Why do people go to an airport?
One reason, they maybe working at the airport. Oh, more importantly, yeah to board a flight and travel. For me, the things started a bit differently.
International travel from India in my childhood days of the early 80s was “RARE”. Staying close to an international airport in Mumbai, many of my family relatives from other cities used to come to Mumbai and stayed with us for a couple of days before they flew off to their destinations in US, Australia and UK. We would drop them to the airport and that gave me a chance to watch the take-off and landing action from the observation deck at the international airport. That habit of “visit an observation deck at an airport” still continues and I always find it crazy to rush to an airport and just fly out or head home.
Here is my favorite observation deck in Japan, the Kansai International Airport, the take off of a Singapore Airlines flight in a slow shutter speed format leaving a trail off the ground into the air.
In Tokyo, the Haneda Airport Observation Deck is my favorite with better flight views and proximity to the city. There are two terminals from where you can watch the action. Haneda Airport, used to be mainly known for its domestic flights. In October 2010 however, a new international terminal was opened, now offering a variety of international connections, too. With the new international terminal a second observation deck, in addition to the one at the domestic terminal, was created, too.
The domestic terminal observation deck is a rooftop observation deck at Terminal 1 is accessible from the sixth floor and you can observe flights taking off in the distance. It’s a quite large open space where you can wander around and check out the views in different directions. If you want to be closer to the runways however, you should go the the observation deck at Terminal 2. I took a short ride on the bus that shuttles between the two terminals and went to the fifth floor at Terminal 2, from where the flight action is much closer. You can cross the overbridge on foot with the traffic passing below.
The Terminal 2 observation deck is best accessed at night. Awesome LED light strips make the mood romantic. You can see the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Gate Bridge—the observation deck offers all the spots in one view. It’s kind of difficult to capture all these spots in one panoramic shot though.
As you can see the flights are much closer from this terminal. I am a JAL flyer, alas it was a ANA terminal.
Am sure you realize that you need not only go there to kill time before their flight takes off, but deliberately come here to enjoy the airport atmosphere and the night views of the city in the distance, and to take pictures of course. I think it’s definitely worth a separate visit, so that you can take your time and enjoy, without having to watch the time and worry about missing your flight.
Well, I do travel quite frequently and go to airport not only for observation decks anymore, but also fly out. So a few shots from the International Terminal which is still 5 years “YOUNG”
The best part of the Haneda Airport is that you can see Mount Fuji on a particularly clear day.
As I watch from my British Airways plane window onwards to London I see Mount Fuji in the distance. BEAUTIFUL…PERFECT…
The flight takes off and I believe that someone on the observtion deck took a snap of my flight, someone who comes to the airport not only to fly out, but also to take snaps of flight action at the airport.