Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Narita layover - time for lunch in Tokyo?

Narita layover - time for lunch in Tokyo?

Feb 9th, 2013, 03:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8
Narita layover - time for lunch in Tokyo?

Greetings. We have an 8 1/2 hour layover in Narita. Would it be realistic for us to try and get in to Tokyo for lunch and make it back to the airport in that time? I understand we'd have to go through customs/immigration, probably take bullet train as well. Just wondering if people think we'd have enough time. If so, any restaurant recommendations would also be greatly appreciated. If not, are there things to do/eat in the airport at Narita that are worthwhile? It would be a Tuesday afternoon. Thank you very much.
LC1 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2013, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,995
You certainly have plenty of time to head into Tokyo, have lunch, and do some exploring. Pick one or two areas that are interesting to you, and head there. A good option is the Asakusa area, an especially interesting neighborhood that includes the Sensoji temple. You could also take a river cruise, as well. Asakusa is easy to reach from Narita -- take the Keisei skyliner train to Ueno, then either walk or take the subway to Asakusa. A good place to eat in that area is Maguro Bito, a conveyor belt sushi spot that offers good quality along with a welcoming environment for non-Japanese speakers/readers.

I suppose you could take the bullet train (called the Shinkansen), but that would be very expensive. Even a very short trip, say from Ueno to Omiya (about 20 miles), costs around $60 round-trip.
DonTopaz is offline  
Feb 9th, 2013, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,056
Or, far faster and easier, just take the bus into central Narita town and visit the Naritasan Buddhist temple complex. It's a marvelous asset - peaceful, beautiful, historic, with wonderful gardens, just minutes from the airport. In front of the temple entrance is a great shopping/eating area with numerous lovely old buildings, markets, shops, cafes. I'm always amazed at how many thousands, maybe millions, of people have layovers at Narita unaware of this treasure just a few minutes from the airport.

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/5886536...7632732039352/
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 9th, 2013, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
There are two companies with express trains to Tokyo, but it is not Shinkansen.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 9th, 2013, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,925
we spent our layover in narita town and quite enjoyed it... the airport also runs some tours from the airport to local areas.. check at the info desk in the lobby.
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 9th, 2013, 08:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8
Thank you! This is all certainly good news. We've been planning our SE Asia trip, and I suppose I am getting a bit lazy in researching these last details. I thought the express (Shinkansen?) was basically the only option (had heard it was expensive), so glad to know there are other options. Thank you all again!
LC1 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 01:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
No, the shinkansen is JR's high-speed rail system in Japan, which for the most part is separate from the "regular' rail system in Japan.

Two train systems go to NRT. JR and Keisei - neither are true highspeed ones. Both have their own "express" trains going into Tokyo. JR's service is NEX to stations like Tokyo Station. Keisei's service is called Skyliner and goes to Ueno.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 03:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Best to have two plans as you may be exhausted. Also, if your flight is delayed or if it takes a long time to clear immigrations (as it often does).

Plan one to come into the city.

Plan two to spend time in Narita city. We just went recently on our way to a departing flight from Narita and were surprised at how charming the city is. There is a famous Narita temple that is worth visiting and plenty of unagi restaurants.
YukariSakamoto is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 08:25 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
I like Don's reco of the Asakusa area and Sensoji Temple.It will definitely give you a sample of the Tokyo scene with a destination that is transportation friendly to your situation. Some options on getting to Asakusa and back include the Keisei Liner, Keisei Limited Express and the JR NEx line + short subway explained in detail here:


So many places to eat lunch in the area. In the Sensoji Temple area there are yatai stalls serving all kinds of Japanese comfort foods with tables set up for you outside to enjoy a nice lunch.

If you plan to stay just in Narita town you can check this page for things to do and how to do them in Narita.


hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,429
I have spent my eight hours in narita several times, and always enjoy it. You can take the short train ride there, walk down to the temple,have lunch, even head out to the shopping mall for a little while if you need some last souvenirs. There are lots of places to eat there too.

One time I was with some friends on the layover. While two of us visited Narita, the others went into Tokyo, where they went to an for a bath, had lunch and wandered around Sensoji.

I recommend you do buy a round trip ticket, so you won't have any issues with lines on your return. Also, keep track of your station and the location of the return airport platforms. This past November there was a lot of construction going ou around the station and we had a bit of trouble finding the correct platforms as there are now two separated stations.
lcuy is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,429
In the post above, it was supposed to say "they went for a bath at a sento (neighborhood community bath), met up with a Tokyo Fodorite, ..."
lcuy is offline  
Feb 10th, 2013, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
I do not have suggestions right now but your going for most amazing experience. All the best!
rosstaylor2440 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2013, 05:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8
Thank you all again for the VERY helpful guidance! We will try and have 2 plans (Narita town and Asakusa), as we probably will be pretty tired. But we are most definitely looking forward to the trip - just a few more days! Thank you, thank you again.
LC1 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:28 PM.