In April 2015, Narita Airport opened up Terminal 3, a special terminal dedicated to LCC (low cost carrier) airlines. While almost all LCCs use Terminal 3 as a base of operations, only Peach Aviation uses Terminal 1 as its base. Getting to Terminal 3 is not very easy so you need to allow yourself a lot of time to get there and back. I would estimate at least 10 minutes if you can walk fast, or 15 if you walk slowly. The terminal is pretty minimalist but what can you really expect from an LCC terminal.
To get to Terminal 3, the first thing you have to do is take a bus or a train to Terminal 2. From Terminal 2, you have an option to either walk all the way to Terminal 3, roughly 600 metres away, or to take the shuttle bus. The shuttle bus runs roughly every 5-10 minutes but it is so busy that you might have to wait for the next one. Terminal 3 is actually located at the end of Terminal 2 but to get there you have to walk past Terminal 2 and some of the cargo loading facilities as well. Thankfully the walkway is covered but it isn’t air conditioned or heated so if you are travelling during the extremes of the year it can be difficult. I went in the middle of summer and the heat was pretty bad. I didn’t have any luggage as I was just checking the terminal out, but I would hate to lug a large suitcase around.
The fun part of getting to and from Terminal 3 from Terminal 2 is the walkway itself. Throughout the entire route you have blue and red lanes and the path is actually rubberized like a running track. This is to help cushion your feet so you don’t feel as tired from all of the walking. Try to stick to the lanes as the route is a little narrow at times but there are a few rest areas if you do need time to catch your breath.
Once you get to Terminal 3, the first thing you will see is the check-in counters. They are separated into airlines like any airoprt. Jetstar and Vanilla both have domestic and international flights leaving from Terminal 3, so be careful of which side of their check-in counters you go to. From the looks of things, Jetstar had long lines but it could have been timing for me.
Just past the check-in counters is the food court and shopping area. It is a pretty small area, contrary to what many of the photos will show you. You can buy standard travel items such as medications and other travel goods, but you can also buy a few souvenirs as well from the airlines. The food court is actually pretty good with a lot of choices from Freshness Burger to Sushi, and even a small bar. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, there is a convenience store there too. The furniture was all designed by Muji under their corporate brand, so if you like Muji you will feel right at home. Everything is very functional and very calming.
Surrounding the food court is the arrivals area and the departures area. Everything is clearly marked for departures and you just make your way to the international and domestic gates. It is all pretty easy and you can’t make mistakes. When you arrive, from what I can tell, you are actually looking towards to food court. If you look down at the floor just follow the lanes and you’ll soon get oriented to the exit and won’t have any troubles getting out, at least until you get to the doors where everyone seemed to want to just hang out and not move.
In general, Terminal 3 is nothing special and not worth a visit if you are leaving from a different terminal at Narita Airport. For people who are taking LCCs, it is a very functional place and you will have a very comfortable time there. If I ever take an LCC from Narita, I’m sure I could enjoy Terminal 3. I even saw a few friends have a small send-off party for another friend who went to Australia on Jetstar. It is a great place to do so as everything is pretty reasonable, like any LCC terminal should be; you definitely won’t be gauged by the price.