How to get from Narita Airport to Tokyo (Shinjuku / Shibuya)
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and a few links have been updated for accuracy.
Three options to travel from Narita Airport to Tokyo.
N’EX (Narita Express)
Fast and convenient, but not cheap
Price: 4,000 yen, ~S$50 (round trip); from 3,020 yen (one way)
Duration: Narita Airport T1 to Tokyo Station in about an hour, train every 30 minutes
Photo credit: jreast.co.jp/e/pass/nex_round.html
Narita Express or N’EX is a high speed rail that allows you to travel directly between Narita International Airport and Tokyo’s major urban areas such as Tokyo, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Yokohama.
This is a fast and convenient option, if you don’t mind the cost. You wouldn’t need to do any transfer nor worry about traffic congestion. This is not the cheapest option but comparably cheaper than taxi.
We would have considered N’EX if we are going to and fro Narita airport. But because of our flight itinerary, we arrived at Haneda airport (from Sapporo), and depart via Narita airport. And a one way ticket price to Narita airport didn’t make any sense for us.
Where to Purchase N’EX Tickets?
You can purchase the tickets from JR EAST Travel Service Centers at Narita Airport Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Center opens daily from 7:45 to 18:30.
Step 1: If you are arriving at Narita Airport Terminal 1, find this signboard and head down the escalator.
Keep walking down.
Step 2: Walk on a bit and you will see JR East Travel Service Center on the right.
You can also get your SUICA card and JR Rail passes at JR East Travel Service Center.
Quick tip: We reserved seats for our JR Rail passes at this travel service center too. We managed to reserve seats for 2 trips, while a long queue started to form behind us. Hence the counter lady told us to book elsewhere or re-queue as they usually reserve seats for one trip per time.
For more information of N’EX fares and other ticket offices, visit www.jreast.co.jp/e/nex/tickets.html
Cheapest option. Also good if you are staying at Nippori or Ueno.
If you are taking a Keisei Line from Narita to downtown areas such as Shinjuku or Shibuya, you need to make a transfer at Nippori or Ueno station first.
Narita Airport > Nippori/Ueno > Destination
For example, if you are going to Shinjuku,
- Take the Keisei Line at Narita airport, then alight at Nippori station
- At Nippori station, take the JR Yamanote Line to Shinjuku (you can use SUICA) for 21 minutes. It’s easier to transfer at Nippori than Ueno as you wouldn’t need to go out and walk between stations.
There are 2 types of Keisei train for you to choose from:
1) Keisei Limited Express (Main Line)
Price: 1,030 yen (round trip); 520 yen (one way) [doesn’t include any fare between your destination and Nippori/Ueno]
Duration: 70 minutes travel time (timetable) to Ueno
This is the cheapest way to get from Narita airport into Tokyo. But this is a normal commuter train which stops at several stations in between and can get crowded during rush hours. There’s no seat reservation.
If you want fewer stops but still on budget, you might want to consider Narita Sky Access Line. However it’s frequency is very limited.
2) Keisei Skyliner
Price: 2,470 yen (round trip); 1,240 yen (one way) [doesn’t include any fare between your destination and Nippori/Ueno]
Duration: 36 mins to Nippori; 41 mins to Ueno (timetable)
As compared to the Keisei Limited Express, this is only about 30 minutes faster but fare doubled. Although all seats are reserved here.
Skyliner might also be slightly cheaper than airport limousine and N’EX. However, unless you are staying at Nippori or Ueno, the cost savings might not be worth it for the longer travel time and train transfer hassle.
Where to Purchase Keisei Train Tickets?
At Narital Airport Terminal 1, Keisei ticket counter is just opposite JR East Travel Service Center. See N’EX section for directions.
Liner Ticket Counter: 7:00am to 10:30pm
Ticket counter in the arrivals lobby: 7:00am to 9:00pm
Keisei Ueno Information Center: 9:30am to 6:30pm
Be sure to check for Skyliner discounts and package deal with Tokyo subway day passes at:
Convenient but at mercy of traffic; good for JCB cardmembers
Price: 4,500 yen (special standard round trip price for overseas purchase); Check the fare for your route at www.limousinebus.co.jp/en
Duration: About 74 mins from Narita Airport to Shinjuku (Refer to Current Travel Time for updates)
The bus have designated stops at various train stations and hotel in each major urban areas. If you are stopping in Shinjuku or Akasaka/Roppongi, here are a few stops the bus will make:
This was our experience from Shinjuku to Narita Airport T1 (we arrived at Haneda, so look out for our next post for Haneda airport transfer):
Our airbnb was actually near to Hotel Century Southern Tower, but was advised by JCB concierge to take the bus at Shinjuku Station (west exit) instead. The reason being, the frequency is much higher at the station (I think it is every 15 mins as compared to hourly stops at hotel.).
Hence, we made our way through the JR station and complicated underground maze, only to realise that the exit nearest to the bus stop has no escalator! So we carried our heavy luggage up the long flight of stairs. x_x
Don’t make the same mistake as us! Walk on ground level to the bus stop.
We catered for about 1.5 hours travel time including traffic, but it was much shorter! Probably 45 minutes. Caveat: We took the bus at about 2pm and the road was clear and the bus was not crowded at all.
We took the bus because we got free one ways tickets from JCB (see below for promotion)! If not, we would have gone for Keisei train, and I was glad we didn’t have to. Because it’s such a breeze to take the airport limousine! No transfers and walking. We could just rested and relax for the whole journey, and arrived right at our airport terminal gate!
More info: www.limousinebus.co.jp/en
Where to Purchase Airport Limousine Tickets?
Airport limousine ticket office is right outside the arrival hall.
20% discount for JCB and Discover cardmembers: www.discoverglobalnetwork.com/japan
Free tickets for JCB cardmembers: www.jcbcard.com/campaign/airport_limousine.html
We got two free one way tickets from Tokyo to Narita airport because we spent above 100,000 yen on our JCB card in Japan (50,000/pax). :) *yays* We weren’t sure if were able to hit the amount, but we took the risk and not pre-book our transportation to Narita airport. Some of our accommodation in Hokkaido were paid with JCB and hence we easily hit the amount. Do track your expenses and switch to cash once you hit the minimum required–cash is still king without transaction fees.
Keep your receipts (including the credit card charge sheet) and claim the free tickets at JCB PLAZA Tokyo.
The staff (from China) asked if we were there to claim the airport limousine once we stepped in. I think it’s the only thing people go to the office for. Then they were surprised we were Singaporeans! Because it’s usually the Mainland Chinese tourist who claim the free tickets. Hehe.
Some package deals to look out for at https://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/guide/ticket/
- Limousine & Subway Pass
- Special fare for foreign visitors
Airport Limousine Bus Customers Enjoy Free webus to travel between Shinjuku East and West: www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/guide/ticket/webus.html
Hope the above information helps you to make the right decision!
So how will you be travelling from Narita airport to Tokyo downtown areas? Or do you have a better alternative? Do share with us below or on our Facebook Page or Instagram.
Related Posts: Overview Japan Itinerary: Hokkaido and Tokyo (Winter/Spring 2016) Airbnb In Tokyo Shinjuku: Our Experience Pocket Wifi or Prepaid SIM Card in Japan?