A Guide to Major Airports in Japan

Arrival Departure Board in Narita Airport, Japan
Daisuke Kishi / Getty Images

If you're flying into Japan from abroad, you'll likely head to Tokyo first—it has two major airports, Haneda and Narita, the latter of which carries the most international traffic into the country, though Haneda has long-haul routes too. Osaka's Kansai International Airport is another major point of entry for foreign visitors. And while Japan's high-speed trains are legendary, many travelers choose to fly between many of the other major airports across the country.

Tokyo International Airport/Haneda (HND)

Haneda Airport, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
DAJ / Getty Images
  • Location: Ōta
  • Pros: Wide variety of flights; excellent amenities; easy to navigate; convenient train connection to downtown
  • Cons: None, truly
  • Distance to Shinjuku: A 25-minute taxi will cost about $65. Or you can take a combination of trains for about $6—it'll take just under an hour.

Tokyo International Airport, better known as Haneda, is Japan's busiest airport and the fifth busiest in the world, serving 87.1 million passengers in 2018. But the airport hardly ever feels crowded (save for the security lines), thanks to brilliant planning by designers. While it's primarily a domestic airport—it's a hub for Japanese carriers All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Skymark Airlines, Air Do, Solaseed Air, and StarFlyer—the opening of an international terminal and the construction of a fourth runway in 2010 gave Haneda legs in the long-haul flight game.

It's closer to downtown than Narita—it'll take about 30 minutes to get to Tokyo Station via metro. SkyTrax voted this airport the top domestic airport in the world in 2019, given its great dining and shopping options.

Narita International Airport (NRT)

Narita Airport
Hideyuki KAMON/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Location: Narita
  • Pros: Main international airport in Japan; excellent facilities;
  • Cons: Far from the city center
  • Distance to Shinjuku: A taxi will take 60 to 90 minutes, depending on traffic, and it can cost some $200. Instead, take the Narita Express (N'EX) train—it's $30 for the 53-minute ride.

Though it handled only 42.6 million passengers in 2018—fewer than half of Haneda's traffic—Narita is Japan's primary international airport, with dozens of airlines flying routes that connect Japan to destinations around the world. While the airport has great facilities (SkyTrax ranked it the ninth best international airport in the world in 2019), its greatest downfall is that it's 40 miles outside of Tokyo proper. Taxis are prohibitively expensive for the average traveler: most people take the train or the bus, which takes an hour or so.

Kansai International Airport (KIX)

Kansai Airport, Japan
David Hill / Getty Images
  • Location: An artificial island about 24 miles southwest of Osaka as the crow flies
  • Pros: Numerous flights; easy to navigate
  • Cons: Far from the city center
  • Distance to Osaka Station: A 45-minute taxi costs about $165. You can also take a 70-minute train ride for about $11.

For Kansai International Airport, engineers constructed an artificial island in Osaka Bay some 24 miles southwest of Osaka. The entire complex reportedly cost $20 billion, a good portion of which went to stabilizing the island, as it began sinking at a rate of 20 inches per year. (As of February 2019, it sinks about 2.6 inches per year.) The airport is a crucial one for the region with 28 million passengers flying through it in 2018, including a large number of foreign visitors. Though it's a bit far from the city center, it's connected via an easy and affordable train.

Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO)

Chubu Centrair International Airport, Nagoya, Japan
nagatak/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Location: Tokoname
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  • Distance to Kanayama Station: A 30-minute train ride costs about $12.

Central Japan International Airport, Centrair, located on an island, is about 30 minutes to Nagoya by train. Other modes of transportation from the island include high-speed boats, shuttles, taxis, and buses. Kyoto and Mount Fuji are several hours away by car. 

Hiroshima Airport

Hiroshima Airport
Akanemoto~commonswiki/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0
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Bus service to downtown Hiroshima is about 50 minutes. Buses also go to the Shiraichi, Fukuyama, Kure and Mihara stations. You can buy a tourist pass here that offers unlimited use on streetcars, buses, express buses and ferries. 

New Chitose Airport

ASDF Boeing 747-400 taking off at Chitose
Suga/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.5
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This airport is about three miles from Chitose and Tomakomai and serves the Sapporo metropolitan area. It’s one of the busiest airports in Japan and one of Asia’s closest airports to North America.

Komatsu Airport

Japan Transocean Air Boeing 737-800 at Komatsu Airport
redlegsfan21/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
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Located in the city of Komatsu, this airport also serves the capital city of Kanazawa, both in the Japanese prefecture of Ishikawa. During World War II, it served as a base for the Imperial Japanese Navy. By bus, Komatsu Station is 15 minutes, Kanazawa Station is 40 minutes and Fukui Station is 60 minutes.

Kitakyushu Airport

Kitakyushu Airport
 yuukin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0 
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This airport is in the Fukuoka prefecture on a man-made island two miles from Kitakyushu. It’s serviced by trains, buses, cars, and taxis.

Kobe Airport

Departure Lobby in Kobe Airport, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
DAJ / Getty Images
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Located in the Hyogo prefecture, this airport is also on an artificial island and handles mostly domestic flights. It's about 16 minutes (5 miles) by rail to Sannomiya station in Kobe. If you need to go to Kansai Airport, a high-speed ferry will get you there in 30 minutes.

Kochi Ryoma Airport

Kochi Ryoma Airport
 Hykw-a4 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
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This airport located in Nankoku handles small to medium size planes. It was built in 1944 for use by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. Check out the third-floor observation deck. Transportation from the airport is by bus, taxi or car.

Kumamoto Airport

Aso Kumamoto Airport
MIXA / Getty Images
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Like some other airports in Japan, this area was once home to an air base used by the Imperial Japanese Army. Airport limousine buses can get you to Kumamoto in about 40 minutes.

Sendai International Airport

Sendai International Airport
MasaoTaira / Getty Images
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Located in Natori, this airport's main terminal was designed by famous Japanese American architect Gyo Obata. It features a rooftop observation deck. It takes about 20 minutes to get to downtown Sendai. 

Nagasaki Airport

Nagasaki airport (NGS) in Japan
Taro Hama @ e-kamakura / Getty Images
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This island-based airport is located in Omura and is about 11 miles to Nagasaki. Transport services include buses, rental cars, taxis, and ferries, but no train. 

Fukuoka Airport

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Naha Airport

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Osaka International Airport

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Kagoshima Airport

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Miyazaki Airport

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Matsuyama Airport

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