Tokyo Haneda Intl. Airport Spotting Guide

Besides Tokyo Narita, our member Maximilian visited Tokyo International Airport (RJTT / HND), commonly known as Haneda, Japan’s largest airport, as well. After the construction of Narita Airport, HND has handled mainly domestic operations for several decades. International services were re-introduced just recently. To increase capacity, HND received its International Terminal plus a fourth runway in 2010. Meanwhile another expansion is planned for the Olympic Games. As it is located within Tokyo, the airport is much easier accessible and therefore more attractive for airlines as well as travellers than Narita. Keikyu Railway and Tokyo Monorail link HND with several stations in Central Tokyo. ANA and JAL both use HND as a transfer hub for domestic and international operations, while several smaller Japanese operators link the airport with selected domestic destinations, either at own risk or on behalf of ANA/JAL. These operators include Air Do to Hokkaido island, Solaseed to Kyushu island and other cities in southern Japan, Starflyer and Skymark. International operators are the major airlines of China, Korea and southeast Asia as well as some European and American carriers. Good weather is common at this airport, but during the hot summer months you sometimes have to face misty conditions or heat distortion.

Written by Maximilian Ono and Hiroaki Tanaka / Last update April 2015

Rating Movements  Visitor Rating
How was your spotting trip?
Rate this airport now.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information Runways 04/22 05/23
2.500 m 2.500 m
16L/34R 16R/34L
3.000 m 3.000 m
Terminals Terminal 1 Terminal 2 International Terminal
JAL Group, Skymark, Starflyer (operates from both domestic terminals). ANA Group, Air Do, Solaseed, Starflyer (Starflyer operates from both domestic terminals). All international services
Spotting Information Ladder Not required
Car Not required
Restrooms Inside terminal buildings.
Drinks/Food Inside terminal buildings.
Hotels There are various hotels around the airport.
Season Spotting is possible all year long.
Runway Usage  Wind from the north
  • 04/22: not used
  • 05/23: departures on RWY 05
  • 16L/34R: arrivals and departures on RWY 34R
  • 16R/34L: arrivals on RWY 34L
Wind from the south
  • 04/22: arrivals on RWY 22
  • 05/23: arrivals on RWY 23
  • 16L/34R: departures on RWY 16L
  • 16R/34L: departures on RWY 16R

Spot #1 –Terminal 1 Oberservation Deck – 16R departures or  34L arrivals, movements on Terminal 1 apron
WHERE Rooftop of Domestic Terminal 1
WHAT You can see and spot movements on the apron in front of Terminal 1. Movements on the International Terminal ramp are visible in the distance.During northern wind you can spot RWY 34L arrivals. During southern wind you can spot RWY 16R departures.
TIME Best light conditions are in the early morning. Later, movements on the runway are in backlight.
OTHER MATTERS Shops and restrooms inside the terminal, possibly also on the terrace itself.
FOCAL LENGTH Below 50mm for planes on the Terminal 1 apron. Longer lenses are required for planes on taxiways, on the runway and on the International apron.
Spot # 2 – Terminal 2 Observation deck – 16L/34R arrivals and departures, movements on Terminal 2 apron
WHERE Rooftop of Domestic Terminal 2.
WHAT You can see and spot all movements on Runway 16L/34R from here as well as movements on the apron in front of Terminal 2.
TIME Best light conditions are in the afternoon. In the morning, movements on the runway are in backlight. The spot becomes useful by around 11 o’clock.
OTHER MATTERS Shops and restrooms inside the terminal, possibly also on the terrace itself.
FOCAL LENGTH Below 50mm for planes on the Terminal 2 apron. Longer lenses are required for planes on taxiways and the runway.

