16 March, 2019
Cheap flights to Japan from New Zealand jet off north-west across the breadth of the Pacific to the end of East Asia. There are direct and indirect options, with the top deals usually on connections with stopovers. Arrival points vary considerably. You could pick the energetic and sleepless capital of Tokyo. It's packed with steamy udon noodle kitchens, spiked by towering skyscrapers, and peppered with Michelin-starred restaurants. Going more off the beaten path could mean discovering the glinting beaches of sub-tropical Okinawa, or the perfect powder of ski resorts in Hokkaido. And then there are the cherry-blossoming cities of Kyoto and Nara, where terraced Shinto shrines and Shogun palaces mark the horizons.
Kyoto is the place to go to feel the pulse of old Japan. It's packed with traditional timber cottages, ryokan inns, and handsome Shinto shrines.
Life fizzes in Tokyo, a megalopolis that mixes massive towers with ancient Buddhist shrines.
Calling all powder hounds – Hokkaido is famed around the globe for its fine snow and ski fields.