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Narita Airport to Tokyo: Your Most Practical Transport Options

I've listed down all the most practical options here.
Airport Limousine Bus waiting for passengers along bus stop 15 in Narita Airport

If you’ve not already realized it – know that although Narita Airport (NRT) serves Tokyo, the airport is not really in Tokyo and it’s not very near either.

It’s around 80km or 50 miles from the Narita airport to downtown Tokyo, making it a little farther out knowing that Tokyo’s other airport (Haneda Airport) is just around 16 miles or 25 km from the city.

This means that to get yourself from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo and back, some travel and careful planning is required especially if you’re chasing time.

Thank goodness there are plenty of transport options available – you just need to know which one is best for your needs. In this post let me share with you your best transport options to get you from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo (and back).

Table of Contents

  1. Narita Express (N’EX)
  2. Keisei Skyliner
  3. Local Trains
  4. Airport Bus
  5. Private Car Service
  6. Taxi
  7. Car Rental
  8. Uber
  9. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Narita Express (N’EX)

The Narita Express train serves the Narita Airport Terminals 1 and 2-3 and directly takes passengers to major train stations in downtown Tokyo, including Tokyo Station, Shinagawa Station, Shibuya Station, Shinjuku Station, to as far as Yokohama and Ofuna Stations. This option is as good as it gets when you just want a direct access to the popular train stations in downtown Tokyo.

The Narita Express (N'EX) arriving.

To ride the Narita Express from NRT to Tokyo you can either get your tickets online or right at the JR train station at level B1F of Narita Airport (both Terminals 1 and 2-3). Check out my Narita Express blog post to find out how to get your tickets and schedule info, and to know what to expect when riding this train.

Narita Express (N’EX) Pros

  • Price is reasonable, with regular one-way ticket starting at ¥3,070 (also discounts available to foreigners).
  • If you have the JR Pass, just present it at the station attendant at the ticket gates and your N’EX ride is free (if you choose to already activate your JR Pass this early into your trip, that it).
  • Provides quick and direct access from NRT airport to major train stations in Tokyo.
  • Estimate travel time from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station is just around 53 minutes.
  • Quiet, calm, and comfortable inside the train.
  • Free WiFi access.

Narita Express (N’EX) Cons

  • Does not operate 24 hours (times vary but generally it operates from 7AM to 10PM)
  • You will need to transfer trains if your destination is not within the major stations served by N’EX.
  • You will need to walk to your hotel from the train station – not good if you have lots of luggage with you.

2. Keisei Skyliner

Another great option if you choose to take a high-speed train from Narita Airport to the city is the Keisei Skyliner train which also serves both Narita Airport Terminal 1 and 2-3 train stations and offers direct access to Nippori Station and Keisei-Ueno Station on the northeastern part of Tokyo. This is a great option if you’re traveling to this side of the city, and you can also easily transfer to the JR and Tokyo Metro subway trains from both Nippori and Keisei-Ueno stations.

To ride on-board the Keisei Skyliner from NRT to Tokyo you can either get your tickets online or in-person right at the Keisei train station at level B1F of Narita Airport (both Terminals 1 and 2-3). I wrote this blog post on the Keisei Skyliner – do check this out to find more about prices, how to buy, and schedule information.

Keisei Skyliner Train

Keisei Skyliner Pros

  • Price is reasonable, with regular one-way ticket starting at ¥2,570 (also discounts available to foreigners).
  • Provides quick and direct access from NRT airport to Nippori and Keisei-Ueno Stations in Tokyo.
  • Estimate travel time from Narita Airport to Keisei-Ueno Station is just around 41 minutes.
  • Quiet, calm, and comfortable inside the train.
  • Free WiFi access.

Keisei Skyliner Cons

  • Does not operate 24 hours (times vary but generally it operates from 7AM to 11PM).
  • You will need to transfer trains if your destination is not within the major stations served by N’EX.
  • You will need to walk to your hotel from the train station – not good if you have lots of luggage with you.

Read more: Both the Narita Express and the Keisei Skyiner offer high-speed train service between Narita Airport and the city, but they have their own differences. To help you decide between the two, check out my Narita Expess versus Keisei Skyliner blog post for a more comprehensive comparison between the two.

3. Local Trains

Aside from the Narita Express and Keisei Skyliner trains that offer direct access between Narita Airport and downtown Tokyo, you also have the option to take the local trains a.k.a. the normal commuter trains serving local train stations which can also get you from the airport to the city and back, however this can be intimidating especially for first time visitors to Tokyo due to the number of stops and train transfers that you may need to take.

JR Train at the platform

If you have all the time in the world and you want to take this option, first get your own Welcome Suica / Pasmo Passport at the airport (it will make your life easier in paying for your train ride instead of having to always figure out the vending machines), then consider taking the following train lines as their routes are more straightforward:

Option A: JR Sobu Line (Rapid Service)

The Rapid Service JR Sobu Line connects Narita Airport to Tokyo Station and Yokohama Station. It costs ¥1,340 and travel time can take up to an hour and 30 minutes from the airport to Tokyo Station. This train option stops in several stations along the way and can be really crowded during rush hours.

To take the JR Sobu Line, aside from using the Welcome Suica / Pasmo Passport as your ticket, you also have the option to purchase a ticket from the train ticket vending machines at level B1F of Narita Airport and then enter the gates to the JR trains.

Option B: Keisei Access Express & Keisei Main Line Rapid Limited Express (via Funabashi)

Both operated by the Keisei rail company, both the Keisei Access Express & Keisei Main Line Rapid Limited Express are a cheaper (but less direct) option than the Keisei Skyliner because Limited Express fare is not required.

