Arriving in Japan, especially after a long flight, can seem like a confusing and difficult task, given the language barrier and culture shock some visitors may experience. Narita International Airport has several fast and convenient options for travel to Japan's capital city, Tokyo. With frequent airport departure and arrival times, even short stopovers in Tokyo are possible.
Options for Traveling to Tokyo by Train
Traveling between Narita International Airport and central Tokyo by train can be an affordable and simple option for visitors. With several trains to choose from, the rail systems that service Narita International Airport provide the fastest journey time to Tokyo by avoiding heavy traffic at peak times.
Aside from the JR Sobu Line train which is a regular commuter train serving many stations between Tokyo and Narita Airport, there are dedicated airport trains that make arriving in Tokyo easy. It should be noted however, that most subway stations to not have ramps or porters for luggage transportation, and connections around Tokyo via the metro can be difficult, especially at peak times. Consider using a takuhaibin or luggage delivery service to delivery bags to any location across Japan within 24 hours.
The Keisei Skyliner
Ideal for those staying in the Ueno area of downtown Tokyo, the Keisei Skyliner provides direct service from Narita Airport. With one stop at Nippori Station, the Keisei Skyliner has room for luggage, reserved seats, and allows for easy metro connections or taxi hire at Ueno Station. At 1920 Yen per ride, the Keisei Skyliner takes approximately 53 minutes from the airport to Ueno, and departs every 40 minutes. Ticket counters are located in the arrival lobby in Terminal 1 and 2.
The Keisei Limited Express
Similar to the Keisei Skyliner, this train runs the same route but is a regular commuter train without reserved seats. This train can be crowded at peak travel times and does not have room for oversize luggage. At only 1000 Yen per ride it is the cheapest way to get to Tokyo. This train runs approximately every 20 minutes, with a travel time of approximately 75 minutes to Ueno Station.
The JR Narita Express or N'EX
The JR Narita Express train serves Tokyo, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Yokohama, and Takao Stations, in addition to others. When purchasing a ticket, specify which station you are traveling to as the train splits in two directions once in the greater Tokyo area. Tickets for the N'EX can be purchased at the JR Ticket Reservation Office or any of the automated ticket machines at the airport.
The N'EX offers a handy package that includes a re-loadable Suica "smart card" for use on most subways, buses, and railways. This plastic card is effectively a debit card from which pre-loaded amounts Airport Transfer Luton can be used towards payment of goods including public transportation. The Suica card comes pre-loaded with 2000 Yen for use on most railways, subways, and buses in Tokyo and is an accepted form of payment at some convenience stores and restaurants. The N'EX and Suica package are an ideal choice for visitors spending a few days in Tokyo, and is priced from 3500 to 5000 Yen on depending on the class of ticket on the N'EX train.
Taking the Bus from Narita Airport
The Airport Limousine Bus operates to and from the airport and Tokyo's major hotels. For travelers staying at one of the hotels the bus serves or nearby the hotel location, this option provides the cheapest mode of door-to-door travel and luggage service. Dependent on traffic, the ride takes approximately 70 to 90 minutes, and departs every hour between 7:30 and 21:00. Tickets cost 3,000 Yen per ride and include one free day pass for the Tokyo Metro, making connections to other locations simple.
The Airport Limousine Bus has service counters located in the arrival lobby of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
Taking a Taxi from Narita Airport
The least recommended option for travel from Narita to central Tokyo is by taxi. Dependent on traffic, the ride from Narita to Tokyo can take approximately 70 minutes or more, and cost upwards of 20,000 Yen (approximately $200 CDN). All taxis are metered so the charge will fluctuate based on route and traffic conditions. Taxis are located outside the terminal doors and have signs clearly marking the ride queue. Taking a taxi affords the luxury of door-to-door service and a convenient way to travel with luggage.
With multiple options for travel, getting to central Tokyo from Narita International Airport can be simple and affordable, while making the return journey to the airport just as smooth.