Ikebukuro may be one of Tokyo’s less glamorous areas, but it’s a solid shopping, business and education district that has decent accommodation and great, affordable grub to boot. That’s what makes it a popular base for visiting tourists. If you need to get from Narita to Ikebukuro, here are the best options—categorized according to price, time and simplicity.
Pro tip: If you’re traveling with large bags, you can have Luggagent port them from the airport to your accommodation for an easier transfer. Cheapo readers get an extra bag for free.
The 4 best ways to get from Narita to Ikebukuro
Take your pick.
Fastest transfer from Narita Airport to Ikebukuro
The quickest option is to take the Keisei Skyliner train from Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station or Terminal 2|3 Station to Nippori Station, then change to the JR Yamanote Line which will take you to Ikebukuro. The ride time is just 48 minutes (though you need to factor in a few minutes for transfers), and tickets cost ¥2,470 one way. You can purchase a Keisei Skyliner ticket online in advance.
Cheapest way of getting to Ikebukuro from NRT
If you don’t mind hauling your luggage around regular trains and a longer journey, you can take the Keisei Main Line train instead, then do the same change at Nippori Station. This will take an hour and 30-40 minutes, but costs just ¥1,220.
Pro tip: Read our guide to taking Keisei trains for more information.
Easier transfer from Narita to Ikebukuro
Our personal favorite is to hop onto the Narita Express (N’EX) train, which is ¥3,250 one way (or ¥4,070 for a return trip) and takes you directly from Narita Airport to Ikebukuro Station in around 90 minutes. It’s a cool, comfortable train that is rarely crowded. You’ll need to check the timetable to see if the Ikebukuro N’EX is running at a time that suits you. Not all N’EX trains go to Ikebukuro.
Pro tip: Ikebukuro Station is one of the busiest train stations in Tokyo. It’s also one of the best places to shop and grab a bite to eat. If you’re hungry when you arrive, head to one of the department stores in the station, or trot over to the attached Lumine Building and take the lift up to the restaurant floors for a range of dining options.
Easiest way of getting from Narita to Ikebukuro
If you’re coming off a really long flight and you don’t care to experience the world’s largest urban rail network while suffering from jetlag, then something like this taxi service for about ¥17,400 is a higher cost but lower stress option.
Note: Ikebukuro is part of Toshima-ku, this is in the Tokyo 23 ward area you’ll see listed under drop-off points.
Another option: Airport buses to Ikebukuro
Alternatively, you can take a limousine bus for about ¥3,100 instead—this is a good idea if you are traveling with lots of luggage.
Pro tip: If you’re staying at the Hotel Metropolitan Ikebukuro, you can take the airport limousine bus directly from Narita Airport to your door. And if you’re staying at the Centurion Hotel Ikebukuro, another popular hotel in the area, you can take the airport limousine bus to Ikebukuro Station and walk from there (or just take the train and walk). It will take about 5-10 minutes.
Want to see the other airport transfer options that are available? Give our mega guide on the cheapest ways of getting from Narita Airport to Tokyo a read. You might also want to read up on free things to do in Ikebukuro.
While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post originally published in December, 2016. Last updated April, 2020.