Keisei Access Express (don’t confuse this with the Keisei Skyliner) has lesser stops and has direct access to Shinagawa, Shimbashi, and Nihombashi stations in downtown Tokyo. Using this line, it can take around an hour from Narita Airport to Keisei-Ueno Station (costs around ¥1,480).

The Keisei Rapid Limited Express on the other hand connects Narita Airport to Nippori and Keisei-Ueno Stations and has additional stops along the way and can take an hour and 30 minutes each way (costs around ¥1,030).

*Check out the official Keisei Access Express and Keisei Rapid Limited Express route maps here.

Signs to the trains at Narita Airport
At the Narita Airport, you can find the train ticket desks and train station entrances for Narita Express, Keisei Skyliner, and local trains including JR / Keisei at the level B1F of both Terminals 1 and 2-3 of the Narita Airport.

Pros of taking the local trains

  • Cheapest option.

Cons of taking the local trains

  • Can be intimidating to figure out the train schedules, routes and transfers especially for first time travelers.
  • Depending on the route taken, can take a lot of time to get to your destination.
  • Since this is a local train, although you can definitely ride with luggage in tow, you would have to hold on to it because there’s no dedicated storage area for your big luggage.
  • Seat reservation is not possible in the local trains.
  • May not have enough space for you and your luggage during peak hours.

4. Airport Bus

Airport Buses are a great option especially for tourists as they exist to make your trip a lot easier – they’re clean, spacious and comfortable, and it does the job of taking you to your actual destination without a fuss. Also you do not have to worry about your heavy luggage because they have special storage areas beneath the bus.

Depending on the traffic, an airport bus service can take you from Narita Airport to central Tokyo in around 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes give or take.

Just look your bus stop number just outside the arrivals area and you’ll find your airport bus waiting.

Airport buses have stops along popular tourist spots (yes that includes Disneyland), train stations (Tokyo, Shibuya, and Shinjuku stations, etc.), as well as hotels in downtown Tokyo. There are a number of airport bus options that you can choose from:

A. Friendly Limousine Bus

Known for its orange-themed bus line that boasts an extensive route network from Narita to different destinations in Tokyo and beyond, the Friendly Limousine is definitely one of the most popular options out there. Tickets vary depending on your destination but to give you an example, a one-way ticket to Shinjuku or Shibuya-area destinations cost ¥3,600 and Disney Resort area destinations cost ¥2,300 for adults (prices are half for children). You can store up to 2 pieces of luggage in the trunk when riding the Friendly Limousine Bus.

You can buy tickets directly at the airport arrivals area or online via their official website. Pro tip: Klook most of the time offers this exact service for way less. Make sure to compare the official website and Klook prices before booking.

Friendly Limousine Buses cover the following destinations from Narita Airport terminals 1, 2, and 3. To see their most updated timetable and list of destinations, check out Friendly Limousine Bus’ official timetable.

  • Shinjuku Area
    • Busta Shinjuku, Keio Plaza Hotel, Hyatt Regency Tokyo, Shinjuku Washington Hotel, Park Hyatt Tokyo, Hilton Tokyo, Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, Century Southern Tower, Tokyo Kabukicho Tower
  • Shibuya Area
    • Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, Shibuya Mark City, Shibuya Station [Shibuya Fukuras]
  • Roppongi and Akasaka Area
    • ANA Inter Continental Hotel Tokyo, The Okura Tokyo, Grand Hyatt Tokyo, The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, Akasaka Mitsuke, The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho, Hotel New Otani, The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
  • Hibiya, Ginza Area
    • Tekko Building, Tokyo Station, Palace Hotel Tokyo, Courtyard By Marriott Tokyo Ginza Hotel, Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier, Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo, Imperial Hotel, Andaz Tokyo, Tokyo Prince Hotel, The Prince Park Tower Tokyo, Shiba Park Hotel
  • Ikebukuro, Mejiro, Kudan, and Korakuen Area
    • Tekko Building, Tokyo Station, Tokyo Dome Hotel, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, Ikebukuro Sunshine Bus Terminal, Sunshine City Prince Hotel, Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo
  • Ebisu and Shinagawa Area
    • Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa, Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo, Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo Marriott Hotel, Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo, The Westin Tokyo, The New Sanno Hotel
  • Asakusa, Kinshicho Area
    • Hotel East 21 Tokyo, Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo, Asakusa View Hotel
  • Shiba, Shiodome, Toyosu, Takeshiba, Odaiba, and Ariake Area
    • Tekko Building, Tokyo Station, Toyosu Station, Sotetsu Grand Fresa Tokyo-Bay Ariake, Tokyo Bay Ariake Washington Hotel, Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba, Hilton Tokyo Odaiba, mesm Tokyo, The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodome, Park Hotel Tokyo, Conrad Tokyo, Hotel The Celestine Tokyo Shiba, Andaz Tokyo, Tokyo Prince Hotel, The Prince Park Tower Tokyo, Shiba Park Hotel, Palace Hotel Tokyo, Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier, Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo, Imperial Hotel
  • Tokyo Disney Resort Area
    • Tokyo Disneyland, Grand Nikko Tokyo Bay Maihama, Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel, Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel First Resort, Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, Tokyo Disney Resort Toy Story Hotel, Hilton Tokyo Bay, Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay, Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel, Tokyo Disneysea Hotel Miracosta, Tokyo Disneysea, Disney Ambassador Hotel
  • Haneda Airport Terminals 1, 2, and 3
  • Yokohama City Air Terminal and Minato Mirai Area
    • Yokohama City Air Terminal, The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu, InterContinental Yokohama Grand (Pacifico Yokohama), Royal Park Hotel (Yokohama)
  • Shin-Urayasu Area
    • Shin-Urayasu Station, Mitsui Garden Hotel Prana Tokyo Bay
Ticketing Counter for Narita Airport Buses
At the Narita Airport arrivals area, just find this desk to get your bus tickets at the last minute.

