Narita Airport is one of two international airports in Tokyo. You may arrive in this airport from your country. There are many ways to get downtown Tokyo by the train and the bus.
If you use JR Pass, JR East Pass and other JR deals right after you arrive in Narita, you may use it to get Tokyo. But some of you do not intend to use the pass right after the arrival. Or you may stay in Tokyo only and are looking for the deal which covers Narita airport to/from Tokyo only.
In this post, I will show you the access route between Narita airport and Tokyo. I will also explain you about the deal and the discount fare, and the budget type bus services.
- Narita airport arrival level and the stations
- JR trains
- Keisei Railway
- Airport Limousine bus / Limousine and Metro deal
Narita Airport is sometimes called New Tokyo International Airport. But this airport is not located in Tokyo. It is located at Chiba prefecture and it is about 1 hour away from most part of downtown Tokyo.
As you saw the train route map above, JR and Keisei Railway connect Narita Airport and downtown Tokyo. I will explain what kind of trains are operated by JR and Keisei Railway. And there are many bus lines available too. I will tell you the bus service later in this post too.
First of all, I would like to explain you about Narita airport stations.
Narita airport arrival level and the stations
There are three airport terminal buildings in Narita airport, Terminal 1, 2 and 3. The trains stations are located underground of Terminal 1 and 2. These are called Narita Airport Terminal 1 station and Narita Airport Terminal 2 station. If you depart/arrive in Terminal 3, you have to walk from Terminal 2 station. It takes 15 minutes from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3.
It is quite easy to get the stations from the terminal. You can find the signage which says “Railway” at the arrival level very easily. You can go down by the escalators to get the stations quickly.
Both JR and Keisei Railway use same stations at both terminals. There are the ticket windows for the foreign tourists. But in these days, Japan has been very popular destination and the ticket window is very busy. You may find some more information at JR East and Keisei Railway official sites:
JR East Travel Service Center (Narita)
Keisei Railway Information Center
If you exchange the rail pass, please expect to spend at least 20 minutes. In my experience, 20 minutes is minimum. You may spend more. I have spent 45 minutes before to exchange the pass and book the train seats. Please do not make a tight travel plan.
If you take a bus, you can find the bus ticket counter at the arrival level.
It is located near the gate after the custom. You can find it easily.
I recorded the movie from the arrival of the flight to the station in the terminal 2 of Narita Airport. Please find the movie below to find the route more clearly:
JR train lines are shown by the green line in the map above. If you go to Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Yokohama, JR line is better choice. There are two kinds of trains running from/to Narita airport by JR. These are Narita Express and Yokosuka-Sobu line rapid train. Both trains are covered by JR Pass, JR East Pass Nagano Niigata, JR East Pass Tohoku, Tokyo Wide Pass, Hokuriku Arch Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass.
Narita Express is JR limited express train. It connects Narita airport, Tokyo, Shinagawa, Yokohama, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ikebukuro. Some trains go to Omiya, Takao and Ofuna. Please see the link below to find more information about Narita Express:
By the way, if you have a plan to go to Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka from Narita airport, you can take Narita Express to get Shinagawa. And you can catch the Shinkansen at Shinagawa. You can change Narita Express and the Shinkansen train at Tokyo too. But Shinagawa is easier.
Please find how to change the trains in Shinagawa station in the movie below:
Recommended deal – N’EX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket
This is the round trip deal between Narita airport and Tokyo, surrounding area by Narita Express and the ordinary train. This round trip deal, “N’EX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket” is sold at 4000 yen. It is valid for 14 days. You may change the trains as many as you want in the designated area and go anywhere in coverage area, such as JR stations in downtown Tokyo, Yokohama, Omiya, Kamakura, Maihama (Tokyo Disneyland) and many more places.
You can find the coverage map and more information about this deal in the link below:
N’EX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket, JR East official site.
Unfortunately there is no one way deals available.
Yokosuka-Sobu line rapid train
This rapid train was called “Rapid Airport Narita”. This train runs on same route as Narita Express between Narita airport and Ofuna. But this train is a sort of the commute trains. You can take this train by a base fare ticket only. But you cannot reserve a seat and you may have to stand up.
If you go to Chiba, this train is your choice. But if you go to Tokyo or further stations, Narita Express is better choice.
Please see the link below to find more information about Yokosuka-Sobu line rapid train:
There is no deals available which cover only Yokosuka-Sobu line rapid train. If you use JR pass or other JR deals, of course you can take this train by these passes.
