Thirty-six minutes to downtown Tokyo, 43 minutes to Akihabara, and less than 1 hour to Ikebukuro!
Your trip begins as soon as you exit the final arrival gate of Narita Airport. The more places or things you have to visit or do, the more important it is that you manage your time effectively. There are various ways to access Tokyo form Narita Airport, including Keisei Electric Railway, JR trains, limousine buses, and taxis. Although taxis that carry you to your destination or limousine buses that go directly to your hotel are convenient, the distance between Narita Airport and downtown Tokyo is about 60 km, and it is often difficult to estimate how long it will take, due to traffic. Taking a train makes it easy to estimate the arrival time and to establish a schedule. Among the available train lines, Skyliner, operated by Keisei Electric Railway, is particularly popular, as it is the fastest train line to downtown Tokyo and it provides a comfortable ride. This Web magazine will introduce the secret of its popularity and its capacities including its speed, and whether even those riding for the first time can use it smoothly.
Skyliner is a high-speed express train that connects Narita Airport and downtown Tokyo. It is the fastest express train in Japan, excluding the bullet train, with a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour. It has been developed with the aim of improving access from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo, and its speed is maximized by its use of the Narita SKY ACCESS Line that opened in 2010. Skyliner operates every 20 to 40 minutes. There are three trains per hour between 14:00 to 16:00 on both weekdays and weekends.
The swiftness of your arrival at your destination is the best way to know how fast Skyliner is. First, looking at accessing the station in downtown Tokyo, Skyliner connects Narita Airport and Nippori Station in 36 minutes at the quickest. It takes 41 minutes to its last stop, Ueno. Skyliner Nippori Station is adjacent to JR Yamanote Line Nippori Station; in other words, you can speedily access Shinjuku or Ikebukuro, taking advantage of a smooth transition to the Yamanote line.
If, for instance, you take Skyliner from Narita Airport Terminal 2 Station at 12:02, you will arrive at Nippori Station at 12:38. Since it takes about 8 minutes to get to Akihabara from Nippori, you can begin a tour of Akihabara by 13:00. Skyliner works for those who want to relax in their hotel on their first day; if you take Skyliner from Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station at 18:49, you will be able to relax in your hotel in Ikebukuro by about 20:00.
Narita International Airport
Address:1-1, Furugome, Narita City, Chiba
Keisei Electric Railway Skyliner
B1F, Narita Airport Terminal 1 & Terminal 2
Follow the sign to B1F – Skyliner provides a comfortable ride
When choosing a method to access downtown Tokyo from Narita Airport, convenience and comfort are also important factors. The ticket gates to Skyliner Narita Airport Station are located on the first basement level, one floor below the arrival lobby in both Terminals 1 and 2. The “Railway” sign in English, Simplified Chinese, and Korean will serve as a landmark when accessing it from the arrival lobby. Tickets can be purchased using a ticketing machine with an English display. However, if it is your first time to use Skyliner, it is convenient to make your purchase at the Skyliner counter. You can purchase tickets for transfers to Ikebukuro, Shinjuku or other stations together. There are staff members available near the ticketing machine that will answer your questions or provide guidance in English.
The first thing you’ll notice upon entering Skyliner is the blue-colored interior with its relaxed atmosphere. The high ceiling and soft ambience naturally relaxes your mind. The seat pitch is 1,050 mm. Compared with the economy seats of airplanes that have a seat pitch of about 830 mm, it is much more spacious. The seats also feature a wide width of 470 mm. There are power outlets at the footstep of each seat that can be used for charging laptop computers or cellular phones.*
*Since the voltage in Japan is 100 V, you may need a transformer or a plug adapter.
Easy transfer and access to major stations!
Moving around with a large piece of luggage is troublesome, as you are concerned with where to store it. On Skyliner, there is a luggage storage space near the entrance of each passenger cabin where you can speedily store large pieces of luggage, including suitcases. In addition, an elevator is available at Nippori Station that allows you to easily move around within the station. The ticket gates for the JR lines to Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and Tokyo stand just in front of the elevator exit. Even if you are a first timer, you will be able to transfer smoothly without getting lost.
Another advantage of Skyliner is its punctuality, a feature of the train. By choosing Skyliner bound for Narita Airport according to the time of your flight, you will not have to worry about traffic, as in the case of using a bus or taxi. This gives you the advantage of following your own plan until the end of your trip.
For travelers only! Special discount added to the already reasonable price
At 2,470 yen, the total of the railway fare (1,240 yen) and the Skyliner fare (1,230 yen), the Skyliner fare is very reasonable. Although you have the option of using the Keisei Electric Railway “Access Express,” which does not require the Skyliner fare, Skyliner is by far superior in terms of time and comfort. Moreover, you can take advantage of the “KEISEI SKYLINER & METRO PASS,” a discount train pass available only for foreign visitors to Japan. The “KEISEI SKYLINER & METRO PASS” is a train pass that combines a round-trip or one-way Skyliner ticket and a Tokyo Metro 1-Day or 2-Day Pass, which is an elaborate train system covering downtown Tokyo. You can choose which tickets or passes to combine. You can save 580 yen if you choose a combination of a one-way Skyliner ticket and a Tokyo Metro 1-Day Pass or 1,480 yen if you choose a combination of a roundtrip Skyliner ticket and a Tokyo Metro 2-Day Pass. How about using the amount you saved to buy souvenirs or food?
*The Skyliner fare is 2,465 yen (1,235 yen fare plus 1,230 yen Skyliner fare) when boarding through a ticket gate with an IC transit card such as the PASMO or Suica.
You can use a credit card to purchase a train ticket and Skyliner ticket together. Moreover, travel agencies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Indonesia sell the “Skyliner coupon,” which can be purchased prior to departure and exchanged for tickets in Japan and offers a 270 yen one way discount.
We welcome our customers with gratitude.
Mr. Kazuo Itokawa, station master of Airport Terminal 2 Station/Narita Airport Station
Approximately 20,000 people take trains from Narita Airport each day. The mission of our trains is to transport these passengers safely and correctly. Unfortunately, on Coming-of-Age Day (a Japanese national holiday to congratulate those who have reached the age of majority) this year, it snowed heavily; however, Skyliner operations continued to the end without interruption, and we are proud of that.
When Skyliner first started operating, many passengers were shocked at its speed. I was working at Ueno Station at the time, and one customer even told me off saying, “It is too fast! I can’t even take my time eating lunch.” If you transfer at Nippori or Ueno, you can access anyplace in Tokyo conveniently, and you will see how comfortable it is once you use it. So please use Skyliner. We welcome our passengers with gratitude every day.