Tokyo International Airport
First stop. Tokyo international airport - otherwise known as Narita airport.
If you're coming in on an international flight this will most likely be where you are landing. Now for the part most people aren't prepared for. Tokyo Narita airport is not in Tokyo at all!
It's roughly 60km away from the city and is actually located in the next prefecture, Chiba. FYI - for prefecture think state, province or county.
To Tokyo By Train
Once you've completed all the landing procedures and collected your baggage, you're going to need to get into the city.
There are various options available depending on your budget, time and inclination.
Skyliner - another fast option but this one will take you to Ueno or Nippori only. These are in the Northern end of the city. If you need to get to Tokyo, Yokohama, or Ikebukuro areas, check out the other options for a one stop ride.
On a budget? You can get from Tokyo International airport to the city using the JR Keisei Line or the Sobu Line. These are regular lines with no extra comforts, but if you're on a budget it's affordable which is what matters.
To Tokyo By Airport Limousine Bus
Airport Limousine Bus - if you are staying in a major hotel, this is usually a door-to-door service.
You can jump on right outside the arrival hall at Tokyo international airport and relax as you make your way into the city. The other bonus is that you drive in through the countryside to the city. It's an interesting journey!
To Tokyo By Taxi
Tokyo Taxi - cost depends on traffic as well as distance.
If you are in rush hour traffic expect to pay more. The average is said to be about ¥25,000 - ¥30,000. If you want to check these prices against your local currency, see the yen convertor available at the bottom of our Tokyo prices page.
Hopefully the list above has given you an idea about the types of travel you can use to get into the city from Tokyo international airport. Make sure you stay on top of what's happening and have an easy landing in the big T by signing up for our monthly tips and updates, A Taste Of Tokyo.
Narita Airport Tips
1. First up, check our Tokyo Narita Landing Procedures so you know what to expect when you first arrive in the city.
2. Remember, Tokyo International Airport is not a 24 hour airport.
I've nearly been caught by this a couple of times myself. If you are landing at 8pm or afterwards, it may be worth checking into an airport hotel for the night and continuing your journey after a good and well earned sleep. If there is any delay on your flight then you may miss the transport options into the city.
I wouldn't fancy paying for a taxi, especially as the fares go up later at night. The last trains and buses run at around 9pm depending which line you want. Again if you've had a long journey or have little ones in tow, booking a Tokyo airport hotel may be the ideal solution.
3. Carrying heavy bags? It is possible to arrange to have your baggage sent to your final destination once you get to Tokyo international airport.
There is a counter in the arrivals hall where you can arrange for this service. Just look for the signs and the staff will arrange the rest for you. Just make sure you have enough to keep you going in your hand luggage until your suitcases arrive. The baggage staff will arrange a suitable time for delivery with you.
4. For more information, here's the official Narita Airport page.
Haneda airport is another major hub for the Tokyo area, however it is currently mostly for domestic flights. If you plan on flying internally to other areas of Japan such as Osaka or Hokkaido during your stay in Tokyo, you will likely fly from here.
If you are flying in from Korea or Taiwan, it is possible that your final destination will be Haneda instead of Narita as some international flights have recently started terminating here. It is actually easier to get into Tokyo from Haneda so think of it as a bonus if this happens to be the case.
Roll on 2010 as there are major plans underway to expand Haneda to accommodate international flights to Europe.