Narita International Airport (NRT), one of Tokyo’s two main airports, is located a fair distance from Tokyo’s center.
There are various ways to get from Narita Airport to Tokyo, with bus and train being only two. This variety can seem a bit overwhelming, especially for first-time visitors.
Let’s take a closer look at Narita Airport’s many ways of access to turn confusion into convenience!
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Direct Train: When speed & comfort are important
Leaving Narita International Airport by train is the preferred choice of many travelers.
If speed is your main concern when transferring from Narita Airport to central Tokyo, your best choices are the Keisei Skyliner operated by Keisei Electric Railway or the Narita Express operated by JR East.
Each railway is served by a separate station. In addition, Narita International Airport also has two stations: Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station beneath Terminal 1 and Narita Airport Terminal 2·3 Station, which can be found beneath Terminal 2.
If you happen to arrive at Terminal 3, either a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute bus ride will take you to Terminal 2.
1. Keisei Skyliner: Convenient access to eastern Tokyo
The Keisei Skyliner operates up to three trains per hour, taking you from Narita Airport Terminal 2·3 Station to Nippori Station in 36 minutes and Ueno Station in 41 minutes for a fare of 2,570 yen.
Especially Nippori Station is a convenient hub for transfer, connecting to main train lines such as the JR Yamanote Line, JR Keihin Tohoku Line, as well as JR Joban Line.
At Ueno Station, travelers can access the Shinkansen bullet trains to Tohoku, Joetsu, and Hokuriku, as well as Tokyo’s lines, such as the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hibiya Line, and Oedo Line.
Next to speed and convenience, however, the Skyliner and the Narita Express also offer a wonderfully comfortable experience. The ergonomically designed seats will let you relax in the modern, stylish interior of the train as it glides over the rails and reveals different sceneries of Tokyo and its surroundings.
With air conditioning and power outlets to charge all kinds of devices, the trains are as modern as it gets on the one hand, while having a hint of Japan’s rich history and tradition, on the other hand, manifested in traditional plaid patterns adorning the stylish interior. A multi-functional toilet and a washroom can be found in the fifth car.
For international visitors to Japan, the Skyliner E-Ticket Service offers both a reasonably priced and convenient method to get one’s hands on a ticket for the convenient train. This service features one-way and round-trip tickets sold at a lower price than the regular ones. A big recommendation is the combination ticket “Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway Ticket.”
This special offer doesn’t only include a one-way or round-trip to and from the airport with the Skyliner but also unlimited rides with all four Toei Subway lines and all nine Tokyo Metro lines.
It’s easy to get a Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway Ticket: fill out the form with the desired date, time, and ticket type and present your booking number at the Skyliner & Keisei Information Center to have the ticket handed out to you. The purchasing website is accessible with a PC and smartphone, so booking a ticket before your trip to Japan is the most stress-free way possible.
2. Narita Express: Covered under the Japan Rail Pass & serving Tokyo and beyond
JR East’s Narita Express (N’EX) runs around every 30 minutes, twice an hour, and takes as little as 60 minutes to Tokyo Station (3,070 yen one way, +200 yen during peak season, -200 yen during off-peak season, +400 yen during peak season). It is also a great way to access major Tokyo stations such as Shinagawa, Shibuya, and Shinjuku with no transfers.
As round-trip tickets, such as the N’EX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket for 4,070 yen, are offered at a discount, it is advisable to go for such an offer. N’EX also serves stations outside of Tokyo, such as Yokohama and Ofuna (near Kamakura, a major sightseeing destination), and thus is the preferred choice of travelers to Kanagawa Prefecture.
With plaid and wood grain patterns, relaxing in the reclining seats of the Narita Express is especially easy. Pillows are provided on every seat for maximum comfort, and large tables and outlets make using laptops and other devices as comfortable and convenient as possible. However, please refrain from using the swivel reclining seats to prevent the spread of Covid.
Both trains feature security cameras in and around luggage storage areas, emphasizing safety, so there’s no need to worry about your suitcases as you enjoy a leisurely train ride.
Train: Direct access from Narita Airport to Tokyo’s sightseeing areas
・Express lines: Keisei’s Access Express
We highly recommend Keisei’s Access Express line if you plan to start your Tokyo sightseeing adventure straight after landing. Departing from Airport Terminal 2 Station, it offers fast and direct access to some of Tokyo’s most popular sightseeing areas, such as Asakusa, Oshiage, Nihonbashi, and Higashi-Ginza, without the need to pay an extra express fee.
The Access Express takes a mere 50 minutes and 1,170 yen to Oshiage Station, the closest station to Tokyo’s famous Skytree, while direct transfer to Nihonbashi Station can be done in 60 minutes and for 1,330 yen.
