New train E259 series Narita Express

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.

I wrote other post about access to/from Narita and deals in the link below. Please refer it to learn more:

The list of deals for access to downtown Tokyo from Narita Airport

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.

47 thoughts on “Compare many rail services and shuttle bus. How to get downtown Tokyo from Narita airport.”

  1. Hi Takeshi,

    I was hoping you could help me select the best trains/train passes to purchase for my first trip to Japan.

    Day 1- fly into Narita & need to get to the hostel in Arakawa, where I’ll be staying for 5 nights. During this time I’d like to be able to explore Tokyo city by train (Shinjuku, Ginza, Tokyo Tower, Disney etc)

    Day 6 – (6 nights) Kyoto. Should I catch a train or fly? I’d also like to explore Kyoto, Osaka & possibly Kobe by train.

    Day 12 – (2 nights) Taito-KU Ueno. Should I catch a train or fly back to Tokyo? I’ll be spending the last 2 days exploring Tokyo city & then returning to Narita International Airport & flying home.

    Any advice or help would be truly appreciated.

    Thanks, Kobi.

    1. Hi Kobi,

      You may use Narita access deal and subway deal for staying in Tokyo.

      I think JR pass is the best choice for trip to Kyoto by train.

      Actually it’s very hard to compare train by JR pass and domestic flight. The flight fare is not fixed. It depends on season, time and occupancy rate. So all I can say that I recommend you to use JR pass.


      Takeshi /

  2. Hi Takeshi!

    I will be staying near the Kiyosumi-Shirakawa station in Tokyo. Which would be the most cost and time efficient transportation route from Narita airport to (or nearest to) Kiyosumi-Shirakawa station? We will NOT be using our JR Rail pass.

    Was planning to take the Narita Express train and stop at Tokyo station. What do you think?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Charlene,

      I think Keisei line and subway Hanzoumon line are the faster.

      So you can take Keisei Railway’s Access Express to Oshiage. This is a sort of commute train. You don’t need to pay any surcharge. And you will change subway Hanzoumon line at Oshiage. Kiyosumi Shirakawa is oniy 3 stations away from Oshiage.
      You may find the route and fare at Hyperdia:


      Takeshi /

  3. Note. Sorry for the double post. But I realized that I’ve missed some details on my planned itinerary. Would really appreciate your help and guide. Thx.

    Hi Takeshi,

    Would need your help on our first trip to Japan. I’ve been reading a lot about all these pass available, especially the JRPASS, JR EAST PASS AND NEX. would u please help us to choose the best ticket for our travel in Tokyo and Kyoto. This will be our itinerary.
    Day 1 – arrive on narita airport. Travel to shibuya.
    Day 2 – city sightseeing (shibuya, Shinjuku, akibahara)
    Day 3 – Tokyo tower
    Day 4 – Disney sea
    Day 5 – Mt Fuji and the Fujiten snow resort (is it faster if travel by using one of the shinkansen train?)
    Day 6 – Tokyo to Kyoto (using shinkansen)
    Day 7 – Kyoto city trip then afternoon from Kyoto to Tokyo (shinkansen again)
    Day 8 – back from city to narita airport.

    Will it be better if we buy the JR pass? Or can you give us a better alternative? Thx for your help. Will be waiting for your reply.

    1. Hi Herry,

      JR pass 7 days is the best deal for you. But it will not cover either arrival day or departure day.
      Narita Express takes you to Shibuya from Narita directly. But there is no deal for just one way transfer by Narita Express. Only single fare is your choice. Regular fare is around 3000 yen.
      You can exchange JR pass at Narita even if you don’t start using JR pass on arrival day. You can complete your train booking if you want.

      I have never been to Fujiten. But as far as I know, it’s near Lake Kawaguchi. Shikansen does not take you there. Please find more info about access to Lake Kawaguchi by JR pass at the link below:

      I think you need to take a taxi from Lake Kawaguchi but I don’t know about taxi fare.

      The following links tell you about the coverage of JR pass.


      Takeshi /


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thx you for your fast reply. Really appreciate it. Just some further question. Is it possible for us to travel directly from Mt. Fuji area to Kyoto using the shinkansen? If it is, will you please recommend the best route using the JR pass? We’re planning to go to Kyoto eight after the ski resort play. Also, is there anyway we can keep our luggage for the day, since our next hotel will be in Kyoto already. Thx again for your help.


