A visit to Japan is on many an Australian’s bucket list. This fascinating country is rich in both tradition and high-tech goods; Japanese people are famous for their many rituals, not to mention their mind-boggling array of gadgets. For travellers arriving on cheap flights to Japan, at first it can be an overwhelming experience especially if arriving in Tokyo, one of the most populous cities in the world. Book flight tickets well in advance if visiting during one of the peak tourist periods which coincide with Japan’s national holidays: New Year, Golden Week (29 April to 5 May) and the Obon Festival (mid-August). School holidays (mid-July to August) also make cheap flights to Japan and accommodation more difficult to secure.
Southern Japan’s rainy season commences mid-June, and is followed by a very hot and humid summer, this is punctuated by the typhoon season which finishes by mid-September. Most travellers avoid this period as the sightseeing is sticky and uncomfortable. Winter in northern Japan is bitter with heavy snowfall in the mountains. But if you don’t mind the cold, and want to soak in the hot springs, then early December is when the cheapest flights to Japan are available.
Plum and cherry blossom trees in spring are a famous sight and worth booking flights to Japan for. At the other end of the spectrum, autumn visits for the stunning foliage also make cheap flight tickets sought after.
Japan has an eclectic mix of climates, so it’s a good idea to know what to expect before you choose dates for your flight tickets. Northern Japan experiences four distinct seasons, while southern Japan is subtropical. Choose to travel late March/early April or late October/early November to avoid the worst of the crowds, comfortable weather and for cherry blossoms and autumn colours. If you’re flying into Tokyo, choose a seat on the right hand side of the plane for views of the city and Mount Fuji.
Japan Airlines is the national carrier and offers daily cheap flights to Tokyo and Osaka from Sydney. Other airlines that operate flights to Japan are: China Southern, Air Asia, Qantas, Thai Airways and Jetstar. If you’re flying from Adelaide, Brisbane, the Gold Coast or Cairns then Jetstar offers direct and indirect flights to Japan but you’ll pay more for flight tickets in general.
Passengers arriving on cheap flights to Japan will land at either Narita International Airport (NRT) (near Tokyo) or Kansai Airport (KIX) (near Osaka). Both airports are well-equipped with excellent public transport networks. Narita Airport has the JR Narita Express (NEX) which will get you into the city in just under an hour. Buses and taxis are alternative options but will take longer due to traffic. From Kansai Airport you can access Osaka city by train (JR and Nankai lines) or bus (visit the Kansai Airport Limousine Bus information desk inside the arrivals area), taxis are the most expensive option in Japan.
(prices quotes are from London)