Tokyo Airports & Transportation FAQ

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In the Japan Forum we get a lot of questions about the "best" way from the airports (Haneda and Narita) to Tokyo and the rest of Japan. We also get questions on using Tokyo's extensive public transportation network.

This page is a wiki for forum regulars to assemble our best advice in one place. While we will make an effort to keep the information current, always double-check fares and schedules against the official websites of the airports and transit authorities. We will provide links to make that as easy as possible.

Please note that the official airport pages contain a wealth of information about ground transportation options. This page is not designed to rehash that information, but to provide further background on the pros/cons of the various ways.

Some general links:

What are NRT and HND airports?

Tokyo is served by two large commercial airports - Narita (NRT) and Haneda (HND).

Previously NRT was known as the international airport and HND as a hub for domestic services. In the last couple of years, the distinction has become slightly blurred as NRT has increased its domestic connections and HND has started to offer unscheduled charter services to international locations as well as regular flights to Gimpo airport [1] in Seoul, Korea as well as Hongqiao airport in Shanghai, China with services to Hong Kong starting soon.

Narita International Airport (NRT)

Narita International Airport (Japanese: 成田国際空港 Narita Kokusai Kūkō ) (IATA: NRT, ICAO: RJAA) is an international airport located in Narita, Chiba, Japan, in the eastern portion of the Greater Tokyo Area.

While Tokyo is the source of much of Narita Airport's traffic, the airport is located far from central Tokyo (say, 1 hour by express train - or 90 minutes by bus). The airport is in Chiba prefecture, which is a neighbouring prefecture to the East of Tokyo.

A little planning can make your arrival / transit / layover more comfortable...

Narita Airport Official Website:

Travel related information for Narita Airport (From Wikitravel):

General Information about the airport

Wikipedia's General Information: Includes: 1 History / 2 Terminals and airlines / 3 Ground transportation / 4 Miscellaneous / 5 External links

Phone Rental at NRT:

Car Service/ Baggage Storage:

Haneda Airport (HND)

Haneda Airport is a domestic airport with some international flights located to the South of Tokyo.

NRT Layover

Should I go into Tokyo on my layover?

This is probably the most common question asked in the FT Japan forum. These suggestions are mainly for folks not familiar with Tokyo, Japan, and the Japanese transportation system. If you have a layover of 4 hours or less, it is probably best to stay at the airport, although if you have at least 2 hours, you may be able to go landside where there is a bigger selection of shops and restaurants. For a 4 to 8 hour layover, or a longer layover that is mostly at night, you can visit the town of Narita and its temple. If you have 8 or more daytime hours, you can make a short visit to Tokyo -- and especially if you don't intend to be back anytime soon and are moderately adventuresome, go for it!

Mike Newman's guide:

The inside scoop on spending hours, days and perhaps night in Narita. Geared toward folks who intend to stay in the vicinity of the airport, including nearby Narita City. Also links to information on traveling into Tokyo and elsewhere.

[Note: Mike maintains this page, but he no longer travels through Narita - so he asks regular visitors update him at]

NRT day hotel:

Capsule hotel near NRT:

17 Hour Layover + Young passenger

NRT Hotels:

NRT to Tokyo Transportation Options

a.k.a "Best way from NRT to my hotel?" and "Can I see Tokyo during my NRT layover?"

The first piece oft repeated advice is "Don't take a taxi"

Beyond that there are several choices - What works for you will depend on where you want to go in Tokyo. (and how much money, what arrival time, how important punctuality and comfort, how much luggage, etc.)

Informative discussions on Flyertalk:

NRT - Shinjuku Area (Roughly 9pm on the circle of central Tokyo)

NRT ~ Asakusa (East end of town - beyond central circle - 2pm direction)

NRT ~ Roppongi (Inside central Tokyo)

NRT ~ Downtown (Downtown?)

Limousine Bus Homepage:

JR East - Narita Express (N'ex) information

Keisei Railways - Keisei Skyliner

Travel between NRT and other parts of Japan:

Even if you are not heading to Tokyo, you still might have to pass through Tokyo on your way to your destination in Japan.

Informative discussions on Flyertalk:

NRT ~ Hitachi (in Ibaraki prefecture):

NRT ~ Sendai (Way up in the North East of Honshu island)

NRT ~ Nikko

NRT ~ Tokyo Disneyland

NRT ~ Kawasaki

NRT ~ Osaka/Kyoto (The "Kansai" area):

General Advice:

To Westin Miyako in Kyoto:

Train to Kyoto:

To Kyoto:

To Kyoto:

Could someone look at the Kyoto links and tell me which to leave and which to delete? (Or which I've missed)

How easy to travel to Kyoto with luggage and health issues?:

What Is The Most Convenient Way From Narita To Tokyo?

Ouch - How do we even begin to broach the pros and cons of various methods, which greatly depend on where you are going, how much luggage you have, what time you arrive and whether you prefer sitting in trains or buses? Limo Bus Train Taxi Rented Car

How much does a taxi cost?

There are some threads that we have already - I'd like to link here

What about car services?

There are some threads that we have already - I'd like to link here

Fastest at Rush Hour:


How much does XYZ cost?

Please add to the knowledge base in this way

Getting Around Tokyo - Transportation Within The City

Tokyo has a very advanced public transportation infrastructure - with JR trains (mostly above ground), subways and buses. Excellent information available on Wikipedia about this:

Most foreign visitors to Tokyo become very adept at using the subways and JR lines. Eventually I will improve this section by providing a succinct and brilliant guide to these options - For the moment, I am providing links to JR and subway information:

Subways =

There are two main subway companies:

Tokyo Metro:

Toei Subway:

Overland (mostly) trains

JR Lines and private rail: Mostly, but not entirely, for travel outside central Tokyo. Here is a map of the JR East lines in the greater Tokyo area:

Getting tickets for public transit

You will find it easier to travel around the Tokyo area by purchasing a pre-paid card. There are two types, one called Pasmo and one called Suica. For your purposes, they are identical. Get one of them, which will cost Y500 (refundable if you return the card to a ticket office when done with it), put a credit balance on the card, and then swipe it entering and exiting the turnstiles. Your fare will be computed automatically. That way, all you ever need to do is add more value when your balance runs down. You can do this at most any ticket machine.

The easiest card to get at Narita airport, in fact the only one available there, is Suica. Here is a link:

You can return your Suica card at any JR East ticket office. There is one of these in the basement of each terminal at Narita airport. The Y500 you paid for the card will be returned in full, but there is a Y210 charge to return any cash balance so try to work that down as close to zero as you can.

Rail and Bus Passes for Metropolitan Tokyo

Folks - we need to update the entire Tokyo transport information based on the launch of "PASSMO" on March 18, 2007. The "Passmo" launch means that one can ride buses, JR trains and many private railways with the same stored value card. I believe that the stored value cards will also be usable on public transit in Kansai (Osaka area). Since I (jib71) am not in Japan right now (3/18/2007), I am unable to complete this section with first hand information.

If people currently in Tokyo can update this section with their first-hand experience it would be great.

We should also include the information about the good value NEX + SUICA deal that is now available from NRT airport. Maybe worth including this information in the section on NRT and the section on Transport within Tokyo.


Buses are not so easy to understand for the casual visitor to Tokyo

Taxis are readily available in Tokyo - but it may be worth noting this advice: