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Access from Japan's Major Airports

Japan flag. Travel within Japan - Airport Arrival

Narita (NRT) | Haneda (HND) | Centrair (NGO) | Kansai (KIX)

Arrival in Japan

Airport sign at Kansai International Airport.

After a mindnumbingly long flight to Japan, a long trek into the city may yet await you depending on which airport you land at. Japan is densely populated, and on top of that commercial flights must compete with US military planes for air space. As a result, airports are often built far away from city centers, either in rural areas or even on man-made islands.

Japan Airport Info.

Haneda Airport, Tokyo.

The train is usually the best option for getting into to Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, or Kyoto. It avoids traffic and is usually punctual. Taxis can be expensive. For options from Narita, Haneda, Chubu, and Kansai, read on.

Narita International Airport (Tokyo) (NRT)

Narita was once a small isolated farming village 66 km (41 miles) from Tokyo (and the site of violent resistance by farmers to the airport, which lasted decades and only recently abated). Urban development is encroaching ever deeper into rural areas, but the 66km trip into Tokyo from Narita International Airport (NRT) is still something of a journey through the countryside.

Rail from Narita

Japan Rail | Keisei

Narita Express - N'EX - at Tokyo Station.

Japan Rail (JR) from Narita

JR Narita Express (NEX) goes to

  • Tokyo Station (60 min, 2,940 yen one-way)
  • Shinjuku (80 min, 3,110 one-way)
  • Ikebukuro (90 min, 3,110 one-way)
  • Yokohama (90 min, 4,180 one-way).
    Trains depart roughly every 30 minutes from Terminals 1 and 2.
    Narita Train Timetable
  • Ordinary JR Rapid trains go into Tokyo on the Sobu/Narita line (80 min, ,280).

    "Suica & N'EX"
    Take the Narita Express for effectively only half price by purchasing a "Suica & N'EX" card at Narita Airport's JR counter.

    Suica is JapanRail's rechargeable prepaid card that can be used on JR trains nationwide, as well as with all greater Tokyo transport, whether trains, buses or subways.

    This special deal combining the purchase of a Suica card with a discounted ride on the Narita Express into Tokyo is available only to non-Japanese and only at Narita Airport.

    The 3,500 yen cost includes a discounted fare of 1,500 yen for the Narita Express, 1,500 yen to use on JR lines in and around Tokyo (rechargeable), and a 500 yen refundable deposit for the card itself.

    The "Suica & N'EX" can be purchased with cash or by credit card, but must be recharged (to any amount you like during your stay) with cash. Please be aware that, as well as being basically a train pass, more and more stores accept payment using Suica card, so it can often be used as a convenient alternative to fiddling with unfamiliar notes and coins.

    "Suica & N'EX" is on sale from March 28, 2007.

    For Japan Rail Pass holders

    If you have already purchased a Japan Rail Pass in your home country, exchange it for a rail pass at the JR View Plaza Travel Service Center, or the normal JR ticket counter if View Plaza is closed). The Narita Express is free with a Japan Rail pass. Also, you can make any ongoing JR reservations right here.

    Keisei Electric Railway from Narita

    The Keisei Skyliner Airport Express runs between Ueno Station and Narita Airport.
    The Keisei Skyliner Airport Express to Narita Airport takes about 60 minutes (1,920 yen). Unlike JR trains, smoking is allowed at the front and back cars (1 and 8).

    Keisei's ordinary limited express will get you there in 75-80 minutes (1,000 yen). No smoking. You can use a Passnet card on this train.

    The Keisei line connects with the JR line at Nippori and Ueno stations. The changeover to the JR Yamanote line is easier at Nippori as you do not have to leave the station. Changing over at Ueno means exiting the station and crossing the road. However, if you are taking a shinkansen (bullet train), change at Ueno.

    However, be careful if taking the Keisei limited express: while most Keisei limited express trains go to Nippori and Ueno, a few don't, but join the Toei Asakusa subway line. This can be useful, however, if you want to go directly to Asakusa (75 min, 1,120 yen) or Ginza (Higashi Ginza station, 90 min, 1,160 yen).
    Keisei Train Timetable

    Keisei Sky Access

    The Keisei Sky Access is a new service that began in July 2010 and connects Nippori Station with Narita. The service runs on the newly-built Narita Rapid Railway Access Line and covers the 51.4km route in just 36 minutes. 54 Sky Access trains will eventually run daily. The present fare is 2,400 yen. Keisei's Access Limited Express connects Narita and Haneda Airports via the Toei Asakusa Line with the journey taking 1 hour and 40 minutes.

    Bus from Narita

    There are many bus routes in to Tokyo. Fares begin at 1,200 yen. Except at rush hour, the journey to most points in Tokyo should take about 90 minutes. If you are booked into a fairly major hotel, this can be the most convenient and hassle-free door-to-door option. Also, bus is the easiest way to transfer to Haneda Airport.
    Narita Airport Limousine Bus Timetable

    Click here for Keisei bus routes and information. (The Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at the top refer to the terminals of Narita International Airport).
    Keisei Bus Timetable

    NRT Tourist Information Centers

    Narita International Airport
    Tel: 0476 34 6251
    Narita International Airport

    Narita International Airport Terminal 1
    Tel: 0476 33 1630
    JR Narita International Airport Station

    Narita InternationalAirport Terminal 2
    Tel: 0476 34 6008
    JR Narita International Airport Terminal 2 Station

    Narita City Tourist Information Office
    Tel: 0476 24 3198
    JR Narita Station (NB, not to be confused with JR Narita International Airport Station!)

    Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) (HND)

    Commonly known as 'Haneda', Tokyo International Airport (HND) in Tokyo's Ota ward is one of the busiest airports in the world with links to multiple airports domestic and international.

