Major Airports In Japan: A Comprehensive Guide For You
To make your trip slightly easier, we’ve put together a list of the most major airports in Japan, along with access details and abbreviated codes.
There are a few aspects that all major airports in Japan share in common. Each is close to an important city, providing easy access to nearby landmarks and destinations, especially when using the Japanese Rail Pass and the regional railway system. All of the airports also provide flights to several places across the globe. International flights from minor airports in Asia are available to countries including China and Korea.
Major Airports in Japan You Should Know
Tokyo International Airport/Haneda Airport (HND)
Haneda Airport, which is situated in downtown Tokyo’s southern region, is known as “Big Bird”. It also ranks as the largest domestic airport in Japan, where numerous flights connecting the majority of minor airports in Japan come and depart. With around 86 million passengers served in 2018, Tokyo International Airport, also known as Haneda, is the fifth most visited airport worldwide and the busiest in Japan.
- Haneda Airport, which is situated in downtown Tokyo’s southern region, is known as “Big Bird”. (Source: Internet)
Nonetheless, due to its smart design, the airport seldom ever seems congested (apart from the security waits). Although being predominantly a local airport and serving as a hub for Japanese airlines like Star Flyer, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, Haneda gained traction in the long-haul flying market in 2010 with the inauguration of an international airport terminal and the completion of a fourth runway.
You should choose the Keikyu Line train or maybe the Tokyo Monorail when traveling from Haneda Airport to downtown. (Sadly, there isn’t a JR Line route). Tokyo Station can be reached by subway in roughly 30 minutes, making it closer to the city center than Narita.
- Location: Ota ward in Tokyo
- Pros: Include a wide range of flights, great amenities, ease of navigation, and a quick train connection to the city center
- Cons: Virtually none
Narita International Airport (NRT)
Ranking as one of the busiest airports globally, Narita Airport served many international flights. Narita is located in Chiba prefecture, roughly 62 km (40 miles) far from the downtown of Tokyo. Thus, it is advised to plan ahead for transportation from your place to the airport. Narita Airport is the hub for greater international flights than Haneda Airport, providing foreign travelers with more flight options.
- Narita is located in Chiba prefecture, roughly 62 km (40 miles) far from the downtown of Tokyo. (Source: Internet)
There are three terminals at Narita Airport. It is a sizable airport with several eateries serving both Japanese and other cuisines, gift stores, cafés, and even events celebrating Japanese culture. If you have a stopover at Narita, for instance, you may join us for an excursion to explore the neighborhood, which is renowned for its Edo period style streetscape and a famous temple with gardens and a pagoda.
You are likely to move to Tokyo immediately in most situations. Express buses or trains (JR Line or Keisei Line) are perfect options for you. Both are often operated, and the travel time to central Tokyo is around 60 to 90 minutes. However, Narita Airport is closed from midnight to six in the morning. At this time, neither trains nor buses service.Thus, you should take precautions if you come to Narita late at night.
- Location: About 40 miles from Tokyo’s city center, near Chiba.
- Pros: Superb amenities at Japan’s primary international airport
- Cons: Far from the downtown of Tokyo
Kansai International Airport (KIX)
With excellent connections to Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe, Kansai International Airport (KIX) offers services to the Kansai area of Japan. It is the biggest airport in northern Japan and provides a variety of direct international routes to Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia.
Engineers built a man-made island in Osaka Bay for Kansai International Airport. According to reports, the entire area cost around 20 billion dollars, of which a sizable portion was used to stabilize the island, which had started to sink at a pace of 20 inches each year. So, Kansai Airport is quite far from the city center and situated around 36 kilometers (22 miles) southwestern of Osaka, but it is accessible by a simple and reasonably priced railway.
- With excellent connections to Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe, Kansai International Airport (KIX) offers services to the Kansai area of Japan. (Source: Internet)
Several flights land at Kansai Airport after midnight, in contrast to Narita and Haneda. During midnight, there are no trains running to the Osaka region, however, express buses run continuously. JR Line or Nankai Railway are two options for getting from Kansai Airport to Osaka. Moreover, express buses often serve.
