Cheap Flights To Japan: Top 10 Tips and Flying FAQs

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Looking for cheap flights for your trip to Japan? Then take a look below at the best airfares to Japan right now and for my tips on flying to Japan. 

Includes the cheapest, best and most expensive times to fly to Japan, plus flying to Japan FAQs.

If you're not finding anything within your budget at the moment, don't worry. The prices are refreshed constantly, so feel free to return later today or tomorrow and browse again.

Cheap Flights to Japan The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Cheap Flights to Japan
by Rob Dyer

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What are the main airport hubs in Japan?

The major airport hubs in Japan serving as gateways for international travel include several key airports.

The busiest is Narita International Airport, located outside of Tokyo, which handles the largest volume of international passenger traffic to and from Japan. Additionally, Tokyo is home to Haneda Airport, another major international hub that operates long-haul flights. Haneda my personal favourite and recommendation if you have a choice between it and Narita.

VIDEO: Walkthrough Empty Haneda Airport During The Pandemic

Beyond greater Tokyo, other significant Japanese airport hubs are Kansai International Airport serving Osaka, and Chubu Centrair International Airport for Nagoya and central Japan.

For other regions, New Chitose Airport is the main airport for the northern island of Hokkaido, Naha Airport serves as the gateway to Okinawa and the southern islands, while Fukuoka Airport is a major hub for the island of Kyushu.

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Some of my best tips for finding cheap flights to Japan


1. Be flexible with your travel dates

Flight prices vary significantly depending on the day of the week and time of year. Try to be flexible with your travel dates and look for flights a few days before or after your preferred dates.

2. Use flight search engines and price alerts

Websites like Google Flights, Skyscanner, and Kayak allow you to compare prices across different airlines and dates. Set up price alerts to be notified when fares drop. (Mine and my wife's favourite is Skyscanner.)

3. Consider budget airlines

Low-cost carriers like AirAsia, Scoot, and Peach Aviation offer affordable flights to Japan from various Asian countries. While the amenities may be basic, you can save a significant amount on the ticket price when compared with the big-name airlines. Also, if you're looking to fly within Japan then these should be at the top of your list if you want to save money as flight times are generally very short, so there's little benefit in paying for a premium service.

Kagoshima Airport Kyushu The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Kagoshima Airport is located at the southern tip of the island of Kyushu

4. Book well in advance or at the last minute

Booking your flights several months in advance or taking advantage of last-minute deals can sometimes yield cheaper fares.

5. Look for connecting flights

Direct flights are almost always more expensive than stopping or connecting flights. Consider flights with one or two stops, as these can sometimes be cheaper, even though you have the added travel time.

If you're travelling from Europe you can often do a short hop to start your journey (e.g. flying from London to Helsinki) then have a quick change over at the connecting airport (often less than 2 hours) for the main leg to Japan. So you're not left hanging around, killing time at the connecting airport.

Ritsurin Garden Takamatsu Shikoku The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu, Shikoku Island

6. Join a discount flight club

Discount flight clubs are subscription services promising access to deeply discounted airfares by taking advantage of error fares, airline sales, and negotiated deals. You typically pay and annual fee and get alerts on deals as they appear. But you have to act extremely fast before deals sell out. My wife and I have both used Jack's Flight Club in the past.

7. Consider flying into alternative airports

Instead of flying directly into major airports like Tokyo's Narita or Haneda, check for flights to other regional airports such as Kansai International Airport (Osaka) or Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya), which may have lower fares, and can actually work better depending on your itinerary.

8. Use airline miles or credit card points

If you have accumulated airline miles or credit card points, redeem them for discounted flights to Japan and/or service or cabin upgrades. We do this regularly.

Chubu Centrair International Airport Nagoya The Real Japan

Chubu Centrair International Airport, Nagoya  |  Photo: Emran Kassim, CC BY-SA 3.0

9. Join airline email newsletters and follow online

Airlines and travel companies often share promotional codes and flash sales through their email newsletters and on social media. My wife and I both subscribe to multiple airline newsletters (where you can sometimes get seriously discounted prices if you're able to commit to bookings many months in advance).

