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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12 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

  3. Hi! Good afternoon. My family of 6 are planning to go to Osaka ( 4 nights), Kyoto ( 2 nights), Nagoya ( 2 nights), Tokyo ( 4 nights). Would it be advisable for us to get the JR Pass? Please help me because I am so confused.

  4. Hi Jorge,

    It will always depend on the kind of trip you want to make. If you plan to stay for long periods within a city, the Japan Rail Pass might not be the best option but if you are traveling around the country and making day-trips from Tokyo or Kyoto, for example, it should pay off. If you want to assess if the pass is the most cost effective ticket for your trip we recommend you to check Hyperdia – he number 1 Japanese online transportation planning tool. It will give you specific prices for each trip so that you can compare the cost to the Japan Rail Pass’ one.

    Have an awesome trip!

  5. My family will be entering Japan at haneda airport and then travel to atsugi.

    What’s the train route to get from haneda to atsugi naval base?

    What’s the train route to get from atsugi to Mt Fuji?

  6. Hi Emme,

    From Haneda airport you can take the Tokyo Monorail, included in your Japan Rail Pass, that will take you to Tokyo city center. Once there you should look for a train that takes you to the closest station to Atsugi Naval Base, however please keep in mind this can be a long trip if you intend to take trains all the way. For futher insight on itineraries and train times we recommend you to check Hyperdia – the number 1 Japanese online transportation planning tool.

    Have a nice trip!

  7. Hello!

    The place I’ll be staying after arriving in Japan will be in Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. I was told that the place is close to the following stations:
    -Ginza station (Ginza Line, Marunouchi Line)
    -Higashi Ginza station (Hibiya Line)
    -Takaracho station (Asakusa Line)
    -Shintomicho station (Yurakucho Line)

    Can you please advise which station is included in the JR pass (if any)? And if not, how can I transfer onto a different transportation system to get to one of the stations.

    Thank you!!

  8. Hi Lee!

    Japan Rail Pass covers lines more than stations (a station may serve several lines). If you are looking for included trains, the Japan Rail Pass covers all JR Group limited express trains, express trains, rapid and local ones. Shinkansen bullet trains are also covered, except of NOZOMI and MIZUHO. Furthermore, the JR Pass can be used on the Tokyo Monorail, the Yamanote line (Tokyo Metro); the Aoimori Railway between Aomori and Hachinohe; the JR Ishikawa Railway between Kanazawa and Tsubata; the Ainokaze Toyama Railway beween Toyama and Takaoka; Narita Express from Narita Airport to Tokyo.

    If you want to look for the best itineraries included in your Japan Rail Pass we recommend you to check Hyperdia paying attention to filters as explained in our Hyperdia guide.

    We hope you have an amazing time in Japan!

  9. Hello,
    I’m in Japan from 27th May (landing at Narita Airport) till 11th June 2017- which makes it 16days.
    The JR Pass is for 14days.
    I’m in Tokyo for 1st 4 days and the last 2 days.
    Day 1 Narita to Asakusa
    Day 2 Planning to go to Fuji Kawaguchiko-machi
    Which is the best recommendation to use the JR pass?
    Thanx
    Suneela

  10. Hello,

    I am visiting from June 5 – 13 and will be staying in Tokyo near the Sky Tower. We are flying into Narita. Besides visiting the city we would also like to go to Kyoto. Would the purchase of the JR pass be best or would purchasing for those areas be more economical.
    Thank you,
    Julia

  11. Hi Julia!

    The Japan Rail Pass gives you access to a wide range of fast-speed, rapid and local trains all over Japan, as well as many bus lines and selected ferry services. It is the most cost-efficient way to travel all over Japan for a limitless number of trips, restricted only by the selection of a time-frame. Choosing between 7, 14 and 21 days of JR Pass validity, you will be able to access any part of Japan and also have the opportunity to enjoy the world-famous Shinkansen bullet-train and travel with 320 km/h. You can get from Tokyo to Kyoto in 1 hour and 40 minutes, making it the fastest way to travel. You should take the Shinkansen Hikari train from either Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station in central Tokyo, and arrive at Kyoto Station. Transfers from Narita Airport to central Tokyo are also included.

    Enjoy your trip!

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