From to the Airport, Tokyo
Narita Airport located nearly 70 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, is Japan's largest international airport. The airport has two terminals connected by both train and bus. Foreign airlines operate out of either terminal 1 and 2, respectively. We flown with Turkish Airlines which is partnership with Star Alliance and arrived at terminal 2.
Arrive in the evening at 8 pm and we're lucky it wasn't so busy at the passport control. Our luggage arrived at the belt shortly as well, we can take immediately a train to Tokyo. Our hotel is in Asakusa, which was a short walk from the station
Narita Airport facilities are made for travelers conveniently. There are Citibank cash machines that accept international ATM/credit cards once you leave customs on the arrivals floor of both terminals, as well as ATM machines operated by Japan Post. Recently, 7 -Eleven affiliated Seven Bank ATMs accepting foreign cards can also be found throughout the airport.
There are many ways to travel between Narita Airport and central Tokyo. For a first-time visitor, suffering jet-lag, laden with luggage and holding a reservation for a major hotel, the easiest option is often to take the Limousine Bus direct to the hotel prices are (3,000/person) which would not be cheap, but if I'll be rich I would taken it for my own comfort.
Airport Limousine shuttle buses that serve most major hubs within Tokyo, stopping at major hotels, as well as some suburbs. The journey to most points in central Tokyo takes 90 minutes or so. The Airport Limousine buses make three pickup stops (Terminal 1 North Wing, Terminal 1 South Wing, Terminal 2) and two drop off stops (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2)
A close second is taking one of the express trains to Tokyo which is cheaper than above. Three train lines from Narita and all will get you into Tokyo. The two premier reserved seat train services that operate out of Narita Airport are the Skyliner and the Narita Express.
Note: if coming to the airport, each terminal has its own station and it is imperative that you get off at the right one. The stop for Terminal 1 is Narita Airport and the stop for Terminal 2 is, appropriately, Airport Terminal 2 or literally, "Airport Number 2 Building". Lists of airlines and their terminals are posted inside the trains
Keisei offers a new bus service called the Tokyo Shuttle between Tokyo Station and Narita Airport. It costs 900Y from the city to the airport, and 1000Y from the airport to the city. The buses leave hourly from the airport and a bus stop near the Yaesu exit of Tokyo Station. If taking the bus, note that traffic jams can cause you to reach your destination a lot later than you were told when you boarded.
When departing Narita, the better shops and restaurants are located in the check-in area before passing security and immigration, then all that's really available is expensive duty-free and some convenience store sundries. WiFi access is available throughout the airport, there are several WiFi desks located in both terminals
If you're at Narita for a connecting flight, you may wish to use the dayrooms and showers inside the terminal, past security. Dayrooms are paid for by the hour; 1000Y for the first hour and 500Y for each additional hour. The dayroom consists of a bed and a bathroom with a shower. It's a great way to refresh yourself before your next flight.
If you just want to take a shower, you can get a shower room for 50Y for a half hour. Soap and shampoo are provided, but not things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shavers, and deodorant, so bring them in your carry-on with your change of clothes. Twin dayrooms are available for 1600Y for the first hour and 800Y for each additional hour. Dayroom reservations can be made up to a month in advance.
Narita Airport has well good organized public transportation to and from Tokyo in inexpensive way. The train stations underground the airport are well signed in each lines which is easy to recognize for visitors
We arrive in Narita International Airport at 8pm, and having done some research before this trip of how to get to/from the center in inexpensive way, our best bit and the cheapest way out is to take the airport train.
You'll find the transportation on railway airport terminal 2 station on the arrival area. There are counters for transportation to reach the city center, you may choose which counter you wanna be. There are counters for taxi, train or car rentals.
At the train counter you can see the timetable on the screen and also the people behind desk were very helpful and speak very well English, they help you which train you'll have to take. Lines and prices of the train are well stated
There were different lines:
Narita Sky access line, Keisei Main Line, JR Line, Rail(Special service using Keisei Main Line, Toei and Keikyu rail systems)
We only studied two of the lines either one of this we're going to take
The " Keisei Main Line", in orange color is the fastest train, reach Tokyo in 52 minutes, this cost 1440 Yen is a non stop train which operates on the Sky Access Line there is train twice per hour
The budget option along the Sky Access Line is the commuter train service Narita Sky access line the "blue line" is cheaper it takes 75 minutes to the center and this cost 1100 Yen per person, trains depart every 40 minutes, this train stop a few times on the way
Either you pay in cash or credit card, we have cash in Yen during our trip to Tokyo. By the way, paying with credit card there will be additional amount added to your ticket price about 10%. So is handy to have locally Yen currency with you to avoid additional fee
We're always prepared when traveling to a foreign country. In Belgium almost all currency in each country were available in Bank, we need to ordered in advance. That way, when arriving at the airport we're at ease, no searching for banks or ATM machine
There is a special going on right now from Narita Airport to the stops in central Tokyo on the Narita Express …. basically 50% off …. you must buy your tickets from the JR East location at the airport and you must present your foreign passport in order to receive the discounted fare.
