Tokyo is generally the cheapest city in Japan to fly into from most countries. I flew into Haneda and found it easy to get to Tokyo from there. But, check your prices. There are two major airports that service Tokyo:
- Narita International Airport (code: NRT)
- Tokyo International Airport, commonly known as Haneda Airport (code: HND)
Read on: Full Tokyo Travel Guide
Which Airport is Easiest and Cheapest to Get to Tokyo City Center?
Haneda Airport is the easier and cheaper airport to use when flying into Tokyo. That being said though, if you find a low-cost fare to Tokyo that flies into Narita you should definitely consider it! Narita has a variety of ways to get to Tokyo and some of them are super cheap. Keep in mind that a late night or extremely early morning flight will limit your options and make it more expensive from either airport.
Haneda Airport to Tokyo City Center
Haneda Airport is the easier airport to use when coming into Tokyo. Keep that in mind when you are booking your flight. Just like Narita Airport though, you have a plethora of options.
- What is the cheapest way to get From Haneda Airport to Tokyo?
- The Tokyo Monorail to JR Train to Subway will be the cheapest option (option 1). It sounds complicated but I promise it isn't. I've included a full step by step how to below.
- Can you take a taxi from Haneda Airport to Tokyo?
- Yes. Definitely. Just like Narita Airport, this is your most expensive option. A taxi will cost you JPY 5000 - 10,000 (USD $45-100) depending on where you are staying in Tokyo.
Option 1: Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsucho Station to JR line to Subway
Ok, this sounds complicated but I promise it's not. If you have a JR Rail Pass it's pretty much free as well. Here we go....
- First, activate your JR Rail Pass at the airport. Make sure you take into account what days you want to use the pass before activating it. This way is great because even if you don't want to activate the pass it is still a very cheap and easy option.
- Next you will head from customs to the Tokyo Monorail.
- The Tokyo monorail stops at all three terminals
- Cost: JPY 490 (around USD $4)
- Drops you at: Hamamatsucho (only about 15 minutes away).
- From Hamamatsucho, you can jump on the JR Yamanote line which takes you to any other major station in the city center.
- From the JR Line you will get off at a major station in Tokyo (usually the popular Tokyo Station). From there you will take a subway to your final destination.
Top Tip: Suica/Pasmo IC cards can be used on the monorail. Preload a card at the airport and you won't have to deal with paper tickets.
Also, and this is super important: If you’re flying out of Haneda Airport, make sure that you get off the monorail at the correct terminal. The monorail will stop at the International Terminal first, followed by Terminal 1 (JAL, Skymark and most other airlines) and then Terminal 2 (ANA & Air Do Domestic Flights).
Option 2: Limo bus from Handea Airport to Tokyo
Although it sounds fancy, it's not. The limo bus is simply a coach bus that is a bit roomy and will take you directly to major hotels and train stations all over Tokyo. Do be aware, if you’re staying at smaller hotel or a hostel you’ll need to look up the location of the closest major hotel ahead of time. If you're traveling with lots of luggage, or don't want to deal with a million transfers I would suggest this option.
The fares for a limo bus range from JPY 720 - 1200 (USD $6-11) per person.
Narita Airport to Tokyo City Center
Narita is actually quite a hike from Tokyo - so keep that in mind if you book your flight into this airport. That said, there are a couple of ways to get to Tokyo from Narita Airport.
- What is the cheapest way to get from Narita Airport to Tokyo?
- If you don't have a JR Pass (which effectively makes the transport free) you should take the Tokyo Shuttle Bus (option 3).
- Can you take a taxi from Narita Airport to Tokyo?
- Yeah. Definitely. Taxi's run from Narita Airport to Tokyo quite regularly...but it will cost you. Unless you're rolling in it, you should probably avoid the taxi option. Prices for a taxi from Narita Airport to Tokyo usually start around JPY 20,000 (USD $180). You've been warned.
Option 1: Shuttle/Shared Taxi Service
If you don’t mind spending a little extra (in exchange for an easy transfer once you arrive) you should book an airport-to-hotel shared taxi. Voyagin has a shared taxi service for around $59 if you use the code Tokyo Cheapo. (The code is preloaded in the link for your convenience!)
These buses run 24 hours a day and are especially convenient for those crazy early flights from Narita.
Option 2: Keisei Skyliner train
This train is a mid-budget option and is an incredible hassle-free way to transfer from Narita Airport to Central Tokyo. You can reach Tokyo in around 35-40 minutes! The cost is only $24 if you use the code Tokyo Cheapo. (The code is preloaded in the link for your convenience!)
Option 3: Tokyo Shuttle Bus
- An incredibly cheap option from Narita Airport to Tokyo is the Tokyo Shuttle Bus.
- Costs only JPY 900 with a reservation (JPY 1000 cash without a reservation)
- Runs to Tokyo Station. From there hop on the subway or various JR Lines to your final destination.
- Leaves every 20 minutes from Narita Airport.
- You don't have to book ahead of time if you're leaving from Narita Airport.
- Tokyo Station to Narita airport is JPY 2000 for early morning or late night service.
- Early morning is any bus before 6 AM.
Option 4: Helicopter from Narita to Tokyo
Are you stupid rich? Do you want to arrive to Tokyo in style? Charter a helicopter from Narita Airport to Tokyo for the low price of JPY 270,000 (that's over USD $2,300). I'm not kidding.
Using a JR Pass from Narita Airport to Tokyo City Center
JR Narita Express
The one-way journey takes roughly one hour, costs around JPY 3000 (around USD $27). But if you have the JR Rail Pass it is fully covered. The ride will take you from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station. From there you can take a subway to your final destination. There are 1-2 trains per hour.
JR Sobu Line
The JR Sobu Line (Rapid Service) is the slower but cheaper JR alternative to the Narita Express. If you have a JR Pass do not worry about the price, it is fully covered. The one-way trip takes roughly 90 minutes and costs JPY 1320 (around USD $12). There is about one departure per hour.
One last thing...
...even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
A super common question I get is what camera do I use for my travels. The body is a Nikon D3300 and I mostly use this wide angle lens made by Sigma. It's awesome for travel photography - I am seriously obsessed with it.
For Your Pinterest
Want more travel tips?
Follow my social channels
You may also like...
*This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help keep this blog running. Thanks!*