Haneda airport
Photo: 源五郎さん/Photo-AC

Travelling under Covid-19: Getting from Narita and Haneda airports into Tokyo

Overseas arrivals are banned from taking public transport – but there are private cars, train packages and special buses

Kaila Imada
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Kaila Imada
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With the ongoing travel restrictions due to Covid-19, international travellers arriving in Tokyo have limited options getting out of the airport as public transport – including taxis – are not allowed during their first two weeks in Japan. To make it easier and more affordable to get into the city, especially from Narita, the Keisei Skyliner has started shuttling overseas arrivals from Narita airport to Keisei-Ueno Station. A dedicated Airport Limousine Bus is also available to those staying at certain hotels in the city.

As Japan has recently tightened its quarantine rules for foreign residents returning to the country by introducing penalties such as revoking a person’s residence status, this is something you would want to take seriously. Here we have listed several transportation options that you can take to get from Narita or Haneda airport to your home safely for your 14-day quarantine.

How much time do you need to set aside for Covid-19 test, immigration and customs clearance at the airport? That depends on how busy the airport is during your time of arrival. Based on our experience at Narita Airport, you should set aside at least three hours – though one of our team members took four and a half hours from the time the plane landed to finally clearing customs.

RECOMMENDED: Keep up-to-date with the coronavirus situation in Tokyo and Japan here

Keisei Smart Access Service Premium

With the Keisei Smart Access Service, you can board a dedicated Keisei Skyliner train to get from Narita Airport directly to Keisei-Ueno Station. The Keisei Smart Access Premium (from ¥20,000) package, however, also includes a private car transfer from Keisei-Ueno Station to your accommodation within Tokyo's 23 wards. Do note that there are limited numbers of trains per day: the first train departs Narita airport at 9.36am, with the final service at 6.20pm.

For more details including how to book, visit here.

Keisei Smart Access Service + private car hire

For a slightly cheaper option than the one above, you can opt for the regular Keisei Smart Access Service to get from Narita airport to Keisei-Ueno Station (¥4,500, children aged 6 to 12 ¥3,250). From there, hire a private car separately to take you home. Do note that there are a limited number of trains per day: the first train departs Narita airport at 9.36am, with the last service at 7pm. 

There are several English-friendly private car hires such as Diolabs Car Service which can pick you up at Keisei-Ueno Station. Other car service options include Rideways and Pro Drivers. They all require prior reservation.

For more details including how to book the Keisei Smart Access Service, visit here.

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Airport Limousine Bus

The new Airport Limousine Bus shuttles international travellers from either Narita or Haneda airport to one of the designated hotels in Akasaka and Shinjuku. The fares from Narita are ¥4,000 for adults and ¥2,000 for children while it's ¥1,500 for adults and ¥750 for children from Haneda.

Do note that you must be staying at one of these hotels to be eligible for the shuttle bus service. Tickets for the bus are only available through advance reservation. 

For more information and to book a ticket, visit here.

Private car hire

Private car hires from Narita or Haneda airport is the easiest and most convenient option – it’s also the costliest. Expect to pay around ¥25,000 if you’re travelling from Narita into central Tokyo, or ¥12,000 from Haneda into central Tokyo. Do note that some car services tag on a surcharge during off hours or for extended waiting time.

There are several English-friendly car hires available and you should book one ahead of your return to Japan: Diolabs Car Service, Rideways and Pro Drivers. Do note that ride sharing with people from different households is not allowed.

The Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare has also provided a list (in Japanese only) of private car hires that meet the criteria for travelling from the airport into the city. Options are available for both the Kanto and Kansai regions.

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Car rental

Renting a car and driving yourself home is also an option. Do note that you are not allowed to ride along with anyone from a different household. A valid international driving permit is also required for renting a car in Japan.

Car rental companies at Narita and Haneda airports include Nippon Rent-A-Car, Toyota Rent-A-Car, Nissan Rent-A-Car, Orix Rent-A-Car and Times Car.

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