Note to self: next time remember to just do my gift and goodies shopping right at Narita. I spent several fruitless hours in Tokyo trying to buy zouri (Japanese sandals) when in fact they were here at the airport all along! A few tips:
- Take the time to enjoy Airport Mall between the North and South Halls of Terminal 1 – BEFORE the security check. Turns out that unlike most airport malls, this one has a vast selection of shops and restaurants (including Starbucks!). You can find anything here: there’s a Uniqlo, Muji, and an hilarious undies store called Outdoor Products. The food choices are extraordinary and contrary to popular belief, the prices are reasonable. I bought some Tokyo Banana cakes (note: MUST be eaten within 10 days of purchase!) for about 600¥ and saw the exact same box inside the terminal near the Air France gate for 938¥! And the restaurants will not disappoint – you can burn that last 2320¥ that you forgot to use to pay for your hotel room with a nice chicken soup, tonkatsu, or udon bowl – yummy! I also could have avoided going to Keio, iSetan and Odyaku for a Totoro doll because there was one in the toy store here. Definitely give yourself a good hour for shopping and browsing.
- For Japanese food essentials, follow the wise Japanese passengers down to the B1 level – yes, all the way down there by the train station. There is a Leopard supermarket that is mega-cheap and has tons of rice cakes, soy sauce, and oodles of noodles. Prices are just like in town at Lawson. I think I went overboard this time – bought loads of goodies!
- The Air France salon rocks. Free wifi (don’t forget to hit a webpage after the hostess gives you the key because oif you don’t click on the EULA, you’ll be wondering like me why you don’t see your email!), great sodas and stuff, comfy sofas, and super practical lounge chairs with power and a mini table. Truly a great lounge!