- Location: An island located around 36 miles southwest of Osaka
- Pros: Plenty of flights; simple to navigate
- Cons: Not close to the city center
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Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO)
Central Japan is served by Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO). Chubu really means “central Japan” and the airport’s geographic location is what gave it the moniker “centrair”. On an artificial island next to Tokoname, Chubu Centrair Airport is about 32 kilometers (19 miles) from south of Nagoya. Serving 12 million passengers, it’s one of the most important airports in Japan.
- Chubu really means “central Japan” and the airport’s geographic location is what gave it the moniker “centrair”. (Source: Internet)
Chubu Centrair Airport is a famous place since it has a public retail complex there. As you go over to the airside, you’ll have considerably fewer choices, so finish up all of your shopping and meals before you go through security. So far, the airport is expertly planned—not unusual for Japan.
The Meitetsu Line and limited express is a convenient way to go from Chubu Airport to Nagoya. It will take about 45 minutes by car and 30 minutes by train.
- Location: Tokoname region
- Pros: Nicely constructed facilities; excellent dining pre-security and great retail establishments
- Cons: There are few dining and shopping choices outside security
New Chitose Airport (CTS)
This airport is located around 30 miles from Sapporo, halfway between Chitose and Tomakomai. It welcomed around 23 million passengers each year and became Hokkaido’s biggest and busiest airport, not only flying within Japan but also to Singapore, South Korea, China, and the United States (Hawaii).
- It welcomed around 23 million passengers each year and became Hokkaido’s biggest and busiest airport. (Source: Internet)
Although there are several restaurants and stores there to keep tourists entertained, the rooftop onsen is the main attraction.
The floor B1F of the domestic terminal building occupies the first basement area, where the JR New Chitose Airport’s station is situated. There are railways that run on the Chitose, Sekihoku, Muroran, and Hakodate Routes that go to Abashiri, Sapporo, Tomokomai, Higashi Muroran, Kushiro, etc.
- Location: Bibi, Hokkaido
- Pros: Hokkaido’s largest airport; fantastic food and shopping
- Cons: It may be overcrowded
Fukuoka Airport (FUK)
Fukuoka Airport, the island of Kyushu’s busiest airport, attracted about 23.7 million tourists in 2017. This one has two terminals, one for domestic flights and the other for international routes which fly across Japan and Asia’s destinations. Fukuoka is incredibly near to the central city, with a train commute lasting just five minutes, unlike so many other airports throughout Japan.
- Fukuoka Airport, the island of Kyushu’s busiest airport, attracted about 23.7 million tourists in 2017. (Source: Internet)
Direct access to Hakata Station is provided by the Fukuoka City Subway. So then, you may reach the JR Kagoshima Main Route and the JR Sanyo Shinkansen.
- Location: Hakata ward in Fukuoka
- Pros: Near to the city center; several important international lines
- Cons: The check-in counters may become congested
Kagoshima Airport (KOJ)
Despite having just nine domestic terminals and one international gate, Kagoshima Airport served approximately 5 million passengers in 2015. The main route at the airport is over 30 flights to Tokyo Haneda every day, with additional flights to China, Hongkong, Taiwan and South Korea.
- Despite having just nine domestic terminals and one international gate, Kagoshima Airport served approximately 5 million passengers in 2015. (Source: Internet)
The domestic terminal has gift shops, dining options, a convenience store, a post office, and a currency exchange. The Kagoshima Airport offers more free amenities in addition to dining and shopping.
- Location: Kirishima, Kagoshima
- Pros: Compact and simple to navigate
- Cons: The lengthy security line is a drawback
Naha Airport (OKA)
The biggest airport in Okinawa prefecture, around 18 million passengers in 2015 from both local and foreign locations visited Naha Airport. The primary gateway for tourists entering Okinawa is Naha. Many important Asian cities have direct flights to the airport. Visitors arriving at and departing from other major airports in Japan can also take advantage of its excellent domestic connections. Even though there are direct international routes to Shimoji island and Ishigaki island, several airlines also offer access to Okinawa’s more isolated islands from Naha Airport.
