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JAL (Japan Airiines) offers free tours of their maintenance facilities and their Sky Museum at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. You can see planes in a huge hangar being serviced. You have to make reservations at their website, but everything is in Japanese. They have four 90-min. tours almost daily, but only in Japanese. You should reserve weeks or months in advance because tours get booked up quickly. However, when people cancel their reservations, tours may open up. You have to keep checking. Children must be at least elementary school age. Shin Seibijo Station on the Haneda Monorail. JAL's maintenance hangar is a 10-15 min. walk from Shin Seibijo Station on the Haneda Monorail running from JR Hamamatsucho. http://www.jal.co.jp/kengaku/tour/
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Go to the JAL Maintenance Center 1 Building and show your reservation to the reception. They will give you a pass. You can arrive 30 min. before the tour starts. Use the time to see this Sky Museum.The tour pass is on a JAL cell phone neck strap that you can keep.
*Note that if you take the tour and take pictures and want to post pictures online, you will need JAL's approval. They don't allow photos of JAL personnel and tour guests in online photos. All these photos have been approved by JAL for posting here.
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JAL's "Sky Museum" shows JAL's history, interactive exhibits like a cockpit, first-class seats, and a special room showing special plane seats used by the emperor before Japan got its own Japanese Air Force One. In Japanese only though
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A visitor tries an interactive exhibit for directing a JAL plane to a gate.
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Cabin attendant uniforms throughout JAL's history (including TDA aka Japan Air System that merged with JAL).
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JAL's first cabin attendant uniform appeared in Aug. 1951.
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TDA's (Toa Domestic Airways) cabin attendant uniform (left) and JAS (Japan Air System) cabin attendant uniform. Bot TDA and JAS merged with JAL.
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JAL's cabin attendant uniform worn in the 1970s (left) and 1980s (right).
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History of JAL planes.
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Historical model planes in JAL's Sky Museum. The museum is quite big, and we didn't have time to see everything.
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Model of JAL Boeing 747.
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The same type of happi coat the Beatles wore when they got off the JAL DC-8 ("Matsushima") at Haneda for their Budokan concerts in 1966.The back has the kanji for kotobuki (寿) meaning "celebration." Famous story behind how a JAL stewardess got John to wear the happi coat. "Wearing a happi coat when you land in Japan would make the fans really happy!" "Good idea!," said John who then wore it. The other Beatles followed and wore one too. A major, historic PR coup for JAL.
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Vintage JAL luggage tags.
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JAL's tour also started with a 30-min. talk and slide show in Japanese.
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Wore hard hats and toured JAL's maintenance hangar for about 40 min. JAL's airplane maintenance hangar at Haneda Airport. Huge facility.
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JAL Boeing 787.
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Photography was permitted, but no videos. You can post photos online, but cannot show personnel (I assume faces) and the other tour participants. Also cannot show any plane from another airline which might be taxiing or flying outside in the background.
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The lucky treat of the JAL tour was seeing Japan's Air Force One (actually, Air Force Two). The Japanese government plane that carries the prime minister or emperor.They are normally parked at Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. Flown by the Air Defense Force, but maintained by JAL. Japan's Air Force One/Two will be retired in 2019, to be replaced by Boeing 777. The new Boeing 777 will be maintained by ANA. Photos were allowed, but not allowed to be posted online.
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One corner of the hangar preserved the cockpit/lounge section of the JAL "Fuji" DC-8. This was Japan's first passenger jet put into service in 1960, replacing prop planes. This plane had 104 seats, 36 first class and 68 tourist class.
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About the JAL "Fuji" DC-8.
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First class section of JAL's "Fuji" DC-8.
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Tail of the JAL "Fuji" DC-8. Looks like they are restoring the plane.
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JAL plane parked outside the maintenance hangar.JAL sent out an online questionaire afterward for feedback about the tour. I told them that many foreigners were also interested in the tours so they should provide foreign language info too. I'm told that there are no tours like this in the States.
 
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