Given that award availability on Japan-bound flights in Business Class can be tight, getting a good deal in Economy Class is key.
I think paying under $850 return for a nonstop flight to Japan on a full-service carrier, i.e. not Jetstar, is a good benchmark.
I’ve found this price for Qantas and ANA flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Tokyo (as well as Osaka). Travel dates are wide open for June, but there are also good prices for later in the year and into next.
Depart: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth
Arrive: Tokyo or Osaka
Dates: see below (these are my recommendations for the best times to visit Japan)
Cost: $803-870 return in Economy Class
|Melbourne - Tokyo||June & September||$803|
|Brisbane - Tokyo||June & November||$818|
|Sydney - Tokyo||June||$820|
|Sydney - Osaka||June & March||$826|
|Perth - Tokyo||September, October, November, February & March||$870|
Where to credit points: Depending on where your existing points balances lie, you may choose to credit your Qantas flights to Qantas Frequent Flyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, British Airways Executive Club, American Airlines AAdvantage or Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.
Lounge access: If you are flying Qantas and hold Qantas Gold or above status, are a Qantas Club member or have Qantas lounge passes with one of these credit cards, you will get access to Qantas and associated partner lounges.
Regardless of the airline flown, American Express Card Members get access to the Sydney and Melbourne Amex lounges; and Priority Pass members can gain access to lounges/eateries in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai.
Best credit card to use for purchase: Credit cards that offer bonus points for booking travel
Booking link: My suggestion is to start your search on Google Flights and then click through to the official website of the airline to book.
Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. Fares may disappear quickly, so we suggest booking as soon as you are confident in your travel dates.