January 28, 2016 | By Hao Tang
On our recent visit to Asia, we decided to route through Tokyo on the way home so we can test out Japan Airlines’ new first class. We arrived at NRT airport in plenty of time to try out Japan Airlines’ first class lounge as well.
We breezed through the first class check in and headed to the private security line. It was an awesome perk as there were hundreds of people waiting to get through security just on the other side of the wall. Within 5 minutes of being dropped off at NRT, we’d checked in and arrived at the lounge. Great way to start the day off!
As soon as we sat down, an attendant approached us and in a Japanese fashion, handed us hot towels and took our drink orders. I do love Japanese hospitality!
The lounge itself was lacking that luxury feel you’d expect from an international first class lounge, though. While the lounge wasn’t anything to write home about (though still miles ahead of our domestic lounges) it had a few winning characteristics. It had an automated beer machine and a sushi bar with its own sake bar. A SUSHI BAR!!!
I’d like to think the tuna had just arrived from the fish market. I think other passengers liked it as well…but I’ve been wrong before, according to my wife.
Not only was it cool to have a sushi bar, but the sushi was actually properly made and delicious. The toro (blue fin tuna) wasn’t as good as you would find in Tokyo restaurants but considering it’s an airport lounge and the fact that they are serving toro of any kind at all, I was plenty happy. The rice was served at body temperature and fish at room temperature, easily better than most sushi you would find in restaurants here in the U.S. There were other buffet stations filled with goodies, but honestly, after I noticed the sushi bar I pretty much blacked out and went into a toro coma.
Overall, the lounge was nice enough. It was spacious, had napping rooms, clean restrooms and showers, pretty standard in top lounges. I enjoyed the sushi bar so much that I was sad to board the plane. I will arrive at the NRT airport a few extra minutes early on my next visit.
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