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Japan

Cheap flights to Japan

Smaller than the UK but with over twice the number of inhabitants, Japan is a tiny (group) of islands with a huge personality. In the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’, modernity and tradition co-exist happily. Even high-tech Tokyo’s neon signs, rushing crowds, noodle shacks and hip clubs are never far from a beautiful temple or shrine, a piece of ancient art or traditional Kabuki theatre.

This is a county that year after year falls in love with the delicate pink blossom of the cherry tree as it bursts into bloom across Japan from January to May; where ancient tea ceremonies, anime, capsule hotels and karaoke characterise the country in equal measure.

Modern life has succeeded Hiroshima’s harrowing past to reveal a city of art, sculpture, wide boulevards, memorials and parks – it is a city dedicated to peace. The beautiful beaches of Okinawa are a dose of nature, tranquillity and tropical greenery; its coral reefs ideal for snorkelling or diving to see its colourful inhabitants. Osaka meanwhile, is the place to shop - particularly if high-tech gadgets are required, while its trendy night life, music and performance art, welcoming people and fantastic food are perfect for winding down at the end of the day.

Visit the Three Holy Mountains of Dewa Sanza, climb volcanic and majestic Mt Fuji, ski the Japanese Alps, explore the wilderness of Shiretoko National Park or the beaches and jungles of Yaeyama Islands. Soak in the ethereal, steaming hot springs or ‘Onsen’ for a relaxing experience like no other – or watch the macaque or ‘snow monkeys’ enjoying some quality spa time in Jigokudani. Soak up the Japanese ‘Shinto’ aesthetic, enjoy sushi with chopsticks, the ancient gardens of Kyoto, raft the rivers in Iya Valley or sleep in a holy temple on Mount Koya.

The following information is correct as of August 2014 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.

Fly In

Divided up into prefectures, Japan has a number of airports serving each one. International airports include Chubu Centrair which serves the Aichi Prefecture and is known as Japan’s ‘central’ airport. Buses, trains and ferry’s operate from this island airport. Narita Airport in the Chiba Prefecture is the main route in for visitors to Tokyo with most international flights landing here. Located 70 km from Tokyo city centre, the Narita Express train is the most effective way to get there.

Osaka International Airport or Itami Airport as it is locally known is deceptive - despite its name only domestic flights use this airport. International flights to Osaka land in Kansai International Airport which is also close to Kyoto and Kobe.

What you need to know

Currency: The Japanese Yen (JPY)

Visas: UK passport holders do not require a visa to travel to Japan for a trip lasting no more than 90 days. A valid passport and proof of return ticket is required. Other nationalities should check with their local embassy for specific visa requirements.

Laws: Japan is a very strict country when it comes to the law. Visitors behaving in a loud, disorderly or disruptive manner will find themselves having to answer to the police. Passports must be carried at all times. Japan has a zero tolerance approach toward drug crime. There is no smoking ban in Japan and the minimum age for drinking or purchasing alcohol is 20.

Best Time to Visit

High season in Japan tends to be from December to January, the end of April to early May and mid-August when the stunning Obon ‘Lantern’ Festival takes place. Springtime in Japan sees the explosion of soft pink cherry and plum blossom trees coming into full bloom – a sight alone worth booking a flight to Japan for. Autumn is also a quieter month and also shows off the golds and reds of the trees.

 

In December Hokkaido streets fill with ice sculptures in the Snow Festival, while the shrine festival of Gion Matsuri in July is deemed one of the best events in Japan. Osaka also holds its own spectacular shrine festival, the Tenjin Matsuri, in July. One festival not to be missed is the world famous Duanwu or ‘Dragon Boat’ Festival also in July.  

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Images by Flickr/andynew