Getting to Japan: Airports & Airlines

Guide on the main airline routes entering Japan

By Japan Travel   Apr 9, 2019 - 9 min read

With Japan seeing an increasing number of foreign visitors every year, many airlines have risen to meet the need with an expansion of routes from various parts of the world. The guide below introduces visitors to the major international airports across Japan, as well as the major airline routes linking Japan to the world.

Major Airports Across Japan

Setting sun over Haneda Airport International Terminal (Photo: Picture Cells / Shutterstock.com)
Setting sun over Haneda Airport International Terminal (Photo: Picture Cells / Shutterstock.com)

Airports around Tokyo

Many visitors arrive in Japan via Tokyo, the nation’s capital. The city is served by two airports.

Narita (NRT) is the main getaway for most international long-haul flights and a handful of domestic flights on budget carriers. Narita is located an hour’s train ride outside of Tokyo, in the neighboring prefecture of Chiba.

Haneda (HND) is the city’s main domestic hub, though in recent years many flights to SE Asia and other Pacific region destinations have begun to use the new International Terminal. Haneda is located a 20-25 minute train or monorail ride from major stations on the eastern side of the city.

Narita International Airport (NRT)

Narita International Airport (NRT)

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Tokyo's Haneda Airport

Tokyo's Haneda Airport

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Airports around Osaka/Kyoto

Much like Tokyo, the Kansai region is also served by two airports. Nearly all international visitors will arrive at Kansai International Airport (KIX), a large airport on a manmade island just off the coast of Osaka’s southern fringe. Trains run directly from the airport into Osaka (50 minutes) and Kyoto (70 minutes), while the two cities are also served by a fleet of airport buses.

Those arriving from another destination within Japan will likely find themselves in Itami (ITM), from where airport buses will ferry passengers to both Kyoto and Osaka in a short time.

Kansai International Airport

Kansai International Airport

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Osaka Itami Airport to Kyoto

Osaka Itami Airport to Kyoto

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Fukuoka

Japan’s western region of Kyushu is served by Fukuoka Airport (FUK), which sees many flights from neighboring Asian nations as well as a growing number of long-haul flights to northern and central Europe. Fukuoka Airport, Fukuoka prefecture, is linked to the city centre by a convenient subway – visitors will reach the centrally-located Hakata train station in only 6 minutes.

Major Airline Routes to Japan

Departing Haneda Airport
Departing Haneda Airport

Our route lists are non-exhaustive and subject to change as new routes are added and old ones eliminated.

Flights from Asia

Numerous cities across the Asian region offer direct flights into Japanese gateways. Visitors from such locations as Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Taipei, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and even Guam are all just a direct flight away. Asia is served by both national carriers and a range of budget airlines, both established and up-and-coming.

While by no means an exhaustive list, the following airlines frequently offer direct flights to Japan’s major cities:

Japan's flag carriers, JAL and ANA, cover the region well alongside their subsidiaries (like Vanilla Air) and local competitors like Peach Aviation and Jetstar Japan.

Flights from North America

Both Canadian and American carriers offer direct and connecting flights to major destinations across Japan. North America is also served by the Japanese carriers Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Air (ANA). Below is just a sampling of connection-free options.

Direct Flights

Flights from Australia/New Zealand

While residents of both coasts of Australia can find direct flights to both Tokyo and Osaka, travelers coming from Canberra must connect on Australia’s east coast first before heading north to Japan.

Direct Flights

Flights from Europe

Europe is served by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, as well as European carriers such as British Airways, Air France and KLM.

Direct Flights

  • From London (LHR) to Tokyo (both NRT and HND) with British Airways
  • From Paris (CDG) to Tokyo (HND) with Air France
  • From Paris (CDG) to Osaka (KIX) with Air France
  • From Rome (FCO) to Tokyo (NRT) with Alitalia
  • From Amsterdam to Tokyo (NRT) with KLM
  • From Amsterdam to Osaka (KIX) with KLM
  • From Copenhagen to Tokyo (NRT) with SAS
  • From Helsinki to Fukuoka (summer only) with KLM

Flights from the Middle East

Most flights originating in the Middle East must connect in either Europe or Asia. However, a handful of flights run directly to Tokyo.

Direct Flights

Other ways to Reach Japan

Traveling to Japan by Ferry

For most international visitors, arriving in Japan by ferry isn’t an option. However, those with access to the Asian port cities of Busan (Korea) and Shanghai (China) may want to consider the money-saving option of a slow boat to their destination. Busan serves the Japanese ports of Fukuoka, Shimonoseki and Osaka while Shanghai connects to Osaka.

Visa Regulations for Visitors to Japan

While citizens of a number of nations can visit Japan for up to 90 days without a visa, certain countries require additional documentation, as well as any visitors seeking to study or work in Japan. For further information on the various visa types, our guide to Japanese visas is a good place to start.

A Guide to Japanese Visas

A Guide to Japanese Visas

This guide provides a general overview of the visa categories available to visitors to Japan.

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Kim B a week ago
As an Aussie I'm so glad to see that Perth will have direct flights to Tokyo from September!
Bonson Lam a week ago
Yes, me too! About time too!
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