What is The Average Flight Time to Tokyo From The USA?

Mount Fuji seen from the airplane
© Ana Costa

We all know that Japan is not the country next door, but few of us know the distance between the United States and Japan and even less the average flight time to Tokyo. When you’re preparing your travel to Japan, this is definitely some information you want to know. You don’t prepare yourself for a long-distance flight the same way you prepare for a short-distance flight, do you? Now let’s fly together and look at all that. So, how long does it take to fly from the United States to Tokyo?

The average flight time starts around 8 hours from the airport of Honolulu in Hawaii and can go up to 15 hours from JFK International Airport in New York. As for Los Angeles, California, the average flight time to Tokyo is approximately 11 to 12 hours. These values concern non-stop flights only.

Well, with this information you only get an overall idea of the time needed to fly to Japan, but we all know that long-distance flights usually have a scale or two in the way. Now let’s take a look at how the scales can affect the average flight time.

Flying from New York to Tokyo

Tokyo is located 6738 miles (10,843.76 km) away from New York.

Knowing that the nearest airport to New York is the JFK International Airport and the nearest to Tokyo is the Haneda Airport, you can easily search for flights and compare the flight times.

Let’s look at some flight examples thanks to the table below:

Company Name Departure and Arrival Total Time Number of Stops
ANA5:55 PM – 9:10 PM+114h15Non-stop
Asiana1:00 PM – 11:25 PM+121h251 stop
Delta6:59 AM – 2:55 PM+118h561 stop
American7:00 AM – 3:00 PM+119h001 stop

As you can see, the minimum travel time is 14h15 with a non-stop flight, however, it largely increases if there’s at least 1 stop. In the table above, I chose the best flights (short, but not highly expensive) for May, but I also saw 47 hours flights, where you stay in Honolulu for more than 24 hours and continue your flight the next day. This can be extremely frustrating if you don’t have any interest in visiting Hawaii for less than 1 day.

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So here’s a small piece of advice: whenever you can, pick a nonstop flight for long-distance flights. A 14-hour flight is tiring enough, so no need to add extra time to your travel by waiting for connecting flights. However, if you have a short waiting time, this can be useful to take a nap at the airport, which is usually far more comfortable than the economy class seats.

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By the way, the time difference between New York and Tokyo is 14 hours, which means that midnight in New York equals 2 p.m. in Tokyo (plus 1 day). Hello, jet lag! (If you want to learn more about jet lag and how to minimize its annoying effects, you can check my previous article on jet lag.)

To help you with jet lag, you can also try homeopathic jet lag prevention pills (they don’t interfere with your eventual medication) or a supplement for hydration (also natural). If you’re like me and have a hard time drinking water just for hydration, the supplement option can be of great help. These products are easily found online in shops like Amazon. I’ll give you two links if you want to have an idea of the natural products that can help you with jet lag:

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Flying from Los Angeles, California to Tokyo

Los Angeles and Tokyo are separated by 5468 miles (ca. 8,800 kilometers) of ocean.

Since the closest airport to Los Angeles is the Los Angeles International Airport and, as usual, the closest airport to Tokyo is Haneda Airport, we can now compare some flight times.

Company NameDeparture and ArrivalTotal TimeNumber of Stops
Delta11:30 AM – 3:20 PM+111h50nonstop
American10:55 AM – 3:00 PM+112h05nonstop
ANA12:50 AM – 5:00 AM+112h10nonstop
United8:00 AM – 2:45 PM+114h451 stop
American + JAL12:30 PM – 7:15 PM+114h451 stop

Generally, the average flight time is between 11 and 12 hours for nonstop flights. Once you start adding some stops, the flight time becomes longer.

Even if the distance between Los Angeles and Tokyo is smaller than between New York and Tokyo, the time difference is more significant (17 hours instead of 14 hours for New York, as we saw previously). So, midnight in Los Angeles equals 5 p.m. in Tokyo. This is a huge difference, and you will be facing jet lag, so plan accordingly.

You may also like:

Is Jet Lag Worse When Coming Back From Japan to The USA?
Klook.com

Flying from Hawaii to Tokyo

As for Hawaii, the distance between this island and Tokyo is 3844 miles (ca. 6,186 kilometers). Although Hawaii is closer to Tokyo than New York or even Los Angeles, the time difference is still 17 hours. So just like in Los Angeles, midnight in Hawaii equals 5 p.m. in Tokyo.

With all this nice information in mind, let’s take a look at some flight examples from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (Honolulu) to Haneda Airport in Tokyo:

Company NameDeparture and ArrivalTotal TimeNumber of Stops
ANA12:55 PM – 4:25 PM+18h30nonstop
Hawaiian2:50 PM – 7:30 PM+19h40nonstop
JAL1:45 PM – 9:45 PM+113h001 stop
United + ANA2:15 PM – 3:25 PM+230h102 stops

As you can see, shorter flight times start around 8h30 for non-stop flights, but can increase very fast with one or two stops.

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A 2-stop flight can be cheaper – and it was the cheaper example in the table above – but you arrive in Japan 2 days later instead of just 1 day. This can be a huge inconvenience when you travel for a few days, and you want to take advantage of all the days to explore Japan.

Klook.com

Conclusion

I hope you found this information helpful, so you can integrate your flight time into your travel plan in the best way possible. But let me sum up for you the important things we saw.

In general, the best companies to fly to Japan from the United States are ANA, Delta, and American (except when you fly from Hawaii, in that case, choose ANA or Hawaiian).

If you travel from Hawaii, you can expect to have a “short” flight of at least 8 hours, otherwise, if you’re traveling from Los Angeles you’ll get an average flight time of 12 hours and up to 14 or 15 hours if you choose a departure from New York.

Since you’ll be flying in several time zones, you should expect to suffer from jet lag for a few days, so be careful. Check my other article about jet lag to learn how you can minimize jet lag effects, or use the links I gave you before to buy some affordable and natural options to help you.

The last piece of advice I can give you is to always compare flights and dates, and use different tools to do it. For instance, Google Flights is a great tool to compare flights; it doesn’t sell the tickets, but you are redirected to the airline’s website, which is great. You can also use other websites like Klook, which can be very useful when you want to keep your bookings in one place. You might even find some last-minute flight tickets at a good price.

If you want to share your flight experience, just tell me how it went in the comments below. For those flying soon… Have a nice flight!


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