How to Travel From Narita Airport to Tokyo by Train, Bus, and Car

Light Stream Under the Elevated Expressway
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Narita International Airport, also called Tokyo Narita Airport, is located in Chiba Prefecture, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) away from central Tokyo. Seeing more than 44 million passengers per year, this travel hub is the main entry point into Japan's capital city. The airport offers direct bus service to some of the country's most popular destinations, as well as express train service to the city's major stations. If you're not a fan of public transportation, you can also climb into a taxi, but it'll cost you nearly $200.

  Time Cost Best For
Bus 1 hour from $9 Minding a budget
Train 36 minutes from $23 Arriving on a time crunch
Car 1 hour 40 miles (64 kilometers) Traveling in comfort

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Narita International Airport to Tokyo? 

The cheapest way to get from the airport to central Tokyo is by bus. The TYO-NRT Airport Bus and Narita Shuttle—operated by Willer—both depart from the North and South Terminals between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. One-way tickets cost $9 apiece and must be purchased at ticket counters at the airport. The TYO-NRT goes to Tokyo Station and the Narita Shuttle goes to Osaki Station about 5 miles (8 kilometers) away, so plan accordingly. Either way, the trip takes about one hour.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Narita International Airport to Tokyo? 

The quickest way to get to central Tokyo from the airport is to jump on the Keisei Skyliner, a high-speed train that connects to the city at 99 miles (160 kilometers) per hour. It takes only 36 minutes to get to Nippori Station in Arakawa and costs $23 per one-way ticket. From Nippori Station, you can board another train to Tokyo Station or any other destination on the Loop Line. The Keisei Skyliner departs from the North Wing every 20 to 40 minutes. Alternatively, there's the JR train, departing every 30 to 60 minutes from the South Wing, which takes an hour to get into the city and costs about $28.

How Long Does It Take to Drive? 

The drive between Narita International Airport and Tokyo is usually time-consuming because of the traffic. It takes roughly an hour, in average conditions, to drive to the center and you can go ahead and forget about parking. Those who are considering taking a taxi should beware of the lofty cost. You'd be lucky to get into town for under $180 by cab. The train may not be as comfortable, but it's much faster and more economical.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Tokyo? 

Tokyo's temperate climate makes it a tourist-popular destination year-round. However, those hoping to avoid major crowds and inflated prices may want to travel outside of the busy summer season. Spring and fall are quieter and less humid, too. When booking your travel from the airport to the city, keep rush hour traffic in mind. Taxis can get backed up during peak hours and trains and buses are bound to be more crowded. Buses and trains don't normally run through the night, either.

What Is There to Do in Tokyo? 

As the country's capital, Tokyo puts the best of Japanese food, history, and culture on display. Some come to revel in the Times Square-style florescent lights and some come just for the world-celebrated sushi. The city itself is an endless stream of entertainment, making it possible to have an action-packed day of exploration just by following the one neon-lit street to the next on foot. But to see the hustle and bustle from above, head up to the observation deck at Tokyo Skytree, a 2,080-foot (634-meter) tower that overlooks it all. The cloud-kissing spire is actually the tallest building in Japan and the second tallest, after Dubai's Burj Khalifa, in the world.

No visitor should leave Tokyo without paying a visit to Sensō-ji, the city's oldest temple, and the Meiji Shrine. When you need a break from the busy pace, escape to the spacious, cherry blossom-dotted Ueno Park or the ever-colorful Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens. After dark, find yourself drinking lagers with the locals down some undiscovered Izakaya alley.

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