Keisei Skyliner: How to get from NRT to Tokyo (and back)

In my previous blog post I talked about the Narita Express (N’EX) and how great of a travel option it is when going to Central Tokyo from Narita Airport (and vice versa), but since this is Japan, of course there can’t be only one airport train option, right?

If you want to take a direct train to take you from Narita Airport to the city, another option you can take is the Keisei Skyliner (also commonly known plainly as “Skyliner”).

It’s almost the same with the Narita Express albeit with a few differences, but it’s also quick and comfortable and does the job of getting you from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo and back, so also consider the Keisei Skyliner when planning your trip.

Table of Contents

  1. What is the Keisei Skyliner?
  2. Keisei Ticket Prices and How to Buy
  3. The Keisei Skyliner Experience
  4. How to go back to Narita Airport via the Keiser Skyliner
  5. Keisei Skyliner versus Narita Express

What is the Keisei Skyliner?

The Keisei Skyliner is a non-stop, high-speed train that connects Narita Airport (Terminals 1 and 2-3) to Nippori Station and Keisei-Ueno Station in the heart of Tokyo. If these are not already your destination, from these two stations you can also easily connect to JR and Tokyo Metro trains to get you to your hotel or wherever you need to be. Check out their official train route map here for more information on the routes covered by the Keisei Skyliner and your connection options.

A Keisei Skyliner train service runs once every hour and increases to three times per hour during peak time, making sure that you get plenty of opportunities to catch the train without having to wait long. Check out their official timetable here if you need to plan your trip schedule by the minute.

At 160km per hour, it’s one of the fastest trains in Japan (not including the shinkansen aka bullet train) and it can get you from Narita Airport to Nippori Station in just around 36 minutes, and from the airport to Keisei-Ueno Station in downtown Tokyo in just around 41 minutes – this is a great option especially if you’re trying to make it to your destination on time.

How much are Keisei Skyliner tickets and how to buy

Regular price one-way Keisei Skyliner tickets cost ¥2,570 (to break it down, the price is the total of ¥1,270 base fare plus the ¥1,300 Skyliner reserved seating special limited express ticket) – looking at this pricing at their website can be a little confusing, but don’t worry about the breakdown and just focus on the overall cost of ¥2,570 for a one-way ticket because this is what you get charged at the ticket counter and it already includes everything.

Keisei Skyliner Ticket Counter
You can easily get your Keisei Skyliner tickets at the ticket sales counters at the train station.

You can buy regular price one-way tickets right at the station on the day of your trip (or up to 30 days in advance) – you can purchase using the ticket vending machines, or to make it simpler and not have to figure out the machines, just look for the ticket counter before the station entrance and the attendants will help you out with your purchase.

At the Narita Airport, the Keisei Skyliner ticket machines and ticket counters as well as the station entrance are located at B1F (Basement 1 level) of Terminals 1 and 2-3.

Narita Airport_Escalators leading to the trains at level B1F
To get to level B1F from the Narita Airport arrivals area, simply look for the escalators going down with the “Train” or “B1F” sign.

Discounted Keisei Skyliner Tickets for Foreigners

Keisei Skyliner offers discounted rates for foreigners as well (passport required when claiming your tickets) – note that you can only purchase these discounted tickets online and you won’t be able to buy these special rate tickets at the station (you can only claim these tickets at the station after buying online).

After buying online at their official site, just present the purchase confirmation at the ticket counter at the station and the attendant will give you your ticket.

Special discounted foreigner rates are as follows (click here to buy from the Keisei Skyliner official site):

  • One-way – ¥2,300 (adult), ¥1,150 (child)
  • Round trip – ¥4,480 (adult), ¥2,240 (child)

You can also check and compare above rates at Klook as they sometimes offer the same package with additional discount.

Skyliner + Tokyo Subway Ticket Packages

They also offer a combo ticket package for foreigners (Keisei Skyliner ticket to get you to Tokyo AND 24, 48, 72-hour Unlimited Tokyo Subway Ticket to help you get around the city):

One-way Keisei Skyliner Ticket PLUS:

  • 24-hour Tokyo Subway Ticket – ¥2,890 (From ¥3,370. Save ¥480)
  • 48-hour Tokyo Subway Ticket – ¥3,290 (From ¥3,770. Save ¥480)
  • 72-hour Tokyo Subway Ticket – ¥3,590 (From ¥4,070. Save ¥480)

Round-trip Keisei Skyliner Ticket PLUS:

  • 24-hour Tokyo Subway Ticket – ¥4,880 (From ¥5,940. Save ¥1,060)
  • 48-hour Tokyo Subway Ticket – ¥5,280 (From ¥6,340. Save ¥1,060)
  • 72-hour Tokyo Subway Ticket – ¥5,580 (From ¥6,640. Save ¥1,060)

*All prices are adult rates. Child rates are half the price.

