Cheap Flights to Tokyo, Japan

  • Area Metro : 13,572 km² (5,240 sq. mi)
  • Area Codes : +81 3
  • Currency : Yen ¥
  • Population Metro : 37,800,000 (2016)
  • Official Language : Japanese
  • Time Zones : UTC+9
  • Airports : Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) (HND)
  • : Narita International Airport

HND was Tokyos first international airport, starting operations in 1931. After Narita opened in 1978, HND reverted to handling only domestic flights until 2010 when it resumed its international flights. HND is only 15km from Tokyos centre city while Narita is 65km and in Chiba. From HND to Tokyo Station takes around 30 minutes, from Narita it takes at least an hour and is more expensive. Available for travel from HND to the city are buses, rail, taxis and hired vehicles.

Travellers have numerous airlines to fly with from Johannesburg to HND that include:

  • Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong) 17h 55m+
  • South African, Hong Kong Express (via Hong Kong) 18h 0m+
  • ANA (via Hong Kong) 18h 20m+
  • Ethiopian (via Hong Kong) 18h 25m+
  • Singapore (via Singapore) 18h 50m+
  • Qatar Airways (via Doha) 18h 55m+

Flights taking 19 hours and longer comprise:

  • JAL
  • Hong Kong Airlines
  • Air Chine
  • Emirates
  • Air Mauritius
  • Thai
  • Korean Air
  • Dragonair
  • Asiana
  • China Southern

HND has a long list of airlines touching down that include:

  • Air France
  • Air Canada
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • Alitalia
  • American
  • Bangkok Airways
  • British Airways
  • Delta
  • Etihad
  • Qantas Airways
  • Swiss
  • TAM
  • Turkish

Reasons to Visit Tokyo, Japan:

  • Capital of Japan, Tokyos a sprawling, amazing, exciting city wonderfully mixed with old and new and everything imagined. There are remarkable ancient temples, bright neon-lit skyscrapers, impressive museums, theatres, street markets, shopping areas, marvellous verdant parks and an excellent public transport system.
  • In addition to opulent accommodation theres a great choice of budget hotels, backpackers, guest houses and Japanese-style hostels.
  • Fabulous restaurants are plentiful, some posh and glitzy, others providing an authentic Japanese ambience and some requiring reservations months in advance. RyuGin, extremely serious about their food, urge diners (on the website) to be sensible when applying perfume. Pub grub Japanese style, washed down with beer and sake is an experience in itself. Revel till dawn at one of many nightclubs like Womb, Oath or the largest in the city, AgeHa. Meet friends in a music bar or brewpub for craft beer, cocktails, sake, wine and more! After your night out, indulge your aching muscles from a variety of pleasing (and sometimes painful) massages.

When to Go Tokyo, Japan:

Tokyos low season from January through March affords slightly lower prices for accommodation (except over Christmas and New Year). January is the citys coldest but sunniest month with temperatures between 7 and 10°C and at night, just below freezing. During March the weather starts warming a little with the first signs of spring and a bit of rain but over this period, all thats needed for a great holiday is a warm coat and sunglasses. April is also good for warmer weather with highs around 17/18°C, longer days and seeing the cherry blossoms come to life.

For avid climbers, July and August are the best months to conquer Mt Fuji.

Places to Visit Tokyo, Japan:

  • The Meiji Shinto Shrine is located in a lush forest area that comprises 120,000 trees with 365 different species. The shrine founded in 1920 is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken and also home to a treasure museum built in Azekurazukuri style that holds articles that belonged to the Emperor and Empress. The Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery houses a collection of 80 fine-looking large murals.
  • The most visited and colourful Sensō-ji temple located in Asakusa is Japans oldest and most significant Buddhist temple, founded in 645 AD.
  • The Tokyo Imperial Palace, the main residence of the Emperor also occupies the site of the original Edo-jō (Tokugawa shogunates castle) that at one time was the largest fortress in the world, today little remains except the moat and stone walls. There are arranged tours of the inner compound of the palace and should be booked.

