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Compare many rail services and shuttle bus. How to get downtown Tokyo from Narita airport.

Narita Airport departure floor © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO

Narita Airport departure floor © Y.Shimizu/© JNTO

Narita airport is mostly your gateway to explore in Japan. But Narita airport is not close to downtown Tokyo. You have to think about a transportation to downtown Tokyo. Let’s see which way is the best for you.

JR trains

These following services are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass, JR East Pass, Kanto Area Pass and Suica & N’ex.

Narita Express

New train E259 series Narita Express

New train E259 series Narita Express

If you want to start to use your Japan Rail Pass right after you arrive at Narita airport, why don’t you take Narita Express. Even though it’s slower than Keisei Skyliner, it’s direct and the fastest way to get Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku and Yokohama. It takes 53 minutes. You don’t need to pay any charge on top of Japan Rail Pass, JR East Pass and Kanto Area Pass. But if you want to save your days of Japan Rail Pass and other deals, the fare (basic fare + express surcharge / normal period) is 2,940 yen to Tokyo station. And also Suica & N’ex deal is also considerable. You can get more information about Narita Express at the post, Narita Express.

Rapid Airport Narita

If you want to save a fare to take a train, Rapid train “Airport Narita” may be considerable. This train gives you direct transfer from Narita to Tokyo, Shinagawa and Yokohama. Since this is a sort of local train, you don’t need to pay limited express surcharge. It takes 80 to 85 minutes to get Tokyo from Narita airport. The fare is 1280 yen to Tokyo, 1450 yen to Shinjuku or Shibuya and 1890 yen to Yokohama. You can get more information about this train, please refer the post, Rapid Train on Yokosuka-Sobu line (Airport Narita).

Keisei Railways

This is one of the major private railway companies in Greater Tokyo. This line connects Narita airport and Ueno/Nippori. It’s not covered by any type of JR deals. However Keisei’s express train, “Skyliner” is the fastest train to get Ueno. I

Keisei Skyliner


You cannot use Japan Rail Pass for taking this train. But this express train is the fastest way to get downtown Tokyo. It takes only 36 minutes to Nippori and 41 minutes to Ueno. Especially if you go to Ueno or other stations on north part of Yamanote line, this train is the best way. If you pay a single fare, this express train is also cheaper than Narita Express. The fare (basic + surcharge) is 2,400 yen. If you don’t use your Japan Rail Pass on the arrival day, this train may be considerable. Please refer Keisei Railway website about the detail.

Keisei Skyliner interior (C) PekePON(talk)

Keisei Skyliner interior (C) PekePON

Keisei Skyliner seat (C) PekePON(talk)

Keisei Skyliner seat (C) PekePON

Limited Express and Access Express

If you want to save a fare, you can take Limited Express or Access Express. These express trains are sort of commute trains. You don’t need to pay surcharge. The fare is 1000yen to Nippori or Ueno by Limited Express and 1200 yen by Access Express. The difference between Access Express and Limited Express is travel time. Access Express takes short cut route. So it takes about 1 hour to get Ueno by Access Express. This is about 10 minutes faster than Limited Express.

Airport shuttle bus

Airport shuttle and limousine bus run between airport and major spots in Tokyo and surrounding Tokyo.

Airport Limousine (C) Comyu

Airport Limousine (C) Comyu

Airport Limousine

If you will stay at the major hotel in downtown Tokyo. The limousine may take you to the door of the hotel. They have a lot of the route. They stop at the most of major hotel in Metro Tokyo. The fare is from 2,700 yen to 3,000 yen. The travel time is 75 minutes or more. It is not fastest and not cheap. But it might be most convenient way. Especially when you have several big luggages. If you need more informations about the schedule and the fare, please refer Airport Limousine website.

Low Cost Bus service

Since LCC flight started to fly from Narita, some of bus company operate shuttle service around only 1000 yen. So far, Keisei Bus and BE-TRANSSE GROUP (Heiwa Kotsu and Aska Kotsu) operate bus service. Please see the following links to get detals:

Keisei Bus
BE-TRANSSE GROUP (Heiwa Kotsu and Aska Kotsu)

I have never taken these bus services. Please do not ask me about these service. I do not have any more information than what these above website mention.

