As surprising as it may seem, Narita Airport (NRT) — Tokyo’s main international gateway — is not close to Tokyo at all. So getting from Narita Airport to Tokyo is a bit of a trek.

In fact, this Tokyo airport is so rural and remote that on the journey into Tokyo you’ll see rice paddies long before neon lights. In more practical terms, you’re looking at a distance of about 80 km (50 miles) from Narita Airport to Shibuya Crossing.

Overview: Getting from Narita to Tokyo

Since Tokyo is so huge, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer as to which method or route is cheapest/best for getting from Narita to your accommodation in Tokyo.

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If you’ve picked out a hotel in a central neighborhood, like Shinjuku, Roppongi, or Shibuya, you’re in luck — we’ve made individual mini-guides for how to get to each one from Narita Airport. These guides cover the fastest, cheapest, and easiest transport options, and you can find links for all of them below. For other locations, don’t go anywhere — right here we’ve put together some more general information, to help you work out the best option.

If you don’t mind spending a little extra, we suggest the simple option of a shared taxi service. This costs around ¥7,000 per person (two-person minimum booking). Also worth a mention is the speedy Keisei Skyliner train: normally tickets would set you back ¥2,570, but you can buy them online for the discounted price of ¥2,310.

Quick comparison of Narita to central Tokyo transport options

TransportApprox costTravel timeFrequencyNotesBooking link
Train (Keisei Skyliner)From ¥2,3101 hrEvery 15–20 minsTransfer at Nippori Station for onward travel on JR linesBook on Headout (discounted)
Train (JR Narita Express)¥3,0701 hrEvery hourDirect to Tokyo Station (with less frequent departures for Shinjuku and Shibuya)Buy at the airport
Train (Keisei main line)¥1,22095 minsEvery 15–20 minsTransfer at Nippori Station for onward travel on JR linesBuy at the airport
Narita Airport Limousine Bus¥3,60090–120 minsEvery 15–20 minsTime varies according to destination; price does notBook on Headout
Regular taxiFrom ¥26,40090 minsGenerally available outside the airportPrice may vary considerably depending on traffic and time of dayGrab a taxi outside the terminal
Pre-booked shared taxiFrom ¥7,000 (inclusive of highway tolls)1 hourPre-book onlyPrice per person; minimum of two people per bookingBook on Klook
Pre-booked private taxiFrom ¥20,000 (inclusive of highway tolls)1 hourPre-book onlyPrice per car; great for groupsBook with Klook or Viator

Note: All details above were calculated on travel to Tokyo Station. Exact fares, times, and transfers will vary depending on your destination.

Narita: The LCC airport of choice

While finding the cheapest transport between Narita and Tokyo is a worthy quest in itself, it has become more important because of the arrival of low-cost carriers. Many of them use Narita Airport as their base of operations for domestic flights out of Tokyo.

Some of the fares are cheap enough to make tourists coming to Japan consider whether they should get a Japan Rail Pass or just book a couple of flights on an LCC. However, since Narita Airport is not actually in Tokyo (unlike the much more conveniently located and modern Haneda Airport), transport fees to and from Tokyo should be factored into your overall costs.

Note: There is no train station at Narita Terminal 3, where most LCCs arrive and depart. Instead, you’ll need to use the train station at Terminal 2 (about a 15-minute walk). Buses and taxis do depart directly from Terminal 3, though.

Welcome to Japan at Narita
And Narita, too! | Photo by Carey Finn

Narita Airport (NRT) to popular Tokyo destinations

Check out our mini guides for getting from Narita to different parts of the city:

Pro tip: Getting in late at night? Check out our dedicated guide to late-night transfers from Narita Airport.

Express trains from Narita Airport

Two operators run express trains from Narita Airport to central Tokyo: Keisei (the Skyliner) and JR (the Narita Express, or N’EX).