B. Airport Bus TYO-NRT

This airport bus is aptly named as “”TYO-NRT” because it literally does just that – to connect you between Narita Airport and Tokyo Station in Central Tokyo in just around 65 minutes starting at just ¥1,300 per adult. One thing to note about this service though is that each passenger may only check-in a maximum of 1 suitcase.

To get on-board the TYO-NRT Airport Bus, when you’re at the arrivals area (Level 1) of the Narita Airport simply head to the bus ticket counter, make your ticket purchase, then head to the assigned bus station number just outside the arrivals area. For more information, check out Airport Bus TYO-NRT’s official website.

Airport Bus TYO-NRT (Fare Plan)AdultChild
Regular¥1,300¥650
Late Night / Early Morning¥2,600¥1,300
Ticket prices for Airport Bus TYO-NRT

C. Narita Airport Shuttle Bus (Ikebukuro Line) by Willis Express

The Narita Airport Shuttle Bus by Willis Express directly takes you from Narita Airport Terminals 1, 2, and 3 to the West Exit of the Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo (and back to the airport). Using this bus you can book as least minute as 10 minutes prior to booking, and you can cancel your booking for free in case you miss your bus. One thing to note about this service though is that each passenger may only store a maximum of 1 suitcase in the trunk.

You can book online at their official website, or you can also get your tickets right at the bus ticket counter at the Level 1 arrivals area of the Narita Airport.

Narita Airport Shuttle Bus by Willis Express (Fare Plan)AdultChild
Early Booking (at least 24 hours before departure)¥1,700¥950
Basic Fare (up to 10 minutes prior to departure)¥1,900¥950
Ticket prices for Narita Airport Shuttle Bus by Willis Express

Airport Bus Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Great value especially if your destination or hotel is one of the stops of the limousine bus.
  • You don’t need to worry about your big or heavy luggage as it gets safely stored in the underbelly of the limousine bus.
  • Calm, quiet, and very comfortable inside the bus.

Airport Bus Cons

  • Traffic may affect travel time.
  • Will be a hassle if your actual destination is far from the drop-off point (so choose your bus and route carefully).
  • Depending on the bus company, the number of luggage you can bring with you can be limited.

5. Private Car Service

You can also book a private car service with a driver to get you from the airport to the city and back. This way the service is much more personalized according to your schedule and itinerary, so less hassle for you especially if it’s your first time visiting.

Although the private car service a pretty expensive option, this is still a great option for families or those traveling in groups as it’s a lot more spacious than a taxi and the cost gets cheaper the more people you have in the group.

To book a private car service, you may do so right at the arrivals are of the Narita Airport where they have several booths dedicated to private car services. If you want to book in advance and online, you may book via Klook as they offer additional discounts and their website is also in English which is especially very helpful when arranging your airport transport by yourself.

Pros of getting a private car service

  • Available 24 hours, even if you arrive after midnight (Depending on the pre-arrangement with the company).
  • Great option for families or those traveling in groups.
  • Direct transport option from the airport straight to your hotel or other destination in the city.
  • Personalized service.
  • Although expensive, it gets more economical the more people you have in your group.
  • No more language barrier as the service is pre-arranged.

Cons of getting a private car service

  • Can be an expensive option when traveling alone.
  • Travel time depends on traffic.
  • Depending on the car, seats are limited and sometimes can occupy only a max of 5 pax.

6. Taxi

Now I wouldn’t ever suggest that you take the taxi from the airport to the city because it’s very expensive and you need to be able to speak a little Japanese or figure out the translation of your destination if you choose this path, but in the case that your flight arrives too late then this would likely be your only option (aside from just waiting it out at the airport or airport hotel).

A trip from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours give or take depending on the traffic. In case you ever need to take the taxi cab, just go to the taxi stand just outside the arrivals area.

Taxi in a busy street
Let Tokyo’s sleek and stylish taxi whisk you away from the airport into the city. If money’s no object, that is. 😉

Pros of riding a taxi

  • Available 24 hours, last minute and at a moment’s notice, even if you arrive after midnight.
  • Takes you from the airport directly to your hotel. No need to figure out train transfers and whatnot.
  • Travel in style. Tokyo taxis have sleek exterior and interior and you get driven around by a well-dressed chauffeur complete with proper white gloves. Definitely a luxurious option.

Cons of riding a taxi

  • Very expensive – it can cost 20,000 to 40,000 yen to get from Narita Airpot to somewhere in Central Tokyo depending on the distance, traffic, and type of taxi.
  • If you don’t know any Japanese, it may be hard to communicate with your driver and figure things out.
  • Traffic may affect travel time.
  • May not have enough space if traveling in a large group or you have a lot of luggage with you.

7. Car Rental

In the Arrivals lounge of both Narita Airport Terminals 1 and 2-3 you can find designated booths where you can rent-a-car for as low as 5,000 a day. Note that if you choose to go this route, you need a Japanese driver’s license or an International Driver Permit before you’re allowed to drive in the country.

Car Rental desk at the airport
There are many different car rental companies that you can check at the arrivals area of the Narita Airport.

Pros of renting a car

  • Reasonable rental price.
  • Can take you to anywhere you want to go.

Cons of renting a car

  • You need to find parking wherever you go, and it can sometimes be hard to find parking especially in downtown Tokyo.
  • Parking is expensive in Tokyo.
  • You need to shoulder additional toll fees.
  • Figuring out routes and road rules can be a headache.

