Back Tokyo Cheapo | Events | Newsletter

How to get cheap flights out of Japan?


#1

I’m a bit of a travel hacker, and I recently came up this trick for finding cheap flights out of Japan.
If you use Skyscanner or Kayak (and similar aggregators) search with the language settings in Japanese, you may well find flights that are a lot cheaper than if you search in English. If one of the partner airlines only has a full booking process in Japanese then these flights won’t appear in the English versions of Skyscanner etc. So you often miss out on many of the cheap flights.

Using this trick, I was able to get a return to Europe with HIS Japan a full ¥50,000 cheaper than on the English version of Skyscanner. HIS Japan is just a travel agent and the airline booking was actually with BA, so once I had purchased the ticket I was able to get the BA reference (by emailing HIS Japan in English!) and then register on the BA system in English. So now I can checkin using the nice BA mobile app, order a special meal etc - no need to fiddle with some legacy Japanese website.

The only downside - HIS keeps sending me promotional offer emails in Japanese, and apparently there’s no way to opt out!

Any else have any cheap flight hacks? (looking at you @CheapoGreg, @Linus and @ryosan )


#2

I didn’t realise they hid results depending on language! I used to use flights.co.jp but it appears to have disappeared. You can actually book flights originating in Japan from overseas, so if you have a trusted travel agent in your home country, they can often get access to the same deals. Sometimes good if you want to avoid the layers of complexity and potential language issues of dealing with the fine print on Japanese travel agency bookings.


#3

And oldie hack, but always a goodie - do your research on the best deals, then clear your browser, sign out of Google, and use a VPN when possible before purchasing - I’ve had flight deals go up by 5,000 yen in a matter of minutes because of tracking, but once everything was cleared and I was a “new” customer, the deals went back to the original price.

And be careful of some of the smaller Japanese language-fronted booking sites. I’ve seen “lower” prices, but then a third-party fee gets added near the end of booking that it ends up being the same price as the bigger booking sites (Kayak, Skyscanner, etc), but a waste of time trying to track down a better deal.


#4

I found cheap tickets from Tokyo to Sao Paulo and back for 108000 yen with travel agency JTB. Their whole website is in Japanese, so not easy…