Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lounging Around NRT

We found ourselves in an ANA Lounge today different from the one we briefly visited on our outbound flight while transiting at NRT.

This one seems much more spacious; in fact, it's downright large but with a lot of little seating areas separated by glass. It sits upstairs not too far from Gate 51 in Terminal 1 and features good views of a portion of the airport. We've enjoyed a variety of rice balls (no sushi, sad to say), sandwiches, and a cup of vegetable soup. We've also tried tiny glasses of a brand of Japanese wine, Grace Koshu, apparently in business since 1923. our verdict: quite drinkable, even though we settle on a French vintage for our full glass.

We're at least a 10-minute walk from our gate and have no idea how much post panty-bomber rigamarole we have to go through to board. For this flight, the Red Carpet Club may actually be closer so we'll head over there in awhile...

And, a few minutes and an 8-minute walk later, here we are in the much more crowded NRT, home of the famous beer machine. Today we note they're actually serving rice balls as well, only one variety rather than the three varieties in the ANC Lounge, but it's still a step in the right direction.

The RCC staff claim that we'll board with no problem if we arrive at the gate 40 minutes early. I think we'll get a head start on that, having seen one long queue of U.S.-bound customers waiting at another gate during our walk to here.

Incidentally, we found the terminal diagrams displayed on lighted signs throughout the terminal to be quite... confusing. It's undoubtedly our own fault, but we still managed to get here.

All in all, it's been a great trip to start 2010 but, as always, we're looking forward to returning home for awhile. Once we're there, we'll post a few pictures.

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