I just got back to Okayama from Hong Kong last week via Seoul and decided to pay tribute to our little portal to the world. Okayama International Airport may be the smallest international airport you have ever seen but it is still international. I’ve read that rich and famous celebrities like John Travolta live in homes with their own private runways which allow them to pull their planes right up to their doors. While for most of us this would be unattainable, in Okayama we have the next best thing; a local international airport.
My guess is that few people live right next to an airport yet almost everyone lives within an hour’s drive of one. The pure convenience of being able to hop in your car with your bags, drive to the airport and park in its free secure parking and take off to destinations unknown allows everyone who uses it to feel like a VIP. Many travelers are headed for our neighbors China and Korea but the reality is that you can use the airport to fly anywhere in the world if you transfer in Seoul.
Of course there are the usual amenities you would expect to find at any international airport, but just at a much smaller scale. You wouldn’t find yourself there for the restaurants or souvenirs anyway. What you would be doing is avoiding the expense of the bullet train and having to manage your luggage for a long period of time. This is especially true if you have a big family or are traveling in a large group where the cost of taking the bullet train increases almost exponentially.
Of course if you are not headed abroad but need a domestic flight, Okayama International Airport can accommodate you as well. There is a reasonably priced bus service that runs regularly from Okayama station that takes about a half an hour to reach its mountaintop locale in the northern part of the city. Taxis from the station are also priced fairly if you need a little more flexibility. If you drive, there is a free shuttle bus that takes you to the terminal if you don’t feel like walking. If you haven’t already, add Okayama International Airport to your list of travel options.