TOKYO HANEDA AIRPORT
Tokyo Haneda Airport is one of the two major international airports serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located in Ota, Tokyo, approximately 14 km from central Tokyo. For a long time, Haneda Airport predominantly operated domestic flights, while Narita Airport handled international flights. However, in recent years, Haneda Airport has become a major travel hub, operating close to half of all international flights coming into Tokyo. At present, the Japanese government plans to have most leisure and budget routes at Narita Airport, while premium business routes will be operated by Haneda Airport. Haneda Airport has three terminals. Terminal 1, nicknamed “Big Bird”, is the largest terminal at Haneda, featuring a six-story shopping area with restaurants and a rooftop observation deck. Terminal 2 also has a six-story shopping area and an open-air restaurant on the roof. The international terminal, which was opened in 2010, features a shopping area modeled after traditional Japanese architecture. Free wireless Internet service is available in the airport, but requires you to have roaming service to sign in. There are also coin-operated Internet terminals at a cost of 100 yen for 10 minutes of usage.
Central Tokyo is easily accessible from Haneda Airport. The train ride on the Keikyu Line to Tokyo Station will take approximately 20 minutes and costs 580 yen one-way. Travelling by taxi to the city center will cost between 6000-9000 yen, more if you are taking the taxi late at night or early in the morning. Having access to the Internet is a problem in Japan, as free wireless Internet is hard to find even in hotels in Tokyo. Travellers might want to consider renting a portable wireless router (useful for groups as it can connect up to 5 devices), or purchase a prepaid SIM card. You can find websites online that allow you to pre-book these, even delivering them to your hotel or to the post office at the airport for you to pick up. Alternatively, major electronic retailers such as BIC Camera or Yodobashi Camera will also sell these products.
Japan is renowned for its rich and vibrant culture and history, beautiful urban and rural landscapes, and its warm and courteous people. Tokyo, in particular, is famous for its unique blend of tradition and modernity permeating every aspect of daily life. Accessible and safe, Tokyo is a perfect holiday destination for any type of traveller – whether you’re a family with young children, a couple, a group of friends, or a solo traveller, you will be overwhelmed with the plethora of activities you can engage in! Many people say that the best time to visit is from late March to April, when the famous cherry blossoms season is in full bloom. May to June are also excellent times to visit, as you will be able to witness the legendary Sanja Matsuri festival in Asakusa, Tokyo’s most popular annual shrine festival with over 2 million visitors each year. Food lovers cannot miss out on visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market, a wholesale market for fresh fish, seafood, and vegetables, to have the freshest sashimi. Younger people may also like to experience the Japanese fashion scene and youth subculture at Shibuya and Harajuku, which are popular hangouts among young Japanese. Families with young children can consider taking a fun day trip to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea theme parks, or the Ueno park which houses several museums and a zoo. To experience a slice of Japanese cultural history, visit the Imperial Palace, Asakusa district and all its lovely temples, the Meiji Shrine, or Rikugien, a Japanese style landscape garden.
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