Spotting at Tokyo Haneda (HND) and San Francisco (SFO) | Inbound Leg

Now for the inbound leg. Much more and better photos this time, much more diverse aircraft too. All taken with Sony a7 and 24-240 f/3.5-6.3. Enjoy.

Sorry for lack of quality. Picasa decided to dump the size upon exporting.

Haneda Portion: (Outside) Tokyo Haneda, like all Japanese airports really, has a great outdoor spotting deck. It spans across the entirety of the roof on the international terminal, providing lots of room for great shots. I was only up their for about 5 mins, before we left into security to get some knock-off Döner. Wasn’t worth it. Is Japan after all.

China Eastern A333 arriving from Shanghai. This one, B-6083, is the only China Eastern A333 left in their fleet, delivered in 2007.

Air China A333 smoking after arrival from Beijing. B-5913 was delivered in 2014.

Air China A333 on the decel.

Air China A333 taxing to the gate. I didn’t get this shot, but at the main terminal at the International gates was and Air China A333, China Eastern A333, China Southern A333, China Airlines A333, and a Shanghai Airlines A333, all in consecutive gates. Only if I got the shot. Again, I wasted my time with crapy knock-off Döners.

Haneda Portion: (Inside) Disclaimer: Shooting through glass sucks.

JAL 788 (JA832J) slowing down from Saigon. Nineteen. Ni-nini-nineteen.

My ride, N15969, a 789, arriving from SFO. She is United’s Youngest Dreamliner. I got to fly on her consecutive legs, too.

ANA 763 arriving from Ube. This 767 is 26 years old, and still getting seven flights a day.

ANA 789 (JA830A) arriving from Osaka Itami. We were gonna fly this route, but opted for the cheaper Shinkansen.

Same 789 as above. JA830A was the third 789 ever delivered, and the second to ANA.

ANA 788 flashing. She arrived from Hedeki Matusyama. JA812A is the 11th ANA Dreamliner and 56th ever.

AIr China A333 on the fastest turn around time ever. The photos above and this photo were taken 44 minutes apart. Super fast for an international widebody flight.

ANA 789 (JA876A) arriving from CDG.

ANA 77W (JA874A) arriving from London. JA874A was delivered in 2007.
The China Eastern A333 rotating out for Shanghai.

Vietnam Airlines A359 (VA-A890) arriving from Hanoi with the Sky Tree in the background. Two fun facts: VA-A890 is the 56th A350 ever, and the Sky Tree is the second tallest structure in the world, after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and beating Shanghai tower be seven feet.

VA-A890 slowing her roll.

Funky looking Dreamliner.

JAL 772 (JA771U) in the One World livery. This 772 was delivered in 2004.

Dynasty rotating up and out for Taipei.

Japanese wide-body line-ups

Singapore A359 (9V-SMJ) taxing for departure for her flight back to Changi. Delivered December 2016
China Southern A333 flight deck prepping for a flight back to Guangzhou.

Starting her taxi.

Tail line up. Cool enough, there was two Delta 772’s with consecutive production numbers side by side, but on pushed before I got the shot.
ANA 77@ in the C-3PO livery. JA743A is one of the last 772’s produced, delivered in March of 2014.

Departure: We had a really neat departure, taking off due east, and then swirling up over the Tokyo bay, before heading north up the coast of Japan. The reason we do this is because Haneda’s arrivals patterns are restricted by Narita and Yakota, meaning that departures are restricted to a small spot over the Tokyo bay, hence the swirling. Same goes for arrivals, and that is why they do that gnarly Kai-Tak style bank at 300 feet. Here is the sequence:

We flew straight for about a minute, before a full 180 degree turn back over Haneda. Gave us a cool view of all the boats in the Tokyo bay.

Back across the bay and over to Tokyo. Cool to see the largest city in the world from the air. Tokyo just stretched on for miles, I never saw an end to the dense urban landscape. Haneda just out of frame to the left.

Tokyo again. You can see the massive Sky Tree jutting up, dwarfing everything else.

And to top it off, here’s the top of Fuji peaking out of the clouds. Neat!

San Francisco Portion: Nope, were not done. Still got another half to go.

Air India 77L (VT-ALF) arriving from Delhi.

United Dreamliner line-up. There was a fifth, but it pushed before I could get the shot. They are from or to: Shanghai, Haneda, Tel Aviv, Chengdu.

Hawaiian A332 off to Honolulu.

