Practical tips

  • If you are flying to Japan from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airportsits main international airportTokyo Haneda HND, Tokyo Narita NRT, Osaka KIX, Nagoya NGO, Hiroshima HIJ, and Fukuoka FUK.

    These are also the best (and cheapest) airports to fly into Japan. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce, and airfare decreases as a result.
Best airports to fly into Japan: Tokyo Haneda (HND), Tokyo Narita (NRT), Osaka (KIX), Fukuoka (FUK), Sapporo (CTS), Naha (OKA), Osaka (ITM), Kagoshima (KOJ), Nagoya (NGO), Sendai (SDJ), Kumamoto (KMJ), Miyazaki (KMI), Nagasaki (NGS), Kobe (UKB), Matsuyama (MYJ), Hiroshima (HIJ), Ishigaki (ISG), and Takamatsu (TAK)
Japan has 29 airports: 5 international and 24 local airports that operate domestic flights across its four main islands and many smaller islands. Among the largest Japanese airports are – Tokyo Haneda HND, Tokyo Narita NRT, Osaka KIX, Fukuoka FUK, Sapporo CTS, Naha OKA, Osaka ITM, Kagoshima KOJ, Nagoya NGO, Sendai SDJ, Kumamoto KMJ, Miyazaki KMI, Nagasaki NGS, Kobe UKB, Matsuyama MYJ, Hiroshima HIJ, Ishigaki ISG, and Takamatsu TAK.
  • Once in Japan, take advantage of frequent intercity flights operated by domestic airlines such as ANA, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Japan, Peach Aviation, Skymark Airlines, Spring Airlines Japan, and StarFlyer. Those in-country carriers typically offer lower fares, operate from smaller airports located closer to city centers (you save on ground transportation) and provide flexible schedules – with a wide range of departure times.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Japan can be easily reached with regional low-cost carriers (LCCs) by the likes of AirAsia, Bamboo Airways, Bangkok Airways, Cebu Pacific, Jetstar, JEJU Air, Scoot, Tigerair, and VietJet Air. If you have a layover in Japan and plan to fly only a short distance to one of its neighboring countries, these budget airlines are an excellent way to save money.

Flights to Japan
from United States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Japan. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Japan, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop. There are plenty of direct flights from the US/Canada to Japan via Japan Airlines, Air Canada, American Airlines, ANA, Hawaiian Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, and Zipair. Flight prices start at $300 one-way from Honolulu to Tokyo on the low-cost airline Zipair.
  • Japan is well-served via one-stop flights from North America. Flights to Japan with one layover depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • The best airlines to fly to Japan from the US and Canada are: ANA, Japan Airlines, Air Canada, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines. They are top full-service carriers, offering exceptional customer service, in-flight comfort, a generous checked baggage allowance, and reliable customer support channels – all included in the ticket price.

40–80% off flights to Japan
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Flights to Japan from Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to Japan — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia. Direct flights from Europe to Japan are about 10-11 hours long. Only some of the largest European hubs have a nonstop connection to Japan - among them are Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Paris, Warsaw, and Zurich. Those flights arrive at Tokyo Haneda HND airport and are operated by Air France, ANA, Japan Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, LOT, SWISS, and Turkish Airlines.
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to Japan include ANA, Japan Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, and Turkish Airlines.
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to Japan from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Leverage frequent promotions from European budget carriers like RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to reach a major hub; from there, take a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination, potentially saving hundreds of euros.

40–80% off flights to Japan
from Europe

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Things to know before flying to Japan
Airlines flying to JapanAeroflot, Aeromexico, AirAsia, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Bamboo Airways, British Airways, Cebu Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Garuda Indonesia, Hong Kong Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, JEJU Air, KLM, LATAM, Lufthansa, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, Thai Airways, Tigerair Taiwan, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines
Japanese airlinesAll Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Japan, Peach Aviation, Skymark Airlines, Spring Airlines Japan, StarFlyer, Japan Transocean Air, Ibex Airlines
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ €600 – €900 (from Europe)
✈ $500 to $800 (from USA)
Main airportsHaneda Airport (HND) – Tokyo
Fukuoka Airport (FUK) – Fukuoka
New Chitose Airport (CTS) – Sapporo
Naha Airport (OKA) – Okinawa
Itami International Airport (ITM) – Osaka
Narita International Airport (NRT) – Tokyo
Kansai International Airport (KIX) – Osaka
Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) – Nagoya
Kagoshima Airport (KOJ) – Kagoshima
Kobe Airport (UKB) – Kobe
Sendai Airport (SDJ) – Sendai
Nagasaki Airport (NGS) – Nagasaki

Low-cost flights from Japan

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The cheapest time to fly to Japan

During the peak summer months, all of Japan’s top attractions get rather busy. If you plan to do some sightseeing in Japan, try to be flexible with your trip dates. Aim for the quieter “shoulder” months between the seasons – from March to May, and from September to November.

