Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)
History, Facts and Overview
The planned construction of Narita Airport in the 1960s was always going to be controversial, since is was designed to relieve overcrowding at Tokyo's busy Haneda Airport nearby. Farmland was finally obtained with great difficulty and by 1972, the first passenger terminal was at last finished, although it was another six years until the first runway opened at Narita Airport, with the delay partly caused by vandalism.
In 1972, Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) was officially inaugurated, although riot police were in attendance and objections and feelings still ran high with locals. International traffic was successfully moved from Haneda and passenger levels were favourable. By 1991, a new underground train station was built nearby and 2004 saw the privatisation of the 'New Tokyo International Airport'.
The choice of facilities currently on offer at Tokyo Narita Airport is quite overwhelming. Highlights include beauty salons, a dentist, Internet booths, day rooms and a soft-play centre for young children. Also available for airport travellers is an international KDDI call desk, Vodaphone mobile phone rental, ANA Skyporter luggage delivery, and travel insurance by companies such as AIU, Sompo Japan and Tokyo Marine. Various cashpoints are located around Tokyo Narita, being operated by regional banks, such as Chiba, Citi Bank, Keiyo, Sumitomo Mistsui and Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
Those looking for restaurants will find tasty cuisine from China and Japan. There are also many Western-style dishes and snacks, particularly in homely Avion Restaurant on the fourth floor of Terminal 1, and at the Blue Sky Cafeteria on the third floor of Terminal 2. Shops at Tokyo Narita Airport feature convenience stores such as Fukutomi, Lawson and Sky Mini, together with a range of gift stores and duty-free outlets, These include the Aviation Museum Shop, the Chiba Trade Centre, Fa-So-La Market, Japan Duty Free, Makiba, the Oriental Bazaar and Tokyo Shokuhin Kan.