    Tokyo International Airport adjoins Tokyo Bay in the south-east of the city and is readily accessible from most parts of Tokyo.

    Rail from Haneda

    You can take either the Keihin Kyuko (i.e. Express) Railway or the Tokyo Monorail. The Keihin Kyuko will get you to Shinagawa Station on the Japan Rail Yamanote Loop Line (20 min, 400 yen) or Yokohama Station (25 min, 470 yen).
    Keihin Site

    The Tokyo Monorail goes to Hamamatsucho, which is on the Yamanote Loop Line (20 min, 470 yen).
    Tokyo Monorail Site

    Bus from Haneda

    Depending on your arrival time, a bus ride can be very slow. Try to avoid buses during morning and evening rush hours. However, if you are booked in to a well-known hotel in Tokyo, a bus may well be the most efficient and hassle-free door-to-door way to go.
    Haneda Bus Timetable

    HND Tourist Information Center

    Tokyo Tourist Information Center
    Tel: 03 5757 9345
    Tokyo International (Haneda) Airport

    Meitetsu Airport Rapid Limited Express.

    Meitetsu Airport Rapid Limited Express "μ-SKY" at Chubu International Airport south of Nagoya

    Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya) (NGO)

    Centrair kaisoku Express Train.Chubu (i.e. 'Central Japan') Centrair International Airport opened in 2005. Built on an artificial island, it is only about 30 minutes by express train from Nagoya.

    All transport out of the airport leaves from the Access Plaza. Luggage trolleys can be taken all the way to your transportation.

    Rail from Centrair

    Rail transport out of Centrair is by Nagoya Railroad Co., AKA Meitetsu, on the Meitetsu Airport Line.

    The Rapid Limited Express Train takes 28 minutes to Nagoya Station (820 yen). Change here for the JR Tokaido shinkansen (bullet train) line, the ordinary JR line, the Kintetsu line, the Aonami line, or the subway.

    The Rapid Limited Express Train is all KY ( = 'mu'), i.e. first-class reserved-seat cars (wheelchair friendly), while the Limited Express has both KY and ordinary cars. KY cars require a 350 yen surcharge.

    Rapid Express and Express trains are also available for the same price, but make more stops.

    Meitetsu Train Timetable

    Bus from Centrair

    The bus to Nagoya Station takes 55 minutes and costs 1,200 yen.
    Centrair Bus Timetable

    Kansai International Airport (KIX) (Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe-Nara)

    Haruka.Built, as with Centrair, on a man-made island, Kansai International Airport is an engineering marvel set in Osaka Bay. The trip from the Renzo Piano-designed airport - the most stylish in Japan - to Osaka takes less than 45 minutes. Kobe is accessible by high speed ferry. Kyoto takes 73 minutes.

    Rail from Kansai

    Japan Rail  Nankai

    Japan Rail (JR) from Kansai

    The JR Rapid Service (AKA Kanku-kaisoku), while the less convenient of the two Japan Rail train options, is the cheaper. It goes to Tennoji Station (43 min, 1,030 yen), and then follows the JR Osaka Loop Line to Osaka Station City (63 min from KIX) and finally Kyobashi (72 min, 1,160 yen). Trains depart about every 20 minutes. Often standing room only.

    To get to the Shin-Osaka shinkansen (bullet train) station, you will have to change to the JR Kyoto line and go one stop north to JR Shin-Osaka station.

    The JR West Haruka limited express runs along the same tracks as the JR Rapid Service, but more quickly. It goes from KIX to

  • Tennoji (29 minutes, 1,760 yen)
  • Shin-Osaka (45 min, 2,470 yen)
  • Kyoto (73 min, 2,980 yen).
  • Trains leave approximately every half hour. Certain trains may stops at additional stations, and some may go on to Maibara.

    While somewhat more expensive than the Kansai Airport Limited Express described above, the Haruka is the recommended means of travel for those going to Kyoto. It also has the advantage of connecting directly with the shinkansen (bullet train) at Shin-Osaka.
    JR Timetable

    Nankai Railways from Kansai

    Nankai rapi:t train.Visitors heading directly for the center of Osaka are advised to use Nankai Railways.

    rapi:t is Nankai Railway's equivalent of JR's Haruka. It goes from KIX to Namba (33 min, 1,390 yen).
    However there are two kinds of rapi:t: the rapi:t α and the rapi:t β, rapi:t α being the faster.
    rapi:t α after leaving KIX stops at Rinku Town, Izumi-sano, Tengachaya, Shin-Imamiya, then Namba.
    rapi:t β after leaving KIX stops at Rinku Town, Izumi-sano, Kishiwada, Sakai, Tengachaya, Shin-Imamiya, then Namba.

    Nankai Railways also operates Airport Express trains to Namba (75 min, 890 yen) and regular local trains (90 min, 890 yen).
    No English language timetable available.

    Bus from Kansai

    Airport Limousine Buses leave from in front of the arrivals hall (1F). If you are booked in to a major hotel in Umeda, bus is probably the most efficient, hassle-free option, taking about 60 minutes and costing about 1,300 yen.
    Bus is also recommended for going to Kobe (60 min, 1,800 yen), and especially for transferring to Osaka's Itami Airport (70 min, 1,700 yen).
    Kansai Intl Airport Bus Timetable

    High Speed Ferry from Kansai

    Boats leave for Kobe every 45 minutes (30 min, 1,500 yen).
    Ferries used to leave once every two hours to Sumoto on Awaji Island (50 min, 2,500 yen) but this service was discontinued in 2007.
    Kansai Intl Airport Ferry Schedule

    KIX Tourist Information Center

    Osaka Kansai Airport
    Tel: 0724 56 6025
    Osaka Kansai Airport

    Train Schedules

    For train schedules and routes throughout Japan. Hyperdia

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