United 739 (N36472) arriving from Washington DC. It was cool because when we arrived, T3 was fully filled with only UA 737’s.
United 753 (N75858) off to Seattle. Funny thing, I photographed this bird at KDEN here:

Hands down the coolest plane all trip, this Super King Air! N924SD was heading out to Denver too. If only I was on it. The Dreamliner was nice too.

United 788 (N26910) arriving from Kansai. This was the inverse of my outbound route.

Hometown heros of SFO.
United 788 (N26902) taxiing out to go to Chengdu. This was United’s second ever Dreamliner, deliverd in 2012.

N75858 rotating out to Seattle.

ANA 77W waiting to cross 28L after arriving from Narita.
Some rich corporations G650 off to Dulles. Sure must be nice.


And lastly, this awesome Korean Air 748 (HL7636) arriving from Seoul.

And thats a wrap. As you can see, I take a lot of photos, which is why there are so many here. Hope you enjoyed them, as I enjoyed taking and editing them. Writing them in this post, not so much.


Thanks for sharing! I especially love the United 787’s and the China Eastern a330’s ;)


These are amazing. Even the ones through the glass don’t really look it.


Agreed, they were worse in Haneda. In SFO I found a glass WB adjustment on my camera, and the marine layer was covering the bay so there was no sun glare, but in Haneda there was. Not too bad either way. And, in Haneda, you stand very far away form the glass on a balcony sort of thing. In SFO you are on the glass. Another reason why.

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Another bunch of brilliant photos!

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Wait…so you were only up there for 5 minutes?!? How did you take so many snaps!

They are all brilliant, my favourite is the A350 and 787!

I take a ton of photos… 600 at my two hours at Haneda. I only saw two landings, the Air China and an ANA A321. The China Eastern was taxing when we got up there, which I could of spent more time, stupid memories of real Turkish Döner…


The JAL 788 looks sleek 😏

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Nice, I personally appreciate all of the [United Airlines] ( aircraft images overall myself!

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@Aussie_Wombat I am more of an All Nippon fan, but any Dreamliner, especially the -8, is great.

@Blizzard Me too. That’s what’s great about SFO. I’ll love United till the day I die. Also, if you were a Continental fan, check this out:

This was the life vest beneath my seat in the Dreamliner. Kinda odd, if you think about it. Maybe this was one of the first Dreamliner’s and planned to be delivered to COA, but never was. Or they reuse life vests Plane to plane, seeing the year this one was produced. Still cool though.


Both DL6 and and DL120 always seem to fly out of gates 144 and 145, which makes it very confusing when boarding time comes. I nearly flew to Los Angeles by accident! Fortunately, DL6 leaves about 40 minutes before 120 does, so I made it home to the right coast.

Crazy how consistent that is. Same exact gates when I was there. The one to LA left right after the one to Minneapolis arrived. That entire end of the terminal is American carriers.

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9V-SMJ is so pretty imho ❤

My personal favourite is Vietnam’s A350 capture with Tokyo Skytree as the background. I have never been to Tokyo Skytree before. But some of my friends who have visited there gave me keychains from there. It must be awesome to reach the highest level and see Tokyo from the top level 😊

Anyway Ben, How’s your trip in Japan? I bet it must be really good. Anyway, Have you visited Sky Shop Town in KIX? I heard it’s a good place for Aviation Geeks

Lovely photos as usual, Thanks alot for sharing it Ben 😊


She is a beaut, I’ll agree. Still got nothing on a Dreamliner though…

We didn’t go up the Sky Tree, as the wait was horrendous. Would have been cool to see all of Tokyo from above though.

My trip was amazing, likely the best I’ve ever had. I’ll be crafting a summary soon enough for you to see.

I wanted to go up to the Sky Deck and Shop at KIX, but I would have been cutting it close. My bus only from Kansai to Osaka only ran every hour and a half, and I would have only had 40 minutes, not including the bus rides to the shop. Decided not to risk it.

Thanks for you compliments!


I went up the Sky Tree last August, and you didn’t miss much. Nothing from the Sky Tree you can’t see on a plane!


Can’t see the Sky Tree from the Sky Tree. We went up this building in Roppongi Hills that was only ¥600 and had a great view of all of Tokyo, especially Tokyo Tower. Likely a better deal and view.

Truly amazing! These shots are wonderful! 😍💯

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Beautiful shots mate! Nice catches!

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It’s so great to see the 767 in the air still.[quote=“Ben, post:1, topic:123903”]
Don’t you mean A350 for that pic?

Nope, I said what I meant. It’s just a crappy, lesser, knock-off Dreamliner made by some lame European company.

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