The discounted fare is ONLY for INBOUND Tokyo locations, it cost 1520 Yen about $15 US from Narita Airport …. on the way back to the airport you must pay the regular fare of 3100 Yen about $31 US
The Kaisei Skyliner is one of two high-speed train options to get you between Tokyo and Narita Airport (the other is Japan Rail's Narita Express). Though the Narita Express seems to be more popular and more famous, probably because it goes to Tokyo and Shinjuku Stations, the Skyliner is faster, less expensive, and it has trains earlier in the day than the NEX.
Skyliner makes just two stops in Tokyo: Ueno Station and nearby Nippori, then it goes non-stop to Terminal 2 at the airport, with a final stop at Terminal 1, taking 36 minutes end to end. The Narita Express sometimes has three stops between Tokyo Station and the airport, so it can take 59 minutes.
The cost for the Skyliner is 2,400 Yen per person each way. The NEX is significantly more expensive at 2,940 Yen per person each way.
The Skyliner's first train to the airport is at 5:58 AM, while the NEX's earliest train leaves Tokyo Station at 6:18 AM. The NEX, on the other hand, has several later trains than the Skyliner.
The Skyliner's top speed on the trip to the airport is about 98 miles per hour, making it one of Japan's fastest trains that is not a bullet train.
To reach our hotel in Asakusa from Narita Airport we took the Kasei Line
We had already been supplied with preloaded Manaca cards, and with directions on the route to take. We followed the orange signs to platform 3 where we had about a 20 minute wait for the next through train to Asakusa. It arrived bang on time!
The journey took about 55 minutes. The first part was through an agricultural landscape (mainly paddy fields) before we entered the Tokyo suburbs. We had views of the Skytree on the left at one point.
At Asakusa we decided that rather than make the 10 minute walk (with suitcases) to the hotel, we would change to the orange Ginza line and travel one stop to Tarawamachi station which was quite a bit nearer - although the extra stairs involved in the change of train may have been no less tiring than the walk as it turned out. But we got there without problems and found the train to have been an efficient way to reach our hotel, given its location.
Next tip: Using the subway
When we left Tokyo to fly home we had spent our final night in Shinjuku, so to return to Narita Airport we travelled not on the subway but using the so-called Friendly Airport Limousine service. I say "so-called" not because it isn't friendly but because it isn't really a limousine but merely a bus. However it is a good and useful service nevertheless - and probably far far cheaper than any limousine would be!
We pre-booked the bus we wanted a couple of days beforehand. It's always best to do this to be sure of a seat, although as it happened when we arrived at the stop early we were able to get on the bus before the one we'd booked. We travelled from Shinjuku Station, but there are other pick-up points. The buses run very frequently throughout the day and the journey is advertised as taking 90 minutes although we did it in about 75 (and that was in the morning rush hour period). You are dropped off right in front of the main entrance to the departures so it couldn't be more convenient. And the fare is reasonable at 3,000¥.
And as a bonus, you get some great views of Tokyo on the first part of the journey as the route follows an elevated stretch of road that loops around some of the high rise business districts. Have your camera at the ready!
This is my final tip on Tokyo; please click here to return to my intro page if you would like to leave me a comment.
A good option if there are a number of passengers or if you have a lot of luggage is to get a flat fare taxi either to or from Haneda.
This saves significant money in comparison with hailing a cab and going by the meter.
In our case, leaving Tokyo we had a lot of luggage and with a 2 year old we thought it would be easier to use this service.
You can reach a number of different areas of Tokyo for a flat fare of 6000 yen plus highway tolls if applicable.
The Narita Express is yet another way to get Narita airport .... We caught the NEX express from Shinjiku station and it took 90 minutes to get to the airport .... it's pricey ....it cost 3100 Yens ...about $38 US per person but there's no traffic to worry about .... and the train itself is comfortable and just relaxing way to get to the airport. Plenty of space for your bags and the seats are big and clean and nice .... You can get off either at Terminal 1 & 2.
