Travelling from the airport

When you arrive in Japan, perhaps a bit tired and jet-lagged from a long flight, you’ll want to get to your accommodation without too much difficulty or delay. There are several transport options available from most airports and opinions are often given as to the “best” way. As a general rule, the best way is to follow the advice given by your accommodation. Look on their website for a button or menu item called Access, which will lead to details of trains and buses.

In last week’s article on airports, I mentioned that time of arrival may impact the transport options available to you. Do check timetables to make sure that there is a service at a convenient time for your flight.

The airport websites themselves give information on train and limousine bus services to various areas and this includes links to timetables and transport operator websites. This is also helpful if your accommodation does not provide information. Here’s a useful reference list of airport website transport information.

Narita (Tokyo)

Haneda (Tokyo)

Kansai (for Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe)

Chubu Centrair (Nagoya)

Fukuoka

New Chitose (Sapporo)

Depending on the method of travel, you will need to buy one of the following:

  • a limousine bus ticket – there may be a counter at the airport for this, or it may be dispensed from a machine by the bus stop, or bought from the driver.
  • an airport express train ticket – trains such as the JR NEX or Keisei Skyliner from Narita, and the JR Haruka from Kansai have reserved seats. You can buy tickets from the train station ticket office or from a ticket machine.
  • an IC card – this can be used on ordinary commuter trains such as the monorail from Haneda or the Keisei Access Express from Narita and Haneda. IC cards can be bought at the station ticket office or from a machine.

If your accommodation is not close to the train station or limobus stop, you may want to take a taxi for the final stretch, rather than carry luggage. It’s useful to have the address details written in Japanese, so you can show this to the taxi driver.

Taking a taxi all the way from the airport is not generally recommended, as this can be very expensive.

Would you like to receive my quarterly newsletter with the latest news for visitors, plus useful seasonal information? When you sign up, your email address will only be used to send you the newsletter.

For further information, the ebook Japan Just for You is a practical step-by-step guide to planning your trip to Japan, starting with developing your own personal trip concept. It’s now available on Apple, Amazon and Kobo, with other ebook stores to come soon.