Tokyo–Haneda (HND)

A large red arch between Terminals 1 and 2 at HND.

Tokyo International Airport


Tokyo, Japan

Airport #108 · First visited 22 April 2023

Haneda is the second Japanese airport I’ve visited—on a prior Tokyo trip, I flew into Narita (NRT).

This time, Tokyo was just a layover on the way to and from Naha (OKA). In prior years, NRT was more international-focused while HND had Tokyo’s domestic flights, meaning connecting to a Japanese domestic flight typically required an airport transfer. HND now serves more international destinations, and I was able to get direct flights between Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Haneda in both directions.

Airport gates in a long terminal. A glass wall runs down the length of the terminal on the right side.

International Terminal 3 gates, upper level.

Japan Airlines served me from DFW to HND, which was my first time flying JAL. Clearing customs was super easy; kiosks in the baggage claim area let me fill out my declaration form while bags were arriving on the carousel. Once I had my bag, I approached a gate which used facial recognition from my passport photo to automatically let me through.

Terminal 3 handles HND’s international flights, so I had to take a shuttle bus to Terminal 1 for my domestic flight.

A two-story atrium containing a garden with live plants.

Domestic Terminal 1 garden

Our incoming flight had been slightly delayed, but even with that I still had a four-hour layover, so I had plenty of time to explore (and get some airport tonkatsu). Terminal 1 itself was big but not enormous, with fewer jetway gates than any one of DFW’s five terminals. To be fair, it had a number of remote gates, and it skewed heavily toward widebody aircraft, so there were certainly more passengers per gate.

Nine days later, I flew back into Haneda, this time transferring from Domestic Terminal 1 to International Terminal 3. Even though this transfer meant I had to go through security again, the security checkpoint was fast and efficient, as was the exit customs area immediately following it.

A large airy atrium with a curved roofline.

International Terminal 3 check-in hall

This layover was much shorter, so by the time I got to the international airside, I only had about a quarter hour before my American Airlines flight back to DFW boarded. I made a quick pass through the terminal, but didn’t have much time to explore.

Overall, I liked this airport a little better than Narita, but they’re both good airports.