REVIEW: Japan Airlines First Class Lounge

Haneda Airport (HND), Tokyo, Japan. May 2016

Upon entering, I was amazed by how spacious the lounge was, made larger by the liberal use of white and how few people were present at that time (7pm). The lounge is simply beautiful. It’s minimalist modern but has some classic touches as well.

It’s a good idea to go to massage area first so you can schedule a time in case there’s a wait. Massage was short but good. At 10 minutes, it’s kind of a tease for how short it is where you’re not really able to fully relax.

There was a lot of food options available —Western and Japanese buffet, as well as a teppanyaki station. The teppanyaki of the day was Grilled Uwa Misuji beef. The buffet options all looked beautiful offering sushi, vegetables, and pastries.

After ordering teppanyaki from the chef, he gives you a pager to notify you when it’s ready. The teppanyaki with ponzu was really good. I also really enjoyed the sushi options, and vegetables, but the pickles were all too salty.

Also after having my massage, showering, and resting for a bit, I had to try the beef curry, which is not to be missed. It was really flavorful and fulfilling. Though the best JAL curry I’ve had was the seafood curry on my JFK-NRT business class flight.

The highlight of this lounge is definitely the Red Room. It’s quiet, beautiful, and has lots of aviation memorabilia to satisfy any AvGeek. During my time there, I had the entire space to myself. There was an amazing attendant in there who managed the whole space by himself, giving me a tour, explaining and pouring sake for me (all of which were so good).

He also offered to have my boots shined and restored, something I’ve never had done. He made me a believer though because my boots were returned very similar to its original state, a view I had long forgotten about.

I also could not turn down the opportunity to stop by the Cathay Pacific lounge before my flight to get a bowl of Dandan noodles, one of my favorite food options in any lounge. Interestingly enough, the CX lounge reopens at 10, transforming into a swanky hotel lounge with dim lighting. There was only one other person in the spacious lounge other than me so I would recommend coming here if you want some privacy or someplace quiet. The Noodle Bar dining area is closed at this time but you can still order noodles. The Dandan noodles were a lot better than the ones I had here the previous year, and were more reminiscent of my favorite version at The Wing in HKG.

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