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UPDATE: I just found out about a service called "flyonward.com". Apparently, they book a real ticket on your behalf for $10 and cancel it 24 hours later.

Has anyone ever used that service?


I am planning to travel for a few months, starting with Japan then moving on, but I am not sure yet how long I will stay in Japan so I would like to get a one way ticket for maximum flexibility.

What's the cheapest option as "proof of onward travel"?

I have heard about the ferry from FUK to Busan, but the English "JR Beetle" ferry page is badly outdated and only allows internet reservations for 2013/2014, which is of course useless, and the prices I have found on various travel sites (12,000 yen) are pretty expensive for a throw away ticket anyway.

I have also heard about buying a refundable ticket, but I have no idea where to find a fully refundable ticket (a lot of so called "refundable" tickets have significant non-refundable fees).

Getting a round trip ticket and discarding the return ticket would cost for that is about 12,000 yen, which is reasonable but not ideal since it will be wasted.

Does anyone know where I can book a cheap ferry ticket, or is there a cheaper option I haven't considered?

  • How will you be travelling onwards from Japan in the end? If it's going home, buying a return with fairly low change fees is likely to work out much cheaper than buying two one-ways – Gagravarr Jul 8 '15 at 10:56
  • @Gagravarr The onwards travel is not decided as yet. I could be off to France, Mongolia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, South America... all depending on where I feel is the best place to go next and the money left in my pocket by then. The odds of going back the same way are low and tickets with "cheap change fees" are usually a lot more expensive anyway. – Sylverdrag Jul 8 '15 at 11:11
  • Maybe you can ask a new question about experiences with flyonward.com, and I can share mine – Peter Hahndorf Oct 15 '15 at 7:11
  • @PeterHahndorf I wrote a question regarding differences between FlyOnward.com and OnwardFlights.com, maybe you can share some of your experience & wisdom :) travel.stackexchange.com/questions/59239/… – Adrien Be Nov 26 '15 at 7:53
4

A throw-away Peach ticket from Osaka or Okinawa to Korea or Taiwan can be bought for about 6000 yen (including taxes) if in low travel season (middle of the week and not during holidays). Buying it on a promotional offer (currently none, but they have them regularly) can save perhaps 1,000 or 2,000 yen. Buying the more expensive "Plus" fare is useless because refunds on cancellation are made in "Peach points", not cash.

Obviously, a fully refundable ticket would be preferable, but (AFAIK) requires paying the ticket up front, which may not be affordable.

3

When you enter Japan you will fill in a landing card and submit it to the Japanese immigration inspector. One of the questions is "Intended length of stay in Japan". You need to have an answer to the question, or you will not be admitted. (Once I forgot how long I would be staying and left that part of the form blank by mistake, but luckily the immigration inspector was quite understanding. Still it is always wise to have some idea.)

Japanese landing card for foreigners

If you wish to buy a fully refundable ticket, you may do so directly from the airline. I took the liberty of investigating a fully refundable oneway BA fare from TYO to LON on ba.com, which applies no change fees: Screenshot from BA.com

However there is a 3500 JPY administration charge if you cancel by telephone instead of online, as noted further down the page.

I am sure other options can be found without difficulty.

  • Intended length of stay only needs to match the visa waiver (<90 days). I won't overstay, but beyond that, the whole point of being flexible is that I don't know how long I will actually stay. I plan to trek through the mountains to Kyoto & train in a few dojos, more or less until I either get bored or until work requires my attention. The BA ticket costs a lot, doesn't specify how the refund is done, when, or if the ticket is a "fully flexible ticket". No cancellation fees doesn't mean everything gets refunded. Have you gotten a refund from them? How does it work? – Sylverdrag Jul 8 '15 at 14:30
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    @Sylverdrag Not quite, you need to demonstrate that you will be leaving. You don't have some unfettered right to enter, it is up to you to satisfy the immigration inspector that you will obey the entry requirements. I get refunds from BA from time to time, it does what it says on the tin, the money comes back. If in doubt telephone to discuss before purchase. There are other cheaper airfares of course out of Japan; a short trip to Singapore or Korea is likely to be far cheaper full flex than to London. – Calchas Jul 8 '15 at 14:46

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