Narita vs. Haneda Airports

Old Apr 13th, 2024, 06:28 AM
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Narita vs. Haneda Airports

My husband and I will be traveling to Japan for the first time, in October. Our first stop is Tokyo. Is it better to fly in to Narita or Haneda airport - or doesn't it matter?
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Old Apr 13th, 2024, 06:46 AM
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If there’s no difference in the cost of your flights, Haneda is significantly closer to Tokyo. We took a train directly from the airport to the city and there are other options as well, such as a limousine bus as well as taking a taxi or private driver. To me it was a no-brainer since rhe flights to both airports were the same price.

Returning from Japan, we flew Osaka (ITM) to Narita, and this was a smooth transition (I share this in case you’re flying home from a different city).

Last edited by progol; Apr 13th, 2024 at 06:57 AM.
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Old Apr 13th, 2024, 07:01 AM
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Haneda is a lot closer to Tokyo.
Haneda is a 40 min limo bus ride to Shinjuku. It would be another hour longer from Narita
Haneda is 20 min train ride from the Shinagawa shinkansen station
Haneda to some parts of Tokyo by taxi would not be a bad idea
Haneda has a lot more domestic flights.
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Old Apr 13th, 2024, 02:05 PM
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Haneda is also a much nicer airport with better restaurants and ambience.
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Old Apr 15th, 2024, 01:18 PM
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I much prefer Haneda to get in to the city more quickly.

For Narita, I fly from Chicago with my senior mother, so after that long flight, if we land at Narita after 5-6 pm (which is after dark, as we go in the fall/winter), we've learned to stay the first night at a Narita airport hotel and make our way in to the city the next day. (But that's because of her age, and my inability to sleep on airplanes.) We once took the Limousine Bus after a flight from Narita to Shinagawa, and that added a good 1.5-1.75 hrs on a bus, in the dark, and that extra ride was really tiring and, therefore, unpleasant. Especially, as we were stuck waiting for the tracks to clear at Shinagawa station for 15 minutes with a clear view of the hotel we were trying to get to. Since then, we've stayed at Narita airport hotels, with breakfast the next day, and that's been a much nicer way to start our vacations.

Many travelers will just pop on the Narita Express and get right to their hotel, but I believe it does sort of matter the length of your entire travel day, how energetic/healthy you are, and what time you arrive. Also, as you've never been to Japan before, the airport arrival can feel like one of the more stressful moments of a trip until you realize how easy getting around is in the city.
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