Low on Cost, High on Design – A look at the New Narita Budget Terminal

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Running to catch your plane at the new budget terminal at Narita will soon  be a breeze.

After all, the New Narita Budget Terminal which opened this April, is designed around a running track.

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With 2 distinct track designs; the blue track for departures and the red track for arrivals; it currently serves 12 domestic routes and 7 international ones, supplied by Vanilla Air, Jetstar Japan, Spring Japan and Jeju Air.

Let’s find out more about this unique new addition to a classic airport:

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Run this way

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If the simple yet stylish look of the terminal seems familiar, that’s because all the furniture is from designer label, MUJI, famous for their minimalist look. The furniture is also traveler friendly – cushioned benches without cold metal armrests getting in the way of a well-deserved nap! Other designers involved are Nikken Sekkei, who designed the Tokyo Sky Tree and creative lab PARTY.

Traveler-friendly sofas  brought to you by MUJI
Traveler-friendly sofas by MUJI

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One thing to note, though, is that unlike Terminal 1 and 2, there is no direct access by train, so you’ll have to allow time to take the shuttle bus to the budget terminal from Terminal 2. Or if you don’t have much luggage, it’s a 500m walk.

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While the international gates are connected directly to the main terminal building, you’ll have to cross a bridge to get to the domestic gates, but at 15m off the ground this walk makes for a great photo opportunity of the runway and the docked planes.

Local media estimate it best to arrive at least one hour before a domestic flight and two hours before an international one. But don’t worry, there’re no lack of shops to help you spend your time and money.

Assuming that you have more budget for shopping – having saved on your airfare – there are your usual variety of duty-free shops lining the 680m international gates and a café there as well. There is also a bookshop, convenience store, and shops run by Vanilla Air and Jetstar Japan selling original goods.

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For those catching early flights, the budget terminal boasts the largest airport food court in Japan with over 400 seats open from 4am, with 7 stalls such as Nagasaki Champon Ringer Hut, Botejyu, Freshness burger, udon and sushi to name a few. The food court itself is accessible 24 hours a day for travelers to lounge around.

So are you tempted to take a trip from the running track to the runway yet?

Photos courtesy of Narita International Airport Corporation.

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