The best value with avios is short distanced flights. For only 4500 avios and $2.56 USD, I flew from Tokyo to Sapporo and back.
I booked a flight from Tokyo to Sapporo for the next day using Avios for a total price of 4500 Avios + $2.56 USD. I didn’t even bother looking if that was the best price because I KNEW that was the best price. Especially getting the quality service of JAL, I knew my bags were already included so I wouldn’t have to pay the luggage fees that would have been included using a low cost carrier.
As you could expect with JAL, the service was fast, attentive and of the highest quality. The plane was very clean and I had plenty of legroom. The only problem I had was that the “call attendant” button is on the armrest. I accidentally called the flight attendant once due to this reason.
Using United Miles In Japan
You can also book with United Airlines for 5k anywhere within Japan. They charge a $75 close-in fee (if booked within 21 days of departure). But sometimes dealing with United can be a nightmare.