When flying to Japan many people automatically pick Narita International Airport. However, there are a few airports to keep an out for to make the most out of your trip.
Narita International Airport (NRT) is the most commonly known airport to inbound travelers. What people do not know is that this airport is located in a different prefecture and is at least an hour away from Tokyo by train. Narita is located in Chiba Prefecture and the entire airport closes by midnight. Flights may be cheaper to this airport, but considering the distance there is another alternative. Although there are a few places to see in Chiba Prefecture if you do plan on flying in to Narita.
Observation deck at Narita Airport
Tokyo International Airport or Haneda Airport (HND) is located about 9 miles south of Tokyo Station. With the increase of non-stop flights to this airport, people have started to come in through Haneda. Price wise it is more expensive to fly in through this airport, but its location provides more travel and hotel options. The biggest positive of this airport is the fact that it is located in Tokyo.
Chubu Centrair International Airport or Centrair Airport (NGO) is another airport built on an artificial island. The Chubu region is in the center of Honshu and provides easy access to Nagoya, Mt. Fuji, Gifu Prefecture, and Nagano. For those interested in traveling to the Japan Alps then Centrair Airport is the closest to them since it is only 22 miles away from Nagoya Station.
Kansai International Airport or Kansai Airport (KIX) is the third busiest airport in Japan and is located near Osaka. It was built on an artificial island in Osaka Bay to handle the international flights of Osaka International Airport or Itami Airport. It is about 25 miles away from Osaka City and there are various transportation services offered at the airport. It is the gateway airport to the Kansai region, which includes places like Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara.
Monorail to gate at Kansai Airport
New Chitose Airport or Chitose Airport (CTS) is the biggest airport closest to Sapporo in Hokkaido. It is about 30 miles away from Sapporo, but there is an express train that goes to Sapporo Station and takes only 30 minutes to reach there. Next to the airport is the Chitose Air Base, which is occupied by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Around Hokkaido there are smaller sized airports that handle domestic flights if your destination is somewhere other than Sapporo.
Fukuoka Airport (FUK) handles international and domestic flights to the Kyushu region. It is the 4th busiest airport in Japan. The Kyushu region is where Nagasaki, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima are located. It is a single ramp airport that is closed by 10 pm. The first flight gets in no earlier than 7 am. These operation times were at the request of the local residents because of the noise. Fukuoka Airport conveniently has a subway that goes directly to the airport. It is a 5-minute subway ride away from Hakata station.