Closer to Tokyo but with fewer facilities than Narita, Haneda Airport is a mixed bag — but you can make the most of your time there with some tricks in our Haneda layover guide.

Haneda Airport: Staying in

Ok, so it’s not Narita. There are no traditional performances or organized day trips — so unless you leave the building, your time here will be pretty standard. The benefit of location is a pretty good silver lining though, if you can take advantage of it. 69 countries have the right to enter without a visa for a short stay, and some for 15 days — so check here to see your status. You can also apply for one-day tourist visas at the airport (depending on your passport country), so you can avoid the cabin pressure of the international departure terminal. Then you can head out to local Ota or Tokyo and be at the famous Shibuya Crossing in 30 minutes — but make sure you have plenty of time to get back of course.

Domestic transfers/short stays

If your break is short, you’re on a domestic transfer or you are too tired to deal with being a tourist, you can while away your hours in Haneda, in relative comfort. You can still experience a taste of Japan (mainly through food) and get yourself organized for your destination using the services available.

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Lounges — Relax With a Paper

There are three lounges in Terminal 1 and four in Terminal 2 — sounds like a lot of lounges right? Maybe it is. The problem with these is they are only day lounges — the last one closes at 9:30 p.m. All are paid entry and offer drinks and magazines and a “relaxing atmosphere”. Terminal 3 has three airline lounges that are open 24 hours, however one of them — the Sky Lounge South — is currently closed.

Restaurants — Try some local cuisine

Both terminals have a wide range of food available, including traditional Japanese dishes and international options too. There are organic cafés in Terminal 1 along with familiar faces like Starbucks and plenty of curry, ramen, sushi, and soba places.

Haneda shops
Haneda shops | Photo by iStock.com/yaophotograph

Times change with each place, most opening from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., with a few options open until 10 p.m. Curry Smile and Marufuku Coffee shop are open until 10:30 p.m., and only Pronto is open later, closing at 11 p.m. After that, you’re on your own. In Terminal 2 it’s a similar story, plenty of options but most close at or before 10 p.m.

For late arrivals, the Flyers Table in Terminal 2 is open from 5 a.m. until midnight with the last order at 11:30 p.m. — so if you’re starving then the prices might be worth it. They have a breakfast buffet, à la carte options throughout the day, and both Western and Japanese course menus.

Shops and services — Get yourself organized

Whether you’re heading for another spot in Japan or leaving for good you might have some organizing to do, be it of your itinerary, life, or hair. Luckily there are plenty of handy services available so you can make the most of your time.

  • Free charging stations on B1F of both terminals and plenty of coin-operated computer points to access the internet. Wifi is available throughout the airport.
  • Shoeshines, cobblers, and laundry services (although the latter takes 4 days, so that may be an odd choice).
  • Hairdressers and barbers as well as the Plaza store which offers a range of beauty goods.
  • Relaxation lounges — there are four to choose from, including aromatherapy, massage, and reflexology with 15-minute short courses available.
  • Showers are available in private rooms at just over ¥1,000 for 30 minutes — you get a bathroom with sink and amenities like towels and shower gel, as well as a hairdryer. It may not sound much, but it can be a lifesaver after a night spent on a bench.

Hotels — Sleep it off

A fancy modern capsule hotel | Photo by Gregory Lane

There is definitely nowhere to sleep in Haneda if you arrive late — and those benches are not comfortable, take it from us. The airport has plenty of hotels with later check-ins accepted and there are many hotels and hostels nearby — although do check the latest check-in times. One reasonable and nice option is First Cabin Haneda. Prices start from ¥15,000 and you can book here.