It is an ideal time to visit the country to avoid peak-season flight prices and tourist crowds. You’ll also be rewarded by the things other visitors will miss out on: spring cherry blossoms during the Hanami season, amazing warm fall colors, and historic structures such as Fukuoka Castle blanketed in snow.

Know your time zone

Japan has only one time zone, despite being a large country that stretches almost 2400 kilometers through the western North Pacific Ocean and over 30 degrees longitude. It observes Japan Standard Time (JST) all year, which is UTC/GMT+09 time zone. As a result, clocks in Japan are 9 hours ahead of London and 14 hours ahead of New York. JST does not have an associated daylight saving time.

When checking flights and airport transfer times, ensure you know the local time zones. The departure time on your plane ticket is always listed based on the time zone of the departure airport. We suggest resetting your watch during the flight – it will help your brain adjust to the new time zone and to deal with jet lag.

Relax in KIX Airport Lounge

If you are traveling from Osaka, Kyoto, or Kobe and you are stuck at the Kansai International Airport (KIX) for long hours, head to the second floor of Terminal 1 and find the KIX Airport Lounge. It’s one of these rare airport lounges that don’t require you to be part of any loyalty program to use it.

Entry fees start at just ¥310 (~$2.80) for the first 30 minutes (all-you-can-drink soft drinks included). You can also use shower booths for ¥510 (~$4.60) or rent a private booth for nine hours at ¥3,900 (~$35.60) – which is a pretty good alternative to a hotel far out in the city.

Shinkansen, Japanese bullet train

Japan’s famous train lines are some of the best ways to see the country on a budget. Trains are punctual, comfortable, safe, and clean. The best of these is the Shinkansen Bullet Train: with a front car that resembles a space rocket, it can travel at a maximum speed of 320kmph making a trip such as Tokyo to Fukuoka – 1,170 kilometers away – doable in just over six hours.

Be sure to pick up your Japan Rail Pass – which allows unlimited travel – before departure to ensure savings (you can’t purchase a JRP inside of Japan).

Next tips

Use coin lockers for your luggage

Nearly every train station and department store in Japan is equipped with wall coin lockers that offer temporary storage. Costing around ¥500 (~ $4.5) they are ideal for day trips. However, be careful as they usually have 24-hour limits and will charge you extra for overtime.

Ship your extra baggage via Kuroneko Yamato

Yamato Transport (aka “kuroneko” – literally “black cat”) is the largest door-to-door delivery company in Japan. Conveniently located at the airports and many other locations in Japanese cities, Kuroneko Yamato will ship your extra baggage to your next destination – at a very reasonable cost. Enjoy hands-free travel, shopping, and sightseeing!

Avoid Japan’s public holidays

Prices skyrocket during holidays in Japan – adjust your travel dates to avoid expensive tickets. Cheap flights to Japan are non-existent during popular “red days” such as New Year’s Holiday (January 1-3), Golden Week (April 29-May 6), Obon (August 11-19), and Silver Week (September 16-23). If you must travel to Japan during these peak periods it’s wise to book the flights well in advance.

Save on local fares with JAL and ANA passes

ANA and Japan Airlines have an interesting “special fares” option for foreign tourists visiting Japan.

JAL Japan Explorer Pass is a fare that can be used to access over 30 cities across JAL’s domestic network. The pass provides an easy solution to traveling beyond Tokyo and the well-trodden tourist routes. You must already have a return ticket (out of Japan) to be eligible for JAL Explorer Pass three price points: JPY 5500 (~$38), JPY 7700 (~$52), and JPY 11000 (~$75).

ANA Discover Japan Fare is a discounted fare explicitly aimed at foreign visitors. It can be used across ANA’s entire domestic flight network; however, the pricing has been structured to encourage exploration of Japan’s diverse islands. With different fare rules, you can choose between two fare types – Value and Super Value.