8. Uber

I’m putting this option last as this is probably the least practical option for now (more on this below), but also wanted to let you know what this is actually an option just in case – did you know that you can summon an Uber ride from the airport?

Yes, this is actually a thing, and Uber has designated pick-up points just outside the Arrivals area at each terminal of the Narita Airport as well. From the Uber app just select your preferred pick up location and your destination to book a ride.

Uber Taxi

It’s not technically the same Uber experience as you would expect in other countries – in Japan Uber partners with local taxi companies in Tokyo to make this possible, so you’ll just get a normal taxi when you request a ride from the app so this actually is for the better since taxi companies have well-trained taxi drivers (don’t expect to get a private car driven by a random Uber dude).

The thing is, getting an Uber is more expensive than just hailing a cab at the airport since Uber charges additional fees on top of the actual (and already expensive) taxi service fee. And since you’re basically requesting a ride to go fetch you at the airport first, then that additional service adds a premium to the already steep taxi fare.

Pros of riding an Uber

  • A more familiar option (only applicable to foreigners).
  • Available 24 hours, last minute and at a moment’s notice, even if you arrive after midnight.
  • App is available in English.
  • Uber doesn’t require Japanese phone number to setup an account.
  • Takes you from the airport directly to your hotel. No need to figure out train transfers and whatnot.
  • Unlike the standard taxi, with Uber you’ll no longer be lost in translation when informing the driver of your destination.

Cons of riding an Uber

  • Uber is relatively new and not very popular among the Japanese, so the network of available Uber drivers who can take your request is not that big. It’s not abundant at all (for now, at least).
  • Driver can cancel on you.
  • Due to additional fees and the fact that they’re driving to fetch you, riding an Uber can be more expensive than hailing a taxi.
  • Traffic may affect travel time.
  • May not have enough space if traveling in a large group or you have a lot of luggage with you.

Read more: So you got from the airport to downtown Tokyo, and now you want to be able to get around the city. Need an unlimited-ride subway ticket for traveling around the tourist spots in Tokyo? Check out my blog post on the Tokyo Subway Ticket to find out where to get it!

Most Practical Transport Options from NRT to Tokyo: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the fastest way from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station?

The fastest way to Tokyo Station is via the Narita Express, which can take you to Tokyo station in just around 53 minutes.

2. What is the best ride to get from Narita Airport to Shibuya or Shinjuku?

To get from Narita Airport to Shibuya or Shinjuku, your most practical options would be the Narita Express (N’EX) which costs ¥3,250 each way and takes around 75 minutes, and the Friendly Limousine Bus which can take you to select hotels/destinations in and around Shibuya and Shinjuku in around 90 minutes (ticket price: ¥3,600 each way).

3. What is the cheapest ride from Narita Airport to Tokyo?

The Keisei Rapid Limited Express train is the cheapest option at ¥1,030 each way (adult) and can take you from Narita Airport to Keisei-Ueno station in 1 hour 30 minutes (takes longer due to the many train stops). Second cheapest I found is the Airport Bus TYO-NRT which cost only ¥1,300 each way (adult) and takes you from the airport to Tokyo Station in Central Tokyo in just around 65 minutes.

Between the two, if the destination is not really an issue, I highly suggest just taking the Airport Bus TYO-NRT if you’re looking for the cheapest option because it costs just a little more yet it’s a more comfortable option because it’s direct and you get a dedicated storage space for your luggage.

4. What is the most convenient and straightforward option?

This will highly depend on your actual destination in the city – as you can see in the above transport options, each option have very different destination/s.

However since we’re talking “convenient” and “straightforward”, then no doubt they’re the Narita Express, Keisei Skyliner, and the Airport Bus options because they take you from directly from point A to B with no fuss at all, and they provide dedicated areas for your baggage as well.

These are a very great option especially if their service points are in or very near your actual destination. Very convenient for the pocket too, as their benefits outweigh the costs.

Read more: Wanting to immediately explore Tokyo without having to bring your heavy bags with you? You can actually send your luggage from the airport straight to your hotel so that you can start exploring asap! Check out my blog post on how to send your bags to and from the airport.

5. What if my flight arrives after midnight or very early in the morning?

Many transport services such as the trains and buses generally operate anywhere between 7AM and 10PM, so you’re usually left with the expensive taxi cab serving as your last option if you have not prearranged any car rental or private car service prior to arriving at the Narita Airport.

This is the reason why it is very important to double check your flight itinerary details to find out your arrival / departure time at the Narita Airport so that you can plan ahead.

In the unexpected case where your flight is delayed and you’re unable to prearrange any airport pick-up service, or if you didn’t have anything planned out and you just arrived at the Narita Airport in the wee hours of the morning and you need a ride to the city, just go ahead straight to the airport bus counters or the train stations to check the most updated timetable for the earliest rides that can take you to the city.

If all else fails you have the option to just hail a taxi already and just stomach the hefty fare, or if you’re like me, you can also just wing it and simply wait for a few more hours for the earliest available schedule. If you’re uber tired and need a place to rest, you have the option to stay at one of the many airport hotels in and around Narita Airport.

6. Should I pick Narita Express (N’EX) or Keisei Skyliner?

Although your actual destination will help you ultimately decide between the two, they both have differences that you can consider as well, including the trip schedules, trip prices, and the actual experience inside their train cabins – I’ve written this Narita Express versus Keisei Skyliner blog post to help you decide between the two – do check it out! 🙂

Do you have any other questions, or have any tips to share on getting between Narita Airport and Tokyo? Feel free to comment down below and I’ll get back to you the soonest! 🙂

Have any questions, or tips to share? Feel free to comment down below! 🙂

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Airport Limousine Bus waiting for passengers along bus stop 15 in Narita Airport
Home » Guides » Narita Airport to Tokyo: Your Most Practical Transport Options

Narita Airport to Tokyo: Your Most Practical Transport Options

I've listed down all the most practical options here.

