A range of airlines across the United States are scrambling to relaunch several flights to Japan following the country’s decision to greatly soften its entry restrictions and reopen today, October 11th. Japan has long since been one of the most sought-after and well-visited destinations amongst travelers, with almost 32 million travelers visiting the country in 2019 before the country closed its doors to foreign arrivals. This included almost 2 million American travelers keen to sample the delights of Shibuya, sake, and sakura trees, amongst countless other attractions.
Whilst travel to Japan over the past two years or so has been all but non-existent, the country’s decision to reopen its borders and remove its restrictions could see the country re-emerge as one of the world’s foremost travel destinations, coming just as many Americans are looking to cement their winter travel plans. Here’s a look at which flight routes are set to be relaunched from the U.S., other ways airlines are hoping to cope with the expected increase in demand, and why it’s the perfect time to take a trip to Japan right now.
Airlines Relaunch Japan Flights – Information For Travelers
As of today, travel to Japan is officially back on the menu. Japan had imposed some of the strictest entry requirements in the world during the Covid-19 pandemic, causing their international arrivals figures to fall below five figures per month for several months over the past few years. After poor attempts to reignite interest in traveling to the country through guided tour packages chocked full of Covid-19 tests and little freedom to travel independently, the country has now full ripped off the plaster of harsh restrictions and is open once more to the world with much softer restrictions – and airlines in the U.S. have taken notice.
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United Airlines is one such airline to have reacted to the country’s long-awaited reopening. From November onwards, the airline will be boosting the frequency of its flights between Houston and Tokyo to four flights per week, allowing even more travelers to have the opportunity to visit the world’s biggest city. On top of this, United will also be deploying larger aircraft for its routes from Newark and Los Angeles to Tokyo in anticipation of increased demand for traveling to the city. Round trips between LA and Tokyo in December are available for less than $900. In total, United’s total capacity for flights to Japan will be raised by 13%.
United isn’t the only airline to get in on the action. Fellow airline giants Delta Air Lines have also introduced more flights to Japan in recent months, with the airline keen to capitalize on renewed interest in visiting the country. Delta will be offering three flights a week between Honolulu and Tokyo-Haneda airport between October 30th and November 28th. However, from December 1st, passengers can look forward to a daily Delta flight between the two airports, operated by 226-passenger capacity Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
Whilst Honolulu isn’t the easiest airport for travelers on the U.S. mainland to fly from, travelers can rejoice at the fact that Delta will also be stepping up its flights from LA to Japan. From October 30th until November 28th, Delta will offer three flights per week from LAX to Tokyo-Haneda airport before this route also switches to a daily service from December 1st to March 24th. This route will be operated by Delta’s Airbus A330-900 aircraft, and one-way flights in December can be booked for less than $500.
At present, it’s a fantastic time to visit Japan. Fewer countries are prettier than Japan in the Fall season, as brown, red and yellow leaves fall amongst a backdrop of ornate temples and torii gates – whilst a chance to experience Japan in the snow-filled winter season is just a few months away.
Not only is it beautiful right now, but it is also a top time to visit from a financial perspective, with the dollar performing strongly and the Japanese yen struggling – a climate that could make a traditionally expensive destination surprisingly affordable.
There are still some restrictions in place that travelers will need to conform to in order to be able to enter Japan. Travelers will need to either have received three shots of a Covid-19 vaccine or take a pre-arrival PCR test to enter and should also be aware that mask-wearing is still very much the done thing in the country – especially when on public transportation. Unlike previous reopening attempts, once in the country, travelers are free to travel wherever they want, as was the case before the pandemic.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Thursday 13th of October 2022
Thank you for the article. We are booked on a cruise to Japan in April 2023 and, after having had 2 prior cruises cancelled due to COVID, we really hope this one works out. Just a slight niggle: your first sentence is not conjugated properly: it should say "a range of airlines...is scrambling," not "are scrambling," since "range" is singular. Thank you again for the encouraging news.
Michael Z (Midtown NYC)
Tuesday 11th of October 2022
Thanks for the good news Kyle. We love visiting Japan. We lived in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. We also hiked the 'KUMANO KODO TRAIL'. 'Cherry Blossom Season', is fantastic together with the culture, cuisine and so many exciting places and sites (things to do). We'll be going back for 3 months in the Fall of 2023.