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Sleeping at Narita Airport

Sleeping Narita

I should probably begin this article by stating that, even though Narita Airport does have a few 24 hour convenience stores, it does not advertise itself as a 24 hour airport. And, while they are lenient to allow passengers to stay there overnight, ‘under special circumstances’, it is somewhat frowned upon.

In fact, the original plan had been to stay in one of those capsule hotels that I had been hearing so much about. You can sleep in a small, human sized capsule for one hour at Narita Airport’s ‘9 hours’ for ¥1,500, and an additional ¥500 for every extra hour (shower facilities included). If you have an early flight, this is the perfect way to get some sleep and avoid some stress. The idea is completely inspired, and I hope it can make its way to other airports around the globe very soon.

Unfortunately, I had severely underestimated its popularity. And, with no reservation, and every single capsule full until 5am, I was left to find a space amongst the other airport nomads.

It’s safe to say that I did not sleep at all, but in all honesty, I didn’t really expect to. The snoring around me was not the issue. In fact, I began to get jealous of their awesome sleeping abilities. But unfortunately, the seat I had so stupidly chosen was right next to a door which, although was shut, began to freeze the very essence of my being at around 2am. Not only this, but located in front of me was both an escalator and a set of elevators which loud and chatty airport staff used consistently throughout the night. And, let us not forget that synthetic, beaming light blasting through my eye sockets. So, while the station is generally warm and inviting, do pick a good spot and, if possible, book some accommodation if you actually want to sleep.

Most people will recommend staying in terminal 2 as it is close to the 24 hour convenience store and it does seem to be where most people cluster. So while it is frowned upon, if there is no other choice, the staff are extremely lenient and are not likely to ask you to leave.

Article by Hazel Taylor

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