If you’ve not already realized it – know that although Narita Airport (NRT) serves Tokyo, the airport is not really in Tokyo and it’s not very near either.

It’s around 80km or 50 miles from the Narita airport to downtown Tokyo, making it a little farther out knowing that Tokyo’s other airport (Haneda Airport) is just around 16 miles or 25 km from the city.

This means that to get yourself from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo and back, some travel and careful planning is required especially if you’re chasing time.

Thank goodness there are plenty of transport options available – you just need to know which one is best for your needs. In this post let me share with you your best transport options to get you from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo (and back).

Table of Contents

  1. Narita Express (N’EX)
  2. Keisei Skyliner
  3. Local Trains
  4. Airport Bus
  5. Private Car Service
  6. Taxi
  7. Car Rental
  8. Uber
  9. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Narita Express (N’EX)

The Narita Express train serves the Narita Airport Terminals 1 and 2-3 and directly takes passengers to major train stations in downtown Tokyo, including Tokyo Station, Shinagawa Station, Shibuya Station, Shinjuku Station, to as far as Yokohama and Ofuna Stations. This option is as good as it gets when you just want a direct access to the popular train stations in downtown Tokyo.

The Narita Express (N'EX) arriving.

To ride the Narita Express from NRT to Tokyo you can either get your tickets online or right at the JR train station at level B1F of Narita Airport (both Terminals 1 and 2-3). Check out my Narita Express blog post to find out how to get your tickets and schedule info, and to know what to expect when riding this train.

Narita Express (N’EX) Pros

  • Price is reasonable, with regular one-way ticket starting at ¥3,070 (also discounts available to foreigners).
  • If you have the JR Pass, just present it at the station attendant at the ticket gates and your N’EX ride is free (if you choose to already activate your JR Pass this early into your trip, that it).
  • Provides quick and direct access from NRT airport to major train stations in Tokyo.
  • Estimate travel time from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station is just around 53 minutes.
  • Quiet, calm, and comfortable inside the train.
  • Free WiFi access.

Narita Express (N’EX) Cons

  • Does not operate 24 hours (times vary but generally it operates from 7AM to 10PM)
  • You will need to transfer trains if your destination is not within the major stations served by N’EX.
  • You will need to walk to your hotel from the train station – not good if you have lots of luggage with you.

2. Keisei Skyliner

Another great option if you choose to take a high-speed train from Narita Airport to the city is the Keisei Skyliner train which also serves both Narita Airport Terminal 1 and 2-3 train stations and offers direct access to Nippori Station and Keisei-Ueno Station on the northeastern part of Tokyo. This is a great option if you’re traveling to this side of the city, and you can also easily transfer to the JR and Tokyo Metro subway trains from both Nippori and Keisei-Ueno stations.

To ride on-board the Keisei Skyliner from NRT to Tokyo you can either get your tickets online or in-person right at the Keisei train station at level B1F of Narita Airport (both Terminals 1 and 2-3). I wrote this blog post on the Keisei Skyliner – do check this out to find more about prices, how to buy, and schedule information.

Keisei Skyliner Train

Keisei Skyliner Pros

  • Price is reasonable, with regular one-way ticket starting at ¥2,570 (also discounts available to foreigners).
  • Provides quick and direct access from NRT airport to Nippori and Keisei-Ueno Stations in Tokyo.
  • Estimate travel time from Narita Airport to Keisei-Ueno Station is just around 41 minutes.
  • Quiet, calm, and comfortable inside the train.
  • Free WiFi access.

Keisei Skyliner Cons

  • Does not operate 24 hours (times vary but generally it operates from 7AM to 11PM).
  • You will need to transfer trains if your destination is not within the major stations served by N’EX.
  • You will need to walk to your hotel from the train station – not good if you have lots of luggage with you.

Read more: Both the Narita Express and the Keisei Skyiner offer high-speed train service between Narita Airport and the city, but they have their own differences. To help you decide between the two, check out my Narita Expess versus Keisei Skyliner blog post for a more comprehensive comparison between the two.

3. Local Trains

Aside from the Narita Express and Keisei Skyliner trains that offer direct access between Narita Airport and downtown Tokyo, you also have the option to take the local trains a.k.a. the normal commuter trains serving local train stations which can also get you from the airport to the city and back, however this can be intimidating especially for first time visitors to Tokyo due to the number of stops and train transfers that you may need to take.

JR Train at the platform

If you have all the time in the world and you want to take this option, first get your own Welcome Suica / Pasmo Passport at the airport (it will make your life easier in paying for your train ride instead of having to always figure out the vending machines), then consider taking the following train lines as their routes are more straightforward:

Option A: JR Sobu Line (Rapid Service)

The Rapid Service JR Sobu Line connects Narita Airport to Tokyo Station and Yokohama Station. It costs ¥1,340 and travel time can take up to an hour and 30 minutes from the airport to Tokyo Station. This train option stops in several stations along the way and can be really crowded during rush hours.

To take the JR Sobu Line, aside from using the Welcome Suica / Pasmo Passport as your ticket, you also have the option to purchase a ticket from the train ticket vending machines at level B1F of Narita Airport and then enter the gates to the JR trains.

Option B: Keisei Access Express & Keisei Main Line Rapid Limited Express (via Funabashi)

Both operated by the Keisei rail company, both the Keisei Access Express & Keisei Main Line Rapid Limited Express are a cheaper (but less direct) option than the Keisei Skyliner because Limited Express fare is not required.