Keisei Railway is one of the major private railways in Kanto region. It connects Narita airport and Ueno, Nippori. And also some trains go through Tokyo Toei subway and Keikyu Railway. You can get Oshiage (Tokyo Skytree), Asakusa, Shimbashi, Haneda airport directly.
Keisei Railway is not covered by any JR deals, such as JR Pass, Tokyo Wide Pass. But there are some deals available to take Keisei Railway limited express “Skyliner”.
Skyliner is the fastest train of Keisei Railway. And this train actually is the fastest train in all Japan trains except the Shinkansen.
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.
JR’s Narita Express connects Narita airport and Ikebukuro directly. But if you take Skyliner to Nippori and change to Yamanote line ther to Ikebukuro, it is faster than Narita Express.
You may find much more information about Skyliner in Keisei Railway official site:
Keisei Skyliner official site – Skyliner
By the way, if you want to change the trains between Skyliner and Yamanote line, Nippori is better transfer station than Ueno. Keisei Railway and JR stations have the platforms side by side. You have to exit and enter stations but these are same location. If you change the trains at Ueno, you have to walk a bit. Nippori is much more recommended than Ueno.
Keisai Railway is one of major private railway companies in Tokyo area. This railway’s limited express train that is called “Skyliner” is the fastest train service to get downtown Tokyo. It connects Narita and Ueno in about 45 minutes.
Recommended deal – Skyliner discount ticket and subway combo ticket
There are a few deals which covers Skyliner.
The basic one is Skyliner discount ticket:
Skyliner discount ticket, Keisei railway official site
One way special discount fare is 2,200 yen. This is higher than half amount of N’ex Tokyo Round Trip Ticket. But you can purchase either one way or round trip. One way deal is available for either directions, Narita to Nippori/Ueno or Ueno/Nippori to Narita. This deal is very flexible.
Keisei Railway also offers Skyliner and Tokyo Subway Ticket combo deal. There are both one way and round trip available as well. One way deal can be used for either way, to Narita airport or from Narita airport. And you may choose 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours subway pass. The price is starting from 2,800 yen. Please see the link below to get the details.
Keisei Skyliner and Tokyo Subway Ticket, Keisei railway official site
The subway lines cover most part of downtown Tokyo. You can get most of places by subway. So Tokyo Subway Ticket is very convenient. The following link shows you how to use Tokyo Subway Ticket:
Keisei Access Express
If you want to access to Asakusa, Ginza, Haneda or other places along Toei Subway Asakusa line, Keisei Railway’s Access Express takes you these places directly. Keisei Railway line is connected with Tokyo Toei Subway Asakusa line at Oshiage. Many Keisei Railway trains go through subway line. You can get Asakusa, Nihombashi, Higashi-Ginza without changing the trains. Toei Subway Asakusa line is also connected with Keikyu Railway at Sengakuji. Some Access Express go through Keikyu Railway line as well and get Haneda airport via Shinagawa.
This is a sort of commute train. It does not offer the luxury interior. However any express surcharges are not required. You can take this train by a base fare ticket only.
There is no deals available to take this train but the base fare is quite reasonable. The fare is around 1,300 yen from Narita airport to these areas. Please find the link below:
Keisei Railway official site – Access Express fares from major station
This train connects Narita and Nippori, Ueno too. If you want to save your travel cost, you may choose this train instead of Skyliner.
Airport Limousine bus / Limousine and Metro deal
Airport limousine is most convenient option if you stay in the major high-end hotel in Tokyo. You can get the hotel door directly from Narita Airport. And also the bus depart/arrive in Terminal 3 too. There is no train stations at Terminal 3.
The fare to most places in downtown Tokyo is 3,100 yen. It is expensive choice. But there are lots of deals available to cut your cost.
Recommended deals – Limousine and Tokyo Subway Ticket, Return Voucher and combo deals
There are many deals available.
The first one is “Multi voucher” and “Return voucher”. These are two round trips and round trip discount ticket. If you look for the deal which covers only Limousine bus, this deal is recommended.
The second one is Limousine and Subway pass. This is same type of the deal as Keisei Skyliner and Tokyo Subway Ticket which I explained above in this post.
