When it was first opened, it was called “New Tokyo International airport”, “new” because Haneda was called “Tokyo International Airport” and was founded back in 1931.
The name fits it pretty well seeing that it served most of Tokyo’s incoming international flights when it was newly opened. Since 2010, Haneda has taken back service to more international flights although Narita still serves more of them.
Narita does however not serve nearly as many domestic flights. With annual passengers ranging about 35-40 million, it is quite a bit behind the numbers of Haneda.
Narita Airport is located roughly 60 kilometers East of Tokyo’s city center in a same-named city in Chiba Prefecture. This means it takes about double the amount of time to reach Tokyo compared to Haneda.
As I already mentioned in my Haneda Airport Guide, I have so far only ever landed in Haneda because of its convenience. Flight ticket prices were also the same for me.
However for some countries/airports it might be cheaper to fly into Narita. Also, there are some cool activities you can do around Narita city.
Narita Airport has 3 terminals in total. Terminal 1 and 2 mainly operate international air traffic while the third terminal is used exclusively by low-budget airlines such as Jetstar.
Transit between Terminals
Terminal 1 and 2 have their own train stations so you can easily access those via train. The third and second terminal are connected by a pedestrian walkway. Similar to Haneda, all terminals are connected to one another by shuttle bus.
Services at Narita Airport
A wide variety of dining and shopping opportunities are of course also available. And not everything is Japanese cuisine! You’ll definitely find your taste here.
As for shopping, the usuals such as electronic and souvenir shops are ready to be of service.
How to get to Narita Airport
Narita is located farther away and thus offers more ways to get to it:
By Train (電車)
The fastest way to get to Narita. About 40 minutes with a fare of 2,500 Yen (19€/$23). All seats are reserved. It departs every 20-40 minutes with its only slightly bad part being, that it only departs from Ueno Station (上野駅) (North Tokyo). If your hotel is more towards the center, you will need to transfer here first.
Don’t want to go through the hassle of getting the tickets after you arrive from a long flight? It also works the other way around, from Tokyo to Narita Airport. Voyagin offers you to book the Keisei Skyliner through them which will allow you to board the train immediately. Very convenient!
Keisei Limited Express
The cheapest option in terms of money. The fare is only 1,000 Yen (7,70€/$9.10) but takes around 75 minutes. This is a normal commuter train which can get crowded during certain times. Seat reservations are not possible.
JR Narita Express
Probably the most convenient method. This train departs every 30-60 minutes and takes about an hour to get to Narita Airport. One way fare is 3,000 yen (23€/$27) and it is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and other passes. All seats are reserved. There is also a special ticket for 4,000 Yen (31€/$36), which lets you travel both ways within a period of 2 weeks.
JR Sobu Line
The other JR alternative, also covered by the pass. Significantly cheaper at around 1,300 Yen (10€/$12), but also takes 85 minutes to Narita Airport and only departs once per hour. As this is also a normal Commuter Train, it can get crowded during rush hours.
By Bus (バス)
Quite a few bus companies offer connections from many places in central Tokyo. The journey takes about 60-90 minutes, depending on destination. Limousine buses with a little more comfort will cost around 3,200 Yen (25€/$29), but there are cheaper alternatives for as little as 1,000 Yen (7,70€/$9.10).
By Taxi (タクシー)
Please only take the taxi if you can afford it and absolutely have no other alternative. It takes just as long as a bus ride but can cost 20,000 Yen(154€/$184)!
There you have it! That’s it about Narita Airport. Unfortunately I cannot give you guys any personal experiences with the staff or the airport’s services as I have not been there yet.
I have so far only landed in Haneda and will continue to do so if my flights allow it. The convenience provided by its location is a big factor for me. Also, I have now gotten quite used to the area and its facilities.
However, you are not me! Depending on which country you are from/which airport you depart from, it could be cheaper to fly into Narita instead of Haneda Airport.
That’s why I created this guide after all, for the people who land there!
The immigration process, after you land, I assume is similar to Haneda airport. I will cover that in its own article in full detail later on!
Thank you very much for reading this article, I appreciate it. Let me know if you found it useful!
See you there!