kong ready to go back.

The last aircraft I took from the deck of the international terminal was of a V Air A321 heading back to Taipei at 3AM.

Second time for me seeing this airline after seeing it in Nagoya two weeks prior. V Air A321 ready to fly back to Taipei.

The “N” Spots

Our final stop for the day (or should I say the night) was at the airport gate next to the “N” parking spots.

Setting Up
Two of my friends – Kaneko-san and Uekawa-san – starting to take pictures of the Cathay Pacific 747.

The night was finished around 4AM after spending some time taking pictures of a nice BBJ and of a Cathay Pacific Jumbo resting overnight on a remote stand.

LY-TVG – a beautiful BBJ parked on the N5 spot.
Cathay Pacific’s Jumbo waiting for its morning flight back to Hong Kong with the Haneda tower in the background.

It was definitely a tiring photo session, however, the results were definitely worth the sleepless night!

1 thought on “Spotting Report: Colorful & Rainy Night at Haneda Airport”

  1. I’m pretty late to see this, but I only started planespotting last year. Haneda is an excellent place for photographers, myself included. I haven’t shot there in the rain yet, but one day I’d like to do that as Iong as I can keep my gear protected. Once I finish posting this comment here, I’ll check out more articles on this site. Lovely pics. I especially enjoyed LY-TVG.

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