10. Be open to mixing and matching airlines

Sometimes, booking separate leg single tickets with different airlines can be cheaper than booking a return ticket with one carrier.

Remember: flexibility, patience, and some diligent research are key to finding the best deals on flights to Japan. 

Flying to Japan from around the world

For those traveling to Japan from major international hubs, several airlines offer regular non-stop service to the country's main airports. 

From cities across North America, carriers like United, American, Delta, Air Canada, and Japanese airlines ANA (All Nippon Airways) and JAL (Japan Airlines) provide flights into Tokyo's Narita and Haneda airports. Major European hubs like London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam are connected to Tokyo's airports as well as other Japanese cities by airlines such as British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Finnair and KLM. 

Narita Airport Terminal 2 The Real Japan Rob Dyer

Terminal 2 at Tokyo's Narita International Airport

Travelers from Asia can access Japan through full-service carriers like Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, and Chinese airlines that fly into Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and other airports. Australia's Qantas and Vietnam Airlines also offer direct flights into Tokyo.

Whichever departure point you use, with multiple air routes flying to Japan the country's highly accessible.

Search cheap flights to Japan via Skyscanner

VIDEO: Silently Walking Through an Empty Haneda Airport Terminal 3 (Edo Village)

The best, cheapest and most expensive times to fly to Japan

Spring (March - May)

  • The cherry blossom season is a huge draw, but try to avoid traveling during the peak blooms in early April when airfares spike and crowds swell at popular viewing spots like Tokyo and Kyoto.
  • January (after New Year), March or early May can offer better flight deals and fewer tourists.

Summer (June - August)

  • Book flights for early June or late August to avoid peak summer heat and humidity.
  • If you're looking to save some cash, consider visiting during off-peak month of June. You'll likely find cheaper flights and hotel rates then.
Goryokaku fort Hakodate Hokkaido The Real Japan

Fly to New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido to explore stunning sights such as Hakodate's Goryōkaku 'five-star' fort

Autumn/Fall (September - November)

  • After summer's heat and humidity, autumn's cooler, drier weather makes for ideal flying conditions.
  • For viewing brilliant autumn foliage, plan flights for late October to early November.

Winter (December - February)

  • Flying standby can offer great deals, as winter is generally off-peak, apart from main holidays like New Year's.
  • Be prepared for potential flight delays or cancellations due to snow, especially when traveling to colder regions like Hokkaido.
  • For an outdoor winter experience, schedule flights for late January or February for prime skiing conditions.

No matter when you visit, Japan offers memorable travel all year round. Spring and autumn are the most popular and priciest for their seasonally-limited views, while summer and winter mean the chance to experience plenty of cultural events with fewer crowds.

Best Time to Visit Japan titlecard spring winter The Real Japan Rob Dyer

I suggest also reading my post The Best Time To Visit Japan – All You Need To Know for more information that will help you choose when to fly to Japan.

Don't speak Japanese? Consider an airport Meet & Greet service

For a seamless (and stress-free) start to your Japan adventure, you might want to consider booking an airport Meet & Greet service. Bid farewell to the hassles of navigating the airport and your onward transfer on your own.

A dedicated and knowledgeable Japanese travel specialist will greet you in person upon your arrival, ensuring a smooth and stress-free beginning to your Japan journey. They can activate your Japan Rail Pass, assist you with train ticket reservations, and handle any other tasks you may require, such as collecting your Pocket WiFi, exchanging or withdrawing money, or purchasing a Suica card.

Meet & Greet at Fukuoka Airport Airserve The Real Japan Rob Dyer

My wife and I used the Meet & Greet service when we first flew to Fukuoka

Your personal attendant, fluent in both English and Japanese, will act as your trusted guide, ensuring clear communication and eliminating any language barriers. Once your initial needs are taken care of, they'll escort you to your onward mode of transportation, whether it's a taxi, train, or bus, guaranteeing that you make the correct connection.

This service is ideal for first-time visitors to Japan, families, business travellers or those who simply want a headache free start to their journey. My wife and I used this service when we first flew to Fukouka Airport in Kyushu.

