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Microsoft Flight Simulator's Japan Update, Mapped - New Airports, Cities, Points of Interest

With two patches focused on performance and quality of life updates, Asobo Studios is bringing new content to Microsoft Flight Simulator in less than a week. The first new content centers around Japan, bringing with it an overhaul to the country’s elevation data, new handcrafted airports, and photogrammetry to six of the country’s major cities.

It’s honestly a lot to think about and experience so we’ve put together this guide in an effort to help you figure out exactly where you’ll need to fly on September 29 when the Japan Update lands.

General Improvements

As we just mentioned, even if you’re flying in areas that aren’t being improved by photogrammetry, Asobo is updating the entire country’s elevation data. So if you think you’re familiar with the geography right now, be a bit careful as you fly above the mountains.

For those of you who want a bit more direction there are also new landing challenges and an all new bush trip!

New Photogrammetry Cities

The primary way for Asobo to update areas of the game is to add more photorealistic cities. The Japan update has six total with three of them being in the Tokyo area. There’s also Sendai to the north and Takamatsu and Tokushima down on Shikoku island. Missing, unfortunately are Osaka and Kyoto.

  • Sendai
  • Utsunomiya
  • Yokohama
  • Tokyo
  • Takamatsu
  • Tokushima

New Airports

If you were expecting new handcrafted airports in those locations, you’re sadly incorrect. The majority are located on relatively remote islands which you’ll need to trek to.

Kushiro (RJCK)

Up in Hokkaido, the Kushiro Airport is a domestic airport with some limited capabilities for the occasional international charter. It serves about half a million passengers each year with its 2500 meter long runway. Take runway 17 for a departure over the Pacific Ocean.

  • Runway Headings
    • Runway 17: 168 degrees
    • Runway 35: 348 degrees
  • Elevation: About 311 feet
  • Runway Length: 2500m/8202ft

Hachijojima (RJTH)

Hachijojima Airport is on a remote island 123 Nautical Miles south of Tokyo with the landing strip between two small mountains of about two to three thousand meters in height. Having flown there myself in Microsoft Flight Simulator, I highly recommend it, especially now that it’ll have a handcrafted airport.

  • Runway Headings
    • Runway 08: 075 degrees
    • Runway 26: 255 degrees
  • Elevation: About 301 feet
  • Runway Length: 2000m/6562ft

Nagasaki (RJFU)

One of Japan’s unique small island airports, Nagasaki serves nearly three million passengers a year. Located in Omura Bay, it’s easily identifiable by a large number of solar panels right next to the runway and the “NAGASAKI” letters spelled out in hedges. An older runway is located across the bridge but has been retired since 2010.

  • Runway Headings
    • Runway 14: 144 degrees
    • Runway 32: 324 degrees
  • Elevation: About 8 feet
  • Runway Length: 3000m/9843ft

Suwanosejima (RJX8)

Now we start trekking down the Tokara Islands to the smallest airport added in the Japan update. Suwanosejima is home to only 48 people and has no regularly scheduled flights. Despite that it is concrete and about 2,300 meters long.

  • Runway Headings
    • Runway 14: 134 degrees
    • Runway 32: 314 degrees
  • Elevation: About 351 feet
  • Runway Length: 700m/2296ft

Kerama (ROKR)

Located just 20 Nautical Miles off of the coast of Okinawa, Kerama is another small airport which has seen a rapid decrease in the amount of traffic it receives since the 1990s.

  • Runway Headings
    • Runway 02: 134 degrees
    • Runway 20: 314 degrees
  • Elevation: About 156 feet
  • Runway Length: 800m/2625ft

Shimojishima (RORS)

Finally there’s Shimojishima which is closer to Taiwan than it is to the Japanese mainland. Because of its location and runway length, its frequently used for training and is considered to be an air base by many due to the frequent USMC use since 2001.

  • Runway Headings
    • Runway 17: 170 degrees
    • Runway 35: 340 degrees
  • Elevation: About 25 feet
  • Runway Length: 2999m/9840ft

New Points of Interest

If none of those new airports or cities appeal to you, there are also some new points of interest to see.

  • Matsushima Bay (A): Located up near Sendai.
  • Hakone (B): A tourists destination southwest of Tokyo home hot springs, resorts, and a popular Shinto shrine.
  • Tower of Wind: A ventilation structure in the Tokyo Bay.
  • Mount Fuji (C): Updated with new elevation data.
  • Kobe Port Tower (D): Located in the Osaka Bay.
  • Shirakawa-go (E): A remote traditional village north of Nagoya, near Toyama.
  • Himeji Castle (F): A castle in Hemeji, between Okayama and Osaka.
  • Amanohashidate (G): A popular sandbar on the north shores of Japan, opposite Osaka/Kobe.
  • Great Seto Bridge (H): The world’s longest combined rail and road bridge between Honshu and Shikoku.
  • Itsukushima Shrine (I): A shrine on one of the islands in Hiroshima Bay.
  • Mount Aso (J): The largest active volcano in Japan, located on Kyushu.
  • Ikitsuki Bridge (K): The longest continuous truss bridge in the world which connects Ikitsuki to Hirado Island.
  • Hashima Island (L): An abandoned island of Nagasaki left largely undisturbed since 1974 outside of small restorations.
  • Horyu-ji Temple (M): A Buddhist temple east of Osaka. One of the Seven Great Temples in Japan.

Hopefully this helps you plan out your new Japan trip! We’ll, of course, update this with any additional info that Asobo releases. Right now all we have is the trailer that debuted during Tokyo Game Show, but we should be getting a development update with details sometime today!

About the Author

Dillon Skiffington

Dillon is the Senior Game Guides Editor at Fanbyte. He's spent about 2,000 hours playing a bun boy in Final Fantasy XIV and 800 hours maining Warlock in Destiny 2.