Narita Express, JR’s express train service between Narita airport and Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinagawa, Yokohama

Narita Express, the newest car E259 seriesLimited Express
Narita Express, the newest car E259 series
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E259 series is the fleet for Narita Express.
E259 series is the fleet for Narita Express.

Narita Express may be your first train in Japan. It is operated between Narita airport and Greater Tokyo area, such as Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Shibuya. And also service is extended to Yokohama, Totsuka, Ofuna and Omiya. This train stops both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 in Narita airport.

After you arrive Narita airport, you can exchange your Japan Rail Pass and take this train to downtown Tokyo. Narita Express takes you to Tokyo station in 53 minutes by the fastest one. It is so fast and convenient. But this train does not take you to the door of Hotel. If you want to get the front door of hotel, I recommend you to take the Limousine bus. You also have a choice to take other private railway, Keisei line to Ueno and Nippori, and the cheapest way “Super Shuttle”. Please see the comparison at “How to access from Narita airport to downtown Tokyo“. And also if you stay several days in downtown Tokyo, please think about saving your rail pass days. Please refer this tips.

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Find more information dynamically about this train

You can find this train’s information in the movie below more dynamillay.

Route and Schedule

Narita Express is operated 27 round trains daily, mostly every 30 minutes between Tokyo and Narita Airport. Most of Narita Express do not stop at any stations between Tokyo and Narita airport. These trains are divided into two trains (or connected with other train) at Tokyo Station. One train goes to Shibuya/Shinjuku/Takao or Ikebukuro/Omiya. But most of these trains go to Shinjuku or Ikebukuro. Only 2 round trips to Omiya or Takao. The other train goes to Yokohama/Ofuna. 8 of 27 round trips go to Yokohama only. This train connects Narita airport with Tokyo in 53 minutes to 1 hour, with Yokohama around 1 hour and 30 minutes, and with Shinjuku around 1 hour and 20 minutes.


View Narita Express in a larger map

You may find the timetable in JR East official site in the link below:

JR East official site – the timetable

Stations

Stationsto Omiya
via Shinjuku/Ikebukuro
to Takao
via Shinjuku/Hachioiji
to Ofuna
via Yokohama
Narita Airport (成田空港)xxx
Airport Terminal 2 (空港第2ビル)xxx
Narita (成田)***
Yotsukaido (四街道)***
Chiba (千葉)***
Tokyo (東京)xxx
Shibuya (渋谷)xx
Shinjuku (新宿)xx
Ikebukuro (池袋)x
Omiya (大宮)x
Kichijoji (吉祥寺)x
Mitaka (三鷹)x
Kokubunji (国分寺)x
Tachikawa (立川)x
Hachioiji (八王子)x
Takao (高尾)x
Shinagawa (品川)x
Musashi-Kosugi (武蔵小杉)x
Yokohama (横浜)x
Totsuka (戸塚)x
Ofuna (大船)x

x=all trains stop *=Train to Tokyo stop at these stations in Morning peak hour and to Narita in evening peak hour only

Find your hotels in 218 cities throughout Japan!!!

Hotels in Narita International Airport
Hotels in Shinagawa Station – Tokyo
Hotels in Tokyo Station – Tokyo
Hotels in Shinjuku Station – Tokyo
Hotels in Tokyo Disney Resort – Maihama, Tokyo/Chiba
Hotels in Yokohama

Accommodation

E259 series was introduced in October 2009. It was completed to replace from previous train 253 series in June 2010. Green class in this train has 2+2 seat configuration. This Green seat is the leather seat and gives you very comfortable seating. But 2+2 seat configuration is same as Ordinary class. Both Green and Ordinary have the power outlet for the laptop or charging the batteries and WI-FI access (not free. starting from 600 yen) in the train. Green class has 1160 mm seat pitch. Ordinary class has 102 0mm seat pitch. This Ordinary seat pitch is wider than JR East standard seat pitch, 910 mm. So there is not much difference between Green and Ordinary in my opinion.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.

Train formation

123456789101112
RRRRRGRRRRRG

G=Green seat R=Reserved ordinary seat NR=Non-Reserved ordinary seat

Images

Green class seat (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Green class seat (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Green class seat (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Green class seat equips a power outlet. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Ordinary class seat (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Ordinary class seat (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Ordinary class seat (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Ordinary class seat also equips a power outlet. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Sanitary space (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Sanitary space (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Baggage storage space (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Information screen (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Comments

  1. Sim says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I have a query regarding the NEX.

    When I arrive at Narita Terminal 1, I will buy the NEX return tickets for myself and my mother and get to Tokyo Station. Once I arrive at Tokyo Station, I want to take the subway to Shinjuku Gyoenmae.

    So my question is, when I arrive at Tokyo Station, will I need to use any transfer gates or whatsoever to reach the subway area at Tokyo Station?

    Another related question: if I want to exit Tokyo Station (as in go outside), I need to use the exit gate and at the exit gate, should I use the NEX return tickets? Will the exit gate return back my tickets? Because the normal ticket would usually be “swallowed” upon reaching the destination, right?

    • Hi Sim,

      This deals comes two separated tickets. So you can slot the ticket into the ticket gate.
      When you change the trains from Narita Express to subway, you need to exit JR Tokyo station and enter subway Tokyo station.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Richard Yeo says:

    Hi, Would like to know if the Sobu Rapid from Narita to Yokohama is direct with no transfer needed and the fare and time.
    Also the timetable for this particular trip.

