long layover in Tokyo NRT airport

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#1
Los Angeles
244 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
After a cruise in SE Asia, I will have a 12 hour layover in NRT airport. I'm wondering how far it is form Tokyo and how realistic it would be to head that way and explore for a bit? All I want to do is try some ramen / Sushi and take some pictures. I saw in other forums that some people did full excursions during 8 hour layovers, so I'm guessing with 12 hours I have more flexibility but I have no idea what travel times or methods to Tokyo would be like. also would I need a visa?

Lastly, if this is possible, any recommendations on places for Ramen or sushi? thanks!
#2
CA
46 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
In your situation, I think taking the Narita Express train from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station is the way to go. The train station is in the basement level once you are in the public area of the arrival hall. You can buy ticket there or at ground level (as soon as you exit from customs, look for the Narita Express desk). You can google Narita Express to get additional details
An alternate mode is to use the Limousine Express (fancy name for a bus transfer service) to go to Tokyo, but here you need to do some research to determine which hotel in Tokyo you want to be dropped off and pick up, since the Limousine Express service operates on a hotel destination basis for price and schedule. In my opinion, this is not what I would use because you also have to factor in the potential for traffic jam depend on the time of the day.
Your 12-hour layover should give you at least 4-5 hours of sight seeing time. I would caution to budget some extra time in case the line for passport control is long.
I found some good ramen place in the Shinjuku area as well as in the main street next to the Asakusa Kannon/Nakamise dori area.
I don't think you can be wrong with sushi anywhere in Japan. Even train stations have good sushi places for my taste.
#3
Los Angeles
244 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by hxhbk
In your situation, I think taking the Narita Express train from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station is the way to go. The train station is in the basement level once you are in the public area of the arrival hall. You can buy ticket there or at ground level (as soon as you exit from customs, look for the Narita Express desk). You can google Narita Express to get additional details
An alternate mode is to use the Limousine Express (fancy name for a bus transfer service) to go to Tokyo, but here you need to do some research to determine which hotel in Tokyo you want to be dropped off and pick up, since the Limousine Express service operates on a hotel destination basis for price and schedule. In my opinion, this is not what I would use because you also have to factor in the potential for traffic jam depend on the time of the day.
Your 12-hour layover should give you at least 4-5 hours of sight seeing time. I would caution to budget some extra time in case the line for passport control is long.
I found some good ramen place in the Shinjuku area as well as in the main street next to the Asakusa Kannon/Nakamise dori area.
I don't think you can be wrong with sushi anywhere in Japan. Even train stations have good sushi places for my taste.

so much great information! thank you so much!!!
#4
Shanghai, PRC / Sete, France
3,957 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Narita Express to Tokyo Station takes exactly 60 minutes each way.
Cost for a one way ticket is 3400 yen per person.

You asked about a visa, but did not tell us which passport you carry.
If it is a US passport, you will get it stamped with a 90 day visa when you go through immigration at Narita airport. At immigration, you will need to show the officer your ticket and boarding pass for your flight leaving Japan.

Alternatively, you could take a local train from Narita Airport to Narita City, which is just 10 minutes away.
Narita City is small, easy to walk around, has several interesting temples to visit, a few shopping centres, and plenty of restaurants.

When you return to Narita Airport you must go through Immigration again before you go to your gate.
#6
1,579 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Clear customs and ask about baggage storage, you can have places hold any carry ons you have so you don't need to worry about them.


I agree on using Narita Express, 60 minutes to Tokyo and 15-20 more to get to Shinjuku. Less than a 10 minute walk to Golden Gai area of Shinjuku and one of the best ramen places in Tokyo - Ramen Nagi. This also puts you in a major tourist area, after eating hop back on the train and in just a couple of minutes you are at Shibuya station, outside you will find the Hachicho statue and the world's busiest intersection.

Plenty of small shops in the Shinjuku and Shibuya areas. You can also step of the train at Harajuku station between Shinjuku and Shibuya and visit the Meiji Shrine, it is about a 10-15 minute walk from the station to the main Shrine, if you just want the entrance it is maybe 5 minutes walk.


Check a web site called hyperdia.com, put in Narita Airport and the latest you want to be back and it will tell you what times you have to catch which trains at which stations.
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