Travel to Japan is undergoing big changes in 2020. With the Olympics on the horizon and ongoing transportation enhancements to meet the need for more convenient and tourist friendly transit options, it has never been easier to travel to and in Japan. It can be overwhelming to keep up with these rapid changes so here are some important travel updates you definitely should know to make for an easier and more convenient trip to Japan.
For those who have not yet heard the news, many prominent airlines will be shifting their service from Narita International Airport to Tokyo (Haneda) International Airport this spring. This is a huge shift and will include airlines such as Japan Airlines which will be adding nonstop service between Haneda and Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Honolulu (HNL) and Los Angeles (LAX) while Star Alliance member All Nippon Airways will add nonstop service between Tokyo Haneda (HND) and Houston Intercontinental (IAH), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) and Washington Dulles (IAD). Delta will also be shifting their entire operation from Narita to Haneda to become the largest U.S. carrier serving the airport, with seven daily flights between Haneda and Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Honolulu, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Portland. Most of these changes will go into effect March 29, 2020. Additionally the name of the International Terminal at Haneda Airport has been changed to Terminal 3 and Terminal 2 will also be accepting some international flights.
The exciting news out of Japan is that beginning this summer, the Japan Rail Pass will now be available for online purchase directly from Japan Railways Group (https://japanrailpass.net). This will allow customers to not only purchase the pass but also make seat reservations in advance all in one place. Up to 6 passes can be purchased at one time and once purchase is made, the physical passes can be issued at designated offices in Japan and reserved seat tickets can be picked up either at station ticket offices or from reserved seat ticket vending machines. Please note that the same eligibility requirements apply and those looking to purchase the pass should carefully read all of the eligibility requirements in advance to ensure they meet all of the requirements. Service is set to begin on June 1st but the exact start time will be announced after April 2020.
For more information, visit: https://japanrailpass.net/pdf/Launch_of_a_Website_Selling_20200217_EN.pdf