The cost of the flight is probably going to be the most expensive thing about traveling to Japan. The reason for this is because you can control how much you pay for a hotel room and how much you spend on food, but you can't control the cost of your plane flight. A plane flight to Japan and back to America will range from $1200-$1700. I've been to Japan during the spring and summer seasons. In the summer I spent about $1400 on my plane ticket while when I went in the spring I spent about $1500. I also bought my plane tickets at least 5 months in advance. I've heard that the best way to get a cheaper plane ticket to Japan is to book a flight during the off season. Off season means going to Japan between seasons, so instead of going during cherry blossom season you go after cherry blossom season has ended and before summer officially starts. This will mean you will not be able to see or participate in seasonal events but your plane ticket will be a bit cheaper for those of you on a budget.
For those of you who are responsible adults and have great credit, consider getting a credit card that helps you get points that can go towards a plane flight. My husband and I have a credit card we use to help us rack up points with United Airlines. I've used United Airlines for both of the flights to Japan. This is a great way to decrease the ticket expense.
Length of Flight
This part is one of the hardest things to deal with about the flight to Japan. On average a flight to Japan, including between flight delays, will take about 19-21 hours. Both my trips were about 19 hours. The plane flight back home will be the same length of time. If 19 hours doesn't sound like your cup of tea you can always get a flight that let's you stay in a city overnight before boarding another plane to go to Japan. I rather not waste my time with this because it takes a day out of your Japan trip. The 19 hour flight really isn't that bad, especially when going to Japan. The ride coming back is the hardest just because you know you're going back home so the flight seems like it takes longer even though it doesn't.
There are a few tips I can give to make your flight to Japan easier:
1. Get a good night sleep the night before the flight. If you are tired during your flight you will have to try to sleep on the plane which in my experience is really hard to do and is not comfortable at all.
2. Keep yourself entertained. I know for a fact United Airlines has a screen in front of your seat that can let you watch movies, TV shows, and play games. If none of that interests you I suggest bringing something from home such as a book, magazine, or a portable game system. If you are picky about earphones bring your own because you will most likely not like the ones the airline will supply.
3. Dress in layers. It might not seems so the first half of your flight, but it can get really cold on the plane. Bring a jacket with you on the plane. If you're not a fan of jacket, bring a blanket. The blanket provided by the airline will be a bit small and not as effective as a blanket from home.
I hope these tips make your flight go faster for you.
Since you will be crossing a significant amount of time zones the airline will be providing you with two meals to help you get adjusted to the new time you will be on. The food is average (and this is coming from a picky eater). I suggest for those of you who are picky about their food to bring filling snacks on the plane flight. You will get hungry in those 19 hours and the plane's meals and drinks are the only things you'll get from them.
Please don't let something like a long plane flight stop you from going to Japan, or even another country you've dreamed of going to. I hope this has prepared you for your trip to Japan. Have a safe flight!
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