FOLLOW US

Travel to Japan

Flying to Japan

Both Japan Airlines (www.jal.co.jp/en), All Nippon Airways (www.ana.co.jp/eng) and Jetstar Japan (www.jetstar.com/jp/en) offer international flights to Japan.

Peak travel times to and from Japan are during the cherry blossom season in late March/early April, the Golden Week holiday (late April/early May), the Obon holiday (mid-August) and the New Year holiday (late December/early January).

Major airports are: Tokyo Haneda Airport, Tokyo Narita International Airport, Osaka Kansai International Airport, Central Japan International Airport (Centrair), New Chitose Airport (Sapporo), Fukuoka Airport and Sendai Airport.

Flight times

To Tokyo: from London - 12 hours; New York - 14 hours.

Departure tax

Departure tax is included in air ticket.

Travelling to Japan by Rail

The Trans-Siberian route to Japan is an interesting, if lengthy, trip. Connections can be made daily from London via Harwich or Dover through Europe to Moscow. The Trans-Siberian railway departs regularly from Moscow. Among the many tour operators that organise tickets for this is The Russia Experience (www.trans-siberian.co.uk).

Rail passes

The Japan Rail Pass (www.japanrailpass.net) is the most economical way for international visitors to travel all over Japan by rail. It can be used on all Japan Railways services including the shinkansen (bullet train), except for the super-express Nozomi shinkansen. The next fastest shinkansen, the Hikari, is just as convenient for high-speed rail travel in Japan. There are passes for seven, 14 and 21 consecutive days. Passes must be purchased in advance outside Japan and validated on the day you begin to use the pass.

Driving to Japan

Getting to Japan by boat

There are international ferry services to Japan from Russia, China, Taiwan and Korea. Ticket prices are generally not cheaper than air tickets. The advantage of arriving in Japan by sea would be the chance to view some spectacular scenery.

Major port cities are Osaka (www.osakaport.co.jp), Kobe (www.kobe-meriken.or.jp), Yokohama (www.yokohamaport.org/portal), Shimonoseki (www.shimonoseki-port.com), Fukuoka (port-of-hakata.city.fukuoka.lg.jp) and Naha.

Ferry operators

Japan is accessible by sea, and passenger ships include the major ports on their schedules, with the main routes to Japan from China and Korea. Ferries operate weekly from Osaka and Kobe to Shanghai (www.shinganjin.com) and weekly from Kobe to Tianjin, China (China Express Line). For South Korea there's a route between Busan and Fukuoka (www.jrbeetle.co.jp), Busan and Hakata (www.camellia-line.co.jp), and Busan and Shimonoseki (www.kampuferry.co.jp).

Related Articles

Okinawa: Japan’s forgotten paradise

From whale sharks to coral reefs, Japan's Okinawa prefecture is full of surprises. Joe Minihane discovers a new side to the country.

Top 5: Ancient Buddhist temples to visit

Buddhism has been one of the most popular religions in Asia for over 2,500 years and here are the five most beautiful and fascinating ancient Buddhist temples to visit