Japan can seem like an extraordinary destination to visit – but unfortunately, the airfare to get there can also seem extraordinary.Japan is an expensive country with an excellent though somewhat inflexible transport infrastructure, so it may come as no surprise that many tickets there weigh in at the high end of the price range.It doesn’t have to be like that, though. It is possible for you to score great deals on flights to the land of the rising sun if you know how to source the sweetest prices.We’ve spoken to Japan travel experts and have the skinny for you on how to fly to Japan for cheap.
Fly through China or South Korea
Japan is just a few hours’ flight from many other countries, and that opens up the possibility of a cheaper flight by transiting in one of those countries.Demand for direct flights to Japan can be high and that is often reflected in flight prices. However, as neighbouring countries’ airlines have piled on capacity in recent years, the cost of flying to Japan has plummeted as they offer flights to their hubs, with a connecting tag onto Japan.The best deal at any given time will depend on demand and special promotions. But some carriers frequently offer a great deal. Air China, flying through Beijing, often weighs in a lot cheaper than other airlines. Korean Air, with a stop in Seoul, runs a lot of promotions which equate to good value. You can also check out carriers like EVA Air through Taiwan and Cathay Pacific through Hong Kong.Another good thing about this approach is that you may be able to add a stopover in the transit country, so you can actually see two Asian countries for the price of one.You can also try the same trick with a Japanese carrier – get a ticket to a cheap destination and stop in Japan on the way back. For example, although it may sound counterintuitive, it may sometimes be cheaper to fly with a Japanese carrier to southeast Asia with a stop in Japan, than to Japan only.
Fly Off Season
Even more than other countries, Japan has clearly defined travel seasons – with the predictable impact on flight pricing.Japan is a hard working country. Its famous salarymen tend to take their limited holidays around very well-defined sets of dates. In addition, holiday travel in general focuses on key moments such as the cherry blossom season. That means that at certain times demand peaks and prices go up. For the rest of the year, lower demand tends to be reflected in lower prices.If you visit Tokyo in the height of Summer, it’s blazing hot and humid. In short, it does not match most holidaymakers’ idea of a relaxing destination. So Japan gives you the best of both worlds – you can score off season pricing while actually visiting at the best time of year.
Book as Far in Advance as Possible
Japan follows clear rules with little flexibility, including when it comes to ticket prices.Unlike some countries, Japanese airlines don’t throw out big promotions at the last minute to clear their ticket stock. Instead they plan far in advance and offer long-running well publicised promotions which are primarily based on advance purchase. A few foreign carriers serving Japanese airports may buck this trend but in general the rule for cheap flights to Japan is the further in advance you can book the better a deal you will score on price.By the way, flying with Japanese carriers can offer advantages over foreign ones beyond price and their legendarily detailed service. For example, both All Nippon Airlines and Japan Airlines offer foreign visitors discounted domestic travel airpass schemes, which typically require booking their international flights to get to and from the country too.
Speak with a Japanese Travel Specialist
Almost any travel agent can book you a flight to Japan, but not all of them will be in the know about the best deals, limited time promotions and able to benefit from large scale bulk pricing.There are travel and tour agencies who specialise in the Japanese market, often staffed by Japanese speakers who understand the market inside out. If you deal with them, not only will they have helpful advice for you to make the most of your time in Japan, they will also often be able to point you to cheap airfares to Japan which might not otherwise be widely publicised.Japan is one of the world’s great travel destinations, with its blend of unique culture, heritage, delicious foods and service. But it’s not cheap and for many visitors that starts as soon as they book their flight ticket to get there. The refreshing reality is that it is possible to fly to Japan for cheap, as long as you know how. We have given you the skinny from Japan experts on how to score cheap flights to this beautiful country. Why not start by exploring flights using one of the tips above?