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ileness Mar 22nd, 2012 09:37 PM

Airporter Bus vs. Narita Express
Thank you in advance to all with experience who can answer these questions... I am wondering... how much of the ride on the narita express is underground..? ... What is the difference in travel time to Ritz Carlton Hotel between the bus and the train plus taxi?

I am troubling over what will be best next week for my family of four which includes two school age children (great travelers) with just on bag each.

I appreciate any input or experience you may offer.

eigasuki Mar 23rd, 2012 05:46 AM

A lot depends on the time of day and how far you have travelled - ie, how fresh you are feeling. There's no doubt that door to door is the easiest option, especially if you have tired children with you. Just buy tickets at the counter which is right opposite you as you come out of customs. Head outside the doors, find the stand for your bus, hand your ticket and luggage to the attendant, take your seats and you're on your way. At the hotel, staff will deal with your luggage. It takes nearly two hours.

With the NEX you will have to proceed to the station, buy tickets, wait for and board the train. The train will take over an hour, then you have to exit the station and find a taxi, all the while hailing your luggage. Most of the trip is overground but it's not especially scenic. (Neither is the bus)

I think you can tell which one I would choose!

mrwunrfl Mar 23rd, 2012 08:43 AM

The Narita Airport website linked to the following bus info for the Ritz (I think you want the "before revision" timetable as the schedule changes on April 1):

hyperdia did not come up with any N'Ex options but showed the Keisei Skyliner to Nippori as options with change to Yamanote Loop, short walk, and then Hibiya line or Oedeo line:

What you are asking about then would be the Keisei Skyliner to Nippori (1200 yen) and then the taxi fare from Nippori to your Roppongi hotel (I have no idea).

mrwunrfl Mar 23rd, 2012 08:51 AM

That limousinebus website lists two hotels in Roppongi. The other one is the Grand Hyatt. The schedule to that hotel has more options than the Ritz. I don't know the distance between the two hotels (maybe it is walkable - or taxi).

mrwunrfl Mar 23rd, 2012 09:07 AM

I chose the wrong departure point in the hyperdia link above. The following is better and shows the Narita Express options:

Looks like your best train + taxi option would be the N'Ex to Tokyo and then taxi. The two trains you would take from Tokyo station to Roppongi take a total of about 10 minutes travel time, so taxi fare might not be a lot.

Like eigasuki, I would take the door-to-door bus, if the schedule works. Second option might be bus to Grand Hyatt and on from there. Third choice would probably be train to Tokyo and taxi. My guess is this list of options is probably from lowest to highest cost.

hawaiiantraveler Mar 23rd, 2012 10:08 AM

The NEX travels above ground 98% of the time from NRT to Tokyo station. The only underground portions are when you are leaving NRT and just before you are pulling into Tokyo Station. There are a couple of stops before Tokyo where it goes underground through the stations IIRC.

For the Ritz Carlton and with your children in tow I would not hesitate to take the Airport Limosine bus. Door to door service with a smile and a lot easier for that hotel than the NEX imho. See here for the limo bus schedules from NRT to the Ritz Carlton.

Don't forget to buy the Limo bus & Tokyo Metro special so everyone can get a one-day Tokyo Metro pass or a two-day pass if you by a round trip ticket.


DonTopaz Mar 23rd, 2012 05:46 PM

Why is it that no one ever mentions how long you might have to wait for the bus (or the train, for that matter)? Last time I looked, the bus to the Ritz runs no more than once per hour (or even less frequently, depending on time of day). So, if you decide you'll take the bus, you might have up to an hour to cool your heels after your flight/immigration/baggage pickup. Not that the NEx is guaranteed to be a shorter wait. It runs about every half-hour, so that can be a wait, too.

I'd suggest taking a print-out of the NEx and bus schedules, then deciding which to take as you pick up your luggage. Taking the NEx and transferring to a taxi is not at all difficult, especially if you have a piece of paper on which the hotel name and telephone number is printed.

I will tell you that the NEx is always on time. Buses to Roppongi can get hung up in traffic during the daytime -- this would be more of a problem if you were leaving Narita in the mid- to late afternoon.

You would not want to walk from the Grand Hyatt to the Ritz with luggage. They're not all that close, and you've got a major street to cross.

hawaiiantraveler Mar 23rd, 2012 11:19 PM

<i>Why is it that no one ever mentions how long you might have to wait for the bus (or the train, for that matter)?</i>

Because we have PATIENCE and are one with our karma neh?

At least that's what AE Nueman might say ;)


kuranosuke Mar 26th, 2012 10:58 PM

i reco taking the limo bus to the rc. i took this exact route last year, and it was very easy.

i've never waited more than 35 minutes for my bus to the hotels i usually stay at. i waited 25 min. for the bus to the rc. its a 90 minute ride, nrt to hotel.

if you took the train, with luggage and two kids, it would be quite a challenge. then when you get into tokyo, you would need to take two taxis(four of you plus luggage) to the rc. way too much work.

buy a round trip limo bus tkt with the tokyo metro pass for 100 yen more. then, if you like sushi, go to sushi zanmai, show them you metro card, and get a anago sushi, free, a 400 yen value. there are two sushi zanmai within 10 min walking distance from the rc. the concg. will help you with the easy directions.

hope its blooming by that time.

enjoy the toilet in your room.

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