This is my 4th time in Japan and I have been using different airport transfers almost every time. All of them provided comfortable, safe, and timely rides. Each has its own pros and cons, depends on your arrival/ departure time.
If you arrived/ departed during daytime, there are plenty choices according to your budget and preferences. However, early morning flight or late night arrival are real problem (there is always taxi but they can get very expensive so I don’t recommend it). That is why I want to share about different means of transport from/to Narita airport so everyone could find a suitable one when coming to Japan!
This blog will focus on travel from Narita aiport.
Arrival time 5am-7am
Tokyo shuttle bus (Keisei bus)
Keisei bus is the cheapest way to travel to and from Narita airport.
The earliest you can leave the airport is 5.55 am from Terminal 3 by Tokyo shuttle bus. Online and advanced purchases can be made up to 2 days before your trip, with comes with a discount of 100 yen. One way ticket from Narita airport costs 1000 yen and you can either buy the ticket at the counter or pay directly to the bus driver (cash-only).
This bus arrive at Tokyo station around 7.20 am. At this time, the JR Yamanote and other train lines are already operating so it is very convenient to go to your hotel/ other destinations. The bus also stops at Ginza, Shinomomeshako and Oedo onsen monogatari after Tokyo station.
2015-12-18 Currently Keisei bus offers a campaign for advance reservation, 800 yen only.
More information click >>
Photo : JNTO
The first limousine bus departs at 6.55 am from Terminal 3. One way ticket costs around 3100 yen (90 minutes) while return tickets cost only 4500 yen. Limousine bus drop-off and pick-up stops include many hotels in Tokyo. Please check with your hotel in advance if you decided to use limousine bus.
Keisei Main line train and Keisei access express
The earliest trains transfers run from 5.17 am and 5.41 accordingly. You can change to the JR lines at Nippori or Ueno station. One way from Narita airport to Nippori station costs only 1030 yen (Main line) or 1240 yen (Access express) and takes around 60 minutes (Access express)
Arrival time 7am-10pm
There is no difficulty in finding airport transfers during this time.
If you preferred trains, you can choose from Keisei skyliner (2400 yen, directs to Nippori and Ueno station, 41 minutes),
Access express or Main line; JR trains include Narita express (recommended for JR-pass holders, 60 minutes to Tokyo station); or
JR Sobu line (rapid service) (1320 yen, 90 minutes to Tokyo station). Narita express offers special discount when buying return tickets. Unlike other lines, Narita express goes all the way to Yokohama
Please read more about Narita express on our blog >> Narita express N’EX
Narita express train
Photo credit : JR East website
Sobu line goes to Chiba without connection. Please note that the last Narita express departs at 9.44pm from Terminal 1 station.
If preferred buses, you can take either the Tokyo shuttle bus (1000 yen, 75 minutes to Tokyo station), Limousine bus (3100 yen one way, 4500 yen return, 90 minutes to Tokyo station) or The Access Narita (JR bus) (1000 yen, 100 minutes to Tokyo station).
arrival time 10pm-11pm
From 10pm, both trains and buses run on a less frequently interval. Make sure to double check each’s schedule to ensure you won’t miss the last train once you reach Tokyo.
JR bus, the Access Narita’s last departure is at 10.45pm from Terminal 3, which goes to both Tokyo and Ginza station.
Limousine bus going to Tokyo departs at 10.50pm from Terminal 3. (Anyone who needs to go to Yokohama area please note that the last bus is at 10.25pm)
The last Tokyo shuttle bus departs at 11.10pm from Terminal 3. Note that this bus only stops at Tokyo station.
Keisei skyliner’s last departure is the 10.30pm train; Access express train is 10.49pm; Main line is 10.39pm (going to Ueno station) from Terminal 1 station.
The last JR Narita line leaves at 11pm (going to Tokyo station)
If you are staying in Tokyo, you won’t need to worry too much as long as you can take the last train/bus. However if you stayed in other areas, please make sure to double check each’s schedules so that you won’t miss the last trains that go to your place.
Unlike other countries, last trains in Japan are usually crowded, hence there is no need to be worried or scared of riding the last train here.
When buying return tickets, take note of how to access your bus/ train stop when you arrived to save time and hassle on your way back to the airport.
For most of the listed lines, reservation is not required. However, you can always reserve for a cheaper price with Tokyo shuttle bus, or to secure a seat on the way back with JR Narita express or JR bus.
In general, buses are cheaper but take more time. I highly recommend Tokyo shuttle bus if you don’t have much luggage. With Tokyo shuttle bus, even if you missed your reserved time, you can always line up and get on the next bus without extra charge. Otherwise, the Limousine bus is convenient, especially because they drop and pick you up at your hotel! Only limousine bus stops at areas other than Tokyo. I haven’t had a chance to use JR bus yet so i will definitely try it next time.
Both Narita express and Skyline trains provide luggage storage area on each compartment so 1~3 suitcases/ person shouldn’t be a problem. However, other trains are conventional train, therefore no luggage space is available. You only have the space in front of you and it is suitable for people with only one suitcase (plus a small handbag or backpack). While other trains only provide services to stations in Tokyo 23 ward areas, Narita express allows you to go as far as Kanagawa or Takao station.
Stay tuned for information on travelling to Narita airport in my next blog.
*Buses run from terminal 3 to terminal 2 to terminal 1
*Trains run from terminal 1 to terminal 2. There is no train station in terminal 3 so please walk to terminal 2 train station (5~10 minutes)
*The written time is approximated and subjected to change without prior notice