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The experience of a trip starts with your transportation. If you want to travel to Tokyo, the starting point is a long trip by plane to reach one of Tokyo airports.

In addition to creating online content, I am also a tour guide, and one of my tasks is to look for clients at the two major Toyko’s airports: Haneda and Narita. So, I would like to share everything I have learned and help you on your next trip to Japan.

Narita, a Tokyo airports, panels of from international flights
Flight schedule of Narita International Airport © i nao

General Advice Before Starting your Journey to Tokyo

Before taking any transport at Tokyo airports, I have two recommendations for you: First, if you have a JR Pass, decide if you want to activate it for your trip from the airport to the city of Tokyo. If the answer is yes, you can activate it at the JR East Travel Service Center offices in Haneda (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) or Narita (9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)* Out of these hours, you won’t be able to activate your pass, and you will have to buy a single ticket.

*This schedule is temporary during the COVID pandemic, as they normally close between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

JR Pass ticket
You can validate the Japan Rail Pass at the JR East Travel Service Center
© Hanayakakajin

Tokyo is a huge city, so I need to explain how to arrive at different city points rather than explain how to get from the main airports to Tokyo. Also, as if this wasn’t enough, the schedules and routes can change depending on your departure time. So, my second recommendation is to have an internet connection to your smartphone when you arrive and download the Google Maps app. It is perfect for check which train or bus is the first to arrive.

Let’s go!

Tokyo Airports: How to Get From Haneda to Tokyo?

Haneda (羽田空港) is one of the two Tokyo airports located in the Ota neighborhood in the south of the city, close to Kawasaki (川崎) and Yokohama (横浜). If you want some information about the airport’s services, see our guide about Japanese airports.

If your idea is to take a taxi from the airport, it can take between 20 and 40 minutes, and the cost can be between 3,000-7,000 yen, although it depends on the location of your accommodation. A taxi is the most personalized and often the most comfortable method to get to the city, but, on the other hand, it can be expensive, so you have to consider your personal and economic situation.

1. How to Get From Haneda Airport to Shinjuku?

Train

One of the options is taking the Keikyu Airport Line to Shinagawa Station (品川駅) and then taking the Yamanote Line towards Shibuya to Shinjuku Station (新宿駅).

Price500 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration35 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?In the Yamanote Line


The second option, and the best one for those with JR Pass, is the Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station (浜松町駅) and transfer to the Yamanote Line towards Shibuya to Shinjuku Station.

Price700 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration50 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?Yes, the whole trip

Bus

From this Tokyo airport, you can take the Haneda Airport Limousine bus. This bus drops you directly at Shinjuku Station without any transfer. Also, if you’re planning to stay at Hotel Sunroute Plaza or Hotel Shinjuku Washington, they can drop you off in front of the door.

Price1,250 yen
Duration40 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?No

2. How to Travel to Shibuya from Haneda Airport?

Train

The route is similar to Shinjuku’s one. You can take the Keikyu Airport Line to Shinagawa Station and then take the Yamanote Line to Shibuya Station (渋谷駅).

Price470 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration 30 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?In the Yamanote Line


The second option and the best one if you own a JR Pass is take the Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station, then transfer to the Yamanote Line to Shibuya Station.

Price700 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration40 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?Yes, the whole trip

Bus

You can take Haneda Airport Limousine bus, which will take you directly to Shibuya Station without any type of transfer.

Price1050 yen
Duration45 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?No

3. How to Get to Asakusa from Haneda Airport?

Train

Without thinking twice, I’d recommend taking the Keikyu Airport Line, as it brings you directly to Asakusa Station (浅草駅).

Price520 yen
Duration35 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?No

If you want to use JR Pass, you can make more transfers to have a cheaper trip: take the Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station (浜松町駅), transfer to Yamanote Line headed towards Tokyo/Ueno to Kanda Station (神田駅). There, you will have to pay for a ticket to Asakusa Station (浅草駅).

Price830 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration45 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?Yes, in Tokyo Monorail and Yamanote Line

If you don’t have JR Pass, I wouldn’t recommend this route, as it is more difficult, longer, and expensive.

