While Ikebukuro doesn’t win prizes in the glamour stakes, as a major transport hub with great shopping, hearty food, and affordable accommodation, it’s a popular base for visiting tourists. To save you time and money, we’ve lined up the quickest, cheapest, and best ways to get from Narita to Ikebukuro.

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.

Quick comparison of transport options from Narita Airport to Ikebukuro

Ikebukuro is about 60 km from Narita Airport. Our top recommendation is definitely the Keisei Skyliner because it’s convenient and fast, although the price is a little high. If you don’t mind taking a little longer the Narita Shuttle is also a great option.

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TransportComfortConveniencePriceTimeTransferBooking Link
Train – Keisei Skyliner★★★★☆★★★★☆From ¥2,48050 min. plus 1 transferBook here
Train – Keisei Main Line★☆☆☆☆★☆☆☆☆¥1,23080 min. plus1 transferNot available
Bus – Narita Shuttle★★★★☆★★★★★¥1,500~80 min.NoneBook here
Bus – Limousine Bus★★★☆☆★★★★☆From ¥3,100~80 min.NoneBook here
Taxi – Pre-booked private★★★★★★★★★★¥20,000 (per car)~80 min.NoBook with Klook or Viator
Taxi – Pre-booked shared★★★★☆★★★☆☆~¥7,000 (per person)~80 min. plusNoBook here
Taxi – Regular taxi★★★★★★★★★★From ¥27,800 (per car)1 to 3 hoursNoNot available

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.

Keisei Skyliner: The fastest option

From ¥2,480 with a discounted Skyliner ticket
50 minutes plus transfers
Book here

Keisei Skyliner Express from Narita to Tokyo
The sexy Skyliner. | Photo by iStock.com/amnachphoto

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 about 50 minutes (though you need to factor in a few extra minutes for transfers), and tickets cost ¥2,570 one way for the Skyliner, plus ¥180 for the JR line. You can purchase discounted Skyliner tickets in advance for ¥2,300.

Keisei Main Line: The cheapest option

80 minutes plus transfers

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 about 80 minutes plus transfer time, but costs just ¥1,230.

Pro tip: Read our guide to taking Keisei trains for more information.

Narita Shuttle: An affordable bus option

Approximately 80 minutes depending on traffic conditions
Book here

Alternatively, you can take the Narita Shuttle bus for a bargain price of ¥1,500 directly from Narita Airport to the West Exit of Ikebukuro Station. Currently, there are 10 services each day, with the first departing Narita Airport at 9:20 a.m. and the last service leaving the airport at 10:20 p.m. The bus stops at all three terminals before speeding off to Ikebukuro.

Limousine Bus: A direct bus option

From ¥3,100
Approximately 80 minutes depending on traffic
Book here

An alternative option. | Photo by Maria Danuco

Another slightly more expensive bus option is the Limousine Bus (not actually a limousine), which drops passengers off at Ikebukuro Sunshine City Bus Terminal as well as the Sunshine City Prince Hotel and the Hotel Metropolitan Ikebukuro. A one-way ticket is ¥3,200, but can be bought online for a slighty discounted ¥3,100.

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Want to see the other airport transfer options that are available? Read our mega guide on the cheapest ways of getting from Narita Airport to Tokyo. You might also want to read up on free things to do in Ikebukuro.

Pre-booked private taxi: The easiest way of getting from Narita to Ikebukuro

Approximately ¥20,000
80 minutes depending on traffic conditions
Book here

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 ¥20,000 is a higher cost but lower stress option. You can book online in advance.

Note: Ikebukuro is part of Toshima Ward, this is in the Tokyo 23 ward area you’ll see listed under drop-off points.

Pre-booked shared taxi: A nice balance of cost and convenience

Approximately ¥7,000
80 minutes depending on traffic conditions
Book here

For those who like the convenience of a taxi but not the price tag, a shared taxi is a great option. This service can be booked online in advance and will drop you right at the door of hotel. However, you will have to wait up to 90 minutes for other travelers to arrive before you can set off, so if you’re impatient you might want to give it a pass.

Regular taxi: The most expensive option

From ¥27,800 per car
2 hours and 50 minutes depending on traffic conditions

Photo by Adriana Paradiso

Regular taxis are sometimes your only option, but be warned that they’re pricey. You can take a non-toll road route for ¥27,800 to save a little money, but it will take close to 3 hours. If you opt for toll roads instead, then you’re looking at ¥33,250 and about an hour and 15 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you take the Narita Express to Ikebukuro?

Unfortunately the Narita Express (N’EX) doesn’t run to Ikebukuro anymore. You could instead take the N’EX to Shinjuku and then transfer to the JR Yamanote Line to Ikebukuro. It would take 90 minites plus transfer time and cost ¥3,220 total, so we don’t recommend this route.

Can you use a JR Pass to get to Ikebukuro?

You could use the JR Pass for the N’EX route above, but we don’t recommend it. It’s better to use your JR Pass for long distance Shinkansen travel to make the most of the pass.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post originally published in December, 2016. Last updated July 2023 by Maria Danuco.

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