A running track inside an airport? Where else but in Japan would you see such an innovative solution for designing a low-budget terminal? Tokyo’s Narita International airport handles more than 30 million passengers a year. At Terminal 3, the number is expected to touch 7.5 million by the 2020 Olympics.
When Japanese creative lab PARTY, global retail giant ‘MUJI’, and consultants ‘Nikken’ got together to collaborate on this project, they came up with the idea of a 1km long indoor rubber running track which would guide passengers and help them to and from the planes faster and more comfortably than the polished floors in other terminals which seem to stretch out forever.
Terminal 3 has no fancy frills – no windows, no illuminated signs, no moving walkways and no intimidating terminal hall. You won’t see passengers craning their necks, confusedly looking at signs to try and figure out which gate to reach and which direction to take. Instead, you can simply follow the colour-coded tracks – blue to lead you to your plane and red to the arrivals area – to find their way around.
So the next time you fly to Tokyo, make sure you have your joggers on.