Cathay Narita Lounge (Business) vs JAL, Tokyo (One World)Tak's dispatch released on 12 March 2017

Cathay Narita Business Lounge

The Cathay Narita Lounge in Terminal 2 was just overhauled and it is beautiful! Access is from the 3rd floor – take the elevator or escalator up.

Simple answer, you should choose the Cathay Pacific Business Lounge over JAL if you are at Narita International in Tokyo, Japan. If you have One-World Sapphire or Emerald or have the ability to get into the Cathay Pacific Business Lounge at Narita, do it.

The only caveat is

that the Cathay Pacific Narita Lounge runs from 730AM to 6PM as of my visit, and that means they are nicely pushing you out of there at 530pm, after the last Cathay flight has left. Thus, if you have a later flight, for instance a JAL or AA flight that night, you will have to leave and head to the JAL Lounge.

However, if you are visiting the Narita Cathay Business Lounge as a One World Sapphire or One World Emerald and not part of that Cathay Flight, you will have the place to yourself in the waning hour or so.

The lounge gives great views of the runway and the distance, where you can watch the sunset if you are there at the right time for that, but the best parts of this lounge are as follows.

First, it seems everyone and their brother can get into the JAL lounge so the Cathay Narita Lounge is peaceful. The employees very respectful and professional (as is the Japan standard).

Second, everything is new and refined. Nothing in here has the feeling of cheapness and thrift that you find all the time in lounges in the United and American network in the USA for instance.

Third, there is a complimentary noodle bar serving several different selections. To order, head to the counter, a waitstaff will take your order and give it to the cook. Take your seat and your noodles will be brought to you.

The Dining Area at Cathay Business Lounge:
Cathay Narita Lounge Business - Dining Area

The Cathay Narita Lounge (Business) Noodle Bar:
Cathay Narita Lounge Business - Noodle Bar

The Noodles in the Cathay Narita Lounge (Business):
Cathay Narita Lounge Business - Noodles

Fourth, the bar has a nice complimentary selection of Japanese whiskey and other fine drinks and had a very wonderful, friendly bartender for my visit.

The Cathay Narita Lounge (Tokyo, Japan) Bar Menu
Cathay Narita Lounge Business - Bar Menu

The Cathay Business Lounge Bar:
Cathay Narita Lounge Business - Bar

There is a JAL Lounge downstairs from the Cathay Narita Lounge but that has short hours or was closed for my visit. Thus, I had to go on a ten minute walk towards the center of the airport.

If you do happen to visit the JAL Lounge (and I’m talking the one that sits by itself – not the one underneath Cathay) – there is an upstairs you can enter that was very empty when I went, whereas the downstairs was jammed. Upstairs there were massage chairs, food and other items. After checking in, go to the left and the stairs are on your left.

JAL Narita Lounge had showers and also a basket of toothbrush/toothpaste which was nice.

Both were fine, but Cathay Narita Lounge was much more refined, sophisticated and elegant.

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New York, NY
Internationally-published photographer with a passion for creative food, fine products, unique cultures and underground music. Twitter / Instagram / takw at triphash dot com

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