Haneda (羽田) is one of Tokyo’s (東京) two airports and one of the busiest in the world. This article will cover information on the airport itself, as well as how to get to it.
Haneda Airport was originally called Tokyo International Airport (this can still be seen at some of the buildings). It was the first of the two airports, opened back in 1931. Narita Airport (成田空港), the second one, followed in year 1978.
As Narita was opened, Haneda started serving less and less international flights and serving mostly domestic flights. In 2010, international flights increased again but Narita is still the main destination for a lot of incoming flights.
Today, over 60 million passengers go through Haneda Airport annually which ranks it among the 5 busiest airports worldwide.
Haneda > Narita?
Haneda has one striking advantage over Narita: It is located significantly closer to Tokyo’s city center. Approximately 30-40 minutes of train travel gets you to the first major stations.
From Narita it takes at least double the amount of time as well as money. Consider this when choosing which airport to land in. If possible, always choose Haneda.
Some say, flights coming into Haneda are slightly more expensive. I can obviously not speak for every country here, but in the case of Germany this is untrue. It costs exactly the same. See for yourself, if it really is more expensive keep in mind that it’s cheaper to get to Tokyo so it might be worth it.
The reason for the increased international flights in 2010 was the newly built international terminal. You can tell that it’s still very new and modernly designed. On my three trips to Japan (日本), I have always arrived and departed from Haneda so far.
Restaurants and Services
As one of the busiest airports, Haneda of course offers a variety of eating opportunities as well as souvenir shops. On its top floor you can get a nice view of the airport’s area from their observation deck. Various other services such as exchanging money, renting WiFi routers or SIM-Cards and getting your JR Pass or Suica at a JR Office.
When my friend and I first arrived here in July 2017, the first thing we did was eat our very first bowl of Ramen (ラーメン) in Japan. And it was so delicious! It was a very small restaurant (like many in Japan, especially noodle or sushi (寿司) restaurants) with a vending machine up front.
You need to buy a ticket for the bowl you would like to eat and one for a soda drink if you’d like. Getting a drink is not necessary though as water is provided for free. This is one of the things I love most about Japan. In all but one place I went to there was free water with your meal.
Back to the airport, before getting to eat delicious Ramen though you of course need to first get through the immigration process. I will cover it in full detail in another article.
Haneda Airport has 3 terminals in total. 2 of these are designated for domestic flights, terminal 1 being mainly served by Japan Airlines (JAL) and terminal 2 from All Nippon Airways (ANA).
The third one is its international terminal where you are going to be most of the time.
Shuttle busses connect all terminals to one another. In addition, the monorail and Keikyu Railway can also be used when transferring from a domestic to the international terminal or the other way around.
How to get to Haneda Airport
This section is very similar to the one I posted in my Tokyo Travel Guide, just starting and end point reversed.
Starting at Tokyo Station
Fees and fares are subject to change. Exchange rates as of August 2018.
By Train (電車)
There are two different routes you can take here:
Take the JR Yamanote Line towards Hamamatsucho Station (浜松町駅), which will take about 6 minutes and costs 160 Yen (1,23€/$1.45).
The Tokyo Monorail will then take you to Haneda Airport International Terminal. The ride will take around 20 minutes and costs 490 Yen (3,77€/$4.45).
With waiting and walking times you should total at around 30 minutes.
Although the Monorail is not a JR Line, the section to Haneda Airport is covered by various passes like the Japan Rail Pass or the JR Tokyo Wide Pass.
The JR Yamanote Line is of course also covered.
Board the JR Yamanote Line towards Shinagawa Station (品川駅). That will take about 10 minutes and costs 170 Yen (1,31€/$1.55).
Keikyu Railways leads you to Haneda Airport. This section will take around 20 Minutes and costs 410 Yen (3,15€/$3.72).
Overall you should be there in about 35 minutes.
By Bus (バス)
You can also take a limousine bus if you have the time. This allows you to see more of the environment. Depending on overall traffic, there are 1-2 connections per hour with a travel time of 40-60 minutes.
The bus leads directly to Haneda Airport, there is no need to transfer. The fare is about 1,000 Yen (7,70€/$9.10).
By Taxi (タクシー)
You can reach Haneda Airport via Taxi. I do not recommend this though as it can get pretty expensive. Depending on the starting point and time of the day (more expensive during the night), it can cost anything from 5,000 (38€/$45) to 11,000 Yen (84€/$100).
You also do not really save time, as it takes about 30 minutes to the airport depending on traffic.
For many of you, Haneda Airport will be your “door to Japan” just as it was for me. It’s certainly a nice place which offers many things that aren’t connected to the usual airport business.
I will create a guide for Narita as well, but I won’t be able to talk about any personal experiences there. Just for the fact of its better location I recommend Haneda to you, if the flight ticket is not overly more expensive than Narita.
I liked it there and will continue to fly into Haneda, as it has left this special memory of the being the first impressions I got from being in Japan. The staff is also very friendly and helpful.
Thank you very much for reading this article. I hope you found it useful and learnt something new!
As already mentioned, my next post is going to be about Narita Airport!
See you then!