Asakusa, one of the traditional areas of Tokyo is easily accessible by one of Tokyo airports
Asakusa, Tokyo’s traditional area © Claudio Guglieri

4. Options to Travel to Tokyo Station from Haneda Airport

Train

There are different ways to arrive at Tokyo Station (東京駅) from Haneda. You can choose to take the Keikyu Airport Line to Shinagawa Station and transfer to Ueno-Tokyo Line or Yamanote Line (headed towards Tokyo/Ueno) to Tokyo Station.

Price470 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration30 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?In Yamanote Line

If you have an activated JR Pass, the best option is to take Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station and change to the Keihin Tohoku Line to Tokyo Station.

Price660 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration 30 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?Yes, the whole trip

5. How to Get from Haneda Airport to Ueno?

Train

For those who haven’t got a JR Pass, the cheapest option is to take the Keikyu Airport Line to Shinagawa Station and transfer to Ueno-Tokyo Line or Keihin-Tohoku Line to Ueno Station (上野駅).

Price500 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration30 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?In Keihin-Tohoku Line

If you have a JR Pass, you can take the Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station and transfer to Yamanote Line.

Price670 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration35 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?Yes, the whole trip
Ueno Station poster
Ueno Station entrance © Zhipeng Ya

6. How Can I Reach Shinagawa from Haneda Airport?

Train

You can travel extremely fast from Haneda to Shinagawa by taking the Keikyu Airport Line.

Price300 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration20 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?No

Tokyo Airports: How far is From Narita to Tokyo?

Narita Airport (成田空港) is the biggest in Japan and one of the most crowded ones around the world. If you want more information about its services, you can read our Japan airport guide.

This airport is further from the center of Tokyo than its companion Haneda, but it has many travel options. Taking a taxi from Narita to the different parts of Tokyo can cost from about $200 and can take about 70 minutes, so I recommend the options below.

Narita terminal is the biggest of Tokyo airports
One of the huge Narita terminals © Anh Tu Tran

1. How to Get to Shinjuku from Narita?

Train

If you have the JR Pass, you can take the Narita Express from the JR company. Keep in mind that there aren’t many Narita Expresses per day traveling to Shinjuku, so it is important to check the schedules before. If there is no train available upon arrival, it will be more convenient for you to travel by another train.

Price3,500 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration 1 hour and a half
Can I use the JR Pass?Yes

An alternative way is to take the Skyliner train. You will travel to Nippori Station (日暮里駅), and there you can take the Yamanote Line to Shinjuku Station. You’ll have to buy a ticket at Narita Airport to Nippori Station for this train, then buy a single ticket to travel with the Yamanote Line or use a Pasmo / Suica / JR Pass.

Price2,720 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration 1 hour y 10 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?In the Yamanote Line

The cheapest option is the Keisei Kine to Nippori Station on the Yamanote Line.

Price1,250 yen (without JR Pass)
Duration1 hour and 40 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?In the Yamanote Line

Bus

You can take the Narita Airport Limousine Bus that drops you off at different points in Shinjuku, such as the bus station. If you stay in hotels like the Hilton Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Tokyo, or Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, the bus can drop you off in front of the door. Here you can check the bus stops. You can buy the ticket at the arrival area of Narita Airport.

Price3,200 yen
Duration1 hour and 30 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?No

2. How to Travel from Narita to Shibuya?

You can take the Narita Express if you have the JR Pass. There are few trains available per day, so it is best to check the schedule before buying the ticket.

Price3,250 yen (without the JR Pass)
Duration 1 hour and 20 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?Yes

Alternatively, you can take the Skyliner train. You will travel to Nippori Station and there take the Yamanote Line to Shibuya Station. For this train, you have to buy a ticket at Narita Airport to Nippori Station and then there, buy the ticket to use the Yamanote Line or use Pasmo / Suica / JR Pass).

