Where Can You Get The Cheapest Airline Tickets To Japan?
There is a good chance that almost everyone that views this site wants to visit Japan at least once in their lifetime, if not many times more and possibly live there. What’s the biggest thing stopping you from getting to Japan? Money. This rings especially true to the younger readers out there, where a budget may be nonexistent.
Cheap ticket prices aren’t what they used to be (I remember round trip tickets from the U.S. for around $600-700 in 2005). I would love to be able to give away free trips to Japan to every single person who enters this site (who knows, maybe one day there will be a contest with this as a first prize). But I figure the next best thing I can do is help you find the cheapest way to get to Japan.
So when you’re heading to Japan from your home country, what website do you use to get the cheapest airfare?
This list is not all inclusive as I’m sure there are dozens of more airline websites, but these seem to be the major ones people use to try to get the best rates. It would be an incredible reference to everyone reading if in the comments section you could briefly include the:
1. Website you use for cheapest tickets
2. Country you fly out of
4. Month/Year of your flight
Any other details, strategy, or tactics you have for getting cheap tickets to Japan is highly appreciated!
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.
I used flights.google.com to check prices and then booked on the airline’s website. It looks like out of all the others that Kayak is pretty good too, lots of tools and fast. Google has a nice graph feature that shows you all the days of a given period so you can see what the cheapest flights are in the time range you are planning to go. I was a little turned off by a lot of these sites asking for my email right away, but then again I was already signed into google, so google already had all my personal information :P….
I don’t want to encourage willy-nilly credit card sign-ups, but I’ve been using credit card mileage bonuses for tickets for a couple years. There are some that give enough miles for a round-trip plane ticket to Hawaii from the east cost of the US (40k miles), so you can probably get a flight to Japan if you sign up for a couple. I’ll paste a link to a summary of some cards below, but make sure you read the fine print if you decide to sign up! A lot of them require spending a minimum amount of money within 3 months after signing up, and sometimes you have to keep the card for a certain amount of time before canceling it. Also, sometimes the cards themselves have fees. Here’s the site: http://cardsfortravel.com/best-credit-cards/
I am from the UK and when looking for cheap ways of getting to japan (for backpackers) i found out that i could do it for around £360. I am going to do this by first taking a Cheap flight from the UK to Moscow (for example Easyjet which will cost around £50 and will only take a couple of hours but you will probably have to stay the night in Moscow). Then traveling third class on the (Moscow – Vladivostok) trans-Siberian express. This will cost £169 for third class which is not the most luxurious but is not to bad from reviews and a friends description. But if you want something more luxurious 2nd class is double that and 1st class is double again. This will take around 7 days and can be seen as the biggest turn of of this plan (as i said at the beginning it is recommended for backpackers going on a longer trip)but in my opinion seeing the whole of Russia is a amazing prelude to visiting japan. When you arrive in Vladivostok you will then take a overnight ferry to japan which will take about 2 days and will cost about £150 (which in my opinion is funny because it costs the same amount of money to get across Russia the biggest country in the world as it cost to cross the sea of japan). This method is not for everyone as it involves extensive train and boat travel but if you want a cheap unique way of traveling to japan or you just hate how slow airport security is then this might be the method for you.
PS. A journey on the trans-Siberian express is a bucket list worthy experience in my opinion
PPS. I haven’t done this myself but i am planning to do so in my gap year and will hopefully write a blog about my journey.
I did the exact same trip a couple of years ago. If you crossed Russia in one go it would take a week, maybe just over. Going non-stop is the cheapest option, but the beds are small and uncomfortable and the train jerks around an awful lot. You would be wise to make a stop and get a good nights sleep somewhere. However, every time you make a stop the price of the train journey goes up a notch.
I would suggest making at least one stop overnight somewhere. If not for your own sanity, then because you’re passing through a whole country without seeing anything of it. I only made one stop and I regret not making more. I too was overly desperate to get to Japan!
I had an amazing journey, and I would recommend it to anyone (you should defo listen to the random guy on the internet), although there is absolutely nothing “express” about it!
My friend and I are planning a two week stay in Tokyo in May 2014 but we’re still not sure where to get our tickets. I heard a few good things about Kayak though.
I’ve only been once in Japan, but I remember only paying 500€ (650 USD?) for the round trip (Milan-Tokyo). While searching through Kayak, I was lucky to notice that the flag carrier had a brand-new set of direct flights to Tokyo, so I went to the actual airport and bought the tickets there. But as with any flight, I’d say your best bet is to plan early; I wouldn’t trust “last-minute flights” for such an expensive trip.
I have a free layover in Tokyo next week (on my round-trip flight to the States and then back to Vietnam). For this flight, I ended up purchasing through Expedia, but in terms of finding the best flight, no matter the criteria, I always check hipmunk.com.
I’ve been going abroad every summer for the last 6 years, and every time I use http://www.alibabuy.com/. It’s a French website but ultimately it just searches and compares flights from and to any country. Every time I compare with other search engines and by going directly on airline compagnies’ websites, but Alibabuy never failed to give the cheapest tickets, so it seems quite efficient. It’s better than SkyScanner from what I’ve seen; the rest of the list I don’t know.
I recently booked my flight for this summer : Paris-Tokyo, 11 August 2013 to 16 September 2013 for 750€. In summer (especially August) you can hardly get cheaper from France… And the cheapest tickets on Google Flight are 200€ more expensive.
When I searched in mid-May, I could take a flight departing like 2 days after, for 530€… maybe May is the cheapest month in the year. October/November is quite cheap too.
In summer 2012 I did Paris-Tokyo, 02 June 2013 to 13 September 2013 for 670€.
In general if you’re flexible on your dates you can get tickets up to 100 or 200€ cheaper with only a few days of difference.
Kayak seems to be very efficient too, but I haven’t tested it thoroughly. I’m bookmarking it for the next trips.
Cheapest flights I’ve found was always looking with http://matrix.itasoftware.com/ , similar to kayak but I’ve found cheaper stuff via this than kayak
I like Kayak a lot too, that’s how I went to the UK a few years ago. I might visit Japan someday though, because I’d really like to be immersed in the culture and hopefully learn the language a little bit. :)
Google Flights is really quite good nowadays, and it has all the major airlines that would fly international (the big airline it misses is usually Southwest). Skyscanner is awesome.
It also depends greatly on where you live. For me, living in the US south but not near any big cities/airline hubs, prices are really annoyingly high. Most flights are in the $1200-1400 range and if I keep an eye out I can fly for a little under $1100. If you can get to big airline hubs (e.g. Seattle, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, etc) flights will definitely be cheaper.
I also fly on miles a lot using credit card points, which is how I funded my last trip and plan to find my next one, bringing the cost to maybe $150. But it takes time, lots of spending, and a good credit score, and it is not for those who are not good at managing money or get themselves into credit card debt.
Also, I highly recommend Scott’s Cheap Flights mailing list- he posts info about trips to international locations but every once in a while he finds a total steal on a ticket to Japan. Recently I believe he had something like $600 roundtrip to Tokyo o_o. His mailing list isn’t good for those of us that don’t live close to big airports though (I would have to drive 5 or 9 hours to get to any big airports with the discounts he usually offers).