All eyes will be on Tokyo next year as the Japanese capital will be hosting the biggest international multi-sport event – 2020 Summer Olympics a.k.a Tokyo 2020. It will be taking place from 24 July 2020 to 9 August 2020.
In the lead-up to the major event, there is news about how most of the accommodations like hotels and Airbnbs are filling up fast, so if you are planning to visit Tokyo next year, you got to act fast.
If you have secured your air tickets and accommodations, here’s a guide on the best and economical ways to get from Narita or Haneda Airports to downtown Tokyo.
Tokyo is served by two airports: Narita International Airport (NRT) and Haneda Airport (HND).
1. Arriving in Haneda Airport (HND)
Haneda Airport is the nearest airport to downtown Tokyo. It has two terminals and is more convenient to reach downtown Tokyo from Haneda Airport. Here are four ways to travel to downtown Tokyo from Haneda Airport.
By Tokyo Monorail
The Tokyo Monorail line is accessible at both Haneda Airport terminals and it will stop at Hamatsucho station, which is in the JR Yamanote line. It takes about 13minutes from Haneda Airport Station to Hamatsucho station if you board the express train.
All stations on the green JR Yamanote line can be reached in less than 30minutes from Hamatsucho. It is highly recommended to purchase a rechargeable transport card such as PASMO or SUICA to get around Tokyo.
By Keikyu Line
The Keikyu line is accessible at both Haneda Airport terminals. Do note that this line serves both Tokyo area and Yokohama so you need to pay attention to which direction the train is heading towards. For Tokyo area, the Keikyu line will stop at Shinagawa station (about 13 minutes), and the one heading to Yokohama will stop at Yokohama station (about 20-25 minutes ride).
By Limousine Bus
Taking a limousine bus from Haneda to central Tokyo will take about 45-75 minutes and it is cheaper compared to Narita. A trip to downtown Tokyo will cost about 1000 to 2000 yen. You can book your ticket and collect in the Haneda Airport here.
Depending on your budget and who you are travelling with, taxi is the least economical mode of transport in Tokyo, a taxi ride from Haneda Airport to downtown Tokyo area can cost you around 5,000 to 10,000 yen (SGD$60 to SGD$130). Unless you’re travelling with a large group, say more than 4 pax and with children then taxi is the most convenient and comfortable option.
2. Arriving in Narita Airport (NRT)
Narita Airport is in the northeast of the city, which is the farthest airport in Tokyo when compared to Haneda Airport. However, most international flights will be arriving in Narita as this is Tokyo’s main international airport. It has three terminals. Terminal 1 and 2 each have a railway station at the basement to travel out to the city. Terminal 3 serves low-budget airlines and is connected to terminal 2 by a pedestrian walkway. Free shuttle buses operate between all three terminals. Here are the three best options to reach downtown Tokyo from Narita Airport.
By JR Narita Express (NEX)
If you are using a Japan Rail Pass, JR Tokyo Wide Area Pass and some other JR Passes, taking the JR Narita Express is the best way to downtown Tokyo. The one-way journey takes about one hour and will stop at stations like Shinagawa and Shinjuku. But if you are not using any JR Passes, the one-way ticket for NEX cost about 3,000 yen.
By Keisei Skyliner
If you’re heading to Ueno, Keisei Skyliner is the best bet. It takes you to Ueno station in less than an hour from Narita Airport station. Get your train ticket here.
Do note that JR Pass cannot be used here as it is operated by a different railway company.
By Limousine Bus
Limousine bus is the preferred option if you are carrying a lot of luggage. It will take about 75-90 minutes from Narita to downtown Tokyo depending on the traffic condition. You can book your ticket and collect in the Narita Airport here.