I picked only two deals here but you can find all deals in the official site :
Airport Limousine official site – Discounted Ticket
Low Cost Bus TYO-NRT
The bus connects Narita airport and Tokyo station at only 1,000 yen. This is most affordable way to get downtown Tokyo.
This bus service is operated by a few bus companies. But it doesn’t matter to take any company’s bus. All you have to do is purchasing a ticket in the terminal building and get of the bus.
I used this bus from Narita airport terminal 2 to Tokyo station. Please find my review in the movie below. You may find where and how to purchase a ticket, the interior of the bus, facility and scenery on the way to Tokyo from the bus:
Please find the fare and the timetable in the official site below:
Check it on the short movie
I picked top five ways to get Tokyo from Narita on the movie below. Please check it up.
There are many ways and many deals from/to Narita airport. I hope that you have found the best one for your trip and it will save your cost.
I plan to travel to Japan (via Narita Airport) this May, plan to stay in Tokyo and travel to Isohara region, should I get a JR East Pass or JR Pass?
Any recommended places to visit in Tokyo for 1 day visit?
Appreciate your sharing. Thanks
Kanto Area Pass is better option than JR East Pass if you can complete the trip to Isohara in 3 days.
Otherwise single fare is still better than JR East pass.
In Tokyo, there are so many places to visit. Please find it at Japan Guide.
Takeshi / JP Rail
Takeshi / JP Rail
Hi, how long is it from Narita Airport to Kobe via JRP? What lines should be taken? Please guide! hope you can reply ASAP. Thank you!
You can take Narita Express to Shinagawa and then change to Tokaido Shinkansen. It takes about 4 hours.
You can find the timetable at Hyperdia:
Takeshi / JP Rail
I am arriving at Narita airport with my companion at 1455 PM on March 15, 2015 and we will be staying at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo overnight (probably use Narita Express) and then we are going to the Kijitei Hoeiso Ryokan in Hakone (probably by Odakyu Romancecar) the next day until March 19, 2015 when we will return to Narita airport for a 1600 departure. I am concerned about how to get our luggage on the trains. I can not find any information on the Internet about what size luggage will fit on the Narita Express or on the Romancecar. Can you give me any advice?
Managing luggage on train in Japan is a big issue. I have a post that explain about luggage. Please find more info at the link below:
Takeshi / JP Rail
I am a bit confused about the departure times of the NEX. Apparently there are 2 trains (Nr.44) leaving Narita at 18:15 h. One of them stops in Shinjuku, the other doesn’t. Maybe I have overread something but how do I know which one to take?
Thank you! and best wishes,
You have to book the seat before on board. This train has only reserved seat. So when you book your train, you will be assigned the seat on the train to Shinjku. Narita Express is combined of two formations, one goes to Shinjuku and the other goes to Yokohama.
Takeshi / JP Rail
Thank you very muchh!!!
No problem, Tom.
Enjoy your trip!
Takeshi / JP Rail
Something useful for your American readers to know…
Airport Limousine has been running a 20% off discount promotion when you use your Discover Card. This is a good deal; it’s a 520 yen discount off of 3100 yen AND Discover does not charge a forex fee.
I plan to travel to Japan this May arriving on the 16th. I plan to stay in Tokyo for 5 days then go to Osaka for 3 days and then to Hakone for 1 night , back to Tokyo .
Is this a good itenerary and what kind of railpass should we get?
You can use JR Pass 7 days.
You can start to use this pass anytime as long as the pass covers Tokyo – Osaka – Hakone – Tokyo. You may add subway pass in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto as you need.
And Hakone Free Pass can be purchased at Odawara and it’s very useful to explore there.
Takeshi / JP Rail
Thank you for all the information, very helpful
No problem, Maria.
Enjoy your trip.
Takeshi / JP Rail
How are you? 🙂
I’m glad I found your blog regarding train in Japan I’m planning to visit Japan next year and I have few questions, I hope you could help me out what to do. I plan to stay in Osaka for 2-3 days and then in Tokyo for 5 days. What is the best train ticket I could use while in Osaka and also valid to use in Tokyo (and inner cities)? What is the most affordable ticket I could buy?
Thank you so much!
If you have round trip between Tokyo and Osaka in 7 days, you can use JR Pass 7 days. But if you have one way trip from Osaka to Tokyo, single ticket is the most affordable choice. Please see the following link about single ticket:
In Osaka and Tokyo, there are many local deals. But at this point, we cannot decide the pass that is most suitable for your trip. Before choosing the pass, you have to decide the hotel and where you want to go. Because you have to make sure how many times you will take a train. Otherwise you cannot compare single fare and deal.
