Home Japan Travel GuideHow to Fly to Japan

How to Fly to Japan

Most people from around the world travel to Japan by flying to Tokyo. Narita International Airport is located approximately 60 kilometers east of central Tokyo in Chiba Prefecture. An alternative is to fly to Osaka, landing at Kansai International Airport which is located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay, around 38 kilometers southwest of Osaka Station.

Both of them serve as international hubs of Japan’s two leading airlines, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways (ANA), which offer direct flights to and from many countries in Asia, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Quick Facts

  • Almost all major airlines offer flights to Japan, and many flights go directly from airportsin North America, Europe, Australia and Asia to Narita International Airport or Kansai International Airport.
  • Direct flights are more expensive than indirect flights.
  • Narita International Airport is Japan’s main international gateway, serving 50% of all international passengers with connections to dozens of cities around the world.
  • You can easily go to the center of Tokyo by train or bus, but it isn’t recommended to go by  taxi because it is relatively expensive.
  • Avoid Japan’s peak season, otherwise ticket prices will be more expensive.

Flying to Japan

Narita International Airport in Tokyo and Kansai International Airport in Osaka are the main travel hubs for most major airlines whichoffer direct flights to and from Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as many Asian destinations. Besides those two, there are also other international airports like New Chitose Airport in Sapporo, Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya, and Naha Airport in Okinawa.

Depending on where you are going, or where you are coming from, it can be cheaper and more convenient to use one of those airports. Nagoya is especially easy to get in and out of, and it is conveniently located between Tokyo and Osaka.

Flying from London

Direct flights from London Heathrow Airport to Tokyo Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport takes 11 hours and 30 minutes by British Airways or Japan Airlines and it costs around US$1700 for one way. For cheaper airfares, you can choose a flight with one or two stops by Emirates (transit in Dubai) or Air China (transit in Beijing);the costs are from US$700 and total flight duration is19 to 31hours, depending on the airline and time you choose.

Unfortunately, there is no direct flight from London to Osaka Kansai International Airport. But you can choose KLM with one stop in Amsterdam. Prices are from US$700 and total flight duration is 14 to16hours.

Flying from Europe

You can fly in 11hours directly from Amsterdam to Tokyo with KLM for around US$1500 or to Osaka ata cheaper price, around US$950. Other choices for both Tokyo and Osaka destinations are with indirect flights by China Airlines (transit in Taipei), Cathay Pacific (transit in Hong Kong), or Emirates (transit in Dubai), with total flying time of16 to19hours and prices starting from US$650.

Air France offers direct flights from Paris to Tokyo or Osaka in 11hours 45minutes for US$3300. There are indirect flight options like Thai Airways (transit in Bangkok) and Etihad (transit in UAE), from US$620, and total flight duration is approximately 19hours.

Flying from Australia and New Zealand

Fly in 10hours directly from Sydney to Tokyo with Japan Airlines for US$530 or from Melbourne for US$1000. Alternatively, you can choose an indirectflight by Jetstar or Philippine Airlines with 13 to 16hours of flight duration and at a cost of around US$400. There are no direct flights from Perth to Tokyo, but Singapore Airlines offers you a flight with transit in Singapore for US$ 500, taking 15hours of flying time.

Air New Zealand offers a flight for US$400 from Auckland to Tokyo, which takes 11hours. There is no direct flight from Australia or New Zealand to Osaka. But you can get flights via China, Hong Kong or Singaporefrom around US$500, with 15 to 19hours of total flying time, depending on what airline you choose.

Flying from North America

Enjoy a 14-hour direct flight from New York John F. Kennedy Airport to Tokyo with All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan Airlines and American Airlines for around US$1200. Alternatively, get cheaper tickets for indirect flights for around US$500-700 to Tokyo or Osaka by Air China or Cathay Pacific that take 22hours.

Both Japanese Airlines and American Airlines offer a 11-hour direct flight to Tokyo or Osaka for around US$600.

Fly directly with ANA or United from San Francisco to Tokyo in 11 hours for US$1300, or with China Airlines to Tokyo or Osaka for around $550 in about 19 hours. There are no direct flights from San Francisco to Osaka.

Air Fares and Booking

Buy air tickets at least 6 weeks in advance to get best prices. Airfares are most expensive during peak season such as the golden week at the end of April through the beginning of May, summer holidays in July and August, and Christmas and New Year.

You can buy air tickets on theofficial websites of airlines or through www.expedia.com or  www.skyscanner.com. Flying on weekdays can often save you money as well. Buying return rather than one-way tickets is also a way to get cheaper tickets. Consider to book indirect flights to get a lower price, especially from Europe, North America, and Australia. Indirect flight tickets can be 50% cheaper.

For your information: Japanese Airlines and All Nippon Airways (ANA) offer special discounts of a maximum of ¥10000 (around US$90)per flightto any destination in Japan. Purchase tickets online via the global airlines website. These special fares are very useful for you to go to other citieswithin Japan. Take note that seats may be unavailable on some flights and dates.

Narita International Airport in Tokyo

Narita International Airport is the biggest and busiest airport in Japan, located approximately 60 kilometers from central Tokyo. It is the main international airport in Japan, handling around 50% of the international passenger traffic and serving as the main international hub of Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways (ANA).

JR Narita Express (NEX) is one of the best ways of getting into Tokyo, as the journey takes only an hour and costs around ¥3000 per person. Moreover, it is covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Pass and JR Tokyo Wide Pass. Another cheaper option to go to central Tokyo is by common bus or train, but you may have to wait longer and the journey also takes more time.

The airport is huge.Lookingon maps and finding the particular line or exit gate will not be easy while you are bringingheavy luggage with you. Some visitors face difficulties to find transportation to their hotel when they arrive.

Booking a private car service with an assistant to pick you up when you arrive at Narita Airport is a highly recommended option for your convenience, especially if you travel to Tokyo for the first time. Asia Highlights gladly will arrange airport pick up service for you at Narita Airport. Please feel free to contact us.

Kansai International Airport in Kyoto

Kansai International Airport is situated on a man-made island in Osaka Bay, about 40 kilometers from central Osaka. There are various ways to get to and from the airport. The easiest and fastest option for traveling from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto is by train.

The Limited Express Haruka is the only rail service between Kyoto Station and Kansai International Airport and takes about 75 minutes. The earliest Haruka service from Kyoto Station is at 5.46AM and the latest at 8.15PM. The earliest from Kansai Airport is at 6.30AM and the latest at 10.16PM.

A Limousine Bus runs regular services between Kyoto Station and Kansai Airport and takes about 90 minutes;the cost is ¥2550 for adults and ¥1280 for children. The earliest bus from Kyoto Station is at 4.30AM and the latest at 9.40PM;the earliest from Kansai Airport is at 6.05AM and the latest at 11.40PM.

Visit Japan with Asia Highlights

When it comes to finding flights to Japan or to buying a JR Pass, look no further but contact Asia Highlights. We provide you with flight options from the top airline carriers to or from many countries in Asia, Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand. We also are more than happy to offer you theconvenienceof a private car with assistant to pick you up when you arrive at the airport.

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