Best Ways to Get from Narita Airport to Central Tokyo

Tokyo Travel Guides / November 28, 2016
Best Ways to Get from Narita Airport to Central Tokyo Image credit: sepavo

If your flight is going to end its journey at Narita Airport, you will have to travel nearly 70 km to get to central Tokyo.

In this article, we will review about the best transport options one can take to reach Tokyo Station, which is considered to be city centre.

See also: Best Ways to Get Around in Tokyo

1. JR Narita Express (NEX) Train

JR Narita Express (NEX) Train Image credit: Isriya Paireepairit

Using JR Narita Express (NEX) is one of the most comfortable and fastest ways to get to central Tokyo from Narita Airport.

Advantages
– Time saving: It takes only 53 to 60 minutes to complete the long distance from airport to city.

– Cost saving: It provides great savings for round-trip travel. You can save 33% if you purchase the NEX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket (4,000 yen, $35.33), which can be used within 14 days (normal round-trip fares are 6,040 yen, $53.34)

– Effort saving: It gets you directly and non-stop from the airport to Tokyo station. You don’t need to transfer from train to train like it would be if you take other types of trains.

– Worry saving: You don’t have to worry about road traffic as NEX runs on high-speed rail.

– Comfortable: Every NEX train has comfortable seats and Wi-Fi on board. And there is plenty of space for your luggage.

Disadvantage: Waiting time for a new train can be up to 30 to 60 minutes.

To find the NEX train station, follow the signs that say ‘Railways’ and take the escalator down to the basement level.

Cost: 3,020 yen ($26.67) for single trip ticket, and 4,000 yen ($35.33) for round-trip ticket

Service hours: 07:44 – 21:44 daily

Service schedule: Every 30 to 60 minutes

Notes
– During morning peak hours (07:44 to 08:50), NEX trains make 4 stops at Narita, Sakura, Yotsukaidō and Chiba stations before reaching Tokyo station.

– If you use train during rush hours, you may be pushed onto the train by white-gloved ‘pushers’ (oshiya–train station assistant).

2. Keisei Train + JR Train

Keisei Train + JR Train Image credit: amnachphoto

If you choose to use the combination of Keisei Train and JR Train to get to city centre, you will have to transfer from the former to the latter at Nippori Station. This option requires one transfer, but it is still a relatively quick way to reach central Tokyo.

Directions to reach Tokyo Station using Keisei trains:

  1. Get to the Airport Station and get on board one of the three Keisei trains: (1) Skyliner, (2) Sky Access Express or (3) Limited Express
  2. Take a ride to Nippori Station
  3. Transfer to the JR Yamanote Line or JR Keihin-Tohoku Line
  4. Get off at Tokyo Station

There are three types of service patterns on the Keisei Main Line:

  1. Keisei Skyliner is just as fast as using the JR Narita Express (see above) and makes no stops along the way to Nippori Station
  2. Keisei Sky Access Express is nearly two times less expensive than the Keisei Skyliner, but slower, as it makes stops along the way to Nippori Station
  3. Keisei Limited Express is even cheaper and slower than the Sky Access Express, and it makes even more stops along the way

However, we strongly recommend taking the Keisei Skyliner even though it’s more expensive than the other two Keisei options.

That’s because the Keisei Skyliner is (1) faster, (2) there is reserved seating, which means you’re guaranteed a seat, and (3) each car has large luggage space equipped with security cameras.

Travel time

  • 55 minutes (Skyliner)
  • 75 minutes (Sky Access Express)
  • 80 minutes (Limited Express)

plus approx. 10-minute ride on JR trains (included in all three options)

Cost

  • 2,630 yen ($23.23) by Skyliner
  • 1,490 yen ($13.16) by Sky Access Express
  • 1,190 yen ($10.51) by Limited Express

plus 160-yen JR train fare (included in all three options)

Service hours

  • around 07:00 – 22:00 daily (Skyliner)
  • around 05:00 – 22:00 daily (Sky Access Express)
  • around 05:00 – 23:00 daily (Limited Express)
  • and 04:26 – 01:18 daily (JR trains)

