The One about the Narita Express (N’EX)

Back in 1991, the Japan Rail Company (JR East) unveiled the Narita Express (N’EX).

The train is a limited express train service that serves Narita International Airport from major Tokyo stations.  Originally, JR wanted to run a high speed Narita Shinkansen underneath the airport terminal but the plan was abandoned.

But the Narita Express is convenient and the trains are now utilizing the E259 series EMU trains as of 2009.  Service is provided between Narita Airport, Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station and Yokohama Station every 30 minutes.  And it also stops at Shibuya Station in Tokyo but also Musashi-Kosugi Station in Yokohama.

As Narita Express is looked at as the fastest way to get from Narita Express in Chiba to Tokyo compared to the Keisei Skyliner, while one can expect to get from Narita Express to Tokyo Station, those wanting to get to other Tokyo Stations may want to check the schedule or the JR Information Booth at Narita Airport because not all stops are available with each N’EX train.

For example, I arrived to Tokyo at 5:30 p.m. and left the airport around 7:00 p.m., I needed to get to Ikebukuro Station and typically the Narita Express stops at that train station but at night, the next Narita Express train to go to Ikebukuro from Narita Airport was at 9:30 p.m.  Because I had to arrive to check in before 9:00 p.m., I had no choice but to arrive at Tokyo Station via Narita Express and transfer to the Yamanote Line.

Fortunately, the N’EX takes you from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station in only 53 minutes and there is no traffic congestion as it runs on high-speed rail.

While that is not much of a problem, it’s that I had to go through stairs with my heavy luggage and also, you need to go through a good number of stops from Tokyo Station to Ikebukuro Station.  So, ideally, I wish that there was a Narita Express train that would go straight to Ikebukuro Station other than 9:00 p.m.

But it’s the most convenient train to go from Narita Airport to Tokyo or Yokohama and it only costs 4,000 yen roundtrip (2,000 for children 6 to 11).  Just remember that if getting a N’EX ticket is difficult, you can visit a JR information booth to purchase your ticket in advance.  Or if you arrive at Narita Airport, you can get a roundtrip ticket from the JR Booth to save money.  If you have a JR pass and is activated on arrival or departure date, you can use your JR Pass to get a free ticket to ride the N’EX at a JR Information Booth.  And seating is reserved on all cars of the N’EX.

When you get inside the N’EX, just put your train above your seating area or at the entrance/exit luggage area and kick back and enjoy the ride to or from the airport.

For schedules of the Narita Express (N’EX), please click here.

Here is a video of me riding on the Narita Express:


Dennis A. Amith