Keisei also offers a reasonably priced limited express train that takes travelers from Narita Airport to Nippori Station in 77 minutes for only 1,240 yen, while the connection to Ueno Station takes 80 minutes for the same price.
This limited express train runs three times per hour, one of the reasons why it is a preferred connection for many people. Transferring to Keisei’s Oshiage Line at Aoto Station will also grant you easy access to Oshiage Station.
・Express lines: JR East
JR East’s conventional lines also offer a cheaper alternative to the express lines, granting direct access to Tokyo Station via the directions of Tokyo, Kurihama, and Zushi.
This takes around 1 hr 35 min and costs a mere 1,340 yen. If the tickets are purchased in advance, Green Car (First Class) can be booked for an extra 1,000 yen on weekdays and 800 yen on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.
Highway Buses: Getting to Tokyo from Narita on a budget
The Tokyo Shuttle is operated jointly by four Keisei Group bus companies, including Keisei Bus, Keisei Bus System, and Narita Airport Transportation.
Narita Airport to Tokyo Station costs 1,300 yen one-way (900 yen with advance reservation) and 2,600 yen for late-night and early-morning fares.
There are 113 daily departures, with one every 20 minutes during the day. Tickets are purchased at ticket counters located in each terminal building at Narita Airport. All seats are unreserved.
Please keep in mind that the Tokyo Shuttle only has limited space for luggage at the seats, while one piece of luggage can be stored in the vehicle’s storage compartment. Since a bus service is affected by traffic, the time of arrival might also be delayed in case of heavy traffic.
The Airport Limousine Bus: Servicing major stations and hotels
Another option is the Airport Limousine Bus, servicing many stops and thus the best choice for everyone looking for a direct connection to their accommodation or a specific place.
Among the covered stations and areas are Tokyo Station, Nihonbashi, Ikebukuro, Hibiya, Akasaka, Shibuya and Futagotamagawa, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Kinshichou, and Toyosu, Ginza and Shiodome, Roppongi, Shiba, Ebisu and Shinagawa, Odaiba, Takeshiba, and Ariake, Mejiro, and Korakuen.
The Airport Limousine Bus stops at major hotels and stations in these areas. The fares for this convenient bus vary between 2,800 yen and 3,100 yen for central Tokyo, with offers and discounts for round trips available to international visitors. One trip from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station takes between 90 and 125 minutes.
Naturally, the buses are dependent on traffic. Thus, there might be delays to the schedule, but in general, the Airport Limousine Bus service is very reliable due to a flexible operation management system. (*As of October 2022, service is suspended except in major areas such as Tokyo City Air Terminal (TCAT), Roppongi/Akasaka, Ginza/Hibiya, and Shinjuku. Even if they are operating, the number of services may be reduced.)
The standard for luggage that can be deposited in the vehicle’s storage compartment is up to two pieces of luggage of 50 x 60 x 120 cm or smaller, up to 30 kg per person. Equipment such as skis, fishing rods, or golf clubs can also be safely stored.
The Airport Limousine Bus service is a joint operation of Tokyo Keisei Bus, Keihin Kyuko Bus, and more. In addition to comfortable transportation to and from the airport, this service also serves many of Tokyo’s and its surrounding major sightseeing areas, such as Minato Mirai and the Tokyo Disney Resort (*Service may be suspended or reduced as of 2022).
Tokyo’s surrounding areas are served by express buses. A ticket from Narita Airport to Mount Fuji and Kawaguchiko via Keisei Bus takes around 1 hour 40 min and costs 4,800 yen (*As of October 2022, this service is suspended).
Airport Taxi: A fun, affordable option for groups
Another comfortable way to get to the heart of Tokyo is Teigaku Taxi, or “fixed rate taxi.” The fare is higher than the services of Keikyu Line, Tokyo Monorail, or the Airport Bus. Still, it is a preferred method of transportation for many, especially when public transport options are limited, such as late at night or early in the morning.
Various taxi services offer these fixed rates, but the system is basically the same throughout the other companies. Reservations are made via telephone operators with each company at least 1 hour before the desired use time.
Certain taxi companies offer operator support in English, making reservations particularly simple and convenient. The fixed-rate from Haneda Airport to Chiyoda’s Tokyo Station is 20,000 yen, with highway and freeway charges and parking fees at the airport, which will be charged separately. An extra charge will also apply if the transfer is between late at night and early morning (10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.).
Please keep in mind that should you change the destination while in a pre-set fare taxi, the charge will switch to the general taxi fare system. If you wish to use the service from Narita Airport to Tokyo, make a reservation at least 3 hours before the scheduled flight.
*This article was re-edited in October 2022 from the information at the time of publication. For the latest information, please check the official website of each store and facility.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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