Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge at Nagoya Chubu Airport

This was my first time departing from Nagoya Chubu International Airport which has a railway link to the JR Nagoya Station. Accessibility to the airport from the city centre is excellent with fast and punctual train service and we arrived at the airport with plenty of time left for check-in. Nagoya Chubu Airport is a medium sized airport so it was easy to find my way around and we got to the check-in desks for our flights quickly. Check-in procedures was straightforward with no problems whatsoever.

Japan Airlines Premium Check-in counters at Nagoya Airport

Travelling through a smaller airport would also likely mean the airport is less busy and security tends to be lighter on crowds. This is another advantage as we got through the whole process faster and we soon found our way to the Sakura Lounge operated by Japan Airlines. The lounge is located on the second floor accessible by elevators just past security and the signs are easy to follow for first time visitors.

Entrance to the Sakura Lounge at Nagoya Chubu Airport

A small reception desk greeted us when we arrived and there was a photocopier and an ATM machine in the reception foyer. There was also the usual box of candies by the counter.

Lounge reception

Japan Airlines’ Sakura Lounge in Nagoya has a simple lounge layout with everything located on the right side of the reception desk. Past the reception, there is a row of storage lockers that is secured by a personal PIN, though these are useful only for purses and small briefcases. The washrooms are also located beside the reception and since Nagoya is not a large transit airport, there are no showers here.

Since the Japanese value privacy and serenity in public spaces, private cubicles have been setup for guests who need to make telephone calls and to prevent them from disturbing other passengers.

Telephone rooms

There is also a dedicated smoking room for guests who need to have their last puff before boarding the flight. Next to the smoking room, there is a fire escape hallway and Japan Airlines seems to have made full use of the space by placing their magazine stand chair along with jacket hangers. The space also seems to be a holding area for extra chairs.

Smoking room
Foyer with jacket hangers and magazine stands

The first space guests see is probably the versatile work and dining long tables with power outlets at the top. This is a useful space for work travelers who can enjoy some snacks while they work in comfort.

Work and dine area

Seating in the lounge has been arranged to take advantage of the views of the tarmac from the window. Against the window, there was a long row of work table with individual power outlets for easy connection of laptops and charging mobile devices.

Lounge area of the JAL Sakura Lounge in Nagoya
Seats facing the window with tarmac view

More seats in the inner section of the lounge feature side tables for each seat that is convenient for food and beverages. While seating features and layout was given proper thought for practicality, the upholstery in the lounge seems to hark back to the 1980s giving the lounge an ‘old’ look.

Lounge seats inside the JAL Sakura Lounge in Nagoya

Dining in the Lounge

Food and beverage served in the lounge can be found on the buffet console that acts as a divider between the seats facing the tarmac and inner section of the lounge. On the buffet there was mainly Japanese food like inari sushi and simple rice rolls, and a salad bar.

Inari and sushi on the buffet
Salad bar

There was also instant cup noodles and miso soup for convenient quick meals. JAL branded cup noodles are especially tasty and Japan Airlines actually sells these cup noodles which seems to be a popular item amongst frequent flyers as well.

JAL branded cup noodles
Instant miso soup

Other noteworthy items on the buffet are cookies and chips placed in jars as well as mini sandwiches. The beer dispensers common throughout Japanese airport lounges can also be found in this lounge. Service within the lounge is excellent since the service staff would proactively offer drinks to lounge guests.

Cookies in jars and sandwich
Beer dispenser

The Bar at Sakura Lounge

At the end of the lounge, there was a separate chamber that houses the bar. The interior of this space is designed to feel like a countryside European pub and bar, and is quite a charming space to spend the time in.

The Bar at JAL Sakura Lounge
Classic pub and bar seating in The Bar

Inside the Bar, there was a staff that could assist in preparing drinks but otherwise guests mostly help themselves to a variety of wines and chilled sake. There was a variety of liquor including whisky, shochu and umeshu.

Chilled and sparkling wines
Liquor in the bar

Final Word

Japan Airlines’ Sakura Lounge in Nagoya is a nice space to spend the time before boarding your flight and it was adequate considering the lounge was not busy when I visited in the morning. There was a good number of helpful staff and I even enjoyed the food and beverages offered in the lounge

Japanese cookies in the lounge

Aside from the dated decor, there was not much to complain about this lounge which is perfectly adequate for a smaller regional airport. With the good service, free wifi and tarmac views from the lounge, I enjoyed the visit to this lounge.

Walkway in the lounge

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