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 a nifty discount.

Quick comparison of transport options from Narita Airport to Ikebukuro

TransportComfortConveniencePriceTimeTransferBooking Link
Train – Keisei Skyliner★★★★☆★★★★☆¥2,7501 hr JR Yamanote at NipporiBook here
Train – Keisei Main Line★☆☆☆☆★☆☆☆☆¥1,4701 hr 40 min + transfer timeJR Yamanote at NipporiNot available
Train – Narita Express★★★★★★★★★☆¥3,25090 minutesNoNot available
Bus – Limousine bus★★★☆☆★★★★☆¥3,200approx 90 min (depends on traffic)JR Yamanote at ShinjukuBook here
Taxi – pre-booked★★★★★★★★★★¥20,000 (per car)approx 90 min (depends on traffic)NoBook here
Taxi – Shared prviate taxi★★★★☆★★★☆☆¥7,150 (per person)approx 90 min (depends on traffic) + wait timeNoBook here
Taxi – Regular taxi★★★★★★★★★★¥27,500 (per car)approx 90 min (depends on traffic)NoNot available

The 4 best ways to get from Narita to Ikebukuro

Take your pick.

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

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 ¥2,740 one way for the Skyliner, plus JR line. You can purchase a skyliner ticket 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.

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Tokyo NRT (Narita) and HND (Haneda) Airport Transfer Low Cost Taxi
This shared taxi service is a cheap option for a door-to-door transfer from the airport. If you're new to Japan, then use this friendly minibus service for a cost-effective and stress-free arrival to the world's most populated city. A standard taxi from Narita airport is usually about $200USD, over four times the price of this shared taxi service! Moreover the ...

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.

Photo by Adriana Paradiso

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.

Best Value Flights To Tokyo

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, unfortunately there’s no service to Hotels in Ikebukuro currently (use to be a great idea if you are traveling with lots of luggage). You’ll need to transfer to the JR Yamanote line, or flag a regular taxi (which will cost an extra ¥2,500 or so) when you arrive at Shinjuku Station.

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.

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