Keisei Access Express (don’t confuse this with the Keisei Skyliner) has lesser stops and has direct access to Shinagawa, Shimbashi, and Nihombashi stations in downtown Tokyo. Using this line, it can take around an hour from Narita Airport to Keisei-Ueno Station (costs around ¥1,480).

The Keisei Rapid Limited Express on the other hand connects Narita Airport to Nippori and Keisei-Ueno Stations and has additional stops along the way and can take an hour and 30 minutes each way (costs around ¥1,030).

*Check out the official Keisei Access Express and Keisei Rapid Limited Express route maps here.

Signs to the trains at Narita Airport
At the Narita Airport, you can find the train ticket desks and train station entrances for Narita Express, Keisei Skyliner, and local trains including JR / Keisei at the level B1F of both Terminals 1 and 2-3 of the Narita Airport.

Pros of taking the local trains

  • Cheapest option.

Cons of taking the local trains

  • Can be intimidating to figure out the train schedules, routes and transfers especially for first time travelers.
  • Depending on the route taken, can take a lot of time to get to your destination.
  • Since this is a local train, although you can definitely ride with luggage in tow, you would have to hold on to it because there’s no dedicated storage area for your big luggage.
  • Seat reservation is not possible in the local trains.
  • May not have enough space for you and your luggage during peak hours.

4. Airport Bus

Airport Buses are a great option especially for tourists as they exist to make your trip a lot easier – they’re clean, spacious and comfortable, and it does the job of taking you to your actual destination without a fuss. Also you do not have to worry about your heavy luggage because they have special storage areas beneath the bus.

Depending on the traffic, an airport bus service can take you from Narita Airport to central Tokyo in around 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes give or take.

Just look your bus stop number just outside the arrivals area and you’ll find your airport bus waiting.

Airport buses have stops along popular tourist spots (yes that includes Disneyland), train stations (Tokyo, Shibuya, and Shinjuku stations, etc.), as well as hotels in downtown Tokyo. There are a number of airport bus options that you can choose from:

A. Friendly Limousine Bus

Known for its orange-themed bus line that boasts an extensive route network from Narita to different destinations in Tokyo and beyond, the Friendly Limousine is definitely one of the most popular options out there. Tickets vary depending on your destination but to give you an example, a one-way ticket to Shinjuku or Shibuya-area destinations cost ¥3,600 and Disney Resort area destinations cost ¥2,300 for adults (prices are half for children). You can store up to 2 pieces of luggage in the trunk when riding the Friendly Limousine Bus.

You can buy tickets directly at the airport arrivals area or online via their official website. Pro tip: Klook most of the time offers this exact service for way less. Make sure to compare the official website and Klook prices before booking.

Friendly Limousine Buses cover the following destinations from Narita Airport terminals 1, 2, and 3. To see their most updated timetable and list of destinations, check out Friendly Limousine Bus’ official timetable.

  • Shinjuku Area
    • Busta Shinjuku, Keio Plaza Hotel, Hyatt Regency Tokyo, Shinjuku Washington Hotel, Park Hyatt Tokyo, Hilton Tokyo, Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, Century Southern Tower, Tokyo Kabukicho Tower
  • Shibuya Area
    • Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, Shibuya Mark City, Shibuya Station [Shibuya Fukuras]
  • Roppongi and Akasaka Area
    • ANA Inter Continental Hotel Tokyo, The Okura Tokyo, Grand Hyatt Tokyo, The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, Akasaka Mitsuke, The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho, Hotel New Otani, The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
  • Hibiya, Ginza Area
    • Tekko Building, Tokyo Station, Palace Hotel Tokyo, Courtyard By Marriott Tokyo Ginza Hotel, Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier, Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo, Imperial Hotel, Andaz Tokyo, Tokyo Prince Hotel, The Prince Park Tower Tokyo, Shiba Park Hotel
  • Ikebukuro, Mejiro, Kudan, and Korakuen Area
    • Tekko Building, Tokyo Station, Tokyo Dome Hotel, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, Ikebukuro Sunshine Bus Terminal, Sunshine City Prince Hotel, Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo
  • Ebisu and Shinagawa Area
    • Grand Prince Hotel Shin Takanawa, Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo, Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo Marriott Hotel, Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo, The Westin Tokyo, The New Sanno Hotel
  • Asakusa, Kinshicho Area
    • Hotel East 21 Tokyo, Tobu Hotel Levant Tokyo, Asakusa View Hotel
  • Shiba, Shiodome, Toyosu, Takeshiba, Odaiba, and Ariake Area
    • Tekko Building, Tokyo Station, Toyosu Station, Sotetsu Grand Fresa Tokyo-Bay Ariake, Tokyo Bay Ariake Washington Hotel, Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba, Hilton Tokyo Odaiba, mesm Tokyo, The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Tokyo Shiodome, Park Hotel Tokyo, Conrad Tokyo, Hotel The Celestine Tokyo Shiba, Andaz Tokyo, Tokyo Prince Hotel, The Prince Park Tower Tokyo, Shiba Park Hotel, Palace Hotel Tokyo, Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier, Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo, Imperial Hotel
  • Tokyo Disney Resort Area
    • Tokyo Disneyland, Grand Nikko Tokyo Bay Maihama, Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel, Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel First Resort, Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, Tokyo Disney Resort Toy Story Hotel, Hilton Tokyo Bay, Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay, Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel, Tokyo Disneysea Hotel Miracosta, Tokyo Disneysea, Disney Ambassador Hotel
  • Haneda Airport Terminals 1, 2, and 3
  • Yokohama City Air Terminal and Minato Mirai Area
    • Yokohama City Air Terminal, The Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu, InterContinental Yokohama Grand (Pacifico Yokohama), Royal Park Hotel (Yokohama)
  • Shin-Urayasu Area
    • Shin-Urayasu Station, Mitsui Garden Hotel Prana Tokyo Bay
Ticketing Counter for Narita Airport Buses
At the Narita Airport arrivals area, just find this desk to get your bus tickets at the last minute.

