Explore More of Japan For Just 2,020 Yen With All Nippon Airways' Olympic Promotion

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics quickly approaching, people from around the world are preparing to travel to Japan - many for their first time. If you were lucky enough to score tickets to an event or two, you may be wondering how to fill the rest of your time while here. Rather than limiting yourself to just Tokyo, why not take the opportunity to explore some of Japan’s more off the beaten path locations? In honor of the Olympics, All Nippon Airways (ANA) is offering foreign visitors discounted domestic flights to and from Japan’s Tohoku region for just 2,020 yen! Read on to find out more about the sale and how you can take advantage of this offer.


Things to Do

Discover Tohoku and its Hidden Gems

Tohoku, despite its vast mountain ranges and stunning natural landscapes, is an area that is often overlooked by travelers. Home to numerous volcanic hot springs, sapphire-blue lakes, and breathtaking temples, it is a must-see location for those who appreciate Japan’s natural beauty and rich cultural history.

Until recently, traveling from Tokyo to Tohoku involved a somewhat pricey flight or a trip on one of the country’s high-speed, but often crowded shinkansen trains. Thankfully, ANA’s Olympic discount promotion makes the region more accessible than ever for foreign travelers. Starting this spring, the sale allows passengers traveling between Tokyo and Tohoku to purchase one-way tickets for just 2,020 yen. To put that in perspective, flights to Tohoku typically start at 11,000 yen and increase steeply from there. That's a savings of at least 9,000 yen you can put towards meals out, local experiences, or some of the region's famous sake.

Who Is Eligible for ANA's Discount Pricing?

These discounted tickets are available to foreign tourists who will be traveling between July and September of 2020, meaning even those whose visit doesn't overlap with the Summer Olympics can still take advantage of the special pricing. While the sale is limited to the Tohoku region, passengers have the option to travel to and from Aomori, Odate Noshiro, Akita, Shonai, Sendai, and Fukushima. The sale is set to start this spring and while no official end date has been posted, with a limited number of flights available, they are expected to sell out quickly.

Tohoku Travel Suggestions

Once your tickets are booked, all that's left is to plan your trip to beautiful Tohoku. To help you get started, here are a few of our favorite recommendations.

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri

Perhaps the best part of summers in Japan, matsuri are massive street festivals filled with dancing, food, and the pounding rhythm of taiko drums. One of the country's best festivals, the Nebuta Matsuri, is held annually in Aomori at the beginning of August. This five-day-long festival is famous for its massive, glowing paper lanterns that are paraded throughout the streets.

Nyuto Onsen

Volcanic hot springs known as onsen are a quintessential part of Japanese culture. Their mineral rich waters are said to be the cure for whatever ails you, from arthritis to high blood pressure. One of Japan's most highly-renowned onsen is Nyuto Onsen in Akita Prefecture. As you walk through the town center, it's not uncommon to see steam rising up from the ground. Take the opportunity while here to stay in a local ryokan; a traditional Japanese inn.

After experiencing the ultimate relaxation that is onsen, you just may want to explore other hot springs in the Tohoku region.

Hirosaki Castle

Hirosaki Castle in Aomori is a stunning example of 17th century Japanese architecture. Though orginally five stories tall, it has faced numerous natural disasters, including fires, earthquakes, and lightning strikes, which have requried sections to be entirely rebuilt. Since that time, five-story castles were prohibited in the region and Hirosaki was ultimately rebuilt in its current three-story form. In spring, the area surrounding the castle is famous for its over 2,600 cherry blossom trees.

Sendai Tanabata Festival

Each year on July 7th, cities across Japan hold Tanabata festivals. This festival celebrates two gods, Orihime and Hikoboshi, who are quite literally star-crossed lovers. Kept apart on either end of the Milky Way, legend says that they are able to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. The largest and most well-known of these festivals is held in Sendai. During the festival, the city is decorated with thousands of handmade decorations that are said to bring about everything from physical health to bountiful fishing trips. The festival also kicks off with a large fireworks display on July 5th, so plan your trip accordingly!

Broaden Your Horizons with ANA's 2020 Olympics Sale

Rather than limiting yourself to the more popular locations such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, why not take this opportunity to explore the more traditional side of Japan? No matter if you are part of a group or traveling solo, Tohoku has plenty to offer. With tickets starting at just 2,020 yen, there has never been a better time to visit the region. The sale's official start date has not been posted yet, so be sure to check ANA's website often for more details.

Header credit: motive56 / Shutterstock.com

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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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