Getting around Tokyo - Narita to Tokyo area

Friday, September 18, 2009 Posted by YY on 11:16 AM

The first question that popped up during planning was : Do we need a JR Pass?

I searched through the forums and realised that JR Passes are only useful if you are planning to travel out of Tokyo to places like Kyoto. Otherwise, buying tickets/using suica as you go along is pretty ok too.

The most useful tool for planning your travel route:
Train Route Finder

As long as you know your starting point and end point station names, this route finder will provide you with the various combinations using different train services. Most importantly, it also lists the duration and prices for each combination.

From the airport towards Tokyo area, we took the Nex + Suica(¥1500 value + ¥500 deposit for card) Package for ¥3500. Normally, NEX itself will cost you a bomb already so with this package, you are effectively paying ¥1500 for your train ride from Narita to Tokyo area.

If the NEX + Suica package seems to much for you pay at one go, you can also consider taking the Keisei line which goes like this:
Narita to Nippori for ¥1000 then from Nippori, you can take another train to other areas in the city. Please refer to Bon Voyage blog for detailed explanation on getting to Tokyo area using Keisei Line.

You can also use the train route planner above to find out which train services to take.

This guide is for arrival at Narita Airport, Terminal 1.
We arrived after 0930, which means that the JR service counter is closed so we need to go to the
Once you exit the customs, look out for this escalator that goes down to the Keisei Line, JR Line.


Look for the following green signboard:

It can take quite some time to queue, get your tickets and make your seat reservations. Do factor in 15-20mins for that.

Take note that NEX goes to several places directly, be sure to check up this timetable before your departure so that you can estimate if you are able to make it for the direct train to your destination.

We took the NEX that went straight to Ikebukuro and that makes our lives much easier cos we didn't have to change to another railway line at Shinjuku. After getting our NEX tickets, we realised that we only have 10-15mins to reach the platform O_O

To take NEX, go to the Narita Airport Station gantry and remember to use your NEX ticket, not the Suica card. It takes around 5-6mins walk at least.


This is how the NEX + Suica package looks like. NEX mentioned in this package is only meant for one way trip from Narita to Tokyo area.


Inside the NEX train, this board shows the destination and stops in between.


The whole ride takes about 1.5hours from Narita to Ikebukuro. There is a lady pushing a trolley full of drinks and snacks along the train ride, the items are not very expensive but do get some snacks if you know you are gonna get hungry along the way.

Recommended read: Very detailed account by Bon Voyage Blog on how to get to Tokyo area from Narita.

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