One of the many international airports in Japan is Narita Airport in Chiba. It was built in 1978 and is one of the busiest airports in the world. Most the international flights from Narita contribute a great deal to the tourism industry and economic development of Tokyo in general. In my experience, a terrible airport can destroy any trip business or pleasure so I put together an easy, straight-forward guide to the best places at Narita Airport and how to get around.
Isriya Paireepairit on Flickr
The area of this airport has 3 major terminals and is about 940 hectares. Terminal 1 is for the airlines of Skyteam Association (of which include Vietnam Airlines and ANA). Terminal 2 is for the airlines of One World Association (such as Japan Airlines). Terminal 3 is for the cheaper-priced airlines (LLC).
Due to the far distance between terminals, passengers often reach their departure terminal by free buses. It takes around 5 minutes to commute between the terminals but it takes at least 7~20 minutes to wait for the buses. They connect to Terminals 1 and 2 operating from 5:00 to 22:30 every 7~10 minutes. The buses connecting Terminal 3 and Keisei Narita station operate from 6:46 am and run every 15~20 minutes.
Yamashita Yohei on Flickr
Narita Airport Services:
Emran Kassim on Flickr
Baggage Consignment Service
At Terminal 1 on the 1st floor for departure passengers or 4th floor for arrival passengers. The opening time is from 7:00~23:00.
At Terminal 2 on the 1st floor for departure passengers or the 3rd floor for arrival passengers. The opening time is from 7:00~23:00.
The fee is about ¥300-¥1000 per day, depending on the weight of baggage.
Joey Rozier on Flickr
Currency Exchange Services
At Terminals 1 and 2 on the 1st floor for departure passengers or the 4th floor for arrival passengers. The opening time is from 7:00~23:00.
In both terminals, after completing the check-in and security check procedure, passengers can still exchange their money on the third floor.
Thunder Circus on Flickr
Services for Kids
Even kids can have fun at this airport. Playgrounds are on the 3rd and 5th floor of Terminal 1 and on the 3rd and 4th floor of Terminal 2.
flippy whale on Flickr
Telephone and Wi-Fi devices for rent are on the 1st and 4th floor of Terminal 1 (6:30~21:00) and the 1st and 4th floor of Terminal 2 (6:30~21:00).
koemu on Flickr
Internet service (¥100 per minute) is on the 1st and 4th floor of Terminal 1 and the 2nd and 3rd floor of Terminal 2.
Copy and fax services are on the 5th floor of Terminal 1 and the 2nd and 3rd floor of Terminal 2.
Wanna take home a souvenir minus the tax? Some tax-free Japanese goods shops like ANA Duty Free and Japan Duty Free are on the 1st floor of all terminals.
C Tanti on Flickr
To make your last memory of Japan before you depart amazing, there are always areas used for short-term events to showcase Japanese culture or display Japanese art works.
toyohara on Flickr
It's difficult to introduce all of the restaurants and food stores at Narita because there are more than 100. I'll just focus on restaurants suitable for individual travellers.
Asian Bowl is a family restaurant with both western and Japanese dishes. A meal costs between ¥1000-¥3000.
Tokyo Food Bar serves Japanese style food such as somen, udon, ramen, curry rice and sandwiches. A meal costs around ¥800-¥1200. It's a good choice for travellers in hurry.
Yuichi Sakuraba on Flickr
Bagel & Bagel is a bagel shop with a huge variety sold at reasonable prices (¥160-¥550).
Soup Stock Tokyo provides food combos including soup and rice (¥1000 on average) which are good for both adults and kids.
Gina Lion is a western style restaurant with dishes like sausages, fried rice, salad, pizza, etc. A meal costs about ¥1000-¥3000.
Kaisen Misakiko is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, ¥110 per piece. It's on the fifth floor.
At the terminal 2
Capsule hotels are available on the B1 and 3rd floor of Terminal 2. The price is about ¥3900 per night and ¥1500 per hour. If you want to use the showers, they are ¥1000 for one-hour use. A similar service can be found in Terminal 1.
How to Move From Narita to Tokyo
Kenta Yoshikawa on Flickr
1. Limousine bus tickets are sold on the 1st floor of all terminals and the bus stops are just outside the doors. Because of the reasonable prices (about ¥3000 for a one-way ticket), the buses are foreign toursits and Japanese citizens' favorite choice alike. The buses operate from 6:30 to 20:00 every 30-60 minutes.
2. Shuttle bus is also very popular now and very cheap. Passengers can pay only ¥1000 at the terminal or ¥900 if they reserve online. Late night or early morning buses cost around ¥2000.
3. The train is good for people who carry small luggage and like flexible time. Passengers can buy tickets and get on the train on the B1 floor.
4. Taxi is for passengers who don't have a lot of time and are willing to pay for expensive fares.
I hope this article helps make your trip to Narita Airport easier and more exciting. Your journey to Japan awaits you and Narita is the first step to a great excursion.