I just came back from a trip to Japan, and I had a 6 hour layover at NRT/RJAA on my way back to the US. Most people would cringe at the thought of such a long layover, but I love that kind of stuff – especially at large airports such as Narita! I passed the time taking pictures, doing some reading, and casually wandering around the airport just people watching. For an aviation geek such as myself, I was happy as could be.
One thing I did notice during my time at NRT is the increase in the number of JAL 737-800′s, at least compared to my last visit over a year ago. Anyone familiar with Japan knows that the public transportation and railway system is excellent throughout most of the country, so there has historically been less need for frequent flights between cities. That seems to be changing now, as evident by the increase of these smaller 737-sized aircaft being used by most of the major Japanese airlines. ANA has a large fleet of 737′s too.
As far as airline liveries go, the current JAL color scheme is nice. I actually prefer the old “crane” logo, but this one is modern and clean, and reflective of the quality of service they provide. But that’s just hearsay (lol) – I’ve never actually flown Japan Airlines, but chances are we will get to try them next year when we try their new 787 service out of San Diego (SAN/KSAN) which starts in just a few weeks. I’m really looking forward to finally getting a non-stop flight from San Diego to Japan.