Roppongi, a district of Minato:

  • The building complex of Roppongi Hills is described as a city within a city and is Japans largest urban redevelopment that attracted over 49 million visitors to its massive entertainment and shopping area in its first year of opening.
  • The National Art Centre with no permanent collection of its own, hosts marvellous travelling exhibitions, check ahead to see whats being exhibited.
  • After viewing exhibitions at the Mori Art Museum, located on the 52nd and 53rd floors of the Mori Tower, relax with a drink as you take in the spectacular view from the observation deck. One ticket allows access to all areas, except the rooftop Sky Deck that affords even better vistas for an additional fee.
  • Not to be missed is the Nezu Museum, home to the private collections of artist Kaichirō Nezu. On display are pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art covering calligraphy, ceramics, textiles and painting. Theres also a charming Japanese garden with a café for relaxation with tea.
  • Roppongi, famous for its vibrant night life has endless bars, dance clubs, cafes and restaurants cooking up cuisines from around the globe.

Green Spaces:

  • The beautiful 58.3 hectare Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is just ten minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station and comprises ponds, trees and lawns with landscape styles of formal French, English and traditional Japanese. Visit from Tuesday to Sundays between 09h00 to 16h00 for a small fee.
  • Just a 10 to 15 minute walk from Tokyo Station is the Imperial Palace East Garden with no admission fee, stroll through the beautiful grounds and visit the Museum of Imperial Collections with over 9500 artwork exhibits owned by the imperial family.
  • The 1873 public Ueno Park, adjacent to Ueno Station has over 8,000 trees and provides a sight to behold in spring with the cherry blossoms and hanami. There are marshlands, shrubs, extensive lotus beds and a variety of winter birds. Housed within the grounds are the National Museum of Nature and Science, the Tokyo National Museum and Japans oldest zoo, Ueno Zoo.
  • A well hidden secret located in the heart of Tokyo near Meguro Station is The Institute for Nature Study National Reserve. For a small fee enjoy the natural beauty of this park thats used for research and education.
  • A must for hikers or nature lovers is the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park comprising 1250 km² with eight peaks of over 2000 metres. The park provides numerous hiking trails, the famous landmark of Mt. Mitake and ancient shrines. From central Tokyo it takes less than two hours to reach, but well worth it.
  • Additional parks well worth a visit are Kiyosumi Teien, Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden and Hama Rikyu.

Getting Around Tokyo, Japan:
The widespread city of Tokyo has a fantastic, and one of the worlds best, public transport systems. The easiest way to get around the city is by subway or train. Purchase a prepaid Suica or Pasmo card to pay for your train, subway or bus and avoid travelling on the JR train during morning weekday rush hours. Most lines have women-only compartments during the week until 09h30 and remember to switch your cell phone to silent mode when taking any public transport. Tickets can be purchased at all subway stations and vending machines. Trains generally arrive every three to five minutes and most subways operate from 0h500 to midnight, but first and last trains are dependent on the line, station and if its during the week or over a weekend.

Tokyo Metro & Toei (subway):
The subway is modern, clean, user friendly and efficient. Names of stations are in English and many coaches digitally display the next station above the door in English. Making travel easier for visitors, all lines are colour coded.

JR (train):
The electric commuter trains are also colour coded. The most popular and convenient line is the Yamanote Line (coded green) that traverses in an oblong loop around the city with 29 stops along the way, announcements in English and with English digital boards in each compartment.

Bus:
Buses are not as user friendly for visitors as the rail system and not all drivers speak English. The only bus recommended for visitors is Toeis Tokyo Shitamachi Bus, a sightseeing bus that reaches seven prime attractions on a fixed route. It departs from Tokyo Station, from the Marunouchi north exit and your Suica card can be used.

Boat:
To see certain sights or simply enjoy a boat ride youll find boats departing from Hinode Pier and Hinode Station.

Taxi:
Taxis are good but extremely expensive with an added 30% from 22h00 to 05h00. Theyre easily waved down in the street as there are so many.

Car Hire:
Vehicles can be rented from Europcar, Nissan Car Rental and others although hiring a car isnt necessary with the excellent public transport system.

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