How to get from Narita Airport to Central Tokyo
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How to get from Narita Airport to Central Tokyo

November 7, 2019


You are on your way to Tokyo — a dream trip — your first time to Japan. You love everything Japanese, from their game shows to their socks; the Land of the Rising Sun; sushi, Pokemon, and vending machines. You have planned the perfect vacation, the perfect hotel, but wait… You forgot to figure out how to get from the airport to your hotel without spending a fortune on a taxi. Well, we’re here to help. But first, please like, subscribe, comment, and share, and do not forget to hit the notification bell. Wheels down. You have landed at Narita Airport. Your next step is to grab your bags, clear customs, and then make your way to Tokyo. Narita Airport is located about 60 kilometers east of Tokyo, and the options for getting from Narita to Tokyo are many and varied, from train, bus, taxi, even helicopter. For the first time visitor the variety can seem a bit overwhelming. Depending on where your final destination is in Tokyo, one way may be more convenient than another. Let us sort out the confusion. First, let’s take a look at Tokyo. Tokyo is a vast metropolitan area with over 770 square miles to explore. Locals speak of Tokyo’s geography in terms of train lines. There’s a loop line around central Tokyo called the Yamanote line. The neighborhoods on this line, and the neighborhoods within the loop, are all considered downtown Tokyo. The Yamanote loop includes six stations that serve as Tokyo’s main connecting hubs. Anything outside of the Yamanote loop is considered uptown or suburbia. This makes Tokyo’s downtown massive. The loop is 21.4 miles around. All of this is important when considering transportation options from Narita Airport. One express train may be better for you than another, depending on where in Tokyo you need to go. Here are your transportation options from Narita Airport to central Tokyo. For speed and comfort, take the train. There are three express trains, as well as the regular local trains: the Narita Express, the Keisei Skyliner, and the Keisei Access Express. The Narita Express, operated by Japan Rail East, runs about every 30 minutes and takes about 50 minutes to arrive at Tokyo Station. Trains then continue to other stations in central Tokyo. Be careful which car you sit in. Some cars head to Yokohama, while the rest continue to Shibuya, Shinjuku, and sometimes Ikebukuro. The Keisei Skyliner just takes over half hour to Nippori station, and about 40 minutes to Keisei-Ueno station. From Nippori station, you can connect to several JR train lines. Keisei Access Express takes longer, but costs considerably less than the Skyliner. It also stops at more stations, so depending on where you are staying, it might get you closer to your hotel. All of these Express trains share stations with the JR Yamanote loop line, making most final destinations only a transfer away. Pro tip: If you have a Japan Rail Pass, the Narita Express is operated by JR East. If you plan to use your pass while you’re in Tokyo, you can activate your pass at the airport and use it for the Narita Express. Once you’ve collected your bags and cleared passport and customs, look for signs for trains. The airport is well signposted and you should not get lost. There are two train stations at Narita Airport: Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Both Japan Rail and Keisei have ticket counters, as well as automated ticket machines located in the basement under each terminal, right next to the entry to the tracks. If you do use one of the automated machines, make sure your credit card has a PIN number. The Narita Express runs from 7:45 a.m. ’til 9:45 p.m., and costs 3,020 yen for Ordinary Class, and 4,560 yen for First Class between Narita Airport and Tokyo Station. For other hubs, the cost goes up 200 yen. You can buy a round-trip ticket with a discount. Keisei Skyliner runs from 7:26 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., and costs 2,470 yen from Narita Airport to Nippori. The Keisei Access Express runs from 5:41 a.m. until 11 p.m., and costs 1,240 yen from Narita to Ueno. The train has no reserved seats. It is first come, first served, and is more equivalent to a subway car. For a less expensive train option, the Keisei main line offers a glimpse of what daily commuting in Tokyo is like. There are no seat reservations or luggage racks, and they can get quite crowded. The cost is 1,03o yen from Narita to Ueno. Trains run every hour. Other options to get into central Tokyo: Bus and bus shuttles are both cheap and frequent. The Express bus Tokyo Shuttle, and the Access Narita, run buses approximately every 20 minutes during the day, costing around 1,000 yen, and more at night. The time is around 60 minutes for travel. Reservations can be made in advance by internet. You can purchase tickets from the bus ticket counter inside Narita Airport. Another option is the Airport Limousine bus, servicing a large amount of stops, and thus the best choice for anyone who looks for a direct connection to their accommodation or a specific place. The Airport Limousine bus stops at major hotels and stations. The fares to 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 75 and 125 minutes. Again, you can purchase tickets inside the airport Of course, there’s the always trusted taxi. Make sure to save your pennies, though. A regular taxi from Narita to central Tokyo will set you back over 20,000 yen. For those that speed is the only option, the helicopter is your way to go. From Narita to central Tokyo, it will take you 20 minutes, and set you back over 225,000 yen, but that is for three people. You need to reserve a week in advance and large items are not permitted. Welcome to Tokyo. Now go out and explore! If you have enjoyed this video, please like, subscribe, comment, and share, and do not forget to ring that notification bell. ‘Til next time, happy and safe travels!

13 Comments

  • Reply Mj S June 9, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you for comprehensive and logical explanation 🙂

  • Reply LiYan Zhang June 30, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Most helpful i found so far. Thank you!

  • Reply Dimitris Ambient July 9, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Nice video
    From terminal 2 can i go straight to asakusa??

  • Reply jd rem fan 101 August 1, 2019 at 3:26 am

    This will be useful for me, thank you.

  • Reply Tokyotart August 9, 2019 at 4:35 am

    That intro lol. So true that's why I'm watching this video. Help.

  • Reply Amber Tyquiengco August 11, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you for making this video! The information has been most helpful. I am a new subscriber and appreciate all of the great travel advice & content! 😁

  • Reply mistymum August 17, 2019 at 10:03 am

    hi, Can I still take the JR sobu train to/from narita airport?

  • Reply Aminur Travel Diary August 20, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Super like………. Very informative….. Very helpful….. Thanks for this video.

  • Reply Brad L August 22, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    It RARELY makes sense to waste a JR Pass day just traveling from Narita to Tokyo. In order to make sense you really need to have travel plans well beyond Tokyo the same day. Also the JR Pass operates on calendar days not 24-hour periods of time from first use. So… there is no point activating a JR Pass after Noon on any given day if you only plan to be in Tokyo that day…you will only get about 12 hours use for that "day".

  • Reply Into Wanderlust September 5, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Amazing video!

  • Reply Ten Minute Tokyo 2 September 10, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Walk.

  • Reply Diamond Dave September 21, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    ProTip: Fly into Haneda.

  • Reply JBZ JBZ October 27, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    u sound like u just catch a cold bro.

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