Return Tickets

You are entitled to a one-way economy-class ticket directly to the airport from which you departed to come to Japan if you follow these three criteria.

  1. Complete your contract in full
  2. Leave Japan to return to your home country within one month of ending your contract
  3. Do not enter into a subsequent employment contract either with your host institution or a third party in Japan within a month of finishing your contract with JET.

Can I buy the ticket, or will it just be given to me?
High school JETs will all have their tickets purchased by their schools after submitting a “Return Itinerary”. Junior high school JETs must speak with their contracting organization about the type of ticket to be provided and whether to provide an actual ticket or the equivalent amount of money. However, this is at the discretion of each contracting organization/school.

I need to go home before my contract ends. Can I take leave and go home early?
It is possible that your contracting organization will let you use nenkyu to leave early, and this has happened in the past. However, it is not guaranteed, and most contracting organizations require their JETs to stay until their contract ends. If your CO lets you leave early, be sure to clarify whether or not they will provide your flight home in these circumstances. Clarify everything with your BOE before making any plans.

I had to use unpaid leave, and now my BOE won’t buy me a return ticket
Most likely, your contract does not have any provisions that allow unpaid leave. This means that if you miss work after running out of nenkyu, you technically are unable to complete your contract in full, and your BOE no longer owes you a ticket.

How do I get to the airport?
Your contracting organization is also responsible for your passage from the contracting organization to the international airport in Japan from which you will be leaving.

Can I fly back to a different airport?
If your home country changes while you are living in Japan, it is possible to change the final destination of your return flight, but not under any other circumstances. Also, in this instance, you must inform you CO of your intentions as soon as possible.

Can I fly back from Tokyo?
In short, no. Every year we receive several requests to fly back from Tokyo, but it is not possible. COs are required to supply you with a flight from the nearest international airport that provides flights to your home country. For Hyogo JETs, this means departing from Kansai International Airport or Itami Airport.

What kind of flight will I get?
The ticket will in principle be for a direct flight. If a direct flight is not available a ticket requiring the smallest number of transfers will be provided. If your school proposes a flight with a large number of transfers, point them to page 200 of the General Information Handbook.

Do I have to take the flight back?
Once a return flight has been organized for you, you must return on it. Failure to do so will mean you have to pay your school back in full for the ticket they have bought for you in addition to any alternative transport you may have organized for yourself. If you plan on staying in Japan, please inform your CO as early as possible.

Note: In past years, we have had cases of a JET receiving a plane ticket but then not showing up at the airport for their flight. This JET was then required to pay their CO back for the cost of the unused plane ticket! Please do not let this happen to you. If you find that you are suddenly very ill or cannot take your flight for some other unavoidable reason, please contact your CO and consult with them immediately.

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