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Cheap Domestic Flights in Japan

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Search and buy domestic flights within Japan with Alternative Airlines! Discover the benefits of catching a domestic flight, and check out our list of FAQs…

What are domestic flights?

blue plane icon

Domestic flights can also be referred to as internal or short-haul flights, due to their short duration—all domestic flights from Tokyo have a duration up to just 2 hours, for example. Essentially, domestic flights depart and arrive within the same country.


Why book domestic flights?


photo of a Japanese temple with cherry blossom tree


Most tourists tend to head straight to Honshu, the largest island, on which Japan’s capital, Tokyo, is located. On this island you will also find the other big city names, including Osaka, Nagoya, and Kyoto. Honshu is diverse, and to make the most of your trip, inter-regional travel will be essential.

Furthermore, Japan consists of numerous other interesting and incredibly beautiful islands, such as Shikoku and Kyushu, as well as the tropical islands of Okinawa.

This is where domestic air travel comes in. Due to the deregulation of Japan's airline industry, numerous low-cost and discount airlines have sprung up; as a result, domestic airfares have seen a dramatic drop. On many routes, catching a domestic flight will be much more economical in comparison to the Shinkansen (Japan’s famous bullet train). To demonstrate, a journey between Tokyo and Nagasaki by train would take 8 hours with a cost of $233 USD (¥26,000 Japanese Yen); in comparison, the same journey by air takes approximately 2 hours and, for a regular ticket, costs around $269 USD (¥30,000) for a return ticket.


Airlines that offer Domestic Flights within the country

japan temple silhouette in blue

There are two groups in particular that dominate air travel in Japan: Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA). Each consists of several airlines, and between them operate operate flights to all 20 major airports, as well as numerous smaller airports, within the country—over 100 destinations in total.

There are also smaller airlines, including Peach Aviation and Skymark, which compete on price on the most popular routes, as well as offering flights to less traveled destinations.

If you would like to know more about each airline, including baggage allowance and class fares, simply follow the links below!

The Major Airlines

- ANA Group (All Nippon Airways) 

The group consists of All Nippon Airways, as well as smaller airlines, including Air Nippon. In total, the group operates over 100 routes across Japan.

Check-In Online: Online check-in is available from 24 hours up to 75 minutes prior to departure.

Check-In Airport: Airport check-in closes 20 minutes before departure.

- Jal Group (Japan Airlines) 

The JAL Group consists of JAL Domestic and JAL International, and has several smaller airlines, including Japan Transocean Air and Ryukyu Air Commuter. The airline offers economy class travel for budget prices, and flies between all major airports.

Check-In Online: Available between 24—1 hour before flight. 

Check-In Airport: It is advised to check-in no later than 30 minutes before departure time.


Budget Airlines

- Skymark 

Skymark offers one of the most extensive route networks among Japan’s discount airlines, operating affordable services from its main bases in Tokyo and Kobe.

Check-In Online: Available between 24—1 hour before flight. 

Check-In Airport: Closes 40 minutes before flight.

- Peach Aviation 

Peach Aviation commenced operations in 2012 and was Japan's first real low-cost carrier, offering fares not previously seen in the country. The airline offers affordable services from its bases at Osaka, Tokyo, and Okinawa.

Check-In Airport: Passengers will need to check-in at the airport counters. Check-in opens 90 minutes and closes 30 minutes before scheduled departure.

- Vanilla Air 

Vanilla Air currently operates a few routes out of Tokyo’s Narita Airport. During 2019, Vanilla air is set to be incorporated into Peach Aviation, with the last flights to operate within October 2019.

Check-In Online: Web Check-in is available for passengers on domestic flights, available from 48 hours to 2 hours before departure time./p>

Check-In Airport: From 90 min. to 30 min. before departure

- JetStar Japan 

Jetstar Japan offers the largest domestic network of low-cost carriers within Japan. The airline operates from Tokyo's Narita Airport, Osaka's Kansai Airport, and Nagoya's Central Airport.

Check-In Online: or domestic flights in Japan, online check-in opens two days before your flight, and closes 35 minutes before your flight departs.

Check-In Airport: Airport check-in closes 30 minutes before departure.

- Spring Airlines Japan 

Spring Airlines Japan connects Tokyo's Narita Airport with Hiroshima, Sapporo and Saga, as well as destinations within China.

Check-In Online: Online check-in is open 24 hours before departure.

Check-In Airport: It is advised to arrive an hour before departure for check-in.

- Air Asia Japan 

Air Asia Japan was re-launched in 2017 by Air Asia. The airline currently offers a single route, connecting Nagoya and Sopporo.

Check-In Online: For most flights, self (web)check-in opens 14 days before departure and closes 1 hour before departure.

Check-In Airport: Airport check-in opens 2 hours and closes 45 minutes before departure.


Do I need a passport when travelling domestically within Japan?

Most airlines do not require a passport for domestic travel within Japan; however, valid identification will be required. Most airlines will accept the following as a form of valid identification: passport, drivers license, and government issued photo identification.

Do I still need to go through security if travelling on a domestic flight in Japan?

Passengers travelling on domestic flights still need to comply with all airport security procedures, and are still subject to screening prior to arriving in the boarding area. However, travellers are not required to pass through customs or immigration before boarding. On arrival, passengers are able to disembark and head straight to baggage claim, without having to pass through immigration or customs.

How much baggage can I take on domestic flights within Japan?

Most airlines will offer free hand luggage when travelling domestically within Japan. We always recommend checking with each airline to find out more!

JAL Group: You may carry onboard one bag containing personal belongings (handbag, camera, etc.) and one additional bag that meets the sizing conditions, with the total weight of both bags not to exceed 10kg (22lbs). For checked-baggage, up to 20kg is free of charge for each passenger.

ANA Group: Free checked baggage up to 20 kg (Economy), or 40 kg (Premium) with a total linear dimension of 203cm. For carry on, the total weight of all personal belongings is 10 kg, with a total linear dimension of 115 cm.

Can I book domestic flights in Japan online?

Alternative Airlines offer online booking for your domestic flights. When buying flights through Alternative Airlines, you can choose from over 20 payment options, including PayPal.

Use our search bar to search and buy flights with different airlines to destinations across Japan.

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