There are two main ways to get cheap airfares to Shikoku (and to other parts of Japan). First, use a low-cost carrier like JetStar. Book early enough and you can find great deals. For example, we’ve found flights for from Narita to Matsuyama for as little as 2000 JPY. These airlines service the airports on Shikoku and can be the perfect way of getting back to Tokyo after your adventure in rural Japan.
Second, JAL and ANA offer discounted airfare on many internal flights if tickets are bought by non-residents with an international air ticket and are purchased outside Japan. You also need to buy the ticket through the airline websites. Importantly, this means you need to buy these tickets BEFORE getting to Japan. The JAL campaign is the Explorer Pass and includes 30 destinations – including the four main airports on Shikoku. The ANA campaign is Experience Japan and broadly has the same conditions as JAL.
These really are perfect ways to get to and from Shikoku. Many of our guests have used these fares – it saves loads of money and time!