Service schedule

  • every 20 to 40 minutes (Skyliner)
  • every 30 to 60 minutes (Sky Access Express)
  • every 20 to 30 minutes (Limited Express)
  • every 3 minutes during rush hours and every 4-5 minutes during off-rush hours (for JR trains)

3. JR Narita Line Train + JR Sobu Rapid Line Train

JR Narita Line Train + JR Sobu Rapid Line Train Image credit: junnemui

This option is an affordable way to get from Narita Airport to Tokyo station. The 90-minute trip costs only 1,320 yen ($11.66) which is two times cheaper than using JR Narita Express (NEX) or the combination of Keisei Train and JR Train.

Another advantage of this option (besides the cost) is that you won’t have to wait 20 to 30 minutes for the next train to leave the airport, as JR trains depart every 5 to 10 minutes.

Take note that the trains may get crowded during peak hours and you may not have a seat or space for big luggage.

Directions to get from Narita Airport to central Tokyo:

  1. Get to Airport’s train station and board a JR Narita Line train bound for Chiba
  2. Get off at Chiba Station and transfer to the Sōbu Rapid Line
  3. Get off at Tokyo Station

Travel time: 90 minutes

Cost: 1,320 yen ($11.66)

Service hours: Around 06:00 – 00:00 daily

Service schedule: Every 3-4 minutes during morning rush hours, every 6 minutes during evening rush hours and every 10 minutes during off-rush hours

4. Narita Airport Buses

Narita Airport Buses Image credit: olandsfokus

There are three types of buses you can take to get from Narita Airport to central Tokyo. And two of them serve as the cheapest mode of transportation between the airport and Tokyo Station.

Limousine bus is the most expensive but most comfortable bus option. It stops at numerous major hotels in the Tokyo Station area.

Tokyo Shuttle bus is actually the cheapest way to get to central Tokyo from Narita Airport. Most Tokyo Shuttle buses are equipped with free Wi-Fi and electrical sockets onboard.

The Access Narita bus, which is just as cheap as Tokyo Shuttle Bus, include no Wi-Fi onboard, but has more leg room and an onboard toilet.

Travel time: About 100 minutes (by limousine bus) and 90 minutes (by Tokyo Shuttle and Access Narita bus)

Cost
– Limousine bus: 3,100 yen ($27.70)
– Tokyo Shuttle bus: 900 yen ($8.04) if purchased in advance online, or 1,000 yen ($8.94) if purchased at the counter
– The Access Narita bus: 1,000 yen ($8.94)

Service hours
– Limousine bus: Daily 07:00 – 00:00
– Tokyo Shuttle bus and The Access Narita bus: Daily 07:00 – 23:00

Service schedule: Every 20 to 25 minutes

Notes
– Tokyo Shuttle and The Access Narita also run night buses from midnight till 5 am for 2,000 yen ($17.87).
– Limousine bus service offers a discounted round-trip ticket for only 4,500 yen ($40.22) for foreigners.

5. Narita Airport Taxi

Narita Airport Taxi Image credit: Antonio Tajuelo

Since it’s a long drive from Narita Airport to central Tokyo (nearly 70 km), taking a taxi is quite a luxury.

The only advantage of taking a taxi in Tokyo is that it provides you with privacy. As for other advantages of a taxi, you can get equally comfortable seats, air-conditioning, and large luggage space in the Narita Airport Express (NEX) and Limousine Bus.

There are two types of taxis you can pick up at Narita Airport: standard taxis, and fixed-fare taxis. A standard taxi’s trip from the airport to central Tokyo will cost you approx. 20,000 yen ($178.74) to 21,000 yen ($187.68) which is almost same with fixed-fare taxi’s fare.

It’s indeed a very expensive option, so we only recommend this way of transport to groups that have 4 travelers and prefer privacy. Most of Tokyo taxis can carry maximum of 4 passengers.

Travel time: 60 to 80 minutes depending on traffic

Cost: approx. 20,000 yen ($178.74)) to 21,000 yen ($187.68)

Service hours: 24 hours

Note: Additional charge applies in the period between 22:00 and 05:00