Shinjuku, with its huge variety of accommodations (not to mention dining, shopping, and nightlife…), is an excellent place to base yourself in Tokyo. It also has excellent transport links, for getting around Tokyo, for heading off on day trips to the likes of Mt Fuji and Hakone, and for getting to and from Narita Airport. Here we break down the best options — by budget and convenience — for getting from Narita to Shinjuku, plus tips and money-saving deals.

Quick comparison of transport options from Narita Airport to Shinjuku

TransportComfortConveniencePriceTimeTransferBooking Link
Train – Keisei Skyliner★★★★☆★★★★☆¥2,7501 hr + transfer timeJR 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)NoBook 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

Pro tip: If you’re traveling with large bags, you can ask Luggagent to port them from the airport to your accommodation for an easier transfer.

How far is Shinjuku from Narita?

Narita Airport is about 60km (37 miles) from Shinjuku as the crow flies. Narita is actually in Chiba prefecture, to the east of Tokyo. Meanwhile, Shinjuku is on the western edge of central Tokyo (which means you have to cross the whole city). On average, it takes about 90 minutes to travel between the two.

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Trains from Narita to Shinjuku

As is the case for most journeys in Japan, the train is generally the best way to go. Trains run reliably on time and aren’t subject to the whims of Tokyo traffic. There are train stations in the lower levels of both terminals 1 and 2 at Narita Airport. If you’re arriving at Terminal 3, you’ll need to walk or take the shuttle to Terminal 2.

The best overall way to get from Narita to Shinjuku: Keisei Skyliner

Keisei Skyliner Express from Narita to Tokyo
The Keisei Skyliner runs at 160km/h, or about half as fast as the shinkansen (bullet train) | Photo by

The Keisei Skyliner is a high-speed express train that travels from Narita to Nippori Station (in northeast Tokyo) in just 40 minutes. It costs ¥2,570 one way and you can book tickets here. At Nippori, transfer for the JR Yamanote Line for Shinjuku — a 20 minute (¥200) journey.

Total cost: ¥2,750
Total journey time: 1 hr + transfer time
Pros: The Keisei Skyliner runs every 20 minutes, so there’s never a long wait for a train. It’s a comfy train, with free wi-fi, an accessible toilet, space for large luggage, and you’re guaranteed a seat. Nippori isn’t a large train station so the transfer is pretty easy and straight forward, and JR Yamanote Line trains run every few minutes.
Cons: A transfer is still a transfer, especially after a long plane ride, and the JR Yamanote Line — Tokyo’s loop line — is often crowded.
Tickets: All seats on the Keisei Skyliner are reserved. You can either book in advance or purchase them from the kiosks at the airport train station.

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narita to tokyo
You can purchase tickets at the kiosk in the train station or online | Photo by Chris Kirkland

The cheapest way of getting to Shinjuku from Narita Airport: Keisei Main Line

If you want to halve the costs of the trip, you can take a regular Keisei Main Line train for just ¥1,270. This train follows the same route as the Skyliner, traveling from Narita to Nippori, but is slower and has more stops. Like the Skyliner, trains run about every 20 minutes; however, some trains are faster than others.

Ideally, you want to get a limited express (tokkyu; 特急) train, which does the journey to Nippori in 80 minutes. A rapid (kaisoku; 快速) takes 2 hours and the local (futsu; 普通) takes 2 hours and 10 minutes. Do not get on a Nishi Magome-bound train, as this heads off on a different route after Aoto (and won’t get you to Nippori).

Total cost: ¥1,470
Total journey time: 1 hr 40 minutes on the limited express + transfer time
Pros: Cheap!
Cons: This is a regular train so there is no guarantee of getting a seat and no amenities (like toilets or wi-fi). You’ll have to hold on to your bags (or ship them ahead) as there’s no luggage area (there are overhead racks that can support a small suitcase or a backpack). Limited express trains currently only run in the morning and late afternoon/evening. Also, you have to transfer.
Tickets: Just purchase a paper ticket from the machines. You can also use a SUICA or Pasmo pass.

Pro tip: Check out our complete guide to taking Keisei trains from Narita, which includes detailed info on purchasing tickets, transferring etc with more pictures.

The easiest way of getting from Narita to Shinjuku: Narita Express

Narita Express train from Narita airport to Tokyo
Narita Express trains travel direct to Shinjuku from Narita Airport, no transfer necessary | Photo by

For those with a few extra yen in the ol’ wallet, taking the Narita Express (N’EX) train is a hassle-free way to get from Narita Airport to Shinjuku. It’s a direct 90-minute ride that costs ¥3,250 one way (a round trip ticket works out considerably cheaper at ¥4,070). Check the timetable to see which N’EX trains go to Shinjuku Station — some run on other routes.
Total cost: ¥3,250
Total journey time: 90 minutes
Pros: Like the Skyliner, N’EX trains are comfy and you’re guaranteed a seat. Amenities include outlets at every seat, accessible toilets, and secure luggage storage. Stops are announced on large, multi-lingual signs. And most of all: no transfer required.
Cons: The cost, and also the irregular schedule. Currently there is only about one train an hour that goes to Shinjuku.
Tickets: Purchase tickets online in advance or from the kiosk at the airport train station.

