by Lindsay Wong
Japan Airlines (JAL), the country’s flag-carrier, is giving tourists 100,000 free domestic airline tickets – basically, 50,000 free return tickets – during the Tokyo Olympics this summer from July 1st until September 30th. This giveaway intends to encourage tourists to travel to less-explored regions of Japan outside of Tokyo or Osaka during this busy travel period.
To be eligible to apply, you need to:
- Be an international tourist and a member of JAL’s Mileage bank frequent flyer programme. You can apply for the latter for free on their website.
- You need to be travelling to (ie. booked your tickets) or have plans to travel within the specified time period.
Applications open in February and will be on a first come, first served basis. Friends and family travelling together may apply together as a group of up to four people.
When applying, JAL will allow you to choose from three to five departure/arrival time slots. Sightseeing tips and information will be made available in the application process, which will make it easier to plan your trip.
Successful applicants will only be flying out from Tokyo’s Haneda airport or Osaka’s Itami and Kansai airports.
What’s the catch?
The exciting part about this giveaway is that you will be travelling to a mystery destination. Applicants won’t know where they are going until three days after an application is made. The destinations have not been finalised yet, but under-appreciated regions like Oita prefecture and Kochi are expected to be on the list.
The Summer Olympics and subsequent Paralympics will take place from July 24th until September 6th. Although tourism has been on the rise in Japan in the past few years – just under 30 million last year – an extra 10 million tourists are expected to visit Japan due to the Olympic effect. This is the perfect opportunity to explore the hidden beauties of Japan and get away from the crowds in the main cities.