From Narita Airport to Hilton Hotel in Narita:
if you arrive in terminal 1, head to south wing area, look for door S2 on your left, once outside, go to bus stop #16. they go around every 30 to 45 minutes.
if arrive on terminal 2. go outside and go to bus stop # 26.
hotel buses are free of charge.
From Narita to tokyo.
go to basement level. look for JR ticket counter and buy the JR LINE RAPID . 1280yen one way per person. it will take you to tokyo with no need to make transfers. 80 minutes or less ride.
another choice but more complicated because you will need to transfer between two different train companies.:
take kensei limited express to ueno station around 1000yen .then take a metro to tokyo station for 150 yen.
another choice will be taking the keinsei limited express to funibashi(750yen) then transfer to jr station funibashi and take the jr rapid to tokyo (580yen).
if wanna go faster and in a better train, take the jr NEX a.k.a narita express, 3200yen.
On arriving at Narita Airport we took the Limo bus into town to avoid the trains at rush hour...and we're glad we did, the bus took just 45 minutes to our hotel. It dropped us literally at the door. The cost was 2400 yen per person each way. After clearing customs there are numerous ticket counters. The employees speak enough English to make sure you get on the right bus, once on the bus, it's a boring uneventful ride into town. If you have luggage this is the way to go.
If you are on a limited budget and Narita Express is too expensive. Keisei Limited Express saves your day. The journey between Narita Airport and Ueno station takes about 75 minutes and costs 1000 JPY. There is also a fast Skyliner service which cuts 19 minutes from journey and adds 920 JPY additional cost which doesn't make any sense in my opinion. As we didn't want to pay 3000 JPY per person to reach Narita Airport by Narita Express, we travelled to Ueno station by metro and took Keisei Limited Express. The journey was comfortable, but crowded. If you get on the train after Ueno, you may need to travel standing.
From Narita airport to the centre of Tokyo there are two main trains: the limited express and the sky line.ùThe limited express is the cheaper and slower one it does a lot of stops so it gives you the chance to meet local life as soon as you enter the country.ùLimited express price is 1000 yen, about 8 euros and you can get the tickets just before the entrance of the station.
For corporate travelers, here is a great choice for transportation between down town and Narita/Haneda airports.
Nice car - Nissan CIMA, driver speaks very good English, services are first class.
3 drivers: Tsukasa, Alex, Matsumoto
Office address: 1-1-36-220, Edogawa, Seishin-Cho
Tokyo 134-0087 Japan
A very important and cost-saving way to go to/from Tokyo and Narita Airport for us was to ue the Airport Limousine Bus which should normally cost around 3,000 yen for adults one way and half price for kids under 12 y.o.
However, we saved on the fares to and from the airport to our hotel in Tokyo for more than AU$200 . How did we do this?
Before we left, in my researches about Japan and Tokyo, I discovered our Asia Miles frequent flyer memberships have been offering rides on the Airport Limousine Bus to and from Narita Airport and Tokyo using the mileage points. Hence, I know we have about 13,000 points sitting in each of our accounts from a few years' back from our trip to Hongkong and Manila so I redeemed them for those rewards.
It took just under two weeks to get the redemption letter which we showed to the bus office at NArita plus our Asia Miles cards.
The only tricky part was explaining about them at the bell services of our hotel. The staff was not very familiar with the scheme but after my polite insistence and suggestion that she ring the airport office as I have previously enquired about it and it is fine to use them from the hotel. I asked if I should redeem/book there for our trip back to the ariport but was told the bell services will book us a day before we leave.
So another tip here is, be insistent without being rude as sometimes if a hotel staff is new or young, etc, that person my not be well versed about certain rules/schemes.
I am determined as I wasn't about to pay extra as each bus trip cost us 5,000 points!
This bus is very convenient as it took us straight to the doorstep of our hotel!( Some needed to ride a taxi near their hotel after getting off at Tokyo Prince!)
In recent times a new line has been completed, meaning it is now 36 minutes from Nippori to Narita airport.
The train more or less replaces the old Skyliner.
The train can also be caught at Ueno, and is the fastest way out to Narita if you are in that part of the city.
This is the service I normally use on the way back home from trips abroad. I find after a long flight that I am tired, and don't want to take the chance of not getting a seat on the normal service.