Next tips

Airlines of Japan

Japan has two leading airlines – All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL).

All Nippon Airways is the country’s largest full-service carrier, a member of Star Alliance, and a company that is re-nowned for its impeccable airport staff service. Japan Airlines is the national flag carrier operating full-service flights to several destinations, including overseas – North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The JAL’s economy seats might be the best out there (it has been awarded World’s Best Economy Class award by Skytrax).

JAL’s low-cost subsidiary Jetstar Japan (also partially owned by Australian Qantas) operates shuttle services between Japanese cities, and only serves a few international cities: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, and Taipei.

Peach Aviation can be considered Japan’s first-ever low-cost carrier airline. It offers a variety of fare discounts and programs, focusing mostly on domestic routes. However, you may also find cheap international fares if you fly to Bangkok, Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei or Shanghai. It maintains a strict luggage policy and keeps services to a bare minimum (beware of hidden fees).

Three other less-known Japanese airlines are targeting domestic budget travelers: Skymark Airlines (the only independent low-cost carrier, not controlled by either ANA or JAL), Spring Airlines Japan (a subsidiary of Chinese carrier Spring Airlines), and StarFlyer (also flies to Seoul and Taipei).

Flights to Japan
from Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand offer robust flight networks to key APAC locations, Japan included. While domestic carriers like Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand provide solid options, several major international airlines also serve these routes. These include ANA, Cathay Pacific, EmiratesGaruda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways — expanding your choices for travel between Australasia and Asia.

    There are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to Japan. You’ll need a layover in one of the major hubs in Asia.
  • Airlines have different pricing strategies for different routes. Depending on airline partnerships, demand, and even the time of year, a flight to Japan could be significantly cheaper from Sydney than from Melbourne.

    Compare fares from main international airports in Australia: Sydney SYD, Brisbane BNE, Melbourne MEL, Perth PER, Adelaide ADL, Cairns CNS, Gold Coast OOL, Canberra CBR, Darwin DRW, and in New Zealand: Auckland AKL, Wellington WLG, Christchurch CHC, and Queenstown ZQN.
  • If you’re looking to save, consider flying from Australia or New Zealand to a primary Asian hub, then catch a connecting flight to Japan with a regional budget airline such as AirAsia, Bamboo Airways, Bangkok Airways, Cebu Pacific, Jetstar, JEJU Air, Scoot, Tigerair, and VietJet Air.

    For the initial leg of your trip, full-service airlines such as Qantas or Virgin Atlantic offer premium comfort and exceptional service, albeit at a premium price. However, many Asian airlines, including budget carriers, operate out of Australia and frequently feature sales and promotions. For instance, AirAsia runs deals to Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore; Cebu Pacific to Manila; Scoot to Singapore; VietJet Air to Ho Chi Minh City; Jetstar to Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo; Bamboo Airways to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing; Batik Air to Jakarta and Singapore.

40–80% off flights to Japan
from Australasia

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Flights to Japan
from major hubs in Asia

  • Asia is probably the best continent for short-haul and mid-haul flying. The sheer scale of this most populous region on Earth is reflected in the type of aircraft operating many shorter routes: intra-Asia flyers benefit from comfortable, wide-bodied aircraft by the likes of Boeing 777, 787 or Airbus A350, A330, and A380. When booking your flight to Japan look for these bigger planes as they will almost always give you the best experience in every cabin, including better seat pitches, higher ceilings, and larger overhead bin space.
  • Asia is also home to most of the world’s best airlines. There are only ten airlines that received the prestigious 5-star mark of quality from Skytrax, and all of them are from Asia: ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines. Choosing one of these airlines for your trip to Japan will guarantee a pleasant journey – delicious meals served during the flight, great in-flight entertainment, and above-average airline customer service.
  • Asia is extremely well served by low-cost regional airlines. If you are visiting Japan and want to see several other countries on a tight budget, they often have great sales with rock-bottom prices, while still offering a relatively comfortable flight experience. Among the best Asian budget airlines you can book without hesitation are AirAsiaCebu Pacific, Citilink, FlyDubai, Indigo, Jetstar Airways, Scoot, SpiceJet. The cons? Being no-frills airlines they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment. The departure times may also be quite inconvenient as they try to save money by flying at off-peak hours.

40–80% off flights to Japan
from Asia

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Flights to Japan dataset