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5 of the Best Helicopter Rides in Japan
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5 of the Best Helicopter Rides in Japan

May 29, 2024

Visitors to Japan usually travel by land, by train, bus or train. For those who wish to see Japan from a unique angle, helicopter tours are the perfect way to travel.

These tours take you over stunning scenery with breathtaking views, all while relaxing in your luxurious private helicopter. Tours range from romantic - think a cozy sunset flight, to exhilarating - like circling Mt. Fuji, Japan's biggest mountain.

We will introduce you to five of the best helicopter tours in Japan.

25279906_s.jpg1. Helicopter Tour of Urabandai

This helicopter tour of Urabandai takes you over the Bandai-Asahi National park, showcasing the striking Mt. Bandai, one of Japan's most famous peaks. The mountain used to resemble Mt. Fuji, but in 1888 it erupted, forming its current distinctive shape along with the Urabandai area seen from the helicopter.

You will fly over Lake Inawashiro, Japan's fourth largest lake which is said to be so still that it mirrors the sky perfectly. The helicopter also flies over Goshikinuma Ponds, the famous ponds of Fukushima Prefecture that are all different hues of blue and green.

This helicopter tour is particularly impressive in autumn when the mountains below you look as if they are on fire, resplendent in red, yellow and orange fall colors.

Departure point: Numajiri Kogen Lodge (60 minutes by car from Fukushima Station)
Return point: Numajiri Kogen Lodge
20 minutes
76,000 yen
Book: https://att.add.travel/#/experience/54

27278918_s.jpg2. Helicopter Tour over the Oki Islands in Shimane

This helicopter tour in Shimane Prefecture takes you over the Oki Islands, a national park whose dramatic landscapes are characterized by towering cliffs, unique rock formations, and pristine beaches.

The flight:

Travellers board the helicopter and take a scenic flight over the islands, viewing the Dozen Caldera and the magnificent ocean and cliffside scenery from above. An English-speaking guide is available to explain the area to you, and answer all of your questions.

The helicopter will land on one of the islands and you will be able to stroll around and explore on land as well as sky.

About the area:

The Oki Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Japan's Shimane Prefecture, offer an enchanting blend of rugged natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. The archipelago comprises of over 180 islands, with only four being inhabited--Dogo, Nishinoshima, Nakanoshima, and Chiburijima. These remote islands were formed over thousands of years of geological activity, giving the islands a unique ecosystem accessible to the lucky few who visit.

Historically, the Oki Islands have served as places of exile for nobility and samurai, adding an intriguing layer of cultural heritage. Traces of this storied past can be found in ancient shrines, traditional festivals, and folklore that permeates the islands.

Departure point: Oki Airport (possible to be picked up at Kansai International Airport, Itami Airport, Okayama Airport, Hiroshima Airport, Izumo Airport or Kobe Airport as well)
Return point: Flexible
Length: Flexible
Varies, please contact us
Book: Contact us

eb428f97ea81804addd8df561856ca1d654e439b.jpg3. Helicopter Tour from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji

This helicopter and sightseeing tour allows you to fly in style from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji and back.

The flight:

View Japan's largest metropolis from above and see just how big an expanse Tokyo is. Then see Mt. Fuji up close from a vantage point even climbers do not get. All the while listening to interesting stories and information from an English-speaking guide.

After the helicopter ride, this tour takes you on a sightseeing journey around Kawaguchiko, visiting Oshino Hakkai, Oishi Park, the Ide Sake Brewery and Kawaguchi Asama Shrine.

About the area:

Oshino Hakkai:
Oshino Hakkai is a small village centered around eight ponds filled with crystal clear water that flows directly from the snowmelt of Mt. Fuji. The area is part of the Mt. Fuji UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, and used to be a site of Buddhist worship, where followers purified themselves in the ponds prior to climbing Mt. Fuji. You can see Mt. Fuji reflected in the pond's pure waters, and visit the open-air museum of Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan.