Note: The Narita Express uses Platform 5 and 6, near the New South Gate of Shinjuku Station. The station can be a bit labyrinthine, but it is well marked with signboards.

Pro tip: You can use your JR Pass on the Narita Express train to Shinjuku. However, unless you’re going to be jumping onto the bullet train and starting your cross-country travels the very next day, it’s probably best to save it and buy a separate ticket. Once the clock starts running on your JR Pass, it doesn’t stop, and you wouldn’t want to waste it.

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Alternative: Buses from Narita to Shinjuku

As of June, 2022, Shinjuku is one of only two central city destinations served by “Limousine” buses. | Photo by Gregory Lane

Reserved seat coaches travel from Narita Aiport to Shinjuku for nearly the same cost as the Narita Express: ¥3,200. Like N’EX, it’s a better deal to buy a return ticket, which costs ¥4,500 but must be used within 14 days. Currently, there is also an option for over 65s and under 25s to purchase a one-way ticket for ¥2,000. The journey takes about 90 minutes, depending on traffic.

We generally find the train to be more comfortable than the bus. Some perks of the bus used to be frequent departures and stops at major Shinjuku area hotels. However, the current schedule has been greatly reduced due to COVID-19. Buses currently run only about once an hour and your arrival options are limited to the west exit of Shinjuku Station and the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal (“Busta”).

So as of now the only real perk of the bus is that it picks up passengers directly from Terminal 3. There are also usually some discount schemes available to sweeten the deal, like this one that includes the all-you-can-ride Tokyo Subway Ticket.

Purchase tickets online or from the kiosk in the arrivals hall of any of the terminals.

Taxis from Narita to Shinjuku

If you’re coming off a really long flight — and you can’t be bothered with negotiating the world’s largest urban rail network while suffering from jetlag — then a taxi transfer to your hotel is a very tempting option. This is, of course, the most expensive option. The journey typically takes 90 minutes but traffic is always a wildcard.

Pre-booked taxis

Pre-booked taxis, including shared minivans, are cheaper than just picking up a cab at the airport.

This taxi service costs about ¥20,000. It’s not entirely a bad deal if you’re traveling in a group. Plus you don’t have to worry about getting from Shinjuku Station to your destination or dealing with luggage on public transport.

Not traveling as a group? This shared private taxi costs about ¥7,150 per person. This service stops at most Shinjuku area hotels. However, you may have to wait for up to 90 minutes for all passengers to assemble.

Regular airport taxis

You can also take a regular Japanese taxi from Narita Airport to Shinjuku, but this can be very expensive, so we don’t generally recommend it. The Narita airport taxis are parked outside the arrival terminals and run on a metered fare basis. A fixed fare trip to Shinjuku costs ¥27,500. It’s a good idea to confirm the price with the driver beforehand. It’s also best to take English fluency as a bonus, rather than expect it from the driver.

Transport from Shinjuku Station to your accommodation

Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal in Shinjuku, Tokyo
The Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal is part of JR Shinjuku Station | Photo by

Now, unless you’re springing for a taxi all the way from the airport, you’ll still need to get from Shinjuku Station to your accommodation. Walking is the obvious Cheapo method. You can also take the bus or a taxi.

It’s no longer possible to hail a taxi from the streets in front of Shinjuku Station. Instead, you need to queue up at one of the station’s three taxi pools. The easiest to find, espcially if you are coming on a JR train (either the N’EX or the Yamanote line), is on the 3rd floor of the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal. The bus terminal is connected to the New South exit of JR Shinjuku Station.

There are also taxi pools outside the East exit or the West Underground exit of Shinjuku Station.

On the same floor of the bus terminal as the taxi pool, you can also catch the Shinjuku WE Bus, which costs ¥100 per ride. The red line, which travels every 15–20 minutes (every 24 minutes on weekends and holidays), stops at hotels in Kabukicho and Nishi-Shinjuku.

Shinjuku Tokyo nightlife district at night
Now, go forth and enjoy Shinjuku! | Photo by

Heading elsewhere or looking for more details on this route, including other airport bus transfer options? Have a look at our mega guide on the cheapest ways of getting from Narita Airport to Tokyo.

This list of things to do in Shinjuku might be useful, too.

Heading from Shinjuku to Narita Airport? Simply flip the routes — your options are virtually identical.

While we do our utmost to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post first published in December 2016. Last updated May 2022.

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