B. Airport Bus TYO-NRT

This airport bus is aptly named as “”TYO-NRT” because it literally does just that – to connect you between Narita Airport and Tokyo Station in Central Tokyo in just around 65 minutes starting at just ¥1,300 per adult. One thing to note about this service though is that each passenger may only check-in a maximum of 1 suitcase.

To get on-board the TYO-NRT Airport Bus, when you’re at the arrivals area (Level 1) of the Narita Airport simply head to the bus ticket counter, make your ticket purchase, then head to the assigned bus station number just outside the arrivals area. For more information, check out Airport Bus TYO-NRT’s official website.

Airport Bus TYO-NRT (Fare Plan)AdultChild
Regular¥1,300¥650
Late Night / Early Morning¥2,600¥1,300
Ticket prices for Airport Bus TYO-NRT

C. Narita Airport Shuttle Bus (Ikebukuro Line) by Willis Express

The Narita Airport Shuttle Bus by Willis Express directly takes you from Narita Airport Terminals 1, 2, and 3 to the West Exit of the Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo (and back to the airport). Using this bus you can book as least minute as 10 minutes prior to booking, and you can cancel your booking for free in case you miss your bus. One thing to note about this service though is that each passenger may only store a maximum of 1 suitcase in the trunk.

You can book online at their official website, or you can also get your tickets right at the bus ticket counter at the Level 1 arrivals area of the Narita Airport.

Narita Airport Shuttle Bus by Willis Express (Fare Plan)AdultChild
Early Booking (at least 24 hours before departure)¥1,700¥950
Basic Fare (up to 10 minutes prior to departure)¥1,900¥950
Ticket prices for Narita Airport Shuttle Bus by Willis Express

Airport Bus Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Great value especially if your destination or hotel is one of the stops of the limousine bus.
  • You don’t need to worry about your big or heavy luggage as it gets safely stored in the underbelly of the limousine bus.
  • Calm, quiet, and very comfortable inside the bus.

Airport Bus Cons

  • Traffic may affect travel time.
  • Will be a hassle if your actual destination is far from the drop-off point (so choose your bus and route carefully).
  • Depending on the bus company, the number of luggage you can bring with you can be limited.

5. Private Car Service

You can also book a private car service with a driver to get you from the airport to the city and back. This way the service is much more personalized according to your schedule and itinerary, so less hassle for you especially if it’s your first time visiting.

Although the private car service a pretty expensive option, this is still a great option for families or those traveling in groups as it’s a lot more spacious than a taxi and the cost gets cheaper the more people you have in the group.

To book a private car service, you may do so right at the arrivals are of the Narita Airport where they have several booths dedicated to private car services. If you want to book in advance and online, you may book via Klook as they offer additional discounts and their website is also in English which is especially very helpful when arranging your airport transport by yourself.

Pros of getting a private car service

  • Available 24 hours, even if you arrive after midnight (Depending on the pre-arrangement with the company).
  • Great option for families or those traveling in groups.
  • Direct transport option from the airport straight to your hotel or other destination in the city.
  • Personalized service.
  • Although expensive, it gets more economical the more people you have in your group.
  • No more language barrier as the service is pre-arranged.

Cons of getting a private car service

  • Can be an expensive option when traveling alone.
  • Travel time depends on traffic.
  • Depending on the car, seats are limited and sometimes can occupy only a max of 5 pax.

6. Taxi

Now I wouldn’t ever suggest that you take the taxi from the airport to the city because it’s very expensive and you need to be able to speak a little Japanese or figure out the translation of your destination if you choose this path, but in the case that your flight arrives too late then this would likely be your only option (aside from just waiting it out at the airport or airport hotel).

A trip from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours give or take depending on the traffic. In case you ever need to take the taxi cab, just go to the taxi stand just outside the arrivals area.

Taxi in a busy street
Let Tokyo’s sleek and stylish taxi whisk you away from the airport into the city. If money’s no object, that is. 😉

Pros of riding a taxi

  • Available 24 hours, last minute and at a moment’s notice, even if you arrive after midnight.
  • Takes you from the airport directly to your hotel. No need to figure out train transfers and whatnot.
  • Travel in style. Tokyo taxis have sleek exterior and interior and you get driven around by a well-dressed chauffeur complete with proper white gloves. Definitely a luxurious option.

Cons of riding a taxi

  • Very expensive – it can cost 20,000 to 40,000 yen to get from Narita Airpot to somewhere in Central Tokyo depending on the distance, traffic, and type of taxi.
  • If you don’t know any Japanese, it may be hard to communicate with your driver and figure things out.
  • Traffic may affect travel time.
  • May not have enough space if traveling in a large group or you have a lot of luggage with you.

7. Car Rental

In the Arrivals lounge of both Narita Airport Terminals 1 and 2-3 you can find designated booths where you can rent-a-car for as low as 5,000 a day. Note that if you choose to go this route, you need a Japanese driver’s license or an International Driver Permit before you’re allowed to drive in the country.

Car Rental desk at the airport
There are many different car rental companies that you can check at the arrivals area of the Narita Airport.

Pros of renting a car

  • Reasonable rental price.
  • Can take you to anywhere you want to go.

Cons of renting a car

  • You need to find parking wherever you go, and it can sometimes be hard to find parking especially in downtown Tokyo.
  • Parking is expensive in Tokyo.
  • You need to shoulder additional toll fees.
  • Figuring out routes and road rules can be a headache.