At the link below, I wrote about choosing the pass in Osaka. I hope you can get some idea about planning:
And you can find some deals in Tokyo at the links below:
Takeshi / JP Rail
Hi I will be staying in Yokohama in tokyo and the nearest station is hiroshi honcho. Is there any convenient and cheapest way to get to narita airport? Is ueno the best place to stay trees the keisei line direct access to narita. Thanks
I can’t find a station called Hiroshi Honcho. Check name here:
Then use http://www.hyperdia.com/ to find best price, best route, best time.
I can’t find Hiroshi Honcho either. Anyway I wrote about the deal to/from Narita at the link below:
Takeshi / JP Rail
Hello again Takeshi
You are right about the distance between Keisei and JR stations at Ueno, Nippori much simpler if going anywhere on the Yamanote Line other than Ueno. But the baggage lockers at Keisei Ueno very valuable on departure day.
has a list of Tokyo JR stations where English is said to be spoken at the information centre. As mentioned, Ueno was excellent. I expect Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa would also be good, along with Tokyo of course.
Thanks for the valuable information again!
Takeshi / JP Rail
Thanks again Takeshi
When we were in Tokyo for ten days in April, we bought a seven day JR Pass, which of course meant several days other cost. We had an apartment in Asakusa so the Keisei Skyliner was the most sensible option on arrival and departure. Taxi then best option with bags (<¥1000 to near Rox department store).
The Skyliner each way (5.30pm weekday from Narita, 4.30 weekday to Narita) was almost empty. It was quick and easy to buy Skyliner tickets at Narita, also quick and easy to get Suica cards. By contrast we saw a big crowd of tired travellers trying to convert their Japan Rail PAss vouchers at the airport. Much much easier to do the JP Pass changeover at JR Ueno next day when we had our brains back, rather than when getting off the plane. You need to know exactly what day you want the pass to start, you need the number and time of the shinkansens you want to catch also, with fall-back. As you know, people should use http://www.hyperdia.com for that. And I should record here how wonderful and helpful the staff at the station were… as everywhere else on JR.
A taxi from Asakusa to Keisei Ueno is likely because of traffic rules to drop you at the entrance to the Keisei Ueno station on the Ueno Park side, where there are stairs, no elevator.
However, very good benefit, you can, checking out earlier in the day, buy the tickets for Skyliner, then place baggage of reasonable size in lockers at Keisei Ueno. Now without luggage can spend time in the Ueno Park and/or museums before taking the train.
Your report on your travel to Nikko and Yunokamionsen was very valuable. We had used the JR Pass for a one night trip to Kyoto, the price of the Pass being slightly less than the return shinkansen ticket. So the rest of our use of the pass was truly 'free'.
Apart from great use on the JR lines in Tokyo, we made a one day trip to Yunokamionsen, then Aizuwakamatsu (¥5000 each on rpivate railway, then by JR on to Niigata for dinner, before coming back on Shinkansen Max Toki. I think you reviewed Max Toki as not the best, but it's very comfortable, was very full of business people, snug, rock steady for writing with keyboard, alongside businessman doing business reports, plenty of room for us both. This was a wonderful day entirely away from other tourists.
http://brieflyinjapan.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/day-6-forest-water-nostalgia-and-tiny.html … train travel is a wonderful aspect of seeing and understanding Japan.
I have made a very small donation to your website. Takeshi. Other readers look here: https://jprail.com/about-jprail-com
… just a token of appreciation.
We will continue reading your web site, plan for next hanami in Japan if we can!!
p.s. this was an excellent resource in planning use of the Yamanote Line
and readers may find this blog entry of mine helpful
I have received your donation. Thank you very much!
And thanks again for sharing very valuable information and experience with us.
As you said, Skyliner is very fast and comfortable but Ueno station is a bit tricky. Especially when we need to change to JR train, Nippori is much better to transfer.
Regarding exchange the pass at Ueno station. it is very helpful information. As I’m afraid of the language barrier, I always recommend to use Narita or Tokyo station. Those are overseas traveller’s window. But as you mentioned, sometimes it’s a big line up and takes a long time. I will recommend the readers to use other stations in Tokyo.
I will try to read the post that help the tourist to Japan. 🙂
Takeshi / JP Rail