  3. Dana says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    we are arriving to Japan on 28th of june, staying 2 days in Tokyo, leaving for Hiroshima late afternoon on june 30th, staying there overnight, doing sightseeing, from Hiroshima leaving evening to Kyoto on July 1st, staying till July3rd, late afternoon leaving for Mt. Fuji area, there staying till July 5th. That day leaving afternoon back to Narita, as our flight is at 10.30 pm. It leave us with 8 days of traveling. Japan rail pass is valid for 7 days. Do you suggest activating directly after arriving and then paying separately for trip from Mt Fuji to Narita, or should we active it our second day in Japan and than pay separately for trip from Narita to our accommodation, which is near Kuramae station? Also, I learned, we can’t use jr pass on some shinkansen trains from Tokyo to Hiroshima. But we can always switch trains on the route to travel on H,S and K trains, right? Thank you so much for all your suggestions.

    • Hi Dana,

      You should start using JR pass on second day. Actually single ticket from Narita to Kuramae is the best way. This route is not JR trains but Keisei railway and subway Asakusa line. Please see the link below:
      http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/skyliner/us/nrt_access/index.html

      Keisei railway’s Access Express is your choice. Some of this train goes directly to subway Asakusa line. You may need to transfer at Aoto station if you take express to Ueno. If you can catch the train to Haneda airport, you don’t need to transfer. Kuramae station is not shown in the map but it’s located between Asakusa and Asakusabashi. You may find Kuramae station in the subway map.
      http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/subwaymap/pdf/routemap_en.pdf

      As you think, you cannot take Nozomi (N) by JR pass, But you can take Hikari, Kodama and Sakura. Of course you can transfer as many as you want. And you can book as many as you want. You can book the seat anytime once you exchange your pass. You can book it in advance. If you want, you can book all train ticket when you exchange your JR pass.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • Qian says:

        Dear Takashi
        Please advice which should i go for .
        1) Nex round trip yen 4000 ( single trip 3190)
        2) limo bus round trip yen4500 ( 1 way 3300)
        Arriving Narita T2 5pm on Friday. Destination hotel in kabukicho area 10 mins walk from shinjuku east exit.
        WORRIED traffic jam on Friday evening so If take NEX is it easy to find east exit ? Any escalator to go up to street level at east exit ? Info I have is NEX train exit is at new south gate with escalator but how far to walk to kabukicho citadine central hotel? We have 2 big luggage &2 young children 10 year old. My return trip will be from Keio plaza TO NARITA 6pm flight. We can take limo bus but will cost more coz need to buy single trip. Bus journey is also longer than NEX.
        Thank you.

  4. Amy says:

    Hi Takeshi!
    I’m making my trip to Japan soon! However, I would like to seek your advice on how I may travel from Narita Airport Terminal 1 to Hommachi station (Osaka).
    Thanks!

  5. Lan says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    I was wondering can I buy the Narita express if I don’t have a JR Pass as I will not be activating on the day I arrive in Japan but at a later date. If so how much will it be and will I be able to purchase it even though I would arrive to Japan at 8-9pm

    Lan

  6. Gio says:

    Hi,

    I’m going to tokyo this November 13-16 and would like to know if you have 4 days unlimited pass within tokyo and Mt Fuji. How much it is? I’m only seeing daily, 2, 3 and 7 days passes only. Thank you!

  7. Ore D. says:

    Hello Takeshi,

    I’m glad I scrolled down to the comments section! Your site is so rich with information. Thank you!

    I am traveling with my wife for the first time to Japan in about ten days.

    I have not purchased a rail pass yet. I don’t know if it is a good value. Your help is appreciated.

    We land in Narita on Friday afternoon. We plan to take the NEX to Shibuya station. What does this cost per person?

    Saturday morning we plan to take a Nozomi train to Kyoto Station. I think this costs 13,910 yen per person, each way. Without a rail pass and without reservations, is it likely that I will find space on this train for two people on a Saturday morning?

    We will travel from Kyoto back to Tokyo Station and ultimately to Shimbashi station. Do you know what this costs per person?

    Should I purchase the rail pass?

    Thank you,

    Ore

  8. Andri says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    I would like to go from Narita to Harajuku. After researching, I think NEX is the best option, but would like to check if NEX ticket also cover the transfer from Shinjuku to Harajuku JR station?
    I am not going to buy the NEX round trip, because I have JR pass to use when returning back to Narita (I will be travelling for 9 days, and would like to use JR pass on day 3-9).
    Thanks in advance

  9. Lily says:

    Much appreciated Takeshi!

    Lily

    • No problem, Lily.
      Enjoy your trip.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JP Rail

    • Hardster says:

      HelloTakeshi,

      Great site and info.

      Do I need to reserve a seat on the NEX? I arrive on Sunday night (November 1st) with my JR Pass exchange voucher and would like to use the JR Pass straight away. I tried to reserve a seat online but obviously cannot collect the seat reservation ticket the day before.
      Many thanks,
      Hardster.

      • Hi Hardster,

        MEX has reserved seat only, so you have to book before on board. However you can book it on the spot. It’s very easy to book for NEX.
        You also can book for other trains that you will take in your trip. You can book all JR trains in all major JR stations. I usually complete all bookings when I exchange JR pass.

        You don’t need to do it. Of course you can do it later. But if you have fixed your itinerary, you can book all and save your time.

        Cheers,

        Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Shi Hwa says:

    Hi, I will be flying to Tokyo in January 2015, and intend to take the Narita Express from Narita Airport Terminal 2 to Tokyo immediately after activating my Japan Rail Pass. Is it possible to make a reservation for seats on the Narita Express on the spot on the same day when I arrive in Tokyo (NRT)?

    If so, where can I make the reservation?

    Thank you so much.

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