8. Uber

I’m putting this option last as this is probably the least practical option for now (more on this below), but also wanted to let you know what this is actually an option just in case – did you know that you can summon an Uber ride from the airport?

Yes, this is actually a thing, and Uber has designated pick-up points just outside the Arrivals area at each terminal of the Narita Airport as well. From the Uber app just select your preferred pick up location and your destination to book a ride.

Uber Taxi

It’s not technically the same Uber experience as you would expect in other countries – in Japan Uber partners with local taxi companies in Tokyo to make this possible, so you’ll just get a normal taxi when you request a ride from the app so this actually is for the better since taxi companies have well-trained taxi drivers (don’t expect to get a private car driven by a random Uber dude).

The thing is, getting an Uber is more expensive than just hailing a cab at the airport since Uber charges additional fees on top of the actual (and already expensive) taxi service fee. And since you’re basically requesting a ride to go fetch you at the airport first, then that additional service adds a premium to the already steep taxi fare.

Pros of riding an Uber

  • A more familiar option (only applicable to foreigners).
  • Available 24 hours, last minute and at a moment’s notice, even if you arrive after midnight.
  • App is available in English.
  • Uber doesn’t require Japanese phone number to setup an account.
  • Takes you from the airport directly to your hotel. No need to figure out train transfers and whatnot.
  • Unlike the standard taxi, with Uber you’ll no longer be lost in translation when informing the driver of your destination.

Cons of riding an Uber

  • Uber is relatively new and not very popular among the Japanese, so the network of available Uber drivers who can take your request is not that big. It’s not abundant at all (for now, at least).
  • Driver can cancel on you.
  • Due to additional fees and the fact that they’re driving to fetch you, riding an Uber can be more expensive than hailing a taxi.
  • Traffic may affect travel time.
  • May not have enough space if traveling in a large group or you have a lot of luggage with you.

Read more: So you got from the airport to downtown Tokyo, and now you want to be able to get around the city. Need an unlimited-ride subway ticket for traveling around the tourist spots in Tokyo? Check out my blog post on the Tokyo Subway Ticket to find out where to get it!

Most Practical Transport Options from NRT to Tokyo: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the fastest way from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station?

The fastest way to Tokyo Station is via the Narita Express, which can take you to Tokyo station in just around 53 minutes.

2. What is the best ride to get from Narita Airport to Shibuya or Shinjuku?

To get from Narita Airport to Shibuya or Shinjuku, your most practical options would be the Narita Express (N’EX) which costs ¥3,250 each way and takes around 75 minutes, and the Friendly Limousine Bus which can take you to select hotels/destinations in and around Shibuya and Shinjuku in around 90 minutes (ticket price: ¥3,600 each way).

3. What is the cheapest ride from Narita Airport to Tokyo?

The Keisei Rapid Limited Express train is the cheapest option at ¥1,030 each way (adult) and can take you from Narita Airport to Keisei-Ueno station in 1 hour 30 minutes (takes longer due to the many train stops). Second cheapest I found is the Airport Bus TYO-NRT which cost only ¥1,300 each way (adult) and takes you from the airport to Tokyo Station in Central Tokyo in just around 65 minutes.

Between the two, if the destination is not really an issue, I highly suggest just taking the Airport Bus TYO-NRT if you’re looking for the cheapest option because it costs just a little more yet it’s a more comfortable option because it’s direct and you get a dedicated storage space for your luggage.

4. What is the most convenient and straightforward option?

This will highly depend on your actual destination in the city – as you can see in the above transport options, each option have very different destination/s.

However since we’re talking “convenient” and “straightforward”, then no doubt they’re the Narita Express, Keisei Skyliner, and the Airport Bus options because they take you from directly from point A to B with no fuss at all, and they provide dedicated areas for your baggage as well.

These are a very great option especially if their service points are in or very near your actual destination. Very convenient for the pocket too, as their benefits outweigh the costs.

Read more: Wanting to immediately explore Tokyo without having to bring your heavy bags with you? You can actually send your luggage from the airport straight to your hotel so that you can start exploring asap! Check out my blog post on how to send your bags to and from the airport.

5. What if my flight arrives after midnight or very early in the morning?

Many transport services such as the trains and buses generally operate anywhere between 7AM and 10PM, so you’re usually left with the expensive taxi cab serving as your last option if you have not prearranged any car rental or private car service prior to arriving at the Narita Airport.

This is the reason why it is very important to double check your flight itinerary details to find out your arrival / departure time at the Narita Airport so that you can plan ahead.

In the unexpected case where your flight is delayed and you’re unable to prearrange any airport pick-up service, or if you didn’t have anything planned out and you just arrived at the Narita Airport in the wee hours of the morning and you need a ride to the city, just go ahead straight to the airport bus counters or the train stations to check the most updated timetable for the earliest rides that can take you to the city.

If all else fails you have the option to just hail a taxi already and just stomach the hefty fare, or if you’re like me, you can also just wing it and simply wait for a few more hours for the earliest available schedule. If you’re uber tired and need a place to rest, you have the option to stay at one of the many airport hotels in and around Narita Airport.

6. Should I pick Narita Express (N’EX) or Keisei Skyliner?

Although your actual destination will help you ultimately decide between the two, they both have differences that you can consider as well, including the trip schedules, trip prices, and the actual experience inside their train cabins – I’ve written this Narita Express versus Keisei Skyliner blog post to help you decide between the two – do check it out! 🙂

Do you have any other questions, or have any tips to share on getting between Narita Airport and Tokyo? Feel free to comment down below and I’ll get back to you the soonest! 🙂

Have any questions, or tips to share? Feel free to comment down below! 🙂

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