It’s the perfect time of year to non-rev to The Netherlands and Japan. Loads look good ahead of the busy summer vacation season. So hop on a flight to Amsterdam (AMS) or Tokyo (NRT, HND) to see the Holland tulips and Japanese cherry blossoms during full bloom!
Keukenhof Flower Garden
The easiest and most popular way to see Holland tulips! Touch down at Schiphol Airport in the morning and take bus 858 directly to Keukenhof. Purchase your combo ticket for the garden and bus here (“Combi Ticket Schiphol”) or buy from a kiosk on arrival. Spend a few hours marveling at Europe’s largest flower garden and return back to the airport via bus 858. The gardens are open daily now through May 21. Beware of King’s Day, a major national holiday, on April 27.
Schiphol Airport (AMS)
Nonstop flights to AMS depart from 22 cities in the US and Canada. Not to mention, with KLM and Transavia, Amsterdam is a major gateway city for other destinations in Europe. For more information on getting in and out of Schiphol, as well as things to do and places to stay in Amsterdam, check out the Amsterdam Non-Rev Guide.
Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo
Cherry blossom season is underway throughout Japan! For the best urban flower spotting, land in Narita (NRT) or Haneda (HND) and head to centrally located Shinjuku Gyoen. More time? Ride the elevator 2,000 feet up the Skytree for breathtaking city views. Then take a train into the countryside. Coastal Kamakura boasts a giant Buddha statue, a bamboo forest, and impeccable temples.
Getting Into Tokyo
From HND, you’re only a 15 minute train ride away from the center of Tokyo. Take the Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station or the Keikyu Line to Shinagawa Station. From NRT, it will take a bit longer. The Narita Express is the easiest option, taking you from the airport to Tokyo Station in just under an hour. Find a hotel near one of these train stations. This gives you a chance to drop your bags off and recharge before wandering any further on Tokyo’s dense network of trains, subways, and busses.
Always have a backup
Tokyo isn’t the only place to see cherry blossoms. Consider alternative routes such as SFO-KIX on United and DTW-NGO on Delta. Don’t forget about routes via HNL as well. Wherever you land, here’s a guide for the best cherry blossom locations. Beware of Golden Week, April 29 – May 6, a major travel period in Japan.
April: By the numbers
April boasts the most open seats we’ll see for a while. Load factors will rise throughout the summer before dropping off again in September. ANA and Japan Airlines average their lowest load factor of the year in April between the US and Tokyo, so a ZED is a good backup for cherry blossom spotters.
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