To access Tokyo, there are two international airports, Haneda and Narita. Narita is the main hub for international flights with connections to more than 140 cities globally, of which 22 are in Japan. When you are traveling to Tokyo by plane internationally, you will most likely arrive at Narita airport, located in Chiba prefecture. This isn’t exactly close to Tokyo, and depending on where you are staying it will take you 60 – 90 minutes to get there. This article will introduce several ways how to get there and which one is the best option for you.
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- JR Line
- The most luxurious option: private car
- Complete overview of fares and travel time
- Recommended hotels
- Japan Wonder Travel Tours
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There are two lines from central Tokyo to Narita. Keisei line is convenient for passengers heading to Ueno. On the other hand, JR line is going to the major terminal stations of JR line such as Tokyo, Shibuya and Shinjuku. Although the local trains cost you less, you will be packed with commuting passengers, especially during rush hour (7am – 9am – to Tokyo & 6pm – 8pm – to Narita) you might want to consider another option.
From and to Narita there are three different types of trains on the Keisei Line: the Skyliner, Access Express and Main Line. Which one you should take depends on where you are going, how fast you want to get there, and how much you’re willing to pay. The Keisei Line trains (regular and Access Express) leave regularly and start running around 5am and shut down just after 11pm. The Skyliner starts running up around 7.30am and shuts down around 11.30pm.
1. Keisei Skyliner
The fastest connection from Tokyo downtown in the Skyliner. From Ueno station to Narita airport and vice versa takes 41 minutes and will set you back at ¥2.507.
+ All seats are reserved and comfortable. Luggage space is available.
+ This train is the fastest of all the Keisei train.
– This train stops only at Keisei Ueno station and Keisei Nippori station.
– Being the fastest, also mean being the most expensive
2. Keisei Access Express
The Access Express is relatively the cheapest of all the Keisei line trains. With several direct connections, this might be your best option. From Ueno station to Narita airport and vice versa takes 65-70 minutes and will set you back at ¥1.240.
+ You do not have to pay the Limited Express fare.
+ Direct connections with Shinagawa, Shimbashi, and Nihombashi.
– There is no luggage space and no reserved seats.
3. Keisei Main Line
The slowest connection and often the busiest due to the commuters living in Chiba prefecture. From Ueno station to Narita airport and vice versa takes 80 minutes and will set you back at ¥1.030.
+ This train has the cheapest fare of all the Keisei line, no Limited Express fare.
+ Good connections to multiple other train lines.
– There is no luggage space and no reserved seats.
– Gets very busy during rush hour.
– The slowest connection.
– Ueno station > Narita airport takes 80 minutes.
The JR train is one of the most trouble-free ways of getting to the main JR stations in Tokyo; you don’t have to fight for a seat, there is lots of luggage space and there is no need to change trains. Another bonus: your JR pass is also valid on this line! Please note that for the Super Express Train you need to make a seat reservation.
If you don’t have a JR Pass or when you want to activate at a later moment there is another option: N’EX TOKYO Round Trip Ticket. If you hold a foreign pasport and make a return trip between Narita and Tokyo within two weeks, this ticket is recommended. You can buy this ticket at the airport or at the JR Travel Service Center at a price of ¥4,070.
1. Super Express Train – JR Narita Express
+ This train stops at major JR station, including JR Tokyo station, JR Shinagawa and JR Shibuya.
+ All seats are reserved and they are comfortable seats.
+ Luggage space is available with a lock.
+ Large number of trains in operation with 30 minute internal.
– The highest fare of all the trains. Also, the cost varies depends on seasons.
2. JR Sobu Kaisoku line
JR also offers a cheaper alternative; the Sobu Kaisoku line. This JR train links Narita and Tokyo in about 1 hour 30 minutes for ¥1,320 and runs every hour. However, this is the slowest and least comfortable as it doesn’t offer reserved seating nor luggage racks.
One of the benefits of taking bus from and to Narita airport is it arrives at the entrance of the departure floor. Different places for picking up are available. If you have a bus stop near your hotel, this is your most convenient option. The trip takes about 90 minutes, however, the actual travel time depends on the traffic situation. There are several bus companies offering the transfer between Narita Airport and Tokyo station. Here we mention two options.
1. The most luxurious bus: Airport Limousine
+ Many pick-up points available.
+ All seats are reserved.
+ Free wifi available.
– The round trip tickets are only available for the route between Narita airport and Tokyo station or Tokyo city air terminal.
– The most expensive of all bus options.
2. The cheapest bus: Tokyo Shuttle
+ This bus has the cheapest fare of all, with ticket prices starting at ¥1,000!
+ This bus runs every 10 minutes between 5am and 7pm.
+ The earliest bus starts at 3am and the last at 12pm.
– The stop is only at Tokyo station.
The most luxurious option: private car
It is also possible to get a private luxury transfer by car. The driver will wait for your at the pick up point and will take you to the airport or hotel. When you are traveling with a small group with children, this is an option to consider as it will be the most relaxing and comfortable option. Though, of course also the most expensive
The costs of a private taxi are starting at ¥10,000 for a one way trip to/from Narita airport. Round trips are also available.
Complete overview of fares and travel time
From/To Ueno station
|Keisei Main Line||Adult ¥1,030||80min|
|Keisei Access Express||Adult: ¥1,240||65min|
|The Keisei Skyliner||Adult: ¥2,507||41min|
*per one person for one way
From/To Tokyo station
|JR Narita Express Train||Adult: ¥4,070||60min|
|JR Airport Narita Train||Adult: ¥1,320||65min|
|Airport Limousine Bus||Adult: ¥3,200||60min-90min|
|Tokyo Shuttle Bus||Regular fare|
Early morning & midnight fare
*per one person for one way
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We hope you will have a comfortable trip from and/or to Narita airport. With the many different options, we are sure there is a way that suits your needs and wishes. Have a nice trip in Japan!
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