Review: JAL Sakura Lounge Sapporo (CTS)

Jyaga unsure (3.5/5)

JAL Sakura Lounge Sapporo

Airport: Sapporo New Chitose Airport (CTS)
Terminal : Domestic Terminal
Operator : Japan Airlines
Access : JAL Business Class, JAL Global Club,
JMB Sapphire, oneworld Sapphire status, or higher
Date of Visit: March 2023

Sakura Lounges are Japan Airlines’ trademark Business Class-tier lounges. In addition to this one in Sapporo (CTS), these lounges are also available at Haneda (HND), Narita (NRT), Itami (ITM), Fukuoka (FUK), Naha (OKA), Okayama (OKJ), Kagoshima (KOJ), Hiroshima (HIJ), Matsuyama (MIJ), and Komatsu (KMQ). Receiving no less than 16 JAL flights a day from Haneda alone, it is no surprise that New Chitose has two dedicated lounges. The airport has a Diamond Premier Lounge that complements the lower-tiered Sakura Lounge.

Lounge Access Rules

Passengers with a same-day reservation on JAL First Class (regardless of domestic or international) or international Business Class flight are afforded access. Passengers connecting from international JAL First Class and JAL Business Class flights are also eligible for entry. Note that passengers without status holding a domestic Class J ticket are not qualified for entry.

Lounge access eligibility

When accessing by status, passengers holding at least a JMB Saphire or JAL Global Club status are eligible for access. This also extends to Sapphire status holders with oneworld carriers, such as Cathay Gold, AAdvantage Platinum, or BA Executive Club Silver. Of course, access is also permitted to oneworld Emerald card holders.


From the airside section of the airport, the lounge entrance is located between Gates 12 and 14. From the landside of the terminal, the lounge entrance is most conveniently reached through Security Checkpoint D, next to the First Class check-in. The entrance is composed of non-descript frosted doors with small signs on the side indicating the existence of the lounges.

Lounge entrance

JAL Sakura Lounge

Once past the frosted doors, there are a pair of escalators leading to the lounge reception. Note that both the Sakura and Diamond Premier lounges share a common entrance and are located on opposite ends. On the reception desks are boarding pass scanners that indicate which lounge you are eligible to access. After a successful beep from the machine, the reception attendant will point in the direction of the appropriate lounge. Since I had just come from the Diamond Premier Lounge, it was only a matter of walking past the reception desk to get to the Sakura Lounge.

Display at the entrance of the lounges
Lounge signage by the reception

Lounge Seating and Amenities

The Sakura Lounge consists of one large room roughly the same size as the Diamond Premier Lounge, separated into four sections. I was quite surprised to see that the number of seating isn’t as numerous even compared to the Diamond section. However, where the Diamond Premier Lounge also caters to First Class passengers, the Sakura Lounge probably gets a small(er) number of Sapphire-tier frequent flyers.

Artwork opposite the lounge entrance

Main lounge seating

To the left of the entrance are the first two sections, composed of traditional lounge seating. Like the Diamond Premier Lounge, the Sakura Lounge felt modern and plush with its beautifully designed space and furniture. The first section has an ‘island’ featuring seven sofa chairs in a desk-like setting. I really liked the tree display on the island counter, which makes the space feel a bit more alive. In addition, along the windows are even more desk seating, following the typical arrangement found at the other JAL lounges.

Main lounge seating

Behind this section is a more traditional lounge seating area, featuring a few rows of armchairs and a row of wing chairs along the interior wall. Nicely enough, each seat is equipped with a dedicated power outlet to charge one’s devices. Here, the armchairs are identical to those at the Diamond Premier Lounge and didn’t look especially comfortable.

Main lounge seating

The wing chairs, however, have the benefit of providing slightly more privacy due to their high back and privacy shield-like wings. Each chair has a complementary table, suitable as a surface for a laptop. Whilst they aren’t as private as the cubicle chairs at the Diamond Premier Lounge, it is better than the other seating options in this lounge.

Wing chairs at the Sakura Lounge

Similar to the previous section, there are more desk seats by the window, again complete with power outlets.

Desk seating by the window
View from the Sakura Lounge

Dining area

To the right of the entrance is the dining area that’s separated into two areas. The first area features the refreshment spread, located along the interior wall of the lounge. Across it is a high-top seating area with 14 bar stools, also complete with power outlets. Another 11 bar stools line the window-side counters, also equipped with a power outlet for each seat.

High-top seating at the Sakura Lounge

Next to the high-top seating section, there is also a traditional dining area with several couple dining tables. A further five seats are available by the window, overlooking the apron.

Dining table seating area

Fax machine

Between the two seating areas, there interestingly is a fax and copy machine. Whilst fax machines have become all but obsolete in the rest of the world, they are still widely used in Japan. However, I have no idea how it works, so I can’t comment on its function too much.

Fax machine


Where the Tokyo Sakura Lounges have massage chairs and not a ‘cloakroom’, the opposite is the case in New Chitose. On the corridor from the reception area is the cloak area, which is the Japan Airlines equivalent of luggage storage lockers. These lockers are operated by pin code and come in two sizes, all of which should easily fit a cabin-sized carry-on and/or a winter jacket. There are 15 lockers available at the Sakura Lounge.

Telephone Booths

As is widely the case in Japan, making telephone calls in enclosed spaces are frowned upon. Instead, such calls are expected to be taken in enclosed telephone booths, which limit the amount of noise coming into the lounge. All of the phone booths at the Sakura Lounge are located near the entrance. Power outlets are available in these booths.

Telephone Booth

Lounge Wifi

As was the case in Tokyo, the lounge has its own WiFi network separate from the rest of the terminal. There was no password for the network and the connection was fast and reliable.


Similar to the arrangement at the Haneda Sakura Lounges, food is limited to merely rice crackers and hard candy. Unlike the Diamond Premier Lounge, no soup machine is available here, since hot drinks are limited to coffee and tea. There is also a selection of sodas and cold tea from the soft drink dispenser, in addition to milk and tomato juice.

Coffee and tea

In terms of alcoholic drinks, there are four choices of beer, including Kirin Ichiban Shibori, Asahi Super Dry, Sapporo Classic, and Suntory Perfect Beer (Zero Sugar). Suntory Royal Blend Whisky, which is offered in Haneda, is also available in this lounge.

Beer and chiller


Located in the corridor between the reception and the Sakura Lounge are the toilets, which are separated by gender. The toilet cubicles feature high-walled doors with Toto Neorest washlets, which are always very nice. As expected at any lounge in the country, the toilet was well-kept and impeccably clean!

The male toilet at the JAL Sakura Lounge
The male toilet at the JAL Sakura Lounge


Overall, the JAL Sakura Lounge New Chitose is a nice place to catch up on work and have a few drinks. Whilst the lounge felt quite small compared to the Diamond section, it didn’t get very crowded during my visit. Regardless, the lounge still shares a similarly limited food selection and drink selection to its Tokyo counterpart. There’s also a lack of a massage chair, which puts it slightly further behind in terms of amenities. All in all, whilst the space looks nice and modern, that’s all there is to say about this lounge. Definitely don’t arrive early for this one!

Read more from this trip here!

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