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Regional Japanese airport mulls crafty name change to Tokyo Ibaraki

written by Sandy Milne | June 5, 2020

Tokyo skyline (Source: JAL)

Ibaraki Airport, a budget-focused regional airport located over 100 kilometres outside of the Japanese capital, may opt for the ambitious moniker of “Tokyo Ibaraki Airport”.

That’s according to reports in the Asahi Shimbun, which late last month noted that local officials had proposed the name change to the governor of Ibaraki.

Though Tokyo’s largest international airport, Narita, is located roughly 60 kilometres from the city centre, it can be reached by rapid-transit public transportation, including the Narita Sky Access line, in under an hour. By comparison, the journey to and from Ibaraki takes over two hours, with coach routes the only option.

If successful in the bid, Ibaraki Airport will join the ranks of Paris Vatry Airport (210 kilometres away from central Paris), Oslo TORP Airport (120 kilometres), and Munich West (110 kilometres), as some of the airports furthest-placed from their namesakes.

Originally an operating base for the Japan Air Self-Defense Forces, Ibaraki Airport was expanded to include civilian runways in 2010.

Ibaraki domestic and international routings (Source: Ibaraki Airport)

Prior to the current outbreak, Ibaraki Airport operated flights to four domestic destinations: Sapporo, Kobe, Fukuoka and Naha. International flights served Taipei, as well as the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Xi’an.

However, the airport has previously operated flights to Honolulu, Hawaii and several cities in Vietnam.

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Though Japan Today suggested the move is aimed at “raising brand awareness outside of Japan”, it is yet unclear whether the airport has any plans to reopen shuttered international routes.

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