By Bonson Lam
Naha is one of Japan's busiest airports, and with direct flights to thirty cities within a 3 hour radius in just about every direction, including 18 domestic destinations. It is also the gateway to Japan's sub-tropical island paradise in Okinawa.
Passengers on a Japan Airlines flight with JAL or oneworld elite status have recently had to do without a lounge as refurbishment took place. The good news is that they don't have to wait too much longer, with the renovated lounge due to re-open on 28 February. The new lounge takes its cues from the new Haneda and Sapporo lounges, with a discreet Japanese aesthetic, but featuring Okinawan cultural touches. In the meantime, ask the friendly staff at the check in counter for a meal voucher, which can be redeemed at one of the various restaurants and cafes at the airport.
While most passengers at the Sakura Lounge are likely to fly to JAL's key ports of Tokyo and Osaka, its subsidiary Japan Transocean Air connects Naha with smaller ports like Fukuoka, Ishigaki, Kagoshima, Komatsu, Kumejima, Miyako and Okayama. My mind just boggles at the thought of being able to visit all these places after my Naha adventure.
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I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric lane ways of Kyoto last century. From the skies above Sapporo to the old charm of Naha's alleyways, I have been enchanted by the beauty and variety on every island. I am humbled to have met many distinguished people in my role as Regional Partner, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperial Family. From sushi cooking classes to Ninja training grounds I welcome your ideas on what you like from JapanTravel.com. Please visit us in Kyoto or Osaka and have some green tea or sake with us.