Whether you have some time to pass for your flight or are stranded due to a freak weather, New Chitose Airport will keep you entertained for plenty of hours. You might just even receive a friendly reminder that “You are delaying the flight. Please board at the gate, or we will proceed to offload your baggage”!
Am I in a shopping mall?
Like pretty much every airport in the world, New Chitose Airport also has dozens of shops to do some souvenir shopping, but there are some hidden gems among them. Royce’ Chocolate World, for example, is a famous chocolate brand from Sapporo offering a wide selection of delicious products. You can even watch the mechanized process of making chocolates at the store’s back-end through a viewing window in the corridor.
Something I have not seen in any airport apart from New Chitose, however, is a cinema located within the terminal on the 4th floor. With Sora Cinema’s three screens you can just lean back in your seat and enjoy that movie you desperately wanted to see. Screening fees are 1,700 yen per adult; 1,400 yen if you are in college and can show your student ID; or just 1,000 for children. Most English movies are screened in their original form apart from Japanese subtitles, but please do ask the staff when you are planning to view a kid’s movie since it might be dubbed. (Note the theater is open from 9:00 to midnight).
After the movies, why not have some milk? Milk? Yes, Hokkaido Milk Castella is an ideal stop for those of you who are not yet looking for a heavy meal but just want a tasty bite to eat. Its delicious premium milk and oven-fresh moist Japanese sponge cake is famous throughout Japan. And the New Chitose cafe offers a number of exclusive varieties to try.
Ok, I know the budget-friendly travel does not like expensive things but this is worth mentioning just for its craziness: New Chitose has its very own onsen! At the New Chitose Airport Onsen you can enjoy a long soothing hot spring bath followed by a bedrock bath or wellness treatment.Morning bath times are from 5am to 8am with an entry fee of 1,500 yen per adult—the baths are a great way to refresh yourself before heading out. Later during the day you can still enjoy the wellness treatments and other facilities on offer but be aware that they have an additional fee and there is a surcharge after midnight of 1,500 yen.
Honey, the kids don’t want to leave!
New Chitose Airport also has plenty to offer for the kids. The Doraemon Wakuwaku Skypark, for example, is a mini-amusement park for children with game machines and a playground themed after their blue animated friend Doraemon. Just around the corner you will also find Hello Kitty Happy Flight, for kids to become a cabin attendant with Hello Kitty’s airline and go on a journey across the world with their favorite characters.
The mini-amusement parks are open from 10am to 6pm with a last admission at 5:30pm. There is an entrance fee of the is 800 yen for adults and 400 yen for children for each of them, but some parts are publicly accessible. These include a souvenir shop, themed cafe and a small playground for the kids to hang out.
Time for a drink and a bite to eat
New Chitose Airport’s dining area is divided into two themed areas: the Hokkaido Ramen Dojo and the Streetcar Dining District (3rd floor, domestic terminal). As the first name suggests, the Ramen Dojo is home to a number of ramen restaurants which even offer select ramen dishes from Hokkaido. The Streetcar Dining District is more traditional and offers a wide variety of Hokkaido specialties you might have missed on your foodie tour in Sapporo.
Last-minute shopping spree at New Chitose Airport
For those of you who still have some more time to spare or are in need of winter supplies when you arrive in Hokkaido, Chitose Outlet Mall Rera is just 10 minutes away with a complimentary shuttle bus from bay 30 or 67 at the airport. The outlet, whose name means “wind” in the Ainu language, features over 400 shops including brands well-known brands such as Tommy Hilfiger but also outdoor shops such as Columbia, Mammut and Sapporo Sports. Most stores are open all year from 10am to 8pm and frequently have quite compelling sales.
Oh, one last thing, enjoy your time, but please do not delay the flight!