After checking in for my flight to Nagoya at the beginning of my recent trip to Europe, I headed straight through security and into one of the two JAL Sakura Lounges – specifically the JAL Sakura Lounge North Wing.
The lounge can be accessed by premium class passengers, as well as oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status holders. Furthermore, one can pay 3,000 yen (a bit under 30 dollars) to enter the lounge prior to a JAL flight.
In my case, I used one of the five access passes that I get annually as a perk of my JAL Club Est credit card.
The reception of the lounge is accessible both through a dedicated security for premium passengers and directly from airside. It is also shared with the more upscale Diamond Premier Lounge for first class and oneworld Emerald passengers.
Once checked-in, one has to head down a fairly long hallway lined with restrooms and a smoking room in order to get to the actual lounge.
The JAL Sakura Lounge itself is divided into several zones with each with different kind of seating.
On the left side of the entrance, there is an area with dining tables and chairs together with one of the two drink corners in the lounge.
There is also a small kids’ lounge next to the drink area. And it’s quite literally a lounge rather than a play room given that it mainly consists of children-height counter seating. While the effort counts, it is nowhere near as cool as ANA’s Star Wars kids space.
The vast majority of the lounge is to the right side of the entrance.
First, there is what JAL calls the “library” area with both “traditional” leather sofa chairs, and more modern one with individual power outlets. There was also plenty of cubicles.
Then, there is a bar area with a counter-height table in the middle and the second of the two drink stations by the wall.
Finally, there was an area featuring a row of bench-like seats, each with a coffee table, and an area featuring “mini suites” – semi-private individual areas with a sofa chair in each.
Besides the main lounge areas, there were also counters with both low and high seating all along the windows which offered great views of action on runway 16R/34L.
Along the inner wall, there were some more private, walled-off, areas, and a room with a couple of Japanese-style massage chairs. There were also racks with Japanese newspapers and magazines throughout the lounge.
At the very end of the lounge, there was an exit leading to the gate area – as opposed to the entrance which was right after the security check.
Food & Drinks Selection
Given that the JAL Sakura Lounge in Terminal 1 is a domestic lounge, the refreshments selection is not too extensive.
In fact, the only “food” offered were rice crackers and some candies.
As for drinks, there were the famous Japanese beer machines, as well as coffee machines. Besides that, there were soda machines with a variety of soft drinks.
JAL Sakura Lounge Tokyo Haneda Domestic Terminal North Wing Summary
It was my first time in a JAL Sakura Lounge. And, I have to say, I was really impressed with the design. There were plenty of areas for both individual and group travelers. I especially liked the semi-private “suites,” although I spent my time in the lounge at one of the counters so that I could see outside.
While the refreshments are not extensive, that is understandable for a domestic lounge. That said, I would definitely not pay 3,000 yen to access the lounge – although it’s a perfectly fine place to spend some time before taking a flight if you have access thanks to a status or flying premium.