Visitors flying into Tokyo will arrive at either Narita International Airport or Tokyo International Airport (commonly known as Haneda Airport). For many years Haneda handled domestic flights and Narita was the main international hub; however, with the opening of an international terminal at Haneda in 2010, both airports compete on level ground. All else being equal, it is preferable to fly into Haneda because it is much closer to Tokyo.
Narita International Airport
Narita International Airport is located in the adjacent prefecture of Chiba, approximately 55km from Tokyo Station. Visitors from abroad will usually arrive at either terminal 1 or 2.
There are two express trains. The Narita Express whisks you direct to Tokyo Station in just under an hour for ¥3,020 (it also stops at Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro). Tickets must be purchased at the ticket counter or one of the machines before you board.
The Narita Skyliner takes about the same time but involves a change at Nippori Station (in total it costs about ¥2,600 to Tokyo Station).
You can also take the ordinary train on the Keisei Line for about ¥1,200 which gets you to Tokyo Station in just over 90 minutes (also involves changing at Nippori Station). Nippori Station is on the Yamanote Line which connects all the major stations of Tokyo.
There are two bus services to Tokyo Station: the Keisei Bus (Tokyo Shuttle) and the Airport Limousine. The Keisei Bus is the cheapest at about ¥1,000. The Airport Limousine is slightly more luxurious and also stops at the major hotels, but costs ¥3,100 one-way and ¥4,500 return (half price for children).
A taxi from the airport will cost ¥25,000-30,000 and takes 60-90 minutes to central Tokyo.
Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport) is 15km from Tokyo Station in Ota Ward. It has facilities to compete with any of the world’s best airports: “Edo Koji”—a line of gourmet restaurants and shops in an area designed to look like Edo—sits on the 4th floor, while the 5th floor is home to “Tokyo Pop Town”, an amusement area which also has an outside observation deck where you can see the planes below.
The Keikyu Line takes you to Shinagawa Station for about ¥400. From there it is 10 minutes to Tokyo Station on the Yamanote Line. There is also the Tokyo Monorail which goes to Hamamatsucho Station for about ¥500 (also on the Yamanote Line).
Airport Limousine runs a bus service from Haneda which costs ¥930 to Tokyo Station (half price for children). The journey takes 30-40 minutes. Buses depart every 30-60 minutes.
A taxi from the rank will cost about ¥8,000 to Tokyo Station. It takes 25-35 minutes.