New service boosts links between Japan and Australia

Australian tourism chiefs believe a new air service in Japan will encourage more travellers from the Far East to head down under.

Jetstar has launched a new route that links key secondary cities like Sapporo, Fukuoka and Okinawa with the gateway airports of Tokyo and Osaka. This, travel leaders suggested, will enable more Japanese tourists to catch connecting international flights to Australia.

Japan is the fifth largest source of visitors to Australia and the number of arrivals from this part of the world grew by 7.5 per cent in the first six months of 2012.

Tourism Australia's managing director Andrew McEvoy said it is good to see more Japanese citizens heading down under.

"With Jetstar Japan now up and running we will undoubtedly see the effectiveness of our marketing dollars go much further and enable us to access new customers and a bigger share of the market," he remarked.

Of course, the new service will also make it easier for Aussies to visit different parts of Japan that were previously quite tricky to get to.

The Australian dollar and Japanese yen are two of the most prominent currencies in the world and holidaymakers will be keen to get the best exchange rates before visiting the Far East.

At the moment, one dollar will get you slightly more than 80 yen, but Aussies may find that their overseas travel money doesn't stretch quite as far in Japan as it would elsewhere.

According to Mercer's latest cost of living survey, Tokyo is the most expensive place on the planet and Osaka comes third in the list. 

Many Aussies will be accustomed to high living expenses, as Sydney and Melbourne both feature high up in the rankings, but they are still far cheaper than Japan's main cities.

If you don't want to overstretch yourself financially, it may be worth purchasing a prepaid travel card. In doing so, you can ensure that you are not spending money that you don't have.

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