Kawaguchi Asama Shrine:
The Kawaguchi Asama Shrine was built as a place to worship Japan's most famous mountain, Mt. Fuji, and thus boasts spectacular views of the mountain and surrounding countryside. Walk to the tenku no torii (gate in the sky) to take a photo of Mt. Fuji through picturesque red torii gates.

Ide Sake Brewery:
Nestled near the shore of Lake Kawaguchiko is the Ide Sake Brewery, a family run sake shop which has been in business for almost 100 years. The brewery uses spring water fresh from Mt. Fuji in their sake. High quality water is essential for sake production, thus the Ide Brewery produces high quality and pure sake. Inside, you will learn about the history and process of making sake, and you will be able to see around the facility. After that, you can taste test different kinds of sake and purchase your favourites.

Oishi Park:
Relax in Oishi Park, a small park with superb views of Mt. Fuji and various seasonal flowers. The park is a famous spot for taking photos of Mt. Fuji framed by flowers.

Departure point: Tokyo Heliport
Return point: Tokyo Heliport (possible to spend the night in Mt. Fuji area)
35 minutes
500,000 yen for 2 people
Book: https://omakase-tour.com/tours/Destinations/Tokyo/helicopter-tour-from-tokyo-to-mt-fuji.html

4415365_s.jpg4. Hiroshima Helicopter Tour

Soar above Hiroshima Bay in this helicopter tour which takes you over two world heritage sites from a unique bird's eye perspective.

The flight:

View Miyajima, the renowned island near Hiroshima which is home to Itsukushima Shrine, known for its red torii gates floating over the water. The view of the islands in the Hiroshima Bay is spectacular, and one can see as far as the mountains of Shikoku on a clear day.

The helicopter also circles over Hiroshima City so that you can see the Atomic Bomb Dome from above.

About the area:

Hiroshima, located on Japan's Honshu Island, is a city that signifies history and resilience. Famously marked by the events of World War II, it has transformed into a symbol of peace and rebirth. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park stands as a poignant tribute to the past, with the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Peace Memorial Museum offering sobering reminders of the atomic bombing.

Just a short ferry ride from Hiroshima lies the serene island of Miyajima. Renowned for its iconic "floating" torii gate, which seems to hover above the sea at high tide, Miyajima is a spiritual haven. Miyajima's lush forests, friendly deer, and scenic hiking trails up Mount Misen offer a tranquil escape for visitors.

Departure point: Hiroshima Heliport
Return point: Hiroshima Heliport
17 minutes
52,400 yen for 3 people
Book: https://www.dai1air.com/sightseeing_flight/hiroshima/?msclkid=90011eb3ba0111ec9bda9a750c1d5a6c

23611307_m.jpg5. Helicopter Flight to Hakone

In this helicopter tour from Tokyo, you can reach Hakone in only 35 minutes.

About the area:

Hakone is a tranquil retreat which is a popular side trip for visitors to the bustling metropolis of Tokyo. Renowned for its hot springs, scenic landscapes, and cultural treasures, it has long been a favourite getaway for locals seeking respite and rejuvenation.

The flight:

From the helicopter you will see a breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji with the serene waters of Lake Ashi in the foreground. The lake was formed in the caldera of an ancient volcano and is a popular spot for people to view Mt. Fuji from. See if you can spot Hakone Shrine's famous torii gate rising majestically from the waters of Lake Ashi.

A trip to Hakone involves flying over Owakudani, the "Great Boiling Valley". The view of Owakudani from above presents a starkly beautiful landscape of active sulphur vents and hot springs, a vivid reminder of the area's volcanic origins.

Once in Hakone, you can visit one of the many museums in the area, relax in one of the many hot springs or go for a hike along the Old Tokaido Road from Moto-Hakone to Hatajuku (75-100 minutes).

Departure point: Tokyo Heliport
Return point: Hakone Sengokuhara Heliport (possible to do a round-trip back to Tokyo as well)
35 minutes
398,000 yen for 4 people
Book: https://skyview.airos.jp/en/transport/hakone/516

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