If you are like me when planning a trip, you weigh the options of saving money on transportation vs. the hassle and total length of travel time. Sometimes it's worth it to fork out a little more cash for some peace of mind. My 3-day trip to Tokushima, was one of those times. Here are some game-changing travel tips for transport from the Tokyo area to Tokushima, which is located in Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four main islands.
When traveling to Tokushima, I highly recommend a direct flight to Tokushima Awadori Airport (TKS). Even though I live on the far east end of Chiba Prefecture, and that is where Narita International Airport is located, I ended up flying out from Tokyo Haneda Airport. All things considered, it was one of the most convenient domestic flights I've taken while traveling in Japan.
Here are the basic details:
- Depart from: Haneda Airport
- Arrival: Tokushima Airport
- When: end of October, 2016
- Final Destination: Plaza Inn Hotel in Tokushima City
- Purpose of visit: Business trip
- Flight: Direct with ANA (JAL also offers direct flight from HND)
- Cost: around ¥30,000 round trip
- Cost of bus from TKS: about ¥440, one way
As mentioned, Narita Airport is closer for me, however, Haneda is very accessible by bus or by train, as well. For English speakers, the train seems to have less variables and more English, in general. By taking the Tokyo Monorail, I could arrive directly at the terminal. From there, it was a total breeze. ANA actually has a "Skip" pass you can download on your phone for domestic flights. I downloaded a QR code for my flight and that let me go swiftly through security. The code was also my ticket to get on the plane, so I just had to make sure I was ready at the gate a mere 10 minutes (seriously!) before the flight took off.
After about an hour-and-10-minute long flight, I arrived at Tokushima Airport.
Here are the different ways(HND>TKS), compared:
- By car: about a 7 hour drive, plus cost of tolls
- By train: 6 hours, about ¥18,900 one way using a bullet train
- By Night bus: 7-8 hours, around ¥10,000-¥13,000
- By flight: From the Tokyo area, it seems you can only get a direct flight from HND Airport to Tokushima. (see below)
Search results showed that a flight from Narita would have a long layover. Of course, the other option is to take a flight to Kansai International Airport (in Osaka) using a cheaper air line. A quick search showed that was about ¥10,000 cheaper, however, the trip takes more than 2 hours longer because you then have to take a 2-hour-and-45-minute bus ride to Tokushima. That would cost you about ¥4,100 one way. By my estimates, you'd only save ¥2,000-¥5,000, depending on when you fly out.
One last thing to keep in mind is that airport bus shuttles to and from TKS (in the Tokushima area) are actually timed with the flights, so there should be a bus waiting for you once you hop off your flight, and it shouldn't be too hard to catch a bus for departure, either.
I hope that saves you some hassle! If you have any questions/comments, feel free to leave them below.