Narita Express: Airport transfer with the JR Pass

Narita Express

The Narita Express – also known as N’EX – is the most convenient Tokyo city transfer from and to Narita International Airport, which hosts most of the overseas flights to Japan.

This limited express train service is fast, reliable and punctual, and you can ride it for free with your Japan Rail Pass. Find out all the travel details in this post.

Narita Express is a Limited Express train, provided by JR East. To access the train, the desired seats must be reserved in advance (valid for JR Pass holders as well). You can do this easily at any of the following locations:

  • Narita Airport Stations (Terminal 1 and 2-3)
  • Japan Railways ticket offices
  • Travel service centers
  • Reserved seat ticket machines

Important note: Passengers with no seat reservations will not be allowed to board any of the N’EX trains. Please, make sure to reserve your seat before boarding. Furthermore, all passengers must follow the instructions and seat indications, written on their reservation ticket.

Narita Express trains

Similar to most trains, Narita Express uses a separate railway, which means traffic never blocks it. The train offers beautiful views to and from the city, as the airport is located outside of Tokyo area.

Snack cars inside the trains pass by at regular intervals, offering tasty and affordable Japanese appetizers and drinks. Facilities on the train are well maintained and spotless – in the true Japanese spirit.

Green car interior
Interior of a Narita Express green car – Photo by DAJF @ Wikimedia

Narita Express trains offer luggage space and areas where you can lock your bags. Each separate seat provides a rather large seating area, which can also be used for placing your all luggage just before you. Besides, overhead compartments above each seat are also available.

Narita Express map

The N’EX has two stops in Narita Airport, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2-3. The routes are marked in red in the following map.

Narita Express route map
Narita Express route map (in red) – Image courtesy of Narita Airport

Main stations include:

  • Narita (town)
  • Chiba
  • Tokyo Station
  • Shinbashi
  • Hamamatshucho (connection with Haneda Airport via Tokyo Monorail)
  • Shinagawa
  • Shibuya
  • Shinjuku
  • Yokohama
  • Ikebukuro

Travel times and schedules

N’EX trains take approximately 1 hour to get from and to Tokyo Station (first stop city center), 1 hour and 15 minutes to Shibuya Station and around 1 hour and 20 minutes to Shinjuku Station.

The service operates 27 trains daily, which allows for the regularity and punctuality of the service. All N’EX trains anew their journey from Tokyo or Narita Airport every 30 minutes.

Please refer to the JR East schedules page to check the latest schedules from and to Narita Airport.

Narita Express tickets

There are two types of N’EX tickets: for Standard and Green Cars (First Class, similar to the Japan Rail Standard and Green class tickets). The price for each class is different (detailed below), however, the standard seats are extremely comfortable and spacious

Conditions, costs and seat reservations

All N’EX seat reservations are available for free to any Japan Rail Pass holder.

The airport transfer service is part of the many benefits the JR Pass has to offer. Holders can reserve a seat at any JR ticket office in Narita Airport, before boarding the train and without any additional payment.

Moreover, there is no limitation to the number of times a JR holder can use Narita Express, whereas other transportation cards like SUICA, are not valid for the service.

Narita Express train with Mount Fuji
In the summer, special services connect Narita Airport with the Mt. Fuji area – Image courtesy of JR East

Prices without the JR Pass

For all other cases, the single-trip prices of N’EX are the following:

Terminals 1, 2 and 3 to

  • Tokyo Station – 3,020¥ / 4,560¥ Green Class (GR)
  • Shinagawa – 3,190¥ / 4,730¥ GR
  • Shibuya – 3,190¥ / 4,730¥ GR
  • Shinjuku – 3,190¥ / 4,730¥ GR
  • Ikebukuro – 3,190¥ / 4,730¥ GR
  • Omiya – 3, 840¥ / 5,380¥ GR
  • Yokohama – 4,290¥ / 5,830¥ GR
  • Ofuna – 4,620¥ / 6,160¥ GR

Round-trip ticket fares are usually around 33% off two single trips. Please refer to JR East page for further information.

Original cover photo by Nanashinodenshaku @ Wikimedia

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2 thoughts on “Narita Express: Airport transfer with the JR Pass”

  1. Hi I will be arriving at Narita and going to Tokyo.

    I am enquiring on can I purchase Narita express ticket on line in advance?
    Can I buy the ticket on board the train?
    Or is there ticket machine that I can buy the ticket.
    If I have to get the ticket from your ticket office and I may miss my train. Is there express queue for buying Narita express ticket?

    Thank you for your reply.

  2. Hello Pat,
    The Narita Express tickets cannot be purchased online unless you are a Japanese citizen and have a local bank account.
    Unfortunately, there are no ticket vending machines nor an express queue.
    In all other cases, you will be required to get the tickets from a JR ticket office, because the Narita Express has reserved-only seats, which means that you will book your seat in advance, before boarding.
    Regarding the Narita Express timetable – the trains run every hour.

    Kind regards,
    The JRailPass team

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