A Very Vanilla Japanese LCC - Vanilla Air Review
For our weekend trip to Hokkaido, we booked the Tokyo-based LCC (Low-Cost Carrier) Vanilla Air. The company is in operation since 2013 and not only connects destinations within Japan conveniently but also east-Asian countries like Taiwan and Vietnam, and also Australia.
The name Vanilla Air describes appropriately exactly what to expect. If you consult the online dictionary (better known as Google):

1. having no special or extra features; ordinary or standard.
“choosing plain vanilla technology wherever you can will save you“

And vanilla is exactly what you are going to get if you are flying with Vanilla Air. If you are contemplating whether to book Vanilla Air or not, I am confident in this Vanilla Air review you will find the answer to all questions.
Would I fly with Vanilla Air again? The short answer is yes, for more details read the full Vanilla Air review.

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Vanilla Air is in operation from the new terminal 3 at Tokyo Narita Airport. Compared to the other two terminals, terminal 3 is exclusively used by LCCs. It has the feel of a high-school sports gym. The floor is made of running track material leading you through the terminal. It makes it easy to find your check-in desk and afterward the appropriate gates.

Check-in at Vanilla Air

We didn’t have any problems at check-in. We used the computer system provided by Vanilla Air and within seconds we had our tickets, which were really just a pice of paper with the information. I guess as an LCC you save money wherever you can. Even on paper. 
Because of our impeccable planning, we had enough time to eat some breakfast at the cafeteria style food court before boarding our flight. The food was a mix of different Japanese restaurants but you could also get burgers and sandwiches.
Food Court in Terminal 3 Narita Airport Japan

Operation Times of Vanilla Air

For most LCCs, the times they operate are a bit inconvenient. Our flight with Vanilla Air left at 9 a.m. and many people might say that is too early, but it all worked out well for us giving us a long day of exploring Hokkaido even on our first day. If you want to know what we were up to in Hokkaido, read my post about Furano.


Boarding was on time (as is almost everything in Japan). By the way, if you have an evening flight you might want to spend the day exploring nearby Narita city. It is an amazing place to explore, rich in Japanese culture, history and a great place to try some Japanese eel, called Unagi. From here can read a detailed itinerary to Narita city.

Boarding Gate in Terminal 3 Narita Airport Japan

After boarding we could again feel how vanilla our trip was. We were ushered into two busses and had to ride for 15 minutes to get to our plane. It was parked so far away from any terminal and everything else, that it felt just like a plane standing in the middle of nowhere. But I am not complaining, this gave me a chance to take some great pictures of the plane.

Vanilla Air Plane in Narita Japan


We boarded the plane, found our seats and tried to get comfortable. No problem for me, because I am only 160 cm but for guys like Taka with 180 cm even a short flight can get quite uncomfortable. He stretched out his leg in my leg room and I put my legs on his. That way we could fly in more or less comfort.

Leg-room in Vanilla Air Plane

On Board Service on Vanilla Air Flights

As is standard with low-cost flights, and many short flights in general nowadays there was no free food. We got some drinks and could order food which was way overpriced. A cup ramen for 500 Yen, that you can get for 100 Yen at the supermarket.

The staff on board was super friendly, but that is just how most people in Japan are, and how business is done here. Still, I am always happy about good service no matter where I am. So, this is a huge plus point about flying with Vanilla Air.
There was, of course, no entertainment system, but who needs that on a mere 2-hour flight. We tried to sleep. Many people around us did the same. Reading a book or watching a movie on your phone or tablet seems like another good option to kill time in the air.

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Arrival in Sapporo Airport

Arrival in Sapporo was smooth. We had a gate at the terminal directly and therefore just needed to walk to the exit.

If you are still looking for a place to stay in Japan have a look at Booking.com where you can find the cheapest hotels, hostels and other kinds of accommodations in Japan.


My Conclusion

Overall Vanilla Air holds exactly what it promises. It was a good experience and I would travel using Vanilla Air again.
If you are interested in booking with Vanilla Air or finding out about the prices for some connection, why don’t you check out the Vanilla Air homepage?
I hope you found this Vanilla Air review helpful. If you have any further questions about Vanilla Air let me know in the comments below.
If you are currently planning your trip to Japan I recommend you read a couple of my other posts. I have been living in Japan for 3 years and from my experiences traveling Japan extensively I put together a 2 week Japan itinerary that will leave anyone satisfied. 

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Are you looking for domestic flights in Japan? I can recommend Vanilla Air, a Japanese LCC. I have flown with Vanilla Air from Tokyo to Hokkaido and here you can read my full Vanilla Air review. #airlines #japantravel
A Very Vanilla Japanese LCC - Vanilla Air Review | Airline Review | Low Cost Carrier Japan | Flight Review | Japan Travel | #Travel #TravelTips #TravelInfo


Authors Note:
None of the experiences in this post are in any way sponsored and have all been payed for by myself. The opinions stated are all my own and have not been influenced in any way.
This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a commission if a product is purchased through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. Please support me by purchasing products through my links!

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