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August 13, 2019 3 min read

Being Japanese, alot of expats in Cambodia often ask about flight tickets to Japan and assume that it is expensive. Although it depends on the season and when you are flying, in this post I will be covering how I fly generally get to Tokyo, Japan from Cambodia in what I believe to be the most cost effective, but comfortable trip.

Tokyo Streets and Angkor Wat Sunrise

Costs At A Glance:

  1. Bus Ticket From Siem Reap To Phnom Penh - $10
  2. Plane Ticket From Phnom Penh To Tokyo Round Trip - $300-$350
  3. Bus Ticket From Narita To Center of Town - $10

Theeasiest way to get to Phnom Penh from Siem Reap or any town in Cambodia is through the bus ran by the postal office. Tickets can be picked up at the Siem Reap postal office or can be purchased at with a dollar or two added to the order for credit card processing. Generally I get the front seat on the bus, however be aware that often times when the bus stops at Kampong Thom, they will have a guest sit in the middle seat between you and the driver, so be aware that might happen on your trip. Overall one can expect an efficient trip on the bus with working air conditioner and the bus arriving 30-45 minutes early.

I know that there are time tested websites to compare air flights like Google Flights and Skyscanner, however having flown back and forth many times back from Cambodia to Japan, hands down the best option is with Malaysian Airlines.

Tokyo Tower and Angkor Wat With Elephant

Cheap Tickets with actual service? There must be a drawback? And Yes there are two.

  1. Usually the trip to Japan is a quick, where the transit waiting time in Kuala Lumpur is only an hour or two, however the return flight can be longer as the airplane arrives from Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur at 4AM and the night flight in not till 9AM or 11AM.
  2. The return flight from Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh almost always experiences a delay.

Now that I've talked in detail about the cons, let me tell you about the pros

  1. It's the cheapest tickets!
  2. Free 25 KG check in luggage
  3. One or both flights might be shared by JAL, a Japanese airlines which generally has better service.

Having read this far into my posts, you might have gone ahead and did your own price checking, and might have noticed that AirAsia has similar prices, but the main factors that make me choose Malaysian Airlines over Air Asia over saving a couple of bucks are 1. Free refreshment and meals on Malaysian Airlines, 2. Baggage allowance, and generally a more pleasant experience.

Cambodian Temple and Japanese Streelights

Getting From Narita To The Center of Tokyo

Now once we get to Narita airport, one has three options to get to the center of the town.

  1. NEX, the high speed airport train - Most expensive but fastest option
  2. The public train - which has cost about 1,000 Yen, but depends where exactly you are trying to get in town. *My house is in Meguro so my overall cost is about 1,200 Yen.
  3. Airport bus, then hop on a public train - About 1,000 Yen from the airport to the center of town, and from there, generally $1-$5 train ride to destination

I almost always go with Keisei airport shuttle which takes me to Tokyo station which is somewhat close to my house, and then I usually take the train from there. The reason why is because NEX is considered very expensive by the standards of average Japanese people, as well as option 2 being very confusing if it is your first time there as you are going to have to get on and off many trains to get to your destination. With the airport shuttle, you don't have to fight for a seat or have to be nervous about getting off at the right train stops, so you can get an valuable hour or two of restful sleep on the bus before arriving at your destination.