Keisei Skyliner

From ¥2,310 (if you buy a discounted Skyliner ticket on Headout)
1 hr to Tokyo Station

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Keisei Skyliner Express from Narita to Tokyo
The Skyliner — snazzy and fast. | Photo by

The snazzy Skyliner offers the speediest travel time — just 36 minutes to Nippori Station or 41 minutes to Ueno Station. From Nippori, you can transfer to the JR Yamanote line for onward travel; from Ueno you can transfer to the JR Yamanote line and also the Hibiya and Ginza subway lines. The Skyliner service runs between 7:30 a.m. and 11 p.m, with one to three departures every hour. On weekends, the timetable changes slightly, but the number of departures is the same.

One of the best things about the Skyliner is the train itself. It’s a dedicated airport service — meaning that you don’t have to compete with daily commuters for seats. Reservations are required, so you’re guaranteed somewhere to sit. The Skyliner’s seats are incredibly comfortable, and each has its own charging port. There’s separate luggage storage space, and free WiFi.

For more details, check out our dedicated guide to taking Keisei trains. We cover the Skyliner along with regular Keisei trains (more on those below) from Narita to Tokyo — it’s chock-full of useful info and discount hacks.

Narita Express

53 mins to Tokyo station

narita to tokyo train - the narita express
N’EX, aka the Narita Express. | Photo by

The Narita Express is a trouble-free way of getting to the main JR stations in Tokyo, especially on the west side of town. All N’EX trains go to Tokyo Station (53 minutes). Some continue on to Shibuya, Shinjuku, or stations even further afield — no transfer required. All seats are reserved and, like the Skyliner, there is free WiFi and ample luggage storage.

Three to five N’EX trains depart from Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station each hour, between 6:52 a.m. and 11:42 p.m; all trains also stop at Narita Airport Terminal 2. Check the timetable carefully to make sure that the service stops at your station — while all services stop at Tokyo Station, not all will stop at Shinjuku Station, for example.

N’EX tickets aren’t cheap: It costs ¥3,070 to Tokyo Station, one way. However, round-trip tickets are discounted. You can buy tickets at the JR stations and travel centers at Narita Airport. You could use a JR Pass (see below) to ride the N’EX; however, we only recomend this if you plan on traveling beyond Tokyo (e.g. to Kyoto or Osaka) the same day or the day after.

Read our full guide to taking the JR Narita Express here.

N’EX Tokyo Round-Trip ticket

The N’EX Tokyo Round-Trip ticket gives you round-trip travel from Narita to Tokyo and back for ¥5,000 for adults (and ¥2,500 for children). It’s only available at Narita Airport to foreign passport holders. The cool thing for residents is that you don’t need a tourist visa.

Regular trains from Narita to Tokyo

If you don’t have much luggage or don’t mind carting it around, it may interest you to know that the cheapest regular trains that run the route between central Tokyo and Narita Airport are on the Keisei Line.

A good thing about the Keisei Line is that some services connect directly with the Toei Asakusa subway line; other services terminate at stations on the JR Yamanote Line (Tokyo’s central loop line). So it’s pretty convenient for a lot of different stations in central Tokyo. The bad news, however, is that it’s a regular train — so catching it with your suitcase during rush hour may be hazardous to your health! The journey takes between 80 and 120 minutes, depending on where you’re heading.

Pro tip: To help you on your visit, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to taking Keisei trains from Narita to Tokyo.

regular keisei train
A slower option. | Photo by

Keisei Limited Express: The cheapest train from Narita to Tokyo

Here’s a summary of the route and cost from Narita Airport on the Keisei Limited Express, to some of the main stations in Tokyo:

DestinationTransfer stationNext trainTotal costTotal travel time
TokyoNippori StationJR Yamanote Line for Tokyo¥1,22085 mins + transfer time
ShibuyaNippori StationJR Yamanote Line for Shinjuku/Shibuya¥1,26090 mins + transfer time
ShinjukuNippori StationJR Yamanote Line for Shinjuku/Shibuya¥1,26080 mins + transfer time
RoppongiUenoHibiya subway line for Naka-Meguro¥1,260110 mins + transfer time
IkebukuroNippori StationJR Yamanote for Shinjuku/Shibuya¥1,23095 mins + transfer time
Ueno¥1,05080 mins
AsakusaAoto or Keisei-Takasago StationKeisei Oshiage Line local for Haneda¥1,17075 mins + transfer time

If you want to take one of these cheapo options, just go to the Keisei train ticket counter at Narita Airport, and ask for a ticket to your destination — but explicitly say not on the Skyliner.

