Narita Express: Tokyo 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.

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.

Keep in mind that the Keisei Skyliner service, an alternative transportation from Narita Airport to Ueno Station, is also not included in the JR Pass.

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

  1. Hi – I plan to buy the 7-day Japan Rail Pass but I will be staying for 9 days. Here is my rough schedule; arriving Fukuoka Airport with friends for 3 days then I will go to Osaka for 2 days then the rest in Tokyo. Understand that we can choose the activation date of the JR pass, my questions are:
    1. Can I book the Narita Express to go to the airport as I will be leaving from Narita Airport when I land in Fukuoka once I land in Fukuoka without activating the pass? Can I also book the Hello Kitty Shinkansen from Hakata to Shin-Osaka and reserve seats already when I exchange the pass even if I choose to activate it on the 3rd day only?
    2. Can I exchange the pass when I first land in Fukuoka but active date starts on the 3rd day so I can still use it until my last day in Tokyo for the Narita Express?
    3. Is it better to visit Mt. Fuji using this JR pass? If so, I will go on my way to Tokyo, however, we have luggages, are we allowed to bring our luggages with us in and out of the trains in between and is there any storage place perhaps to keep our luggages first given our last stop will be in Tokyo but we just want to visit Mt.Fuji (Hakone or the Lake) just to see the Mt.Fuji?
    4. Can I use this JR pass to travel from Fukuoka to Osaka then from Osaka to Tokyo and then when in Tokyo, to other places around Tokyo?

    Appreciate your soonest advise so I know what type of pass to purchase, am really confused, thanks so much!
    LA

    1. Hi LA!

      You will be able to reserve your seats once your Japan Rail Pass is exchanged, even if you are outside of its validity period. You can exchange your pass and set the activation date anytime within the following month.

      Travellers are allowed luggage on board at Shinkansen bullet trains for no additional cost. There is a delivery service option too.

      Enjoy your stay!

  2. Hello.
    My partner is arriving at Narita Terminal 1 at noon and I am arriving at Terminal 2 at 3 pm. Can my partner exchange the voucher at Terminal 2 after I arrive so we can do it at the same time and make the reservation for the NEX train to Tokyo?
    Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Ava! The Japan Rail Pass be will sold at a higher price and on a trial basis in Japan from March 8, 2018 through March 31, 2019 at major stations and airports. However it is recomended to purchase it from official vendors such as http://www.jrailpass.com to get a better price and to be able to pay in your own currency, plus to avoid long queues.

  3. Hi – I plan to buy the 7-day Japan Rail Pass but I will be staying for 9 days. Here is my rough schedule; arriving Fukuoka Airport with friends for 3 days then I will go to Osaka for 2 days then the rest in Tokyo. Understand that we can choose the activation date of the JR pass, my questions are:
    1. Can I book the Narita Express to go to the airport as I will be leaving from Narita Airport when I land in Fukuoka without activating the pass
    2. Can I activate the pass when I arrive Fukuoka but active date starts on the 3rd day so I can still use it until my last day in Tokyo for the Narita Express
    3. Is it better to visit Mt. Fuji using this JR pass
    4. Can I use this JR pass to travel from Fukuoka to Osaka then from Osaka to Tokyo and then when in Tokyo, to other places around Tokyo

    Appreciate your soonest advise so I know what type of pass to purchase, am really confused, thanks so much!
    LA

  4. Hello. I’m flying in to Tokyo October 9, 2018 @ 4pm. I’m going straight to Kyoto for a few days then coming back to Tokyo as I’m leaving from Narita on October 16, 2018 and will be at the airport around 8am. If I purchase my 7-day starting October 9, will I be able to make use the Narita Express on the morning of the 16th? Also if I’m taking the Narita Express to Tokyo then taking the bullet train to Tokyo which stop should I get off for that?

    Thank you

    1. Hi BO! The Japan Rail Pass validity period is calculated in days, not in hours. Therefore, if you have purchased a 7-day pass and your activation date (when you first use the pass) is the 9th of October, the exact expiration time will be midnight on October 15.

  5. Hi,
    I‘m planing on traveling from Kyoto to Hiroshima and then from Hiroshima to Tokyo. I know that the Rail Pass is not valid on the bulletin train. Are there any trains running or do I have to pay the full price for the bulletin train? Or just an additional fee?

