Take our user survey here!
Explore

Narita or Haneda: Which airport should I fly into?

We compare Tokyo’s two airports, Haneda and Narita, to help you decide which one best suits your travel needs.

By 5 min read 5

Choosing the right airport for your journey to Tokyo can significantly impact your travel experience. Tokyo boasts two major international airports: Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport. In this guide, we’ll compare the two by looking at multiple factors such as accessibility, amenities, flights and price to help you decide which one best suits your travel needs.

The Basics

Let’s break down the basics of each airport and what you should expect.

Narita International Airport

Photo:
Home to over 117 flight routes in and out of Japan.

Located in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, Narita International Airport is typically seen as the primary gateway for international travelers visiting Tokyo. It’s situated approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Tokyo’s city center. Narita’s airport code is NRT.

Haneda Airport

Photo:
An airport closer to Tokyo’s city center.

In Ota, Tokyo, Haneda Airport is the closest airport to the city center, just around 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) south of downtown Tokyo. Haneda’s airport code is HND.

Ease of Access to City

From the airport to your hotel, here’s what you need to know about getting to the city.

Photo:
There are tons of options from both airports into central Tokyo.

From Narita Airport, you’ll be able to opt for limousine buses, as well as trains that provide a straightforward journey into the city. There are two different express train services, the Narita Express N’EX train which stops at all the major stations, including Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Yokohama. There is also the Keisei Skyliner, which goes to Nippori Station where you can hop onto the JR train to get anywhere in Tokyo.

As for Haneda Airport, similar to Narita, you can catch limousine buses to all major areas in Tokyo or opt for the trains, either the monorail or the Keisei line into the city.

If it is down to travel time, Haneda wins the category as it is a much shorter ride into the city.

For instance, compared to the average bus ride of 100 minutes to get to Tokyo Station from Narita, it’s around 25 to 45 minutes. For the budget-conscious, opt for the TYO-NRT ¥1,300  bus from Narita to Tokyo, which takes around 70 to 80 minutes. This bus also heads to Ginza.

It is also easy to flag a taxi at both airports. However, the flat rate fare into Shinjuku from Narita would be ¥25,000 and take a little over 1 hour if traffic is clear, whereas it is only around 25 minutes and ¥8,300 from Haneda.

Verdict

Haneda is the clear winner for those who want to get to their destination as soon as possible and save money while doing so.

Flight Options, Airlines, Prices

Are you flying a cheaper airline or want to splurge on a premium airline? Keep these things in mind.

Photo:
Narita? Haneda? Which works better for you?

Forty-five airline companies fly out of Haneda, with 104 flight routes, compared to 80 airline companies and 117 flight routes from Narita. Narita also offers more long-haul flights than Haneda, and airlines such as KLM and Etihad only fly out of Narita. Japan’s two homegrown airlines, ANA and Japan Airlines, both fly short and long-haul flights out of Haneda and Narita and have the most comprehensive flight schedules for international and domestic flights out of all the airlines active in Tokyo.

However, Narita offers more international flights. Depending on the airlines, some airlines might impose a higher ticket price for Haneda due to the lesser number of flights. Furthermore, most budget airlines operate out of Narita. If you’re looking to save and opt for cheap airfare, Narita will be the better option.

Due to facility fees, you’ll also note that miscellaneous fees on your airplane ticket will include a charge of about ¥2,950 for Haneda and ¥2,460 for Narita, with Haneda fees being slightly more expensive than Narita.

Verdict

This is a tricky one. If you’re flying long-haul from sheer numbers alone, it might be worth checking out the schedule for Narita first, before Haneda. Narita also flies more routes than Haneda. If you are price-sensitive, always check your preferred date and the price difference between the two airports before making a decision. Although the Haneda facility fees are slightly higher, this is not very significant in the overall cost.

Amenities and Options

Whether flying in or out of Tokyo, it’s good to acquaint yourself with the airport amenities that await you.

Photo:
We love a plush airport lounge.

First and business-class lounges are found at both airports. However, the number of lounges at Narita beats Haneda by a long mile. JAL’s first-class lounge at Narita, in particular, is renowned for its sushi bar, where chefs will make your sushi fresh to order. For Priority Pass holders, you can use one of the Narita lounges, whereas Haneda has no option.

For those looking to shower before boarding their flight, both Narita and Haneda offer shower rooms. It will set you back about ¥1,500 for 15 minutes at Haneda and ¥1,050 at Narita. Narita also offers nap rooms, perfect for those spending their transit time at the airport.

Both airports offer a variety of duty-free shopping, including drugstores and the popular Donki mega discount store. There is also a large selection of restaurants for you, although Haneda’s food court is much easier for those who want all their options in one place. However, there are more shops in Narita, including luxury brands. There are observation decks at both as well.

Verdict

If you’re looking to enjoy your time at the airport in a lounge or want more shopping options, Narita is the clear choice. However, Haneda is the winner if you want less walking and your options all in one place so that you won’t be too spoiled for choice.

Making an informed decision

Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong decision. Choose the one that aligns with your priorities and budget.

Photo:
Base your decision on your travel priorities.

Your choice between Narita and Haneda should be based on your travel priorities. Narita may be the better choice if you’re arriving on an international flight, and convenience to central Tokyo is less of a concern. However, if you value a shorter commute to the city, Haneda is likely the more suitable option.

Both airports offer excellent services, so the decision ultimately depends on your travel itinerary and preferences. Consider your priorities, the location of your accommodations, and your flight options to make the right choice for your journey to Tokyo.

Which is your preferred airport to fly into when visiting or returning to Tokyo? Let us know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA - Privacy Policy - Terms of Service

  • Irene Lau says:

    You left out ZipAir airline! This airline flies to Narita, Japan and it is also a cheap flight.

  • Andy Cheng says:

    Alitalia doesn’t exist anymore. Delta left Narita over 5 years ago.

  • Stephen Kentwell says:

    The article does not mention the issue of transferring between the two airports. If in a hurry the direct limousine bus is best. But if you have a few hours as I recently did going from Narita to Haneda, at Narita get the JR regular train (next to the NEX but Y1500 cheaper) get off at Shimbashi and put your luggage in a locker. The Shimbashi-Shiodome-Ginza area is then yours. Then when it’s time to go to Haneda retrieve your luggage and board the frequent kyuko to Haneda from the Asakusa Line subway platform at Shimbashi. Doing it in reverse, get a Narita airport kyuko from JR Shimbashi.

  • Laura Payne says:

    Personally, I like Haneda because of its connecting flights. I live in Shimane Prefecture, and when I return from visiting family outside of Japan, it’s really convenient to go to Haneda, take a shuttle bus to the domestic terminal, and then fly to Izumo Airport. I prefer short layovers when I’m jet lagged from coming back to Japan.

  • Trevor Peace says:

    I’ve arrived and departed at both. But I prefer Haneda for the proximity to downtown Tokyo via the monorail. Faster and cheaper.

Related

Learn

Making Reservations in Japanese

Failsafe ways to book accommodations, tickets and dinners out in Japan.

By 5 min read

Explore

The 10 Best Summer Activities in Hokkaido

Check out our roundup of best summer activities in Hokkaido.

By 4 min read

Explore

10 Tattoo-Friendly Onsen in Kansai

Got tattoos? Worry not. Here is a list of tattoo-friendly onsen in Kansai that will allow you and your ink to enjoy their baths

By 5 min read