[box type="note"]Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get a free trip to Japan because the program I talk about in this post has been cancelled since I wrote about it. But check out my post about traveling to Japan on the cheap![/box]

People say that nothing in life is free, that everything has a price. But you know what? Those people are wrong. Every once in a while, life gives you a break and presents you with an awesome opportunity. How does a free trip to Japan sound?

In an effort to combat the slump in tourism that followed the 3/11 disaster, Japan’s Tourism Ministry is planning to give away 10,000 plane tickets to foreigners to come to Japan with a program called Fly to Japan. That’s right, 10,000 lucky foreigners will ride to Japan in style courtesy of the Japanese government. Think of it like Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket times a thousand.

An airplane taking off at dusk.

Of course, the Japanese government won’t be giving these plane tickets to just anybody. To get a ticket, you’ll have to fill out an online application asking why you want to visit Japan, where you want to go, and what you think about Japan since 3/11. And after your trip, you’ll be asked to write a report about your visit that will be published online.

In a nutshell, this is a big PR campaign for Japan to convince people that post-3/11 Japan is still a safe place, and the government hopes that the people who win the tickets will spread a word-of-mouth message that Japan’s an awesome place to visit.

Narita international airport

Not all of the details have been finalized yet, so the application isn’t available online at the moment. But by all reports, Japan’s Tourism Ministry is dead serious about Fly to Japan and plans to give away the tickets sometime in 2012. Look for updates on the Japan National Tourism Organization’s website here.

Now to be clear, this will just cover airfare to Japan. Once you get off of the plane, you’re completely on your own. Still, this is a huge opportunity. Getting a free flight to Japan? That’s pretty amazing. This is seriously a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so if you’ve ever had an interest in visiting Japan, do yourself a favor and keep an eye on Fly to Japan. This could be life-changing.

P.S. Where would you go in Japan? Tell me on Twitter!
P.S.S. What would you want to do there? Let me know on Facebook!

  • ざっちー

    Bummer news: I just checked and apparently the proposal for the 10,000 free tickets to Japan was NOT approved for the 2012 budget. Everyone will have to pay their own way. :/

  • Jay Smith

    I so want to know where the application form is.. always wanted to go japan and want to learn japanese.. but with £0.11p in my bank and £3.20 cash.. I REALLY doubt i can afford it.. Even if i only get to go Once for couple of days… I dont care.. as long i get to see toyko or similar areas (and hope for no earthquakes etc

  • Nagy Gruia
  • Nagy Gruia

    unfortunately this won’t happen :( check link below

  • Rajaaziz2010bi

    Going to japan with this program `Travel To Japan For Free’
    it look like the opportunity is coming. I love japan, advance country

  • sheila

    we hope this this true our kids and grandkids live in japan .and we would love to go and see them .I am sure they have all kinds of places they would love to take us so we hope this is Real

  • Daveprattdesigns

    My family and I would like to know more.  We have a rather large family and it has been hard to do any traveling at all.  Please keep us informed

  • Samuel Kamara91

    i want to travell to japan to improve ,share ,and gain experience in other career also to develop with the experience i have to work for japan government so as to help in the improvement of japan.

  • Nat Wel

    Shamefully I got a cost free trip, but I did have to pay for the flight. Book in advance and shop around on multiple flight websites. 

  • Boy_in_nipponblue

    you couldn’t possibly add anything to Japan, its rude for you to even assume otherwise.

  • MattG

    Why I want to visit Japan.

    Since I was a little kid, it has always been a dream of mine to visit Tokyo, Japan.  I would always see stickers indicating many products from the USA are made in Japan.  I have always loved electronics and always envied how electronics are so well developed and huge in Japan.  Electronics has improved life for mankind in leaps and bounds.  I realized at a young age that majority of the cartoons I watch are anime.  As I got older, I became very intrigued with the overall beauty of Japan, and how people are very respectful in ways that do not exist in the west.  I want to experience this first hand and on a personal level: the people and their ways of life, the culture, the amazing brilliance of appliances and electronics alike, the fads that sweep the entire nation, the food that in every right represents the entire nation.  I want to experience tradition as well, my love for Japanese architecture and design fascinates me on every human level.  I have waited all my life for this moment, I could not even begin to pay you back for this experience if you select me.  Please let my childhood dream come true!

    I would like you to actually discuss the itinerary if you do decide to pick me, thank you for all considerations!

    Thank you for doing this, opportunities like this are vary rare.

  • shazain khan

    i want to travell to japan to improve ,share ,and gain experience in
    other career also to develop with the experience i have to work for
    japan government so as to help in the improvement of japan.

  • udayanga

    i need to go japan

  • manisman

    I find that Japan or “the Land of the Rising Sun” is a fascinating country with an amazing contemporary hybrid culture, which combines influences from Asia, Europe, and North America .I appreciate the Japanese popular culture that not only reflects the attitudes and concerns of the present day, but also provides a link to the past.

    My big wish is to visit this wonderful country.

  • sanchez

    i want to travel to japan free please help me .

  • rash

    oh I like to study or travel Japan

  • Quincy hall

    i want to go, japan is the greatest place on earth