Our honeymoon series:
Part 1: United First Class from SFO-NRT
Part 2: How to Get to Hotel from NRT Airport
Part 3: Andaz Hotel Tokyo
Part 4: Tokyo Itinerary
Part 5: How to get from Tokyo to Kyoto
Part 6: Hyatt Regency – Kyoto
Part 7: Kyoto Itinerary
Part 8: Shinkansen Kyoto to Tokyo
Part 9: Conrad – Tokyo Part 1
Part 10: Conrad – Tokyo Part 2
Part 11: Singapore Business Class Tokyo to Singapore
Part 12: Conrad – Singapore
Part 13: Silk Air Business Class Singapore to Danang
Part 14: Intercontinental Danang Part 1
Part 15: Intercontinental Danang Part 2
Part 16: Turkish Business Class Hanoi to Istanbul
Part 17: Turkish Business Class Istanbul to Rome
Part 18: United First Class Rome to Chicago
I did a lot of reading before we departed for Tokyo but couldn’t find a clear, informative write up to answer my questions, so I’ll do my best to help if you’re making your first trip to Tokyo and don’t know what to expect.
Tokyo is served by Narita Airport and Haneda Airport. Narita Airport is nearly 50 miles away from the center of Tokyo, much farther away than Haneda is, but don’t let that scare you – millions of people fly into Narita Airport every year so you can too!
From what I’ve read, you have three options to get from the airport to your hotel.
- Limo bus
Taxis are very expensive in Japan. I’ve read estimates that taking a taxi to the city from Narita Airport will cost ~$200, and can cost much more if you get stuck in traffic, so I steered away from this option.
If you do decide to take a taxi, taxi stands are clearly marked after you leave customs.
Airport Limosine aka Limo Bus
We took a Limo Bus. The Limo Buses are extremely organized. They’re not limos/coaches that you see celebrities use when they tour. Rather, the Limo Buses look like normal Greyhound buses, but much cleaner and spacious, with a toilet on board. The cost for two of us to get to our hotel was $56. If you decide to take a Limo Bus, look for the counter after you leave customs. We arrived in Terminal 1, but I imagine the setup in other terminals is similar.
When it’s your turn to talk to an agent, tell her how many people are in your party and the name of your hotel. It’s best to have the address handy in case she doesn’t recognize the hotel name. In response, she will tell you the cost and you can pay with cash (¥) or a credit card. I paid with a MasterCard card that does not have foreign transaction fees. If you prefer to pay with cash, there is an ATM directly on your right when you leave customs.
After you pay, the agent will give you tickets and direct you to a stand number outside. There are at least 14 stands outside, so pay attention and walk to the correct one as different buses have different routes. Once you get to your stand, baggage handlers will tag your bags and put them in a holding area. When the bus arrives the handlers will load your bags, and you can board the bus after giving your tickets to the agent. That’s it! The bus will go stop by stop, and it will drop you off at your hotel. There is a screen on board that clearly shows you what stop is next, and an announcement is made in English before each stop.
If your hotel is not on one of the arranged routes, then ask to be dropped off at the nearest hotel to yours and take a short cab to your destination.
There is a train that goes from the airport into Tokyo Station. Tokyo Station is similar to Penn Station in NYC; it’s a nexus station and once you get there, you can find a subway or take a taxi to someplace else. We did not choose the train because we had luggage and I didn’t want to navigate around subway stations with it, nor did I want to deal with connecting once we got to Tokyo Station.
This option should cost around $26 per person, but the cost may already be included in your JR pass if you purchased one before leaving. We didn’t buy a JR pass for this trip because our planned train travel was light. Here is a link for helpful information about train options.
Don’t be afraid to stop and ask someone for help if you are stuck and aren’t sure where to go. Everyone we met was very friendly and happy to help. Good luck!