Domestic Flights in Japan 飛行機で旅をする
A Peach Aviation low cost jet
The newest terminal of Narita airport, Terminal 3, is dedicated to low-cost airlines
An internal flight bound for Sapporo
A Jetstar airplane
Credit: Russell Charters https://www.flickr.com/photos/russellcharters/24614706370/in/photolist-Dv7ND9-7MBAJA-disaWQ-dV9GrQ-9DM6dB-62Zi1s-8ai9G5-pMXvvh-a6mtTj-3Cnzgo-4Gg3Mz-qmKiBY-5qP7HF-3Cnyn7-p3qUbB-fPQrSC-z77zF-buc4wi-pjV8iK-buc4Dr-dVQZny-p3q1af-5qTs43-6HQws5-p3pRkF-p3qVvk-oKUYm5-7dGpdu-71DeW4-dChQkh-3Ciej8-pjV6WX-71DeHt-7dYioZ-3ppH4i-p3qHoW-p3qYAi-KzQa7-pjTaxq-p3pMCR-3CnzHW-6rrNwK-nzjN9k-qGG5Hi-rbX1SW-s8NX5j-4VGJ24-3wJQvk-d9XrbA-pphLT
Flying can be the best way to travel long distances in Japan, as airlines are very competitive with their flights. Whether you fly with one of the largest Japanese carriers or Japanese low cost carrier, it is usually possible to find attractive rates to travel around the country.
Japan's low cost carriers
The proposed rates for domestic flights in Japan by low-cost airlines are, by nature, very competitive. Nevertheless, the choice of destinations is sometimes limited and fees for checked luggage changes depending on the company used. As for hand luggage, it is included in the base price and should not exceed 10kg (7kg with Jetstar company).
Skymark Airlines connects nine destinations and offers discounted rates if you make your reservation 45 days in advance. The amount of checked baggage is unlimited and there's no charge if they do not exceed 20kg.
Peach Aviation covers fourteen destinations from north to south. Go for the Happy Peach fare if you don't have baggage to check, otherwise choose the Happy Peach More fare that allows a maximum of 20kg checked baggage. Beware of flight cancellations.
Vanilla Air serves three destinations from Tokyo to Sapporo, Okinawa and Amami Oshima. As with Peach Aviation, two rates are available depending on your checked-in luggage.
Jetstar offers flights between eleven locations throughout Japan. The price of your ticket will vary depending on the weight of your checked baggage (between 10 and 30kg)
To take an internal flight at the best price, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) offer tourists a limited number of tickets at reduced prices. The basic conditions to qualify for these passes are: residing outside Japan (you will need to present your passport), and having an international return ticket. Also note that these passes are subject to embargo periods. Remember to check on the website of the companies before purchasing your tickets.
- Japan Airlines: Their latest pass, the Japan Explorer Pass, appearing on the market late 2015, is certainly the most advantageous. It allows you to take up to five internal flights (to more than 30 destinations) at a price of 10,800 yen per flight. Reservations must be made online. Two checked bags of 23kg each are allowed without additional fees. Remember to input your international flight number when purchasing the ticket, and for check-in, as you will be asked.
Okinawa Island Pass offers five flights at 6000 yen a flight that allows you to connect to the islands of Okinawa.Be aware that there are also offers available apart from the previous two offers. The Oneworld Yosoko / Visit Tohoku Fare is an option if you want to visit the Tohoku region (5400 yen, maximum five trips). However, your international flight must be with JAL or another company part of the Oneworld alliance.
- All Nippon Airways: the pass ANA Experience Japan Fare serves as a reference in the field. With this offer, any destination cost only 10,800 yen, with no limit in number of flights. However, the baggage allowance is limited to 20kg per person. You also need to book your ticket at least three days in advance.
Unlike the Japan Rail Pass, these packages have no time limit.