  6. hi
    we have JR Passes and go home tomorrow. please informations about reservation Narita Express. we need to use N’EX 7-7:30AM. Is possible make seet reservation a few minutes before taken Narita Expres and where?

    Thanks a lot for help
    BR
    Jarek

    1. Hi Jarek!

      As specified in this article, Japan Rail Pass holders can reserve a seat at any JR ticket office in Narita Airport, before boarding the train and without any additional payment. 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

      Happy travels!

  7. Hi, we will go to Japan on May 23-26. Is the Japan Rail Pass sufficient to go around Tokyo and nearby areas? or is there other cheaper tickets because we will be there for 4 days only?

    Thank you.

  8. Hello,
    I’m hoping you could help me out with a few questions. I’ll be in Japan for 10 days, arriving in NRT, and going to Osaka, for 3 days, Kyoto for 3 days and spending the last 4 days in Tokyo.

    1) Will a 7 day pass be sufficient? Are there passes I can purchase to cover my last 3 – 4 days in Tokyo without having to buy the 14 day JR Pass?
    2) I will be ordering my pass online, but exchanging the voucher at the airport. Is this possible? Do i need to reserve my seat on the NRT Express after I pick up my pass?

    Thanks
    Imas

    1. Hi Imas!

      Should you want to purchase a 7-day Japan Rail Pass, you can make use of a PASMO or SUICA Cards to move around Tokyo. That would be good since the pass is more cost effective the more you travel so if you cover the longest distances with the pass you can save money by purchasing a cheaper card for the days you don’t need to travel long distances.

      As specified in this article, all N’EX seat reservations are available for free to any Japan Rail Pass holder. Holders can reserve a seat at any JR ticket office in Narita Airport, before boarding the train and without any additional payment.

      We hope you have an amazing time in the land of the rising sun!

  9. Hello,
    We are planning to go on 9 April from Tokyo to Kawaguichi-ko, and the next day leave Kawaguichi-ko to Kyoto. May I ask you what would be the most effective train route from Tokyo to Kawaguichi-ko and from Kawaguichi-ko to Kyoto? Thanks!

  10. Regarding the activation of Japan Rail Pass, after exchange of the temporary voucher to the Jr ticket office in the airport can I immediately use my JR pass on that day? I wanted to use it when I arrive in airport to go to Shinjuku?

  11. I’ll be coming in from Osaka but my outbound would be Narita. If I purchase my 7-day starting June 13, will I be able to make use the Narita express on the morning of the 20th?

    1. Hi Patricia!

      The Japan Rail Pass validity period is calculated in days, not in hours. Therefore, if you have purchased a 7-day pass and your activation date (when you first use the pass) is the 13th of June, the exact expiration time will be midnight on June 19. Therefore you would not be able to use the pass on the morning of June 20th.

      Enjoy your stay!

  12. We will travel to Japan in May and arrive at Narita about 4:30 pm. We will purchase the voucher online and exchange for the JR Pass.

    1. Please advice of train stations and lines from Narita airport to the Azabu Juban station.

    2. Please advice of train stations and lines from Azabu Juban to Ashikaga flower park.

    3. Please advice of train stations and lines from Azabu Juban to Hitsujiyama Park in Chichibu.

    4. Please advice of train stations and lines from Azabu Juban station to Shin-Fuji station of the Tokaido Shinkansen line.

    5. Please advice of train stations and lines from Shin-Fuji to the Kyoto station of the Tokaido line.

    6. Please advice of train stations and lines from Kyoto station to Osaka, near the Osaka Castle.

  13. I will be in Japan March 14-28. However, I would like to purchase the JR pass for 7-days (from March 21-27) because those are the days I will be travelling round trip between Tokyo to Kyoto on the Shinkansen. My question is, if I purchase the JR pass for March 21-27, can I still use the Narita Express on March 14 and 28 to/from the Airport? Or is the NE’X by JR pass only inclusive of those 7 days?

    Thanks,
    Johnny

    1. Hi Johnny!

      Your pass will only be valid during your selected dates. That is, if you are travelling with a 7-day Japan Rail Pass and intend to use it from 21st March to 27th, you won’t be able to take any transportation with the pass outside those days. Should you need to take the Narita Express outside the validity period, you will need to pay for it separately.

      We hope you have an amazing trip!

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