We have had some really long layovers at the Narita Airport. On our way to Hawaii a couple weeks ago, we were there for eight hours. And yesterday, on our way back, it was around five hours. Luckily, Narita isn’t a bad place to hang out. If you have a computer with you, a day’s worth of internet access, wireless or wired, costs you just US$5. And the wireless works most places in the airport (Terminal 1, at least … we’ve never been to Terminal 2). We usually head down to the lounge beneath gates 25 and 26, where a lot of the Northwest Airlines flights leave from. It is often empty down there, for some reason, but there are plenty of desks with internet hookups, as well as rows and rows of reclining chairs aimed at flat screen TVs.
Yesterday, however, we ventured to a part of the terminal we have been curious about for some time: the “Day Rooms” and “Shower Rooms” situated near Gate 28. These are amenities designed specifically for travelers with long periods of idle time between flights, and we’re not sure why more airports don’t offer them. You can get your own room, with a bed and a shower, for US$9 for the first hour and $5 for every hour after that. Rooms just for showering are $5 for 30 minutes. Normally, we’re wary of hotels that charge by the hour, but the service at the Narita Day Rooms was very friendly and the room clean and tidy. (And no one called to offer us a “massage.”) The room was small, but we actually fit on the bed, which is more than we can say for most beds in China, including the one in our apartment. Soap and shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, are all provided. They even do wake-up calls. (And if you really do want a massage — a real one — there are booths nearby. Kind of pricey, though, if you are used to Shanghai prices.)
Here’s a question: If you had to kill eight hours at Pudong International Airport, what would you do?
Heading to Narita? You can reserve a Day Room online. Who knows? Maybe you will end up sleeping in the very same bed that Gothamist‘s own Jen Chung did back in November. How exciting is that?!?
 The wrapper for our toothbrush had this text printed on the front: “Ah, you look so good to me. With my eyes open wide I can see. Ah, it feels so good to me. And it’s so good when you’re here. Cause I’m free.” Yes, those are Billy Joel lyrics. We smell a lawsuit.