Top 10 Best Airlines to Fly to Japan

Airlines · 8 min read · Dec 22, 2022
best airlines to fly to japan

Japan is among the most popular destinations. It offers many unique experiences you cannot find in any other part of the world. Japan is also one of the oldest civilizations with a distinct history and cultural mix of Eastern traditions and Western modernity. Moreover, its breathtaking views attract travelers from all over the world.

Whether you are planning a trip or just dreaming of one, check our recommendations for the best airlines to fly to Japan!

1. ANA (All Nippon Airways)

ANA is one of Japan’s largest airlines and the only airline to hold Skytrax 5-star status. It means that All Nippon Airways have a mark of the most prestigious and unique quality.

ANA airlines offer comfortable seats divided into four categories: First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy Class. Also, each class has many entertainment options. For example, personal monitors with a big collection of movies, TV shows, music, and games, and also an e-library with a variety of books and magazines.

In addition to all that, the most important part is that All Nippon Airways offer many international flights. It has direct flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Houston, and Chicago to Haneda and Narita airports in Tokyo. So, you can comfortably travel to Japan from an airport next to you with the most luxurious Japanese airlines.

ANA aircraft taxiing on the taxiway at an airport. Best airlines to fly to Japan.

2. JAL (Japan Airlines)

JAL is another one of the major airlines in Japan. It offers many advantages as outstanding comfort, cuisine, and in-flight entertainment.

According to the Skytrax 2021 passenger satisfaction survey, featuring 13.4 million voters from over 100 countries – Japan Airlines has the World’s Best Economy Class with the Best Economy Class Airline Seat. So this is the best airline to fly if you are an economy class traveler because it offers more place for feet than economy seats of ANA and many other airlines.

JAL Japan Airlines aircraft boarding at a jetway. Best airlines to fly to Japan.

Although JAL business class offers you special lounges to wait in for your flight. It has a stylish Sakura lounge where you can get the most delicious food.

JAL is also a partner of American Airlines within Oneworld Alliance, so they share many flight routes. That means you can fly to Japan from Seattle, Lon Angeles, Honolulu, and New York, and other American cities with ease. JAL flies some of these routes up to 3 times a week, which makes Japan Airlines the best airlines for a short getaway to Japan.

3. Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is one of the major US airlines and they also offer flights to Japan. This airline is mostly popular for its loyalty program called Delta SkyMiles. This frequent flyer program lets you collect points for miles traveled and once you have enough points, you’ll get perks such as priority boarding, free checked bags, lounge access, and free cabin upgrades.

Besides these perks, Delta partners with Haneda Airport. Tokyo Haneda airport is much closer to the city center than Narita, only half an hour’s drive. So, you don’t have to commute for a long time to reach the city.

Moreover, traveling with Delta Airlines you’ll get plenty of entertainment options such as a personal screen, delicious food, and a comfortable seat for your long flight. Delta is also one of the non-Japanese business class airlines to fly to Japan due to their spacious state-of-the-art cabins and airport experience.

Delta Airlines aircraft parked in front of other aircraft.

4. Air France

These airlines offer more than 500 destinations worldwide including Japan. They operate 5 flights every week to both Narita and Haneda airports from various airports, such as Schiphol in Amsterdam and Charles de Gaulle in Paris. Air France is the best airline to fly to Japan from Europe due to their frequent flights as well as great prices.

In fact, Air France was named Europe’s Leading Airline for its Economy Class at the World Travel Awards. They serve delicious onboard meals and offer seats of the highest standards of comfort with a lot of legroom for every passenger. Because Air France is a full-service airline, the prices might be just a little higher as compared to Iberia or American Airlines, starting at about $1000.

5. British Airways

One of the perks that make British Airways a great contender for your holiday in Japan is that the airline flies direct to Tokyo. British airways have also made sure that their partnerships with Finnair, Iberia, and Japan Airlines make it easy for you to fly to several Japanese cities with just one stopover. To make this even better, flight prices with British Airways are also comparatively low, starting at $960.

Due to the pandemic restrictions, British Airways had temporarily suspended their flights to Japan for a year. However, since Japan lifted its restrictions on international travelers in October 2022, from November 13 flights became available again. So don’t miss your chance to visit this fascinating country on board a British Airways flight!

British Airways aircraft parked on tarmac on a sunny day.

6. American airlines

With American Airlines, your can fly to Japan directly from numerous US cities, such as Dallas and Boston. American Airlines have partnered together with Japan Airlines and nowadays offer 10 non-stop flights to 7 destinations. While AA’s competitors might offer better quality business class or more spacious cabins, American has all you might need in a flight: comfortable seats, good service, and reliability.

American Airlines also offers affordable prices starting from $300 for your flights to Japan, so you can be sure you won’t be breaking your bank to experience the vivid culture and life of Japan.

7. United Airlines

United Airlines is another major airline in America that offers lots of direct flights to Japan. They not only fly to two major airports Narita and Haneda but also many smaller Japanese cities, such as Sendai, Sapporo, and Fukuoka.

United Airlines also are the best airlines to fly to Japan for international travelers who suffer from jet lag. United schedules their planes to arrive in Japan in the afternoon and early evening, accommodating and narrowing the huge time difference between the US and Japan. Moreover, the conveniently planned flights provide a great time slot for hotel check-in, letting travelers rest more and deal with jet lag.

United Airlines aircraft being towed to the runway. Best airlines to fly to Japan.

8. Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian airlines offer you one of the shortest flight from the US to Japan. The duration of the flight from Honolulu to Tokyo is just over 8 hours. This is the reason why this particular airline is popular not only among Americans but also the Japanese. Shorter flights to Japan mean a less noticeable jet lag as well as a lower price tag. Flights from Honolulu to Tokyo-Narita starts at about $700 in Economy class.

While flying with this airline you can enjoy comfortable seats, friendly flight attendants, and great service. Also, unlike other airlines, they are not a member of the Oneworld alliance, instead Hawaiian has individual partnership agreements, for example with Japan Airlines. Partnerships mean more convenient connections for further travel.

9. Finnair

Finnair operates flights not only from their home base in Helsinki but also from other European capitals such as London and even New York. Although they usually have a stopover in Helsinki, they are convenient and easy to book. In comparison, flights to Japan cost less with Finnair, about $1000. However, the long flight duration (more or less a full day) might make you choose direct flights from other airlines.

Best airlines to fly to Japan: Finnair aircraft at a jetway.

10. Iberia Airlines

Iberia Airlines is a Spanish airline which mainly operates in Europe. Recently, however, Iberia was acquired by British airways but both airlines kept their respective names. Because of this merger, with Iberia, you can fly to Japan not only from Madrid but also from London.

While Iberia is not known for luxury, they can boast cheap flights which will definitely save you some money on your holiday in this exotic destination. Some of their flights are as low as $800 with a stopover in London.

FAQ

As you see, no matter where you are flying from, Europe or America, there are many choices of airlines to fly to Japan. Still, it is not enough just to know which airline to choose, there are many other questions regarding travel to Japan. So we prepared this frequently asked questions section for you to fully prepare for your trip to Japan.

How much do flights to Japan cost?

The average price of a flight to Japan varies from $800 to $1,700 per passenger for an economy class seat. For first-class or business-class seats you might have to pay from $3,000 to $5,500. However, if you book your flights in advance, you can find cheap flights from the U.S. to Japan directly for about $800. As usual, you can still save from $100 to $300 and pay the best value for your flight if you are a member of the loyalty program of the airlines that you flying.

What is the cheapest month to go to Japan?

The cheapest months to fly to Japan are November, February, and early March. This is because winter is undoubtedly the least-visited season of the year for tourists.

However, Japan is beautiful at any time of year, and we hope you have the chance to visit soon!

A Japanese landscape: Mount Fuji and a temple.

How long is a flight to Japan?

The average nonstop flight time from the US to Japan is 12 hours and 22 minutes. From Europe to Japan the flight duration is almost the same 12 hours and 7 minutes.

What are some national Japanese airlines?

All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines are based in Japan. Based on some benefits and experience, they also are the best airlines to fly to Japan.

Which airlines fly to Japan from China?

Several Chinese airlines fly to Japan: Hong Kong Express, Juneyao Airlines, and Fuzhou Airlines. And others: ANA, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, and Singapore Airlines.

Which airlines offer domestic flights within Japan?

Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA). Each consists of several airlines, and between them they operate flights to all 20 major airports, as well as numerous smaller airports, within the country.

Moreover, there are smaller low-cost airlines, such as Peach Aviation and Skymark.

Which airline to Japan has the best COVID safety rating?

Japan Airlines. They are certified with the highest 5-Star COVID Airline Safety rating.

Are there special COVID requirements to enter Japan?

Passengers who have been fully vaccinated and boosted with vaccines approved by the Japanese government will not require a pre-travel COVID-19 test. However, please refer to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare’s website for more details.

Which airlines have the most flexible cancelation policy for flights to Japan because of COVID-19?

The most flexible airlines are ANA, United Airlines, and American Airlines. However, always read policies when purchasing your ticket as rules are updated and reviewed regularly.

Do I need a visa to enter Japan?

There are over 60 countries whose citizens can enter visa-free for tourism or business. Other nationalities currently need to go to a Japanese embassy or consulate to apply for a visa.

Do I need any vaccinations before coming to Japan?

Generally speaking, visitors to Japan do not require any special vaccinations. However, to be safe, any routine immunizations should be kept up-to-date.

A Japanese public transport terminal.

How can I get to central Tokyo from Narita Airport?

There are many ways to commute in Japan. You can travel by JR Narita Express trains, limousine buses, or trains on the Keisei Dentetsu railway.

The Narita Express is one of the fastest options which gets you to Tokyo station in about an hour. Limousine buses have many direct lines to many stations and travel times vary from 1 hour to 90 minutes depending on your destination. The Keisei Dentetsu railway will take you to Tokyo downtown in about an hour also.

How can I get to Haneda Airport from Narita Airport?

There are limousine buses and Airport Limited Express trains. The bus trip takes about 80 minutes and there are about three buses an hour. The train trip takes a little more, about 110 minutes and there is a train every hour.

The most popular destinations are Tokyo, Osaka, and Okinawa. Also, people travel to Tokushima, Sapporo, and Fukuoka.

Final thoughts

I hope I answered the main question “what are the best airlines to fly to Japan”. Now you only have to choose which is the most suitable for you, get your ticket and you will be ready to plan your trip. Let’s discover the most fascinating country with its hospitable people, special food, and beautiful nature.

Also, do not forget to tell us about your experience after the trip. Maybe you already visited Tokyo? Which airlines did you fly with? See you in the comment section!

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Guste simanaviciute
Gustė Simanavičiūtė
A curious traveler with a passion for writing whose journey began with translation and led to the aviation industry.

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