There are two main airports servicing Tokyo, Haneda and Narita. In general Haneda handles the internal flights and Narita handles the international flights.
This is definitely a generalisation as Haneda does do international flights as well, but if you’re coming from the UK, America or Europe, you’re most likely to land at Narita.
The other difference between the two airports is that Haneda is much closer to the centre of Tokyo.
If your flight to Japan was a long one, then I’m sorry to tell you that arriving at Narita is by no means the end of your already-long journey.
Narita by train
By train is by far the easiest way to get from Narita Airport. Although deciding which train to use is a bit tricky. Here are your options…
Narita Express (JR) – This one is a direct, non-stop train to Tokyo Station. It’s a great option if you’ve got the JR Pass as it covers the Narita Express. On the map it looks like it takes a fairly long route as it passes through Chiba, but it is one of the faster options.
Keisei Skyliner – The Skyliner is actually the next fastest train in Japan after the Shinkansen (bullet train). We can also vouch for how nice and comfortable the train itself is too as we took one to get to the airport on our way home.
You can pre-purchase a ticket online for the skyliner but we were able to buy one from a machine on the day fairly easily.
The Skyliner also has its own platform and signs so finding it isn’t a problem.
Keisei line then sobu line (regular trains) – The cheapest option is actually not too bad. A journey to Tokyo station would take you 1h 20m.
The only annoyance is that this isn’t a direct train. You have to take the Keisei line to Keisei Funabashi station and then change at Funabashi station.
Narita by Bus
Narita-Airport Limousine Bus – This is a pretty quick option as well, with the journey actually being 5 minutes quicker than taking regular trains! But that does come at a cost, putting it at a similar amount to the express trains.
The bus can drop you off at a number of places in Tokyo, so this might be more convenient for you depending on where you’re staying.
Cost: ¥2800 to ¥3100
Narita by Taxi
This is an option that no one goes for. Because of the distance this is the most expensive choice by far. A quick Google showed the lowest option was about £159 (¥22730).
It might be worth it if you’re a large family and you really can’t handle putting your kids on a train. Otherwise, stick with Japan’s amazing public transport.
*Costs taken from Google Maps on 08/08/18 for a journey to Tokyo Station. With the exception of the limousine bus which for some reason Google thought was just ¥1000 but their website said otherwise!