In the next of my series of posts about photographing planes, I will be focussing on Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport (富士山静岡空港), also known as Shizuoka Airport (静岡空港). Having started photographing planes in 2011, as I discussed in my first post in the series, the visit to Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport was the first time I went to take pictures at a smaller airport. I was also visiting the airport as part of my research about aviation in Japan.
In Japan most airports not only have observations decks, they are often free to access for passengers and non-passengers. When it comes to Shizuoka, the governor of Shizuoka was so unimpressed with the observation deck on the airport building that he had a brand new one built nearby at the cost of ¥500m. This is the only one that I used during my visit in 2013. Unfortunately one thing that was absent that day was Mount Fuji.
In terms of access, unless you have a car, you will need to take a bus from either Shizuoka or Kakegawa. Although the prefecture would like to have a dedicated shinkansen station (the line runs under the airport), JR Central is resistant to the plan and its unlikely to happen. To access the observation deck, walk beyond the car park and follow the signs for a local temple, Sekiun’in. You will soon see the observation deck (marked with a small grey and white pointer in the map below).
At the observation deck, there is information on TV screens about flight arrivals and departures – helpful if you don’t have a data connection. They also provide a person to keep you updated and answer questions. I also found the local photographers very chatty and happy to provide tips.
The main airline that uses the airport is Fuji Dream Airlines (FDA), which has the airport as one of its main bases. Their planes are notable due them all being different colours and the tail marking design is based on the shape of Mount Fuji. I got shots of one of them during my visit.
While I was there, there was also a Korean Air flight and an ANA one. But it is a quiet airport, when compared to Haneda and Narita, so be prepared of long gaps (or plan your visit to a busier time of day) and take food and things to read accordingly.
See details about other photographs I have used in my research here.