          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Would you please recommend to us on the right pass to buy and the best possible route to travel on our visit to Japan? We are planning to buy JR Pass to cover our 8 days trip in Japan.

            This is our detailed itenarary:
            Dec 29 : Arrive Narita International Airport. Then have to travel go to our hotel nearby Shibuya Station.

            Dec 30 – Jan 1 2016 : Shinjuku, Shibuya, Asakusa, Ginza, Kabukicho Sightseeing & Shopping (places to go – Disney Sea Resort, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Asakusa Shrine, Tokyo Tower)

            Jan 2 : Morning – Tokyo Imperial Palace & Asakusa Shrine. Afternoon. Travel to Kyoto using Shinkansen. can you please recommend what is the best station to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto Station? and will the Shinkansen ride covered by the JR Pass?

            Jan 3 : Kyoto SightSeeing. Should we bus Kyoto Bus pass? or JR PASS will be sufficient?

            Jan 4 : Kyoto – Mt. Fuji. We will be staying nearby the Kawaguchiko Station. We are planning on using the Shinkansen ride. Would you be kind to recommend on the best & fastest train route covered by JR Pass? Then we will continue Mt. fuji area sightseeing, then continue to Fujiten Ski Resort. Will there be enough time within 1 day? Should we also buy the Hakone Pass?

            Jan 5 : Kawaguchiko Station to Narita International Airport. SHould we take the shinkansen + train or better by bus? Please advise.

            As we know that the JR Pass will only cover 7 days of tranport day, so which way will be more budget efficient way to use JR Pass. Should we use it on the first day of our arrival in Tokyo or the 2nd day so it cover our return trip to airport.

            Your help and input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot. Looking forward for your reply.


            1. Hi Herry,

              You can use 7 days pass for the last 7 days. So you need to pay single ticket for arrival day.
              There are some deals but there is no deal to take you to Shibuya directly.

              If you want to get Shibuya directly, you have to pay single fare for Narita express (around 3200 yen) or limousine bus.

              You can take Shinkansen from Tokyo or Shinagawa to Kyoto.

              JR pass does not cover all in Kyoto.

              Mishima route is the best route to get Lake Kawaguchi from Kyoto.

              JR pass does not cover anything in Fuji area as you read the link above. You have to pay bus from Mishima to Lake Kawaguchi. Hakone Free Pass does not work because you will not be Hakone.
              I cannot comment about Fujiten ski resort. I have never been there.

              You can take Fuji Kyuko to Otusuki from Lake Kawaguchi. Fuji Kyuko is not covered by JR pass either. But you can take Limited Express Azusa or Kaiji from Otsuki to Shinjuku by JR Pass fully. You also can take Narita Express from Shinjuku to Narita airport. It’s covered too.


              Takeshi /

  4. Hi Takeshi,

    I am not sure whether this has been addressed in somewhere in your website but I was wondering which are the ways to travel from Haneda airport to Narita airport?

    I am flying via a domestic flight (from Hokkaido) to Haneda to connect to an international flight at Narita International Ariport Terminal 1.

    Should I take the Tokyo monorail? Which fares apply? Could this journey be covered with a single ticket? I would be bearing heavy luggages, so minimal transfers are much welcomed.

    Many thanks.


      1. Thanks Takeshi!

        The airport limousine is quite expensive (¥3,100) I was wondering if there is a route by rail? A search on hyperdia reveals a route with 0 transfers – is that valid for Suica use or must I buy a ticket for that?

        1. Hi Gerad,

          Some Keihin Kyuko train go directly Narita via subway Ginza line and Keisei line. It’s cheaper, around 1700 to 1800 yen. You can use Suica.
          But it’s common commute train and it may be crowded. I don’t think it suits the traveller with heavy luggage. And Hyperdia sometimes cannot find this train and you may need to transfer at Sengakuji or/and Aoto.

          If you use this train, keep it in your mind.


          Takeshi /

  5. Hi Takeshi

    My hotel in Tokyo will be in Asakusa. From there I plan to take Toei Asakusa Line Airport Ltd Exp to Narita. According to Hyperdia, it seems that I have to transfer to Keisei Oshiage Line Access Exp at Oshiage station and another transfer to Keisei Narita Sky Access at Aoto station. Doesn’t this Airport Ltd Exp run directly to NRT without any transfer?

    Since I will carry quite a big luggage, your recommendation for a smooth transportation is appreciated.