Meet & Greet is the ultimate concierge service, providing you with the best possible start to your Japan adventure, saving you time and freeing you from any potential stress and confusion. 

Frequently Asked Questions


When is the cheapest time to fly to Japan?

The months of January to March and September to November tend to offer the lowest airfares, avoiding peak travel seasons. Flying midweek can also reduce costs.

How far in advance should I book flights?

For affordable fares during busy seasons like spring and autumn, aim to book at least 4-6 months in advance. Otherwise, 1-3 months ahead is fine. If you need help deciding which is the best season for you to visit Japan read this post: The Best Time To Visit Japan – All You Need To Know.

What are the major airport hubs for international flights?

Narita and Haneda airports in Tokyo handle the vast majority of long-haul international arrivals. Kansai International Airport in Osaka is another major Asia/Pacific gateway.

Japan Airlines cheap flights Haneda Airport

Japan Airlines (JAL) operates many international flights at Haneda Airport in Tokyo

Are there any low-cost carriers flying to Japan?

A few budget airlines like AirAsia X, Jetstar, and Scoot offer relatively inexpensive flights from airports across Asia to Japan. Most routes are to Narita or Kansai. I have a complete list of low cost airlines operating in Japan in this post.

How long does it take to fly to Japan from North America/Europe?

When there aren't any airspace restrictions affecting flight paths, flights from the West Coast of North America take around 9-11 hours. From the East Coast, it's 13-16 hours. London to Tokyo is around a 12-hour flight.

Is the Japan Rail Pass worth it for international visitors?

The Japan Rail Pass is convenient and can be valuable for extensive rail travel (especially on consecutive days), allowing unlimited rides on Japan Rail lines. You'll need to run the numbers based on your itinerary to see if it is a cost-effective option.

I have a detailed guide to the Japan Rail Pass that I recommend reading if you are considering buying it. Also, you should also consider Japan's Regional Rail Passes as cost-effective and often more useful alternatives to the better-known national rail pass.

Do I need a visa to visit Japan?

For tourism of up to 90 days, many nationalities (like US, Canada, UK, EU, Australia, etc.) can enter visa-free. Check entry requirements for your country.

Rob Dyer The Real Japan

About the Author

A writer and publisher from England, Rob has been exploring Japan’s islands since 2000. He specialises in travelling off the beaten track, whether on remote atolls or in the hidden streets of major cities. He’s the founder of TheRealJapan.com.

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Cheap Flights to Japan The Real Japan Rob Dyer

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Book Your Trip: Japan Travel Essentials

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Book Your Flight
Find the best flight by using Skyscanner. It's my go-to flight search engine because it has the most comprehensive global search options.

Book Your Accommodation
I frequently use Booking.com as they consistently offer the cheapest rates and most flexible cancellation options for hotels and guesthouses. Use Hostelworld if you're looking for budget-priced options.

Book Your Japan Rail Pass
The best official agent by a country mile is JRPass.com. Clear and easy to use website. Excellent customer service.

Book Your WiFi
I never travel in Japan without pocket WiFi. Get Ninja WiFi for unlimited internet everywhere, use Google Maps, supports up to 10 devices.

Book Your SIM Card or eSIM
Order your physical
SIM Cards or eSIMs to stay connected and in touch while in Japan.

Book Your Hire Car
Rent a car in Japan without speaking or reading Japanese via Booking.com's Car Rental portal.

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Leave A Comment / Ask A Question

  • Excellent breakdown Rob. I only flew into Osaka at the beginning of my current 13 year global traveling odyssey but it was a 45 minute layover. We were whisked through stupid fast by attentive agents who got us on the plane to Taiwan, pronto. I have never seen a more efficient operation. As for being flexible with travel dates, that is so key and a great add. This helps my wife and I pick the cheapest flights, anywhere. Buy based on the budget prices then add the dates.

    Ryan

    • Thanks for sharing your experience Ryan – I know how well travelled you are. At Japanese airports they even have staff whose job is to turn the cases that come onto the baggage carousel around so that the handles face outwards – making them easy for passengers to pick them up!

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