Price2,720 yen (without the JR Pass)
Duration1 hour and 10 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?In the Yamanote Line
Shibuya Station full of people, easy to get to via Tokyo airports
One of the corridors of Shibuya Station © Kishor


3. How to Get to Asakusa from Narita Airport?

Train

If your hotel is located in Asakusa, I don’t recommend activating the JR Pass for the outward journey, as the Narita Express does not cover the Asakusa area. In this case, I highly recommend taking the Skyliner train to Ueno Station, then change to the Ginza Line. After two stations, you will get to Asakusa Station.

Price2,690 yen
Duration55 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?No

You can also take Keisei Narita Skyaccess that will take you directly to Asakusa Station.

Price1,310 yen
Duration1 hour
Can I use the JR Pass?No

4. How to Travel to Tokyo Station from Narita Airport?

Tokyo Station has more Narita Express trains departing from Narita Airport, and you can arrive there without doing any transfers.

Price3,070 yen (without the JR Pass)
Duration 1 hour
Can I use the JR pass?Yes

If you don’t have the JR Pass, you can take the Skyliner train to Nippori Station, and there you can choose the Yamanote Line or Keihin Tohoku Line to Tokyo Station.

Price2,680 yen
Duration55 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?No

Bus

You can also take the Narita Limousine Bus, which will take you directly to Tokyo Station.

Price2,800 adults / 1,600 children
Duration1 hour and 10 minutes.
Can I use the JR Pass?No
Tokyo station from above
Aerial perspective of the station ©Nat Weerawong

5. How to Get from Narita Airport to Ueno?

Ueno is one of the easiest points to get to Tokyo from Narita. I also don’t recommend activating the JR Pass as you only have to take the Skyliner train to Ueno Station.

Price2,520 yen
Duration 50 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?No

If you want to save a bit of money, you can travel on the Keisei Line, which takes you directly to Ueno Station.

Price1050 yen
Duration1 hour and 22 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?No

6. How to Travel to Shinagawa from Narita Airport?

To get to Shinagawa Station, the fastest and most direct way is to take the Keisei Narita Skyaccess.

Price1,550 yen
Duration1 hour and 15 minutes
Can I use the JR Pass?No

What To Do If I Land at Night in Any of Tokyo Airports?

If your flight lands after midnight, it can be very difficult to travel to central Tokyo by public transport. If you don’t want to take a taxi or get a private car, one option is to stop over in one of Toyko’s airport hotels or any accommodations close to the airport. It is a good occasion to try a capsule hotel, available in Narita or Haneda *. Some hotels do not receive people at any time, so it is better to book in advance and notify your arrival.

*Currently (October 2020), some hotels may remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

If you don’t want to spend money, the only option is to stay at the airport and wait until the train or bus work again at 5 a.m. If you want to start the day freshly, you can also pay a small amount to take a shower at the airport.

Is it Better to Arrive at Haneda Airport or Narita Airport?

It is a difficult question, as it depends a lot on your needs. Narita is a larger airport with more transportation options and more daily flights. Also, if you want to visit the Chiba or Narita area, it is the perfect airport to start or end your trip. For example, you can discover the wonderful temple of Narita.

At the same time, Haneda offers faster transport to central Tokyo.

You can also choose the airport depending on your hotel location: If you stay in northern Tokyo, I would recommend choosing Narita, and if you are in the south, in Haneda. But as you have already seen, the two airports are very well connected, and there are many trains and buses in a day.

Basically, there isn’t a clear answer and depends on your needs. You also have the option of landing in one and leaving from the other, so you can visit them and judge for yourself.

We hope this Tokyo airport guide will help you to choose your starting and ending point in Japan. Enjoy your trip and hope you want to repeat it again!

Maria Peñascal

Maria Peñascal

Me llamo Maria y soy de la pequeña ciudad de Lleida. Me apasiona aprender sobre la cultura japonesa y los medios audiovisuales. Mi primer viaje a Japón fue en 2018 y en 2019 volví para vivir un año con el visado Working Holidays. Ahora, vivo entre Europa y Japón, con muchas ganas de descubrir lugares recónditos y ¡compartir su esencia con todos vosotros!

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