Israel is served by Israeli airlines (El Al, Arkia, Israir) as well as by most major
international airlines such as KLM, Air France, Alitalia, Lufthansa, Continental,
wiss, Iberia, British Airways, Turkish airlines, etc. Unfortunately there are no
direct flights (yet) to Israel from Japan.
Most international flights land at Ben Gurion Airport, which is located in the center
of Israel - approximately a half hour’s drive from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Ben Gurion
airport has recently opened a new, modern terminal with a large variety of duty-free
shops, restaurants, and coffeehouses. Some flights from Europe also land at Sde
Dov in north Tel Aviv or at Ovda Airport near Eilat.
Travel by Sea
Several shipping lines offer scheduled sailings from Europe to Haifa Port. Another
option for arrival by sea is to join a Mediterranean cruise which includes Israel
in its itinerary. Passengers can board in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey or Egypt and enter
Israel through Haifa Port, Tel Aviv, Ashdod or Eilat. After the passengers and vessels
complete border and customs clearance procedures, they can continue to any of Israel’s
marinas. (Besides those mentioned, there are marinas in Jaffa, Acre, Herzliya and
Ashkelon.) Arrival via private yacht is also possible and requires reservations several
weeks in advance for a berth in the marina of choice.
Travel by Land
Land entry into Israel is possible through Egypt and Jordan with whom Israel has
peaceful relations. Border crossings are under the jurisdiction of the Israel Airports
Jordan is on Israel’s eastern border, and the border crossings between the two countries
have been open since the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, with three crossing points
currently in operation:
The Yitzhak Rabin Border Terminal
The Yitzhak Rabin Border Terminal, formerly known as the Arava Terminal, was the
first border crossing to be opened between Jordan and Israel. Located about three
kilometers north of Eilat, it serves those interested in short visits between the
two countries. It is used by tourists and Israelis, as well as for cargo. There
is no public transportation, but Eilat can be reached from the terminal via taxi
or private vehicle.
The Allenby Border Terminal
The Allenby Border Terminal is the southernmost Jordan River crossing. Located in
the Jordan Valley, east of Jericho, it is about an hour drive from Jerusalem in Israel
and from Amman in Jordan, and is the shortest route between Amman and the cities
in Israel’s center. The terminal also serves the Palestinian Authority, and is permitted
for use by Palestinians and foreign tourists. It is also a cargo crossing point
between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. There is a bus stop near the
entrance to the terminal with busses traveling to Jerusalem and Kiryat Shmona. Private-
and shared-taxi services to all areas of Israel also operate from the terminal.
The Jordan River Border Terminal
Located near the town of Beit She’an, the Jordan River Border Terminal is the northernmost
Jordan River crossing. It is relatively near Amman, Haifa and northern Israel, and
serves Israelis and foreign tourists. Busses and taxis to Beit She’an are available
at the terminal.
After the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in 1979 and Israel’s withdrawal
from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, the border crossings between the two countries
were opened, with the Taba Border Terminal as the primary crossing point.
The Taba Border Terminal
Located about ten kilometers south of Eilat, the Taba Border Terminal is the main
border crossing between Israel and Egypt and operates 24 hours a day, except for
Yom Kippur and the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice (Iid el-Adha). The terminal is open
to Israelis and foreign tourists, but not to Palestinians. It is an important crossing
point for pilgrims visiting the holy sites of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai;
Jerusalem and Nazareth in Israel; and Bethlehem in the Palestinian Authority. One
may drive or walk through the border terminal and then take a bus or taxi to Eilat
where there are busses to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. There are duty free shops
on both sides of the border.
Visa to Israel
Citizens of Japan will be issued tourist visas free of charge at every port or entrance
terminal to Israel.
Passengers must arrive at the airport three hours before departure time.
Upon arriving at the airport passengers must first undergo a security check. There
are separate security check lines for passengers holding Israeli passports and for
those holding foreign passports in order to shorten waiting time.
After security check each passenger must check in at the counter of the airline they
are flying. They will then check in their luggage and receive a boarding pass and
After the check in the departure hall, passengers continue to passport control.
They must present their passport, boarding pass and the form that they filled out
upon arrival in Israel.