Brisbanites can save more than an hour’s commute into Tokyo, with Qantas launching direct flights from Brisbane to Haneda Airport in Japan.
The flying kangaroo has replaced its former service to Narita Airport, opting for Haneda Airport instead, which is only a 15-minute train or 20-minute car ride to downtown Tokyo.
Previously, those flying to Narita had more than an hour’s drive and nearly a two-hour trip by public transport ahead of them to get to Tokyo.
Services will operate three times weekly – Monday, Thursday, and Saturday – departing Brisbane at 11:50 am and arriving in Haneda at 8:00 pm. The return flight leaves Tokyo at 9:30 pm and lands in Brisbane at 7:35 am the following day.
Qantas will fly its roomy Airbus A330 aircraft on the route, offering more than 1700 seats per week. The A330 aircraft includes 28 lie-flat beds in business class and 269 economy seats.
This milestone marks the first Qantas flight from Brisbane to Tokyo since Narita flights were suspended in November 2021 due to the COVID pandemic.
What To Do In Tokyo
There’s no shortage of fun, cultural activities in Tokyo, the capital mixing the ultramodern and traditional in spectacular fashion.
Bursting with energy and life, Shibuya is Tokyo’s famous shopping and entertainment district best known for Shibuya Crossing — the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world. It’s also Tokyo’s trendiest district, home to young Japanese culture.
The eclectic mix of stores, restaurants, cafes, clubs, and bars makes it the perfect area for a fast-paced night out. Get right in there and soak up the electric atmosphere or take a step back and people-watch over a bowl of ramen from a hole-in-the-wall shokudo. The best time to go is at dusk to see the glowing billboards.
Anchored in culture and tradition, sumo wrestling is Japan’s national sport; it’s also a whole lot of fun to watch. Take a guided tour to get a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a sumo wrestler and even order ‘chanko nabe’ – a hot pot dish eaten by the sumos to gain weight.
Located in the historic centre, Sensoji Temple in Asakusa is Tokyo’s oldest temple and contains the sacred statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Several kimono shops and rickshaw tours are available nearby if you really want to immerse yourself in Japanese culture.
Asakusa is a great place to experience both traditional Japanese culture and historical townscape while being in a modern metropolis. You can also try a range of traditional Japanese cuisine in the area, with many long-established Japanese restaurants serving sushi, tempura, and sukiyaki.
Visit in Spring to see Japan’s famous cherry blossoms, at their best from mid to late March and early April. Go to Shinjuku Gyoen, Yoyogi Park, and Inokashira Park to see the sakura in full bloom.
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Lead image: Jezael Melgoza