Before You Depart

Discover Japan


Our flights to Japan and back are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules. We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure. If you are planning a connecting flight, please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs. Flight schedules are subject to change.

Date Airline Airport Depart Return
2024: Mar. 31, May 6, May 20, Sep. 1, Oct. 13, Nov. 3 Singapore Airlines Los Angeles (LAX) 2:20 PM 9:40 PM
2024: Mar. 24 N/A N/A N/A N/A



Airlines do not assign seats in advance for group fares – seat assignments are arranged upon check-in at the airport. smarTours is not involved with seat assignments. If you require a specific seat due to a medical condition, please obtain a doctor’s note you can present to the airline at check-in.


International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land-only travelers are responsible for arranging the entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.

Generally, check-in at hotels is not before 4:00 PM and check-out is prior to 12:00 PM. If arriving early or departing late, hotels usually allow travelers to store their luggage in the luggage room.


Booking your own flighs has advantages like flying from your home airport, choosing your own seats, upgrading your seats, and using and collecting airline miles.

When booking your flights, please note that our tour starts in Tokyo and ends in Kyoto. We recommend that you:

  • Fly into Haneda Airport (HND) or Narita International Airport (NRT)
  • Fly out of Kansai International Airport (KIX) fly from Osaka International Airport (ITM) to Tokyo for a connecting flight home

Some cities have multiple airports, and depending on your plans, you may wish to fly into an alternate airport. Both Haneda Airport (HND) and Narita International Airport (NRT) service multiple international flights daily and different airlines will fly into each. Haneda is closer to Tokyo, while Narita typically has more flight options. Kansai International Airport (KIX) is the main international airport near Kyoto (approimately 90 minutes by direct express train). Osaka International Airport (ITM) is approx. 50 minutes away from Kyoto and mainly serves domestic flights which will connect passengers back via Tokyo.


Travelers must be in possession of a passport valid for the duration of your stay. We recommend having at least 3 months validity on your passport in case of any unforseen circumstances when abroad. U.S. passport holders do not require a visa to travel to Japan. Before your trip, review travel requirements and restrictions by country including passport and visa requirements. You can also learn more about passport and visa services. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.


Final instructions, documents, and travel tips will be emailed to you 10–14 days before the scheduled start of your tour. If you have not received your final documents, please check your spam folder or contact smarTours.


Immunizations are not currently required, however, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local health authorities for their suggestions. The CDC recommends you stay up to date on routine vaccinations, and consult your physician at least one month prior to travel. Learn more about the CDC’s destination-specific recommendations.

Please note that some medications that are routinely prescribed in the United States are strictly prohibited in Japan. The Japanese government decides which medications may be imported legally in Japan. Certain over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, Tlenol, and other pain reducers may be difficult to find in Japan as they are legal in limited quantities. Please refer to the U.S. Embassy in Japan’s website about importing medication.


The currency in Japan is the Japanese yen (¥). Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency. ATMs are widely available and the easiest way to obtain cash, however not all ATMs in Japan accept non-Japanese cards. ATM machines in locations like 7-Eleven, post offices, and Citibank are most likely to accept foreign debit and credit cards. Banks and post offices are able to exchange most major foreign currencies. Cash is still the preferred way to pay in Japan, though cards are increasingly accepted in cities and major establishments. We recommend you bring enough cash when traveling in the countryside and that you bring along cash in small denominations.


You may expect daytime high temperatures averaging in the 60’s in April and November; 70’s in May, June and October; 80’s in July through September. Overnight temperatures are cooler.


Japan operates on 100 volts/50–60 Hz and uses two-prong plug types A and B that can be found throughout the United States. Learn more about plug types, adapters, and converters.


Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage and one carry-on piece. Additional luggage will incur a fee that will be collected locally. Please check with the airline for the maximum weight and size for luggage. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

As a part of this tour, luggage may be shipped from one city to the next. To accommodate transportation times, travelers may need to have an overnight bag with them.