If you’re planning on spending a few days in Tokyo, ask for a Suica card — this is a top-up IC card usable on all trains, buses, etc. in the Tokyo area.

As these Keisei trains are regular services, without reserved seating, you don’t need to worry about purchasing a special ticket — you can just use a topped-up Suica or Pasmo to pass through the ticket gates and board.

Keisei Sky Access Express

Keisei has another useful regular train service: the Sky Access Express (not to be confused with the Skyliner). This service connects directly with the Toei Asakusa subway line (rather than terminating at Nippori or Ueno stations). You can travel directly to destinations including: Asakusa (60 mins), Nihonbashi (65 mins), and Shinbashi (70 mins), faster than you could on the Keisei Limited Express.

The total travel cost to destinations on the Toei Asakusa line is about ¥200 more than using the Keisei Limited Express routes outlined above; so, for example, the trip from Narita to Asakusa will cost you ¥1,370.

In our opinion, the extra couple hundred yen is worth it. But for maximum comfort and convenience, the Skyliner is still your best bet. Again, we recommend looking at our dedicated guide to taking Keisei trains (Limited Express, Sky Access Express, and Skyliner) from Narita to Tokyo — it’s stuffed full of useful info and discount hacks.

Buses from Narita to Tokyo

There are a few different buses running from Narita to Tokyo and back.

Shinjuku is one of the destinations served by “Limousine” buses. | Photo by Gregory Lane

Narita Airport Limousine Bus

From ¥3,600
90 to 120 minutes (depending on traffic)

The convenience of not having to cart your luggage around is great, but the Airport Limousine Bus service is not the cheapest option. Also, while comfortable, the buses are, in fact, not very limousine-like. They are simply coaches (with comfier seats and WiFi) that run to major hotels and stations in the Greater Tokyo area for ¥3,600 one-way.

You get space for one large (30 kg each) suitcase per passenger. If the bus isn’t full, you might be able to get away with an extra bag, but to be safe, we recommend sending additional luggage to your accommodation, from the airport.

You can book Airport Limousine Bus tickets online in advance. Return tickets (valid for 14 days) are also available for the discounted price of ¥6,000.

You can also buy tickets from the bus counters and ticket machines in the airport arrivals hall, on the day.

Low Cost Airport Bus

About 65 minutes

The inside of a bus with empty pairs of seats on both sides.
Get from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station with this cheap bus option. | Photo by Maria Danuco

Note: As of February 2024, the Low Cost Airport Bus — also known as the Airport Bus Tokyo-Narita (TYO-NRT) — still can’t be booked in advance. You need to buy your ticket on the day.

A couple of years ago, two popular budget coach services — the Tokyo Shuttle and Access Narita — were merged into one service: Airport Bus Tokyo-Narita (TYO-NRT). This is also known as the Low Cost Airport Bus.

Regular daytime tickets cost ¥1,300 for adults and ¥650 for kids, and stops include Tokyo Station (Yaesu exit), Ginza Station, and Shinonome.

Note that luggage restrictions are a little stricter on the budget coaches: typically just one suitcase (158 cm) per traveler.

Narita Airport Shuttle bus

¥1,700 (early-bird discount)
About 80 minutes

The cheapest bus to the west side of town is the Narita Airport Shuttle bus, operated by a company called Willer. This bus runs between Narita Airport and Tokyo, dropping you off at Ikebukuro Station. The journey takes 80 minutes and costs ¥1,900 — but if you book online at least 24 hours in advance, you can get the earlybird price of ¥1,700. At Ikebukuro Station, you have access to JR, Tokyo Metro, Seibu, and Tobu lines.