      1. Dear Takeshi

        Thank you for your prompt reply.

        It’s not quite easy to use Keisei’s website as I only find the timetables FROM Narita, not TO Narita. I then try Keikyu Web Haneda Airport Access Guide searching for the train that connects both airports. One solution that seems fit with my schedule is the Keikyu-Airport Line Ltd.Exp. leaving Haneda at 13.05 and arriving NRT at 14.37, with no transfer. The train stops at Asakusa at 13.37

        Another question is that – How do I know which one is the train that I’m taking (that goes all the way to Narita), as it uses the same platform as Toei Asakusa Subway Line?


  6. Hi Takeshi /,

    My hotel in Tokyo is in Arakawa and close to Nippori station. I will go to the Narita airport from there.
    Correct me if I am wrong:
    Take JR local train (or subway?)from Nippori station to Shinagawa station, and then take the Narita Express to the airport. All trains from Nippori station to the airport are covered by JR pass. How can I transfer from Shinagawa station to the Narita Express? Do I need to exit the gate?

  7. Hi, Could you please advise the most economical and fastest way by train or bus from Narita Airport to Kawaguchiko station. Also from Kawaguchiko station to Gore, Hakone.

    1. Hi Florence,

      There are so many ways so I cannot this is the most economical or not though.
      I think limousine bus to get Shinjuku and another highway bus to get Lake Kawaguchi. There are many bus routes in Fuji and Hakone. But you need to go to Gotemba first. Please find more info at the link below:

      You will find the link of bus services in Fuji and Hakone at the link above. Fuji Hakone Pass may be cheaper than total single fares.


      Takeshi /


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  8. Hi takeshi,

    I planning to travel to japan next year about 7 days.
    from kansai airport morning arrival
    2 days spend at osaka (city trip)
    5 days at tokyo (including mt. Fuji and subway city tour)
    Wich pass should i get?


    1. Hi Sherlly,

      If you intend to leave from Tokyo, local deals and single fares between Osaka and Tokyo are your choice. If you will come back to Osaka and leave from Kansai, JR Pass 7 days is your choice.

      At this point, your itinerary is not detailed. It’s hard to find the local deals. But if you have one way trip to Tokyo from Osaka, the following sample itinerary is similar to your plan. You may get some idea to build your plan.

      JR Pass is much easier to handle but you need to go back to Osaka otherwise single fare is cheaper.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

      1. Hi takeshi,

        Thanks for your fast reply, but looks like i better complete my itinerary and ask again for the deals. Thanks for your help, and hope for next time question again^^

  9. 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 🙁


    1. 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

      1. 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?


        1. 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

          1. Hi Takeshi,

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

            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 !

            1. 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

  10. 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.

      1. Hi Takeshi,
        My plane will be arriving at Narita international airport @6:45pm International terminal 3 in 10-Nov-2015.

        My schedule as follow:
        Day 1:
        – Go to Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro the night 10-Nov-2015.
        Day 2:
        – Catch bullet train to Kyoto from Ikebukuro station
        Day 3 – Day 5:
        – Kyoto, Osaka, Himeji and might be Miyajima
        Day 6
        – Catch early bullet train back to Shibuya station
        Day 7 – Day 10
        itineraries include: Around Tokyo and 1 or two day trip like:
        Fuji Five Lakes- Fuji Q Highland Amusement Park, Onsen? and possibly Nikko or Hakone
        Day 11
        1/2 day around Tokyo then to Narita internation airport terminal 3 for 8:10pm flight.

        I am planning to buy a 7 days JR Pass.
        Could you please suggest what passes + prepaid card to buy and may be the best way to utilize the 7 days JR pass. If you don’t mind could you suggest some tips around day trip and best ways to/from Shibuya.

        Thanks in advance for your help.

        1. Hi Tan,

          7 days JR pass for the right choice for the first 7 days of your trip.

          You can visit both Fuji and Hakone same time if you are okay stay at least one night there. Fuji Hakone Pass is recommended. Please see the link below:

          There are some deals available to get Nikko.

          If you just go to Lake Kawaguchi (Fuji) and Nikko only, Kanto area pass is better deal.

          But this pass covers JR train trip to Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi)/Fuji-Q and Nikko. But local bus services are not covered. So it depends on the plan and where you want to go in Nikko and Lake Kawaguchi.


          Takeshi /

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