When you are flying on a Star Alliance carrier through Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, you have a lot of choices: It’s a hub for Japan’s ANA airline as well as the Asia hub for United and there are three lounges. As a business or first class passenger or StarAlliance Gold member, you can go to any of them. Read my review and comparison of the United Club Narita and the two ANA lounges at the same terminal to find the best StarAlliance lounge in Tokyo for you!
If you are arriving on an international flight into Terminal 1, you will have to go through local security before you can transfer. Once you take the stairs down past the security checkpoint, the United Club will be just a few steps to the left. It’s a large club with the United Business Class and StarAlliance gold area downstairs and the separate United First Class (and Global Services) upstairs via an elevator. If you have been to any United Club before, there won’t be many surprises: It’s held in light colors, light wood with lots of seating in an open area. It’s usually busy and fairly loud, so finding rest and relaxation will be difficult. There are two buffet areas that have the standard offering of soft and alcoholic drinks as well as basic snacks. If you are hungry, you are out of luck! There are a few English language news papers and magazines, TV’s and wifi available to occupy your layover time. One of the nice touches are the showers – when arriving on an overnight flight from the US, it’s nice and refreshing, they are clean and toiletries are provided. I never had to wait, and while they are nothing special, they do the job! There is customer service staff on hand, but they are not very helpful – you are better off to call the United numbers! If you have a short stop-over and just want to take a quick shower and get a drink, the United Club is the most convenient and quickest option.
If you are hungry, you should turn left at the bottom of the stairs after security and head towards the main ANA lounge near the 50s gates. It’s a huge lounge in a modern decor of white, grey and black colors. There is a large buffet area with a number of snacks as well as several hot dishes to choose from. While the quality is just average, it can stand in for a meal if you don’t want to head to an airport restaurant. The standard soft and alcoholic drinks are on offer, similar to the United Club. The ANA lounge has large, open areas with lots of seating, making it as busy and loud as the United Club. The showers are also held in a nicer, more modern decor, are clean and have all the amenities you need. There is wifi throughout, so you can stay connected. If you have time and don’t mind the walk, the ANA lounge is a nicer place to spend your time and more food to keep you well fed!
If you arrive early in the day, have some time and are looking for some peace and quiet, the second, smaller ANA lounge near the 40s gates is your best choice. You have to turn left at the bottom of the stairs after security and head past the United Club to the very end of the terminal. It’s a bit of a walk, but well worth it. The lounge is smaller and utilizes dividers to create small, private spaces, making it much more pleasant to hang out. The food, drinks, entertainment and wifi are the same as the main ANA lounge. What I liked the most was the two relaxing areas. Near the showers (same same), are four electric massage chairs in a small, darkened room away from the main lounge. The chairs recline far back and you can enjoy a pretty firm massage to relax you from your long flight. If a massage is not your thing, at the very end of the lounge is another rest area, separated by black cloth dividers, creating a few darkened cubicles with either massage chairs or reclining loungers. They are very comfortable and inviting for a nice nap. While you can hear the announcements, it’s about as quiet as you will find it in an airport and a great place to spend a long layover. This is my favorite lounge at Narita airport and worth the slightly longer walk. While it does get busy later in the day, the smart separation of space makes it a pleasant place when close to capacity! Enjoy your layover at Narita in the lounge of your choice and travel safely!
If you are flying through Tokyo’s Haneda airport instead, check out my review of the ANA Lounge Haneda! Never flown ANA before – read my reviews of ANA Business Class (great seat!) and ANA Economy Class (not so great food!)