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Tokyo may be frenzied, vibrant, hypermodern and never less than innovative but glimpses of Japan’s ancient traditions can still be glimpsed behind the neon spectacle.
It’s a thrilling place to visit and, with direct flights from the UK now dropping in price and plenty of connecting options to consider, it’s very accessible.
To experience the futuristic megacity at its best spring and autumns offer the most temperate times.
Summer sees heat and humidity in the city – yet, despite this, thanks to school holidays and the festival season of July, this is when airline seats are in highest demand and command the highest prices.
Between January and March there is another good opportunity to book a bargain deal. You can expect clear and sunny skies with a slight chill in the air, but very little rain.
Anime fans will want to book their flights in March as each year the Tokyo International Anime Fair draws more and more visitors to Tokyo.
If you are looking for cheap flights to Tokyo it’s worth bearing in mind some search secrets that can drastically lower the price you pay.
London is your best bet for direct flights - but, if you time it right, you could enjoy a city break in Munich, Amsterdam or Hong Kong on a connecting flight from here or other places.
Here the most popular airlines offering flights direct to Tokyo:
And here are those offering connecting options only:
Flights to Tokyo will land in either Tokyo Narita International Airport or Tokyo Haneda Airport. There are direct flights available from the UK to both.
Narita is significantly further from the city but it is served by the high-speed Keisei Skyliner train, which will have you in the exciting heart of Tokyo in about 45 minutes. Tickets cost less than £15, but a cheaper option still is the slower Narita Express train.
Taxis into central Tokyo can rack up fares as high as £100 – so think twice before piling your luggage into the boot of the waiting cabs.
Haneda Airport is much closer to the city. Here your options include the Tokyo Monorail or the Keikyu Line on the city’s efficient and comfortable underground system. Both journeys will take just 14 minutes and drop you at either Hamamatsucho Station – if you choose the monorail - or Keikyu Shinagawa Station – if you head underground.
A fixed-rate taxi fare into the city will cost about £40, but you will also be asked to pay for any toll roads used.
Tokyo has an enviable public transport system – and it really does pay to use it. Taxi fares can quickly mount up. The easiest way to navigate the city is on the underground subway or Japan Railways (JR).
The Tokyo Combination Ticket is widely available and offers unlimited rides on the Tokyo trains, subway and buses each day.
It is best to avoid the rush hour as public transport tends to get very crowded. Have a lie-in or stay out a little later to travel in comfort!
British nationals or British overseas residents do not need to purchase a visa on arrival in Japan, as long as they are visiting for less than 90 days.
Head to the bustling Tsukiji market, one of the busiest wholesale fish markets in the world., and watch the catch be prepared with consummate skill.
For panoramic views of Tokyo take the lift to the top of the observatory platform in Tokyo Tower. At night the city sparkles and by day you may catch a glimpse in the distance of Mount Fuji and Mount Tsukuba.
If you’re here to shop for electronics then the colourful Akihabara area, Electric Town, will oblige. There’s great deals on electronics and computers, and fans will love the anime and otaku paraphernalia.