If you’ve been waiting for the last couple of years for the green light to plan a trip to Japan, it’s a time to celebrate and search for flight deals as the country has finally relaxed its entry requirements for individual tourists.
This weekend, we’ve got two deals that can help jump-start your travel plans for next year including cheap economy flights from the West Coast and a way you can travel in style from the East Coast — while also visiting a second country.
If you are within driving distance of Los Angeles, or if you can find a cheap positioning flight that gets you to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), you can make it to Tokyo and back for around $550 round-trip during the first few months of 2023.
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Meanwhile, if you read director of content Eric Rosen’s review this week of Japan-based ANA’s business class product called The Room and have been hoping to find a premium seat on board one of those ANA Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, there’s good news: You can fly in The Room for much of 2023 at a fairly reasonable cost, provided you’re willing to continue on from Tokyo to Jakarta … which, by the way, puts you in a prime position to visit Bali.
Thanks to Scott’s Cheap Flights for flagging these deals to Japan. For premium memberships starting at $49 annually, you’ll receive alerts on great economy fares, while a $199 annual membership gets you premium economy and business-class deals.
Whether you’re just hoping to make it to Tokyo at the lowest price you can find or you’re planning a longer multi-stop excursion, these deals could be a great way to visit a country (or two) on the other side of the world.
Related: Let Elsewhere experts plan your trip to Japan (Elsewhere is owned by TPG’s sister brand, Lonely Planet.)
Economy flights to Japan
Airlines: America, Delta, Japan Airlines.
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Route: Los Angeles to Tokyo.
Travel dates: January through March 2023.
How to book: We suggest searching for the best itinerary on Google Flights, then booking directly with the airlines.
The economy deals to Tokyo are available during the first few months of the year for around $550 out of Los Angeles.
We see pricing from other U.S. cities, even major airline hubs, at double the cost of the flights from LAX. For that reason, you may want to check award availability or flight deals to Los Angeles to put yourself in position for the flight across the Pacific.
One of the anomalies with this deal is that a lot of the best availability involves a departure on American Airlines and a return flight on Delta Air Lines, or vice versa.
For instance, here’s a February itinerary: You’ll leave mid-morning from LAX aboard Delta Air Lines, for the 12-hour, 25-minute long-haul flight to Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND). In order to get that $552 fare, your return trip aboard American Airlines includes a stop at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), but it’s a brief layover of less than two hours.
If you have Global Entry and can make your way through customs quickly, that should leave you enough time to refuel in one of DFW’s airline lounges before the final leg of the trip back to Southern California.
Business class deals to Tokyo
While cheap economy fares are a great find, there’s also availability on flights to Japan with a lot more comfort and luxury, particularly on the long-haul portion of the trip. Right now, one of the most cost-effective ways we’ve found to make it to Tokyo is by booking a multi-city itinerary to another destination, with a stopover planned in Tokyo.
In this case, you can book ANA business class via its The Room accommodations aboard its 777-300ER aircraft, before continuing on to Jakarta.
Searching business class options between New York and Tokyo (as well as many other U.S. cities) for early 2023, you’ll find prices in the $4,000 to $7,000 range, round trip.
There are ways to pay less, though, and it actually involves lengthening your trip, adding flights and seeing another country. (There could be worse ways to save money, right?)
By searching multi-city itineraries from New York to Jakarta, Indonesia, with a stop in Tokyo, you can get round-trip fares in this premium cabin for as low as $2,699 for travel next year. This is a way to stop in Tokyo, and possibly spend more time in Tokyo than Jakarta, depending on how you book the trip.
Route: Multi-city itinerary from New York to Tokyo to Jakarta, and Jakarta back to New York.
Travel dates: January through August 2023; with some availability later in the year.
How to book: Search your itinerary on Google Flights, then book through the airline directly.
Here’s one such option that can get you ANA business class availability in the $2,600 to $2,700 price range.
Go to Google Flights to search business class availability. Plugging in a May 9 departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), it’s a 14-hour flight to Tokyo. You can play with the dates for the next leg of the trip, from Haneda to Jakarta, keeping in mind, the price will fluctuate based on each departure date, like it would with any trip.
I’ll give myself a week in Tokyo, and then a week in Indonesia. On the return trip, you’ll have to stop again in Tokyo, but if you don’t want to spend a ton of time there, you can just input a Jakarta-to-New York flight. This is a two-week trip for $2,699 in airfare for a premium seat.
After finding the itinerary, you can head to ANA’s site to actually book, and there, you can check to make sure the long-haul portion of the trip is, in fact, on an ANA aircraft with The Room.
Putting in those same dates, you’ll get specifics on each leg of the trip once you click “search.”
And from here, you can see, for the New York to Tokyo flight, “The Room” is, in fact, the business class service being optioned; it’s the same story on the Tokyo to New York portion of the return trip.
Keep in mind, in Jakarta you can explore the city or take a short flight or train ride to visit Bali and its many incredible resorts, beaches and sights.
Maximize your purchase
Don’t forget to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, which earns 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). The Citi Premier® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve earn 3 points per dollar on airfare, and the American Express® Gold Card also earns 3 points per dollar on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 points per dollar on travel. Learn more here about maximizing your air travel purchases.
We’ll certainly be on the hunt for more great deals to Japan as travelers look to make their way to the country now that it is open again. Whether you’re looking to find the cheapest option in economy or travel in a bit more style from New York and check another destination like Bali off your bucket list, these are both great deals to consider for 2023.
Exploring the “Otaku Island” of Enoshima