The price of flights to Japan can be expensive. Flights usually cost between $800 – $1,200. The problem with the cheaper fare is the added fees on baggage, so that you do end up paying more.
Travel time from Brisbane to Japan averages on 9 hours. You can fly with most major airlines;
– Virgin Australia
– Singapore Airlines
– Air Asia
– Japan Airlines
And so many more. If you are travelling from Brisbane then stop overs (depending on the airline) can include Cairns, Sydney and Singapore Airport. They can last from 1 hour to 1 day. This means total travel time can come to 13 or more hours. It is unlikely to get a flight straight to Japan from your destination.
It’s best to book flights through a qualified travel agent, as they can usually get you the best (and cheapest) deal. Flights can sometimes come with a hotel package too. Otherwise, doing some serious research into which airline, how many stops, how long the flight will take, if they include meals and whether there are hidden fees is going to take quite some time. If you are confidant and comfortable doing it yourself, then I suggest you go for it.
Webjet and Flight Centre are sites that allow you to compare multiple airlines at once to get the best price. You can also contact travel agents through these sites via email to ask a variety of questions and get your concerns answered.
If you can be flexible with dates, then be flexible. Some airlines offer cheaper fares closer to the date of departure, to help fill any empty seats. This works better when you are traveling in a very small group or alone, as opposed to a family.
Depending where you look, people will tell you different things. Some will say book early or book late, others say never book early and never leave it too late. It comes down to your personal comfort and what you feel is better for you and your pocket.
You may find that a one way ticket outbound and another for return, with two separate airlines, can be less expensive than a full return fare with a single airline. Sometimes it’s worth it to swap and change. You could even fly to one airport and depart from another (see below: Airports).
Cheaper fare is generally found early morning, during or after lunch and around dinner. Presumably due to bad plane food, but it comes down to many other variables that make meal times a less likely time to fly; getting up early, missing out on last minute family time, and wanting to land at your destination at an appropriate hour.
Another note to make is; always ALWAYS get travel insurance!
There are three main international airports within Japan;
Narita International Airport, also known as Tokyo Narita Airport, is the primary international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is about 40 minutes drive from the city of Tokyo.
Tokyo International Airport, commonly known as Haneda Airport or Tokyo Haneda Airport, is the second of the two primary airports that serve the Greater Tokyo Area in Japan. It is located in Ōta, Tokyo, 14 km south of Tokyo Station. Narita is far from Tokyo and Haneda is much closer to the urban area, but apart from that, both airports are very similar. One difference to take into account is that most international flights arrive at Narita, and most domestics in Haneda. One thing to watch out for are early morning departures or late evening arrivals from/to Haneda as those don’t connect with public transport from/to Tokyo. Most flights to and from Narita connect well with public transport. Even taking these other things on board, one must understand that depending on the airline, you may not have a choice where your flight lands.
The third international airport is in Osaka. This airport is known as Kansai International Airport and is located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay, 38 km southwest of Osaka Station. The drive over the water to the airport is an amazing one, because for a few minutes there, you are on a road on the ocean and can see nothing else but water surrounding you. It’s quite surreal.