Families — Keep the kids happy

There is a children’s cafe lounge in Terminal 1 with a play area and shop — sure to provide a good distraction for a while if needed. The food court in Terminal 1 has a choice of six restaurants to choose from, including Japanese, Italian and Chinese and may be a good all-round crowd-pleaser option when people are too tetchy for restaurant atmospheres and just want pizza. There is a small stamp trail in the airport, with leaflets offering spaces for each different design — it’s not much, but who doesn’t love a stamp? If they need to run around and let off steam, the rooftop observation deck is a good spot, with great views of the planes and lots of space (with plenty of barriers) to run amok. Despite its un-fun name, Juveniland has a series of displays of old-fashioned toys which may be interesting to slightly older kids.

Hourly daycare is available at the Ange Nursery School (link in Japanese) in Terminal 1, but must be booked two days in advance. You can rent strollers from both terminals and there are baby-changing facilities all over the airport.

Staying in – International transfers

If you do not have the time or paperwork to leave the departure zones, there are facilities available. You can stay at the guest rooms connected to the departure lounge on the third floor or stay at the Transit Hotel (The Royal Park Hotel, Haneda) which negates the need for immigration procedures. There are also lounges in each terminal as well as shower facilities and food.

Short layover: Staying local in Ota

If your Haneda layover is on the longer side and you have the necessary paperwork to enter Japan but maybe not enough time to explore Tokyo, Ota is the answer. The area is Tokyo’s largest ward and has some great highlights which allow you to experience Japan with a short time limit.

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Kamata, Ota
Kamata district, Ota’s main hub | Photo by iStock.com/Tuayai

Kamata is the main hub of Ota and has plenty of tiny restaurants down busy alleys as well as izakaya and bars — ideal if you have an evening stopover. Two great options if you are on a time-limited layover here are:

The Morning Wholesale Market

Ota has some great highlights which allow you to experience Japan within a short time limit. If you arrive early you can head to the biggest fruit and veg market in Japan which starts at 7 a.m. The market has a visitors center and a fishery exhibit along with plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy the freshest of ingredients. It opens at 5 a.m. until 3 p.m. and is closed on Sundays and National Holidays.

Soak in an onsen

Luckily, arrival time is not an issue with Heiwajima Onsen as this natural hot spring is open 24 hours a day. There are a wide range of traditional baths and the facility is modern, with hot stone saunas, carbonate baths, and more — all using the natural spring water. The only issue is that the shuttle bus must be reserved 12 hours in advance to use the spa, but this service is offered in many languages.

They run late-night and early-morning buses, so this is a great option if you find yourself stuck after trains finish. There are two options: overnight use allows the customer to stay until 2 p.m. the following day and breakfast is included. (There are free shuttle buses back to the airport as well.) The second option is the Flight Course where you can arrive at 6 p.m. and be taken to the airport during the night. These options can be combined for layovers. Reservations cost ¥3,500 yen including bus, facility use, and breakfast.

Longer layover — Take a trip into Tokyo

Thanks to a handy train line and great location, you can see a lot of the main sights pretty easily. However, trains do stop around midnight, and don’t run until around 5 a.m. — so make sure to check our transport guide for more information to avoid getting stuck.

Kaminarimon in Asakusa | Photo by Grigoris Miliaresis

Here are some of the main sights:

You could, for example, head to Asakusa (26 minutes by train) for an hour or two, then go to Shinjuku (30 minutes) for the view, then to Harajuku (5 minutes) and finish in Shibuya (3 minutes) all within 4-5 hours and then 40 minutes back to Haneda.

Haneda layover private tour

¥80,000 for up to 4 people
Book here
Customized itinerary, airport pick-up/drop-off

This luxury tour is a good option for families and those traveling in groups. You’ll be picked up from Haneda Airport by an English-speaking chauffeur, who’ll take you on a 5 to 6-hour customized tour of Tokyo. It’s a great, stress-free way to see the city in a short space of time — no need to worry about navigating complicated transport systems. Make sure to book online in advance.

godzilla overlooking the crowds in Shinjuku
Shinjuku | Photo by iStock.com/DavidCallan

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Last updated in April 2023 by Maria Danuco.

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