Planning Your Journey from Narita Airport to Shinjuku: Tips for a Smooth Travel Experience



Planning Your Journey from Narita Airport to Shinjuku: Tips for a Smooth Travel Experience

With approximately 3.5 million people passing through daily, Shinjuku Station is the world's busiest train station. While some may perceive Shinjuku primarily as a business hub, the area is actually much more diverse, offering a wide range of accommodations, shopping, entertainment, and restaurants. Therefore, choosing Shinjuku as your travel base in Tokyo is an excellent idea.

If you are flying into Narita Airport, getting to Shinjuku is straightforward, as these two areas are well connected. This guide will walk you through three main transportation options - trains, buses, and taxis - to help you plan your trip with ease.

  • 01

    Best option: Narita Express (N’EX)

    Using the Narita Express, you can travel from Narita Airport to Shinjuku without any transfers. Japanese trains are known for their punctuality, and the Narita Express is no exception. All seats on the Narita Express are reserved, reflecting its status as a limited express train. You can book your seats online up to one month in advance of your boarding date, and the website is accessible from outside Japan as well. The Narita Express is operated by the East Japan Railway Company. Since it is part of the Japan Railways Group, the JAPAN RAIL PASS, a discounted travel pass designed for foreign visitors, is also valid on this route.

    The seats on this train come with wide legroom, power outlets, and overhead racks for carry-on luggage. At the end of each car, you can find luggage storage racks equipped with built-in locks that allow for customizable combinations. Additionally, free Wi-Fi is available, ensuring you stay connected throughout your journey.

  • 02

    Travel Duration and Fare of Narita Express

    From Narita Airport to Shinjuku, it only takes about 90 minutes. Approximately two train services run every hour.

    The one-way fare from Narita Airport to Shinjuku is around 3,200 yen, comprising a basic fare of 1,500 yen and a limited express fare of 1,700 yen. This pricing structure is typical for limited express trains and bullet trains (Shinkansen). Prices may increase by a few hundred yen if you are traveling during one of the peak tourist seasons.

  • 03

    Purchasing Narita Express tickets

    From Terminals 1 and 2, you can directly access their respective stations, which are situated on the first basement floor. Tickets can be purchased either at the ‘Midori no Madoguchi’ service counters or via ticket machines.

    Prior to your trip to Japan, it is possible to secure your tickets through the official JR-EAST Train Reservation website, too. After booking online, you can collect paper-based tickets using ticket machines at the station. In 2024, the Japan Rail Group will implement a QR-based ticket option for those who make seat reservations online. In January 2024, you will be able to use Navitime’s website for both ticket reservation and trip planning.

  • 04

    Boarding Narita Express

    At Terminal 1, you can use Narita Airport Station. At Terminal 2, you can use Airport Terminal 2 Station. Note that Terminal 3 has no station, and the closest one is Airport terminal 2 Station. Free shuttle bus services, operating frequently between terminals, are available for convenience. Alternatively, passengers can walk from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 using the well-signed pedestrian access corridor.

  • 05

    Option 2: Keisei Skyliner

    The Keisei Skyliner serves as an alternative train service for travel from Narita Airport to Shinjuku, offering punctual and efficient transport. The journey typically takes about an hour and includes a transfer. Operated by Keisei Electric Railway, this limited express train offers exclusively reserved seating.

    The Keisei Skyliner features amenities similar to the Narita Express, including spacious seating, power outlets, overhead racks, and free Wi-Fi. Additionally, each car is equipped with luggage storage racks.

  • 06

    Travel Duration and Fare of Keisei Skyliner

    Using the Keisei Skyliner, you can travel from Narita Airport to Shinjuku in about an hour. Approximately three train services run every hour.

    The journey requires a transfer at Nippori Station, where you will switch to the Yamanote Line for Shinjuku. A one-way trip on the Keisei Skyliner to Nippori costs around 2,500 yen, and the transfer train to Shinjuku costs around 200 yen additionally. Therefore, the total fare for the entire journey is around 2,700 yen.

  • 07

    Purchasing Keisei Skyliner tickets

    You can directly reach the stations located on the first basement floor from both Terminals 1 and 2. Tickets can be purchased at a service counter or ticket machines at the station as well.

  • 08

    Boarding Keisei Skyliner

    Similar to the Narita Express, passengers at Terminal 1 can begin their journey from Narita Airport Station, while those at Terminal 2 can use the Airport Terminal 2 Station.

    There is no train station attached to Terminal 3. Therefore, those arriving at Terminal 3, can use the Airport Terminal 2 Station, which is accessible either via free shuttle bus services or by walking through the pedestrian access corridor.

  • 09

    Option 3: Limousine Bus

    A limousine bus offers direct travel from Narita Airport to Shinjuku, providing comfort and convenience. These buses are equipped with large trunk rooms, and the staff will assist you with loading and unloading your luggage. After making stops at Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal (Busta Shinjuku) and the West side of Shinjuku Station, the limousine bus makes additional stops at several major hotels in the area, including Keio Plaza Hotel and Shinjuku Washington Hotel, facilitating easier travel to your accommodation. However, the travel duration can vary depending on road conditions.

  • 10

    Travel Duration and Fare of Limousine Bus

    The cost of a one-way ticket from Narita Airport to Shinjuku is around 3,600 yen. While the exact journey time varies depending on the terminal you depart from and your final destination, the journey by limousine bus could take approximately two hours to reach the West side of Shinjuku Station from Narita Airport.

  • 11

    Purchasing Limousine Bus Tickets

    At Narita Airport, you can look for the orange sign labeled ‘Airport Limousine Bus’ near the arrival gate to find the ticket counter. This counter is available at all three terminals. Upon purchasing your ticket, you will be assigned a seat. Alternatively, you can also make a reservation in advance online using the official website of the Airport Limousine Bus.

  • 12

    Boarding Limousine Bus

    You can board the Limousine Bus at the ground floor departure area of any Narita Airport terminal. The specific boarding platform will be indicated on your paper-based ticket.

  • 13

    Option 4: Taxi

    While it is certainly the most expensive option, taking a taxi from Narita Airport to Shinjuku is also possible. You can hop into a taxi anytime you want and enjoy a comfortable, private, and direct ride to your final destination. Additionally, the taxi driver will assist you with loading and unloading your luggage. Note that travel duration may vary depending on road conditions.

  • 14

    Travel Duration and Fare of Taxi

    In general, it takes about 85 minutes to travel from Narita Airport to Shinjuku. If you are traveling between 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM, your fare will be increased by 20 percent. You can use a fixed fare taxi, and its costs starts around 25,000 yen for one way journey.

  • 15

    Getting Taxi

    You can catch a taxi at any time at all three terminals of Narita Airport. To find out the exact boarding point at each terminal, please refer to this page. While taxis in Japan typically operate on a metered fare system, you will commonly find fixed-rate taxis at the airport that offer direct services to Shinjuku. Companies like this one offer an online pre-booking service, and, for an added cost, you can arrange for a driver to be waiting for you in the arrival lobby.

  • 16


    To make the most of your time in Tokyo, planning your journey from Narita Airport to Shinjuku in advance is essential. Each option - trains, the limousine bus, and taxis - has its merits, depending on your priorities and budget.

    Among these, the Narita Express stands out as an excellent choice for travelers seeking a quick and seamless journey. Renowned for its punctuality and comfort, it offers a direct, no-transfer service, particularly beneficial for those carrying heavy luggage. The upcoming introduction of QR-code tickets in January 2024 in the Travel Japan by Navitme website will enhance the Narita Express's convenience, making it an even more appealing choice for visitors.

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