There are currently only 10 Narita Airport Shuttle bus departures per day, between 9:20 a.m. and 10:20 p.m. You’re allowed to load one suitcase in the trunk of the bus, but take note: while there are no size specifications, it’s a first-come-first-serve situation. If you arrive too late, you might not be able to fit your bag in the trunk. Oversized baggage like snowboards and golf bags will only be allowed if there is space.

Taxis from Narita Airport to Tokyo

From ¥26,400 per vehicle (non-toll roads)
90 minutes

narita taxi
Taxis aren’t cheap, but sometimes they’re the most convenient option. | Photo by

Taking a regular taxi (or Uber) from Narita Airport to central Tokyo is expensive. It only makes sense if you are traveling in a group, or in a real pinch. Also keep in mind that the above price and duration is for non-toll roads during the day. Toll roads will get you where you need to go quicker, to Tokyo Station in 1 hour in this example, but it also cost you more — around ¥29,250 total. And of course, don’t forget the additional 20% surchage between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Recommended: Shared pre-booked taxi

About ¥7,000 per person (two-person minimum)
1 hour

A nice, personal service and direct to your hotel, a shared minibus/taxi service hits the sweet spot between budget and convenience. For about ¥7,000 per person, you get frictionless transport from the airport to your accommodation. However, keep in mind that luggage space can be limited — one 61 cm tall suitcase per person — and large luggage items like snowboards can’t be accommodated.

For groups: Private pre-booked taxi

About ¥20,000 per vehicle
1 hour

A pre-booked private taxi could save a little money — and you get the reassurance of a car waiting for you upon arrival at the airport. Another bonus is that you can choose a larger vehicle for a small extra fee — which might be necessary if you have a party of more than three and luggage.


18 minutes

You can also charter a helicopter for ¥45,000 or so per person. Neither cheap nor sustainable, but certainly a unique airport transfer experience! It takes just 18 minutes from Narita to Tokyo by air. Book a Narita helicopter transfer.

Narita to Tokyo FAQs

We answer some of the most common questions about getting from Narita Airport to Tokyo.

The road to Narita. | Photo by Gregory Lane

Can I use a Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) from Narita Airport to Tokyo?

Yes. However, given that it doesn’t cost much to get into Tokyo, you should think carefully before you activate your JR Pass — especially if you plan to spend the first few days of your trip in the city. You might want to choose another option to get into Tokyo, and then activate the JR Pass when you embark on a longer inter-city trip.

How far is Narita from Tokyo?

Narita Airport is approximately 64 km from Tokyo. It is located in Chiba Prefecture.

What is the fastest way to get to central Tokyo?

The fastest way to get to central Tokyo from Narita is the Keisei Skyliner. It can get you to Ueno Station in just 41 minutes.

What is the difference between Narita Station and the Narita Airport train stations?

About 8 km, so make sure you don’t get off at Narita Station by mistake on your way back to the airport! Narita Station is not the one at the actual airport. Stay on the train until you reach the station for your terminal — Narita International Airport Terminal 1 Station or Terminal 2 Station (which serves both Terminal 2 and 3).

narita tokyo airport arrivals hall
Narita Airport arrivals hall. | Photo by

How do I get to Narita Airport from Tokyo?

On the way back, all of the same transport options apply. Simply reverse the route, check the times, and you’re good to go.

Which airport should I use to fly into Tokyo?

If it’s an option when you’re booking your flight to Tokyo, Haneda Airport is the one to choose. It’s closer to the city and much snazzier, too. However, flying into Narita Airport is often the only — or cheaper — option, and, as you can see, it’s well connected to Tokyo. For more pros and cons, check out our video:

Is there a hotel inside Narita Airport?

The only accommodation directly connected to Narita Airport is a capsule hotel called Nine Hours Narita Airport. It has around-the-clock check-in and can be found in Terminal 2. The hotel provides basic toiletries and sleepwear.

For recommendations on hotels near Narita Airport, see our accommodation listings. There are lots of options, with free shuttles running between the hotels and airport.  

While we do our best to ensure everything is correct, information is subject to change. This post was originally published on July 30, 2012. Last updated in February 2024, by Maria Danuco.


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