Spot # 3 – International Terminal Observation deck – 16R departures or  34L arrivals, movements on Intl. apron
WHERE Rooftop of International Terminal.
WHAT You can see and spot movements on the apron in front of the International Terminal. Movements on the domestic Terminal 1 ramp are visible in the distance.During northern wind you can spot RWY 34L arrivals. During southern wind you can spot RWY 16R departures.
TIME Best light conditions are in the afternoon. In the morning, movements on the runway are in backlight. The spot becomes useful by around 11 o’clock.
OTHER MATTERS Shops and restrooms inside the terminal, possibly also on the terrace itself.
FOCAL LENGTH Below 50mm for planes on the international apron. Longer lenses are required for planes on taxiways, on the runway and on the Terminal 1 ramp.
Spot # 4 – Jonanjima Beach Park
WHERE There you can go by bus from JR Omori Station, Keikyu railway Heiwajima Station or Tokyo Monorail Ryutsu-Center Station. Take the bus line 森32 for “Jounanjima Circulation”(城南島循環) from each station and get off at “Jonanjima 4-Chome”(城南島四丁目). This bus is not running frequent (1 service per hour).
WHAT There you can get 34R departures and 22 arrivals.
TIME Best light conditions are in the early morning for 34R departures. When 22 arrivals best time is from afternoon to sunset.
OTHER MATTERS There are vending machine and toilets. But no store near here.
FOCAL LENGTH Focal length is 200-500mm for 34R departures, 100-300mm at 22 arrivals.
Spot # 5 – Keihinjima Tsubasa park
WHERE There can get there by bus from JR Omori Station, Keikyu railway Heiwajima Station or Tokyo Monorail Ryutsu-Center Station. Take bus line 森24, 森36 or 森46 to “Keihinjima Circulation”(京浜島循環) from each stations and get off at “Keihinjima”(京浜島三番地) or “Keihinjima Kaijo Kouen”(京浜島海上公園). This bus is not frequent too.
WHAT You can see 34R depatures or 22 arrivals.
TIME Best light conditions are from afternoon to sunset.
OTHER MATTERS There are vending machine and toilets. But no store near here.
FOCAL LENGTH Focal length is 200-500mm for 34R departures, 150-400mm at 22 arrivals.
Spot # 6 – Kawasaki Ukishima-Cho Park.
WHERE You can go there by bus from Kawasaki Station. Take the bus for “Ukishima bus terminal”(浮島バスターミナル) and get off at Ukishimachō” (浮島町公園).
WHAT There you can see taxing to runway 05 and 34L arrivals. A fence is blocking the sight for the 05-ruwnay pics as you can see on the samples.
TIME Best light conditions are afternoon to sunset.
OTHER MATTERS There is a toilet but no store and vending machine. If you want something to eat or drink, you should buy it near Kawasaki station.
FOCAL LENGTH Arrival focal length is 150-400mm and taxiway’s focal length is 200-400mm.

Don´t miss our newest guides!

13 thoughts on “Tokyo Haneda Intl. Airport Spotting Guide

  1. Ruud

    At spot 1, 2 and 3 you mentioned that you need a longer lens for planes on taxiways, on the runway and on the aprons. How many mm’s do you need for taxiway and runway shots?

    1. JulianJulian

      Refering to the EXIF of the JAL777 at spot 2 the photo was taken with 135mm. So I think you are fine with a 300mm lense for smaller planes at all locations.

    1. Maxi

      I haven’t tried it, but I would guess it’s a 10-mins.-walk across both terminal buildings and the parking area.

  2. Math

    Hi all,

    I’m going to Japan next april (2017).
    Do you think it’s possible to meet japanese plane spotters there?

    Cheers
    Math

    1. Maxi

      Sure, it’s possible! As far as I remember, spotters are common at every observation deck on major Japanese airports.

      1. David W. Wilson

        I’ve often chatted with Japanese spotters at Haneda and Narita. Often they are welcoming of non-Japanese photographers and spotters and will share and exchange information and pleasantries However, some spotters may be shy of using English which may be an effort for them so you should respect the privacy of those who may seem less open. Also they may want to concentrate on their photography rather than social interaction. It is key to read body language. Foreigners are not expected to bow as deeply as Japanese but a smile and brief nod will soon reveal whether further social interaction is welcome. Often it is.

  3. CHK

    Hi. Can anyone tell me which runways are generally used in the month of October for:

    1. Mid to large size domestic departures ie. B767, B777 & B787

    2. Mid to large size domestic arrivals ie. B767, B777 & B787

    Thank you.

      1. David W

        Hi Julian,
        Just found your great website. I am a UK spotter living in Japan. October is the time for the season to change in Japan so runway usage varies. All I can say is that as rule of thumb when departures on are 05 they are to destinations to the to south and west of Japan (west Japan, Okinawa, Shanghai, HK, SIN, MNL etc). Depts from 34R ( no depts off 34L) are to northern Japanese cities and Korean cities, Beijing and direct flights to Europe. At that time arrivals on 34R and 34L.
        If using public transport there is a free shuttle bus between terminals, and if visiting on a weekend a day pass for the monorail (700 yen) taking you to near spot 5 is also available. This ticket will also get you back to downtown Tokyo.
        If you want biz jet shots I recommend getting out the monorail at seibijo (整備場) and walking round to the big black gates at the fire gate entrance. It is just 2 stops from the international terminal. Japan Coast Guard rotary traffic can also be photographed here, though fence can get in the way a bit. Late afternoon is best for this spot.
        Hope this is useful.

        Dave

        1. CHK

          Thank you David for the information. I am trying to get information in preparation to photograph the ANA 787-9 R2-D2 livery on October 22nd which will fly 2 domestic flights that day.

  4. KL

    Is it enough with 300 mm at Kawasaki Ukishima-Cho Park, Jonanjima Beach Park for taking the photo of landing? Thanks.

    1. JulianJulian

      Hi there, we have updated the focal length for the Kawasaki Park so the focal length for e.g. a 737 is not enough but heavier planes are no problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *