Let's go to Tokyo!

Transportation

Home
Transportation
Accommodations
Things to See
Map of Tokyo
Tokyo Customs
Practical Tips
About Us

Getting There.

Getting to Tokyo is easier than you might suspect.  A flight from LAX to NRT takes less time than a trip to Paris and if you happen to find a bargain on Singapore Airlines it's the only way to fly (even in coach).  Now you just have to find the bargain!
Singapore Airlines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The following websites sell consolidated tickets for flights worldwide.  You should check them all when looking up a flight because you could find the best bargain on one site to Tokyo and feel satisfied that you can always go back to that same amazing site for a low price but the next time you go, another site will probably have the best price.  A good price from LAX to NRT would be $800-$1,000 (after fees + taxes), and that's probably what you'll find.  Anything under $700 is a ridiculous deal and you should take it right away before it disappears into thin air.  Anything over $1,100 is just average and you can probably find better if you keep looking.
 
Bargain Airfare Links:
 
 
U.S. Passport
 
Don't forget your passport! If you'd like more information on how to obtain your U.S. Passport then click the passport or the following link to the official site - http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html
 
U.S. Passport
Below are the current stats on getting a passport:
 
Processing time - 4-6 weeks
 
Cost - $100 (please note that the cheaper passport card can't be used for international travel)
 
What you need - application (on official site), birth certificate, and two 2x2 photos (you can get them at Kinkos)
 
Where - designated U.S. Post Offices (call 1-800-275-8777 to ask)

Getting from Narita Airport to Tokyo

Narita Airport (NRT) is in a suburb of Tokyo called Chiba.  It takes about an hour to get into town from the airport.  There are a couple of ways to get into Tokyo from Narita.

By Train

Keisei Narita Sky Access 2400 ($24)
As of July 17, 2010 - The Keisei Narita Sky Access arrives every 20-40 minutes (see train schedule below) to take passengers to Nippori Station traveling as fast as 160kmh (99mph) arriving in Tokyo in record breaking  time of 36 minutes, from there you can transfer to the JR Yamanote line and connect to Tokyo Station or Shinjuku station. Tickets can be purchased at the airport, the train station is located a floor below Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, just follow the signs.

You can click the link below for a timetable:
Keisei Narita Sky Access Timetable

Narita Express  (N'EX) 2,940 ($29.40)

The Narita Express arrives every 30 minutes to take passengers to Tokyo Station in 56 minutes, some trains will continue on to Shinjuku to arrive 10 minutes later.  Tickets can be purchased at the airport, the train station is located a floor below Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 just follow the signs.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeXmKv_c93s
 

You can click the link below for a timetable:
Narita Express Timetable

Note: If you're taking a train, please check out "Luggage Delivery" under Practical Tips.
 
By Taxi 20,000 ($200)
Taxi's are expensive in Tokyo. From Narita, a taxi ride costs around 20,000 ($200) and the ride can last 1-2 hours.  The starting rate is 710 ($7.10) and this will take you 2 km (about 1 1/4 mile). The meter then quickly mounts up. At night time be prepared for steeper charges. Between 11pm and 5 am the rate goes up by 20 per cent.

By Limobus 3,000 ($30)
Don't let the name fool you, a limobus is just a bus.  Anyway, buses arrive every 15-20 minutes to take passengers to Shinjuku Station in an hour and a half with good traffic.  Tickets can be purchased through reservations by phone only 011-81-3-3665-7232 (hours are 9a - 6pm Tokyo time = 5p - 2a PST).

You can click the link below for a timetable:
Limobus Timetable

When in Tokyo.

Tokyo Train Station
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

Tokyo Trains, Subways and Monorails:
 
Tokyo has an excellent public transportation system, clean and efficient trains arrive every 2 minutes to whisk you to your intended destination.  Most attractions have a train station just a few steps away, it's usually a shorter walk from the train station to your destination than your typical good parking spot in L.A.  Also train stations are extremely convenient, most have kiosks, vending machines and even malls inside carrying anything you might have forgotten at home.
 
Please note that trains in Tokyo will STOP at midnight and start back up again at 5am, there is no exception. 
 
Here's a short video with some basic information about Tokyo Trains / Subways.
 
JREast, TokyoMetro & Toei Subway:

There are three major train companies that operate in Tokyo:  Japan Railways East, Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway.  JREast operates trains around the city and far into the outskirts.  Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway operate an underground subway system in the inner city that covers a more detailed area.  Together they cover the majority of Tokyo but as a commuter you're charged more if you change lines.  In order to eliminate the guess work with exact transportation costs we recommend getting an all-day ticket.  Your choice of ticket will depend on where you want to travel the most.
 
*Top Recommendation*
Tokyo Free Kippu - 1580 ($15.80)
 
The Tokyo Free Kippu covers JR lines, Tokyo Metro lines and Toei Subway lines within the parameters of the map below.  You'll notice that it covers Nakano station (see accommodations) and pretty much everywhere else you'd like to visit in Tokyo.  This will not cover trips out to Yokohama, Kamakura or Odawara Castle and it will not cover the monorail to Odaiba but $16 a day for unlimited trips around Tokyo is a great price! 
Tokyo Free Kippu
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

Kippu means "ticket".  If you're at the station and want to request this ticket you would say "Tokyo Free Kippu o kudasai" (as in "Tokyo Foo-ree Key-pooh oh koo-da-sigh")  If you want more tickets (for multiple days) you should order them at the same time.  You can hold up your fingers for how many you want and then remember to say "Arigato" (Thanks) :-)
 
Please note that this ticket won't be a bargain every day, there will be days when you might just take a quick trip out and back and you've spent $16 for $10 worth of travel.  In spite of that, the reason we chose this ticket is the sheer convenience of it.  It not only saves you the trouble of buying individual tickets, but your fare won't double because you switched lines and you'll be able to show your pass to an attendant in an uncrowded aisle and because he opens a gate for you, you'll never have one of those embarrassing moments where you get stuck in the turnstyle (inconveniencing everyone behind you) because your pre-paid card doesn't have enough yen, or your ticket is invalid for some reason or your luggage/purse/umbrella got stuck.

Tokunai Pass - 730 ($7.80)
 
The Tokunai Pass only covers JR lines within the parameters of the map below.  It covers Nakano station (see accommodations) and many other sites in Tokyo.  That said, it pretty much limits you to two train lines; the JR Chuo 中央 line (literally middle line but we can call it the central line) that runs across the middle of Tokyo and the JR Yamanote 山手 line (literally towards the mountain but we can call it the circle line) that runs in a big circle around the outside of Tokyo.  While you can get to most destinations within Tokyo using these two lines they're the busiest trains in Tokyo and are therefore usually crowded.  Additionally, if you do find that you'd like to go to Ginza, Tokyo Tower, Azabu Juuban or Roppongi you'll have to pay out of pocket.
 
As with the Tokyo Free Kippu, this will not cover trips out to Yokohama, Kamakura or Odawara Castle and it will not cover the monorail to Odaiba but $8 a day is a good price. 
 
Tokunai Pass
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kippu means "ticket".  If you're at the station and want to request this ticket you would say "Tokunai Kippu o kudasai" (as in "Toh-koo-nigh Key-pooh oh koo-da-sigh")  If you want more tickets (for multiple days) you should order them at the same time.  You can hold up your fingers for how many you want and then remember to say "Arigato" (Thanks) :-)

 
Suica Card is a pre-paid card for use across JR Trains, Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines.  The card costs 500 ($5) and then can hold up to 20,000 ($200).  This doesn't offer you any kind of discount, just the convenience of not having to buy individual tickets.  You'll still get charged extra for switching from one line (e.g. JR) to another (e.g. Tokyo Metro).  If you don't live in Tokyo, it might be difficult to tell how much you're spending and refilling the card at automatic machines might be tricky if you don't know japanese. 
 
*Special Recommendation*
N'EX + Suica - There is a discount package if you combine Narita Express with the Suica card it costs 3500 ($35) for a Narita Express ride + a 1500 Suica card.  So it might be worth it since it's the price of your Narita Express ride ($29.40) + a Suica card ($5), then (for $0.60) you get $15 on your Suica card (which can be used for purchases at stores in train stations as well as for the transportation).  This could be a good bargain for your first day in Tokyo, then maybe buy your Tokyo Free Kippu's for the rest of your stay.  You can find more information by clicking the link at the beginning of this paragraph.

Planning to Travel all over Japan?
 
Japan Rail Pass 28,300 ($283)
 
Multiple Trips around Japan
 
If you're going to stay in Tokyo, but plan to take several trips out of the city, the Japan Rail Pass is a true bargain.  You can only buy it outside of Japan for use with your tourist visa while in Japan.  To make this pass worth its price we would recommend travelling to three or more of the following cities: Tokyo, Nikko, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and Hiroshima.   You'll save a ridiculous amount of money, your japanese friends would be jealous. 
 
Note: On your first trip to Japan, it's probably best to stay in one city.  The culture fluctuates wildly from one region to another and unless you have a month or longer to travel you won't really get a chance to absorb the culture before moving onto your next area.  Japan has a unique way of keeping the outsiders out, and if you're always in a different town then you're perpetually an outsider, you won't get to see as much and you probably won't appreciate it as much either. 
 
Below is the map of area included in your Japan Rail Pass.
Japan Rail Pass
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Please see the prices below, the conversion rate is about 100 yen to a 1 dollar so 37,800YEN = $378.00

Type:
Green
Ordinary
Duration
Adult
Child
Adult
Child
7-day
37,800 YEN
18,900 YEN
28,300 YEN
14,150 YEN
14-day
61,200 YEN
30,600 YEN
45,100 YEN
22,550 YEN
21-day
79,600 YEN
39,800 YEN
57,700YEN
28,850 YEN
The "Green" pricing is for a reserved first class seat and "Ordinary" is for a non-reserved seat.  Ordinary is a perfectly nice seat for long distance travel (better than a coach seat on a typical american  domestic flight).  The First Class travel isn't much more expensive but your only benefit is a slightly bigger reserved seat in a designated car, it isn't the dramatic difference you'll find between a Coach and a First Class seat on a flight.
 
Single Trip outside Tokyo
 
If you're going to stay in Tokyo, but plan to take a single trip out of the city (say to Kyoto or Okinawa) then you're in luck.  Japanese domestic airlines are now competing for your foreign dollar.  You can travel round trip anywhere in Japan for as low as 10,000 ($100).  Below are some links to help you:
 
 
 
Please note that you can only buy these tickets outside of Japan for use with your tourist visa while in Japan.  
 
Other Useful links:
 
 
*JR East Tickets - The 3-day flexible pass for 10,000 ($100) is an amazing bargain if they still have it when you go.  You can take two quick excursions out of Tokyo, say to Nikko and Odawara Castle for less than the price of one of those trips.

counter for wordpress

そうだ 東京行こう!