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8 Comments to “Compare many rail services and shuttle bus. How to get downtown Tokyo from Narita airport.”

  1. Michael Foo says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Need your recommendations whether I should use NEX or KEISEI.

    I will be arriving Tokyo via Peach Airline 815AM and will be spending 3 nights at Shinjuku as my hotel is situated at Shin-Okubo / Okubo station.

    I have grouped my event as below:

    1 day at Hakone (by using Hakone Pass)
    1 day at Mt Fuji (Kawaguchiko) (by using Kanto Area Pass)
    1 day at Sensoji Temple, Ueno Park, Shinjuku Goen & Rikugien Garden

    Based on time saving criteria, will it be better to :

    1. Get round trip Keisei Skyliner + Metro pass (cost YEN4500) at Airport, and use the keisei skyliner to Ueno and use the metro pass to visit Sensoji temple, Ueno park etc..

    2. Purchase Keisei Ltd Exp from airport (cost YEN2000) to Ueno and use one day metro pass (cost YEN710) to visit Sensoji, Ueno etc..

    3. Purchase NEX Tokyo Direct ticket (cost YEN1500) to Shinjuku and visit either Hakone or Mt Fuji, and purchase Keisei Ltd Exp to airport (YEN1000) after visiting Sensoji temple, Ueno park etc..

    ** i just realized my travel date is later than 1st April 2014, hence not able to choose SUICE NEX combo ticket :(


    • Hi Michael,

      Why don’t you use Kanto Area Pass for arrival day? Keisei round trip deal is the best deal. But I’m just wondering how you will use Kanto Are Pass.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • Michael foo says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        Based on your comments, I just realize I can just get the JR kanto area pass at airport itself and travel to shinjuku straight ! And I don’t have to even buy the nex or keisei tickets for this matter as the nex train we can use our Kanto pass correct?

        Having said that, our Kanto area pass, do we still need to reserve seats?


        • Hi Michael,

          That’s what I thought.
          You should make a reservation. And some train, like N’ex, do not have non reserved seat. You have to make it before boarding. Of course it will be covered by Kanto Area Pass.


          Takeshi / JP Rail

          • Michael Foo says:

            Hi Takeshi,

            Very much thank you for that big tips ! You solved my problem immediately :D

            Anyway, from the look of my itinerary, can you suggest me the best route for my point of interest?

            FYI, I will arrive Narita airport on 28Apr2014 830am. I will need to leave from Narita to New-Chitose Airport on 1st May 2014 635am.

            Should I do the Sensoji Temple, Ueno Park, Shinjuku Goen & Rikugien Garden on 28Apr2014 first? Considering it will be quite late already after all the custom clearance at airport and train to Shinjuku which can be by then already late morning?

            Should I choose to go Hakone on 29Apr2014 or Kawaguchiko on 29Apr2014 since it’s a public holiday? What will you recommend?

            Your inputs again are greatly a big help for me ! It’s my first time to Japan and I am totally so excited about it :)

            Thanks Mr Takeshi again !

          • Hi Michael,

            I think you can do Tokyo part of your trip on arrival day. As you think, you will be Shinjuku around noon. But it’s enough to see Tokyo for me. It depends on how much you want to spend. But basically you can make it.

            Hakone and Fuji issue is very hard to solve. Both places will be busy on 29th. Maybe Hakone is a bit busier. Anyway you have to book the trains right after you get Kanto Area Pass. It will be busy. By the way, when you go to Hakone, you can use Kanto Area Pass. But you can’t use Shinkansen from Tokyo to Odawara. This Shinkansen belong to JR Central. It’s not covered by Kanto Area Pass. You have to take Limited Express Odoriko/Super Odoriko. Otherwise local train will be your choice.


            You can purchase Hakone Free Pass at Odawara station. You can save some costs.


            Takeshi / JP Rail

  2. Robert Sneddon says:

    As well as the Skyliner Keisei runs several local and limited express train services from Narita airport station to its own terminus at Ueno. The cheapest ticket (unreserved) on these services is only 1000 yen and the trip takes a little over an hour.

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