Japan’s Airports Soar Internationally

This is Stephanie of IMS.


How often do you keep up with news on your local airport? Once in a blue moon? A year? Never? I always thought that my hometown back in the U.S. was fairly close to the airport: 30 to 40 minutes by car, in forgiving traffic. Even when I moved to Japan, Narita International Airport was still an hour away by express train, or an hour and half by bus. But then I moved last year, and Haneda Airport went from “out of the way” to “extremely close”. And now, in preparation for the influx of visitors that the 2020 Olympics is sure to bring, both Narita and Haneda are expanding their international options.


Narita Airport reached a record high of foreign visitors in the first six months of 2016, and officials are planning to open a third runway and expand their operating hours to near-double their yearly capacity. Experts estimate that more than 20 million people will visit Japan in 2020, most in response to the Olympic Games.


Haneda Airport, conveniently located near the city center, is planning to expand its Terminal 2 to allow for international flights. At the moment, Terminals 1 and 2 are used domestically, and only the third has international flights. However, Haneda has also recently expanded its flight destinations – which is great for me, as I travel home every year for Christmas; the more options, the better.


Part of me wonders where all the visitors will go, as Tokyo (in particular) is filling up on hotel accommodations… but that’s a different post for another day. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how high Japan’s yearly visitor count can climb!