You can pick your own package and get them online at Keisei Skyliner’s official website, or check these same packages on Klook if it’s cheaper as it’s even more discounted most of the time.

As you can see these are not much of a discount, but it’s still something, right? And the discount adds up and gets way more significant if you’re travelling in a group. Finally, at least some benefit to being a gaijin. 😉

Read more: Once you’re in Tokyo and you want to go to as much popular spots as you can, you probably will want to take advantage of the unlimited Tokyo Subway Ticket – for more info on this do check out my blog post about the 24, 48, and 72-hour Tokyo Subway Ticket.

The Keisei Skyliner Experience

Just like its blue and white color theme and outer train design that’s inspired by the wind, the Skyliner Experience is calm and quiet and the entire process from buying a ticket to getting to your destination is such a breeze.

Entrance to the Keisei Line at Narita Airport
Entrance to the Keisei Line station at the Narita Airport (Level B1F).

After getting your Keisei Skyliner tickets right at the train station, it’s so easy to get to the train platform just by following the signs – once in the train platform you’ll find the Keisei Skyliner train in all its glory, giving time for passengers to board.

Keisei Skyliner Train
There it is, the Skyliner train waiting for passengers.

Inside the train cabin you’ll find a storage area for luggage, and if you have many bags with you, there’s also the overhead storage for your smaller items. Although it’s a pretty short ride, on-board are also spacious toilets and vending machines for, you know, in case you get hungry during your 41-minute trip to Ueno Station.

Vending Machine inside the Keisei Skyliner Train
There are vending machines inside the train selling beverages, just in case you were too in-a-hurry to get drinks at the airport 7-eleven.
Luggage Storage area inside the Keisei Skyliner train
Spacious luggage Storage area inside the Keisei Skyliner train.

What’s also good is that in the seats they have power outlet for your charging needs and you also get free WiFi access on-board as well as at Keisei stations to help you stay connected – check this out for more information on how to access their WiFi.

Inside the Keisei Skyliner train
It’s so peaceful and quiet inside the Keisei Skyliner train.

Overall the Keisei Skyliner trip is very comfortable (In fact I fell asleep for a bit when I took the trip :P) and since this is a direct trip there’s not much figuring out if it’s already your stop (there was only one random but very quick stop when I took the trip) so you can sit back and relax and just wait for the clear announcements in Japanese and in English as well as clear signboards, making sure you do not miss your stop.

Getting back to the Narita Airport via Keisei Skyliner

It’s the same process going back to the Narita Airport from Ueno or Nippori Station. Just simply head to your respective stations, get your tickets from the ticket counters if you don’t already have one, then make way to the train platform get get on board the train bound for Narita Airport.

Keisei Ueno Station
The entrance to the Keisei Ueno Station if you’re going to the airport from Ueno.

As already mentioned above the Skyliner service runs once an hour and increases to 3 trips per hour during peak hours – refer to this official timetable for the actual service times to ensure you get to the airport on time.

Passengers exiting the Keisei Skyliner train upon arrival at Narita Airport
Just sit back and relax – you’ll know it when you’ve arrived at the Narita Airport.

Read more: Planning to venture beyond Tokyo and want to unlimited access to bullet train (shinkansen) to discover all corners of Japan by train? You may want to take advantage of the unlimited JR (Japan Rail) Pass ticket – check out my blog post on how to get and use the JR Pass.

Keisei Skyliner vs Narita Express (N’EX): Which is the better option?

Although both serves the same purpose (takes you from the Narita Airport to the city and back), there are some minor differences that you may want to take note of that will help you pick depending on your travel plans – both services differ based on pricing, timetable, and more importantly, the destinations covered. I wrote a blog post about the Narita Express as well a comparison blog post on Narita Express VERSUS Keisei Skyliner to help you better decide – do check them out! 🙂

Do you have any questions, or have any tips to share on the Keisei Skyliner? Feel free to comment down below and I’ll get back to you the soonest! 🙂

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