*Fastest scheduled run, from Narita Airport Terminal 2 Station to Nippori Station on a Skyliner.
36 minutes at the fastest from Narita International Airport to downtown Tokyo!
Good traffic accessibility is one of the key factors that makes a sightseeing trip comfortable and enjoyable. A means of transportation that is recommended for those considering sightseeing in Tokyo via a flight to Narita International Airport is “Skyliner,” a limited express train for exclusive access between Narita International Airport and downtown Tokyo. It is the fastest limited express train in Japan, excluding the bullet train, with a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour. Taking advantage of its speed and the Narita SKY ACCESS Line that opened in 2010, it arrives at Nippori Station, the first stop in downtown Tokyo, in just 36 minutes, and at its last stop, Ueno, in 41 minutes. If you arrive at Narita International Airport in the morning, you can start sightseeing in Tokyo in the afternoon with time to spare.
Skyliner also features a reasonable fee of 2,470 yen each way (1,240 yen for carriage charge + 1,230 yen for Skyliner charge). Another advantage of Skyliner is that it operates every 20 to 40 minutes, and that there is one train every 20 minutes between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm on both weekdays and weekends.
Although tickets to Skyliner can be purchased after arriving at Narita International Airport, if you use “Skyliner e-ticket” which allows you to purchase the tickets in advance on the Internet, you can purchase each ticket at 2,200 yen, which is 270 yen cheaper than the price you would pay if you purchase it after arriving in Japan. Once you have determined your itinerary, purchase your tickets through “Skyliner e-ticket” before you leave to prepare for your trip!
A new ticket, limited to foreign visitors to Japan, is now available that combines a Skyliner ticket and a ticket for unlimited rides on the subway in downtown Tokyo. It is perfect for sightseeing in Tokyo!
This summer, there was more good news about the popular Skyliner: the launch of the “Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway Ticket.” The “Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway Ticket” is a new service combining a ticket for Skyliner from Narita International Airport to Ueno and a subway pass for unlimited rides. You can choose a one-way or round-trip Skyliner ticket, and either a one-day, two-day, or three-day subway pass.
The combination of a one-way Skyliner ticket and one-day subway pass is 2,800 yen, which is 670 yen cheaper than the total price when they are bought separately. The combination of a round-trip Skyliner ticket and 3-day subway pass is 5,400 yen, which saves you 2,700 yen. *The prices are for adults.
Another appeal of the “Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway Ticket” is that you can get unlimited rides on the subway in downtown Tokyo. The subway system in Tokyo is extremely advanced, it can take you to almost any sightseeing spot in downtown Tokyo, including major downtown areas such as Shinjuku or Shibuya. Moreover, this ticket spares you the trouble of purchasing a ticket each time. The comfort of smooth transportation will make your sightseeing in Tokyo even more enjoyable!
How to purchase and use the “Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway Ticket”
The “Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway Ticket” can be purchased at the “Skyliner Ticket Counters” located in Narita Airport Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. There are staff members available near the ticket counter who will provide guidance in English.
The usage period is calculated using the first day of use as the start date. For example, if you are going to stay overnight in Ueno and start sightseeing in Tokyo from the following day, it is best to use the pass from the second day. To use the pass, just insert the pass into the slot of an automatic ticket gate at each station. Since the pass will come out of the exit slot of the machine, be sure not to forget to take your ticket!
Use the discounted ticket to make your sightseeing in Tokyo even more enjoyable.
Sightseeing in Tokyo can be even more convenient and smooth if Skyliner and subway lines are combined. The following are some tips for doing so.
Make Ueno the base of your sightseeing in Tokyo
If you are going to use Skyliner, it is convenient to stay in Ueno. There are many accommodation facilities in Ueno, as well as various sightseeing spots. In addition, since major sights in downtown Tokyo can be accessed by subway from Ueno Station, you can leave your luggage in your hotel while you go sightseeing. Skyliner trains departing from Ueno directly connect to Narita International Airport, which allows you to estimate the correct amount of traveling time required and to make effective use of your time for sightseeing even on the last day of your trip.
Ueno is a town filled with various attractions; the leafy area called “Ueno no Mori (The Forest of Ueno)” contains sights such as the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, and Tokyo University of the Arts, and it is a nice area to walk around. There are also historic sights to see, including the Ueno Toshogu Shrine and Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden, which is famous for its modern Japanese architecture and garden.
If you walk southward after exiting Ueno Park, you’ll continue on through a busy shopping street with the atmosphere of an old working-class neighborhood. In Ameya-Yokocho (commonly known as Ame-yoko) in particular, all sorts of goods including food items such as crab, tuna, and snacks, clothes, and cosmetic products are lined up in the stores, and store staff call out loudly, “It’s on sale!” or “Now we’re giving a free gift with purchase!” It is the Ame-yoko-style to haggle to get the price discounted from the displayed price. Why don’t you try haggling?
The subway allows you to visit popular spots in downtown Tokyo effectively.
Asakusa, where you can enjoy a downtown atmosphere, a new sight in Tokyo, “Tokyo Skytree,” or Ginza, where the shops of the world’s most prestigious brands stand side by side — in order to effectively visit all these popular sights, which you must visit at least once during your trip in Tokyo, the subway is the best means of transportation due to its accessibility.
How to visit the popular spots
Ueno — ‹Tokyo Metro Ginza Line› — Asakusa[Senso-ji Temple] — ‹Toei Asakusa Line› — Oshiage[Tokyo Skytree] — [Transfer at Asakusa] — ‹Tokyo Metro Ginza Line› — Ginza[Ginza] — ‹Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line› — Akihabara[Akihabara] — ‹Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line› — Ueno
Tourist spots such as Senso-ji Temple or Tokyo Skytree are located within a 5 minutes’ walk from the subway station exits. Information boards are provided in the subway stations, on which platform or transfer guides or exits leading to major facilities are described. You can get to your destinations smoothly if you follow the directions on the information boards. The photo above is an example of information boards in Ueno Station.
Sightseeing with your favorite themes
The subway lines in Tokyo cover the metropolitan area in a net-like fashion. Each area has distinct characteristics, such as an area filled with the atmosphere of an old working-class neighborhood, or an area with many popular commercial facilities, which allows for sightseeing in the area that interests you or with a theme that you would like to experience. For example, if you are interested in shopping, you can look for souvenirs in Nihonbashi where there are many well-established shops, and you can get the latest fashions in Shibuya, the town for young people. In the evening, you can enjoy a meal in Roppongi, while looking at beautiful city lights.
How to visit shopping and illumination sites
Ueno — ‹Tokyo Metro Ginza Line› — Nihonbashi[Nihonbashi] — ‹Tokyo Metro Ginza Line› — Shibuya[Shibuya] — ‹Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line› — [Transfer at Aoyama Icchome] — ‹Toei Oedo Line› — Roppongi[Roppongi] — ‹Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line› — Ueno
Skyliner is my favorite means of transportation for traveling between Narita International Airport and Tokyo.
I came to Japan from the United States for business. Since I was planning to see the sights in Tokyo, I purchased a one-day “Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway Ticket” pass at Narita International Airport. I was able to visit the spots I wanted to visit, including Tokyo Tower, Skytree, Ginza, and Akihabara, and I really enjoyed Tokyo. I used Skyliner to access downtown Tokyo from Narita International Airport; I liked it because it was comfortable, and also because it was fast. I am going to use Skyliner on my way back as well, of course.