- The biggest airport in Okinawa prefecture, around 18 million passengers in 2015 from both local and foreign locations visited Naha Airport. (Source: Internet)
The city’s main railway station, Shuri station, as well as the airport, are all connected by a monorail that runs toward the city center.
- Location: Naha’s southwest, Okinawa
- Pros: Many route options
- Cons: The check-in counters may become overcrowded
Osaka International Airport/ Itami Airport (ITM)
Osaka International Airport, also called Itami Airport, is a truly domestic-only airport. While not the most attractive airport in Japan, it is quite useful and convenient. However, it only provides a restricted array of food and shopping options.
- Nowadays, Itami Airport still serves more than thirty destinations throughout Japan with a great number of domestic flights. (Source: Internet)
Nowadays, Itami Airport still serves more than thirty destinations throughout Japan with a great number of domestic flights. JAL and its affiliated airlines, All Nippon Airways and IBEX Airlines all offer service there.
There are many ways to get from Itami Airport to the city center. You can take a taxi, a bus or both the monorail and subway.
- Location: Itami, Osaka
- Pros: Simple to use
- Cons: There aren’t many dining and shopping options
Sendai International Airport (SDJ)
Sendai International Airport, which is situated in Natori, is only a short drive from the heart of Sendai. It carries 3.6 million people on average annually, the majority of whom travel domestically but there are also routes to Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and China.
- Sendai International Airport, which is situated in Natori, is only a short drive from the heart of Sendai. (Source: Internet)
After floodwaters flooded the runways and terminals during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the airport suffered serious damage. It underwent renovations two months after the tragedy.
It will take 25 minutes when moving to downtown Sendai by train. It’s about 30 minutes for a taxi.
- Location: In Natori, near Sendai, Miyagi
- Pros: Nice and new facilities after being rebuilt from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami
- Cons: There are few shopping and eating options
1. How many major airports are in Japan?
The two main airports servicing Tokyo and eastern Japan are Narita International Airport (NRT) and Haneda Airport (HND), in addition to Kansai International Airport (KIX), an entry point to Kyoto and Japan’s southwest, which are the airports in Japan that are most important airports in Japan and also well-known around the world.
2. How many International airports does Japan have?
In Japan, airports that were recognized as being necessary for international aviation routes and classified as international civil airports following the Airport Development Law in 1956 are known as international airports.
Japan was home to several international airports, including Chubu Central Japan International Airport, Narita International Airport, Kansai International Airport, and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport).
3. What is the busiest airport in Japan?
According to MLIT reports, 2021 final statistics shows that Haneda Airport is the busiest airport in Japan. Haneda airport has been the champion for many years, becoming the most used airport in Japan over the past decade and also the 5th busiest airport in the world.
According to statistics, the peak year Haneda welcomed up to 87 million passengers, and in 2021, only about 26 million passengers because of the impact of the covid 19 epidemic.
4. What makes Japan Airlines superb?
Everyone would like a great flying experience, regardless of whether it’s a domestic trip or an extended overseas journey. Along with greater meals, onboard entertainment, and amenities, Japan Airlines also provides more legroom than its competitors. The preferred option for your journey is to fly economy seats with Japan Airlines, which offers a simple booking process and first-rate ground service.
5. What is the most beautiful airport in Japan?
Kansai International Airport is not only the most beautiful airport in Japan but also the airport whose the world’s most fantastic scenery. It is located on an artificial island around two miles from the coast of Osaka. Renzo Piano, an architect, created it in 1994. It has a solitary, light-filled airstrip with a massive airplane wing that extends more than a mile.
6. What is the cheapest time to fly to Japan?
Although traveling to Japan is most affordable in the winter, visiting the major cities may be pricey at any time. For the best opportunity to get cheap tickets, look for flights in the middle of the week.
Although the cost of traditional Japanese hotels seldom changes, there are methods to cut costs when visiting the city. For the greatest chance of inexpensive costs, avoid the peak season. Fall and spring are often busier and more expensive, particularly when cherry blossoms are already in bloom.
We gave you the most detailed information on the major airports in Japan in this article. In addition to information about the airport, you should also research more about the airline’s routes, ticket prices as well as other airline services before deciding to buy a plane ticket to Japan.