Information about what can be done at Narita Airport in Tokyo, much more than just arriving and taking your bags.
As I have said on previous occasions, arriving at the airport in a new country is what gives you that first impression. And when we arrived in Japan, the first place that welcomed us was the Tokyo Narita International Airport.
- Some facts about Tokyo Narita Airport
- How to move between the terminals at Narita Airport?
- Arrival of international flights: international area
- What can be done at Narita Airport?
- How to go to Tokyo from Narita airport?
- We arrive in Tokyo
Some facts about Tokyo Narita Airport
- IATA Code: NRT
- It is located 60 km from Tokyo
- It was inaugurated on May 20, 1978
- It is the busiest airport in Japan
- It is the main hub for several Japanese airlines
How to move between the terminals at Narita Airport?
The airport has three terminals, each divided into International and Domestic. To deposit your luggage, it is important to locate the terminal used by your airline so that you can go directly there. There will be enough indications for it and if you go by taxi, the driver will ask you what your airline is to leave you where it is most convenient.
Also, to move between terminals there are the following options:
- To go from terminal 2 to 3 and vice versa, you can walk since there is a 650-meter corridor, which takes us from one terminal to the other in about 15 minutes.
- Terminal 1, on the other hand, is separated from the other two, in this case you have to take the “Free Terminal Shuttle Bus”, which is yellow, to go from terminal 3 or 2 it takes approx. about 10 minutes, and they depart fairly regularly.
Arrival of international flights: international area
If you are not going to enter Japan
In the case of having an international connection at Narita airport, which means that you are not going to enter Japan, it is not necessary to go through immigration control. Unlike what happens at the Mexico City airport, where it doesn’t matter if you’re not going to enter the country you have to go through immigration and customs, in Narita you don’t have to.
If you are going to enter Japan
In the event that you arrive to stay in Japan, the first thing to do is pass the passport check.
Before getting off the plane, the stewardesses very kindly distribute two forms: one for passport control and another for customs. There is no need to worry about the language issue since they are in English 🙂
For the passport review step: they put a sticker on your passport, they take a photo of you and that’s it. Welcome to Japan! After that, you have to go look for the suitcases, going through the classic anguish that they didn’t arrive.
From the first time we went to Narita we were able to meet the customs mascot. Later we would realize that everything has its pet. We would see this puppy in all Japanese airports.
The last step is: take the bags and go with the customs form at the exit. There we are received by a customs officer who, in our case, was very nice, cheerful and asked us about our itinerary in a way that seemed more like if she were talking in a café and not at a customs crossing, wow, something I did not see in other countries.
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What can be done at Narita Airport?
Go to the bathroom
I know it’s kind of funny, but seriously, it’s going to be quite a discovery. I had seen so many high-tech toilets in photos that I already wanted to see one in person, so as soon as I saw the opportunity, I did not miss it. Do not stay with the desire and discover for yourself these famous and modern toilets.
At the airport there is a post office, and perhaps you will ask yourself, what is it relevant for? Well, I will tell you our experience:
You may be wondering why we were looking for the post office: golden tips that I hope you find useful: in Japan you can rent some little things called Pocket Wi-Fi, you bring this device with you and that way you have permanent Wi-Fi, and how the rental works is easy: you book it online, you pay and when you arrive at the airport it will be there ready for you to pick it up. And to deliver it? Also easy, they include an envelope in which you just have to put everything and put it in the mailbox. AND YES, THEY TRUST YOU.
Visit the Japan Railways office
In our case, we struggled a bit to locate the ticket office where we could exchange our temporary passes for Japan Rail Passes. But, if you have bought the Japan Rail Pass in advance, you must go through this office.
The guys, quite friendly (I will repeat this many times), verified our data and then confirmed the start and end dates of the pass. Ready, quickly everything is done.
Stores and restaurants
Most likely when you arrive you will not need to go to the airport restaurant or shops. That’s what we thought until the following happened to us: we had an Airbnb booked, and we landed early (before noon) at Narita airport, supposedly we could take possession of the apartment after arriving. But this did not happen, when we had the internet signal from the airport, I receive a message that tells me “the apartment will not be available until 7 pm (or something like that)”. A setback, it was raining outside, so being hungry we went to see the options of restaurants and cafés, which are quite a few, and they saved us at that moment to be able to eat and spend some time.
How to go to Tokyo from Narita airport?
There are many options, some are highly priced, others impossible if you have a lot of luggage, here they are:
Take the NEX (JR Narita Express)
The journey from Narita Airport to Tokyo takes about an hour. The ticket costs about 3000 yen but if the Japan Rail Pass is already activated upon arrival, then it will be included.
When the train arrives at Narita, you have to wait a bit for the train to be cleaned. Important fact: the chairs can be turned so that if four people go together, they can be accommodated well (face to face). All very well-thought-out.
JR Sobu Line
Half an hour slower than the NEX, this train takes about 90 minutes to reach Tokyo Station and costs about 1,340 yen.
The Keisei Skyliner and the Keisei Limited Express
This train does not pass through the Tokyo station, but arrives at the Ueno station, where many have their accommodation reserved. It takes approximately 41 minutes for the Skyliner and 75 minutes for the limited express. They cost 2,250 and 1,050 yen respectively.
You can also take a bus that takes about 100 minutes and costs 2,800 yen. It could be an interesting option, in case it has a stop near the hotel where we stay. The list of stops can be seen here.
We arrive in Tokyo
If you arrive at Tokyo Station, you are faced with one of the largest stations in the city. A challenge. Certainly, you will have to take the subway from there, so take a look at the article we have prepared to explain how to use the Tokyo subway.
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