Japan’s Haneda Airport is widely hailed as the better of Tokyo’s two airports, with its handy location only 15kms from downtown, versus some 65kms from Narita, one of its biggest perks. From today, there is another reason to travel through the hub: Haneda Airport Garden.
Now open, the Haneda Airport Garden is a slick mixed retail, dining and hotel precinct directly linked to Terminal 3, the same one currently seeing daily arrivals from Qantas. Virgin Australia is also primed to become a regular fixture from June.
Spanning 12 floors overlooking the Tamagawa River, the complex boasts dozens of shops and restaurants, a bus terminal, and two hotels: the mammoth 1557-room Hotel Villa Fontaine Grand, and the more intimate Hotel Villa Fontaine Premier, with 160 rooms. Both hotels welcomed guests at the end of December.
However, while shopping and a comfy bed are indeed exciting, it’s the rooftop hot springs which is destined to be the breakout star, not only giving travellers a chance to soak their weary muscles before departure, but an extra leg up on its rivals for Haneda Airport.
Hot springs are deeply ingrained in Japanese culture, with more than 3,000 onsen resorts – of which there are some truly spectacular examples – dotted throughout the country.
Open to the public (including non-hotel guests) 24 hours a day, Spa Izumi at Haneda boasts four bathing zones, filled with mineral-rich natural spring water drawn from a local source. Among them, a carbonated water bath, icy cold plunge and refreshing jet pool.
After a good soak, guests can treat their taste buds to gourmet meals at the adjoining restaurant and, on a clear day, breathe in views all the way to iconic Mount Fuji.
Around a minute walk from the terminal, Hotel Villa Fontaine Grand offers 12 different room types, including Japanese and Western style, four restaurants and a guest-only gym. Meeting and function facilities are available too.
Hotel Villa Fontaine Premier takes things up a notch, offering six elegant room types, such as the Fontaine Suite with separate living room, and the spacious Executive King.
Back in the retail part of the complex, some 30 restaurants are available to sate your appetite, with many staying open well into the evening to accommodate passengers with late flights.
An all-weather bus terminal onsite will also improve access between the airport and other regions of Japan, including Osaka and the ski mecca of Haneda, with access to the underground Keikyu Airport Line and Tokyo Monorail too.
Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 can be reached via shuttle buses and trains.
Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport currently sees daily Qantas flights from Sydney, as well as thrice-weekly from Brisbane. Virgin Australia will soon be a regular sight at the gate too, when its Cairns-Tokyo connection fires up from June 28.