The main international airport in Tokyo is Narita Airport (there is Haneda, but that doesn’t really count for New Zealand). Narita Airport is broken up into two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Both Qantas and Air New Zealand use Terminal 2, a map of Narita Terminal 2 shows how to get around the airport.
From Terminal 2, the next point is heading to Tokyo Station. Wikitravel lists a few methods to go from Narita to Tokyo, the main ones being:
- Airport Limousine Bus
- JR Narita Express (N’EX)
- Keisei Skyliner
The Airport Limousine bus costs 3,100 yen ($50NZD), but includes a free day ticket on the Tokyo Metro. There is also a ticket with two days on the Tokyo Metro available for 6,000 yen ($98NZD). The Airport Limousine Bus is expensive, but will take you straight to your hotel in Tokyo, though could take longer than an hour or so.
JR Narita Express (N’EX) costs 2,940 yen ($48NZD), and takes exactly 53 minutes. It takes you direct to Tokyo Station. There is a train station for N’EX as part of Terminal 2. For 3,500 yen ($57NZD), you can get a Suica & N’EX package (see the Suica & N’EX English Guide). Suica is a rechargeable card much like a Snapper card in Wellington, and this package comes with 1,500 yen ($24NZD) preloaded on it. This lets you get around Tokyo without having to buy paper tickets. There’s also a Suica English guide available.
Finally, there’s the Keisei Skyliner. No mucking around with this one, this is a straight train between Central Tokyo and Narita for 1,920 yen ($31NZD). They also have a deal with a trip on the Skyliner and 2 days of the Tokyo Metro for 2,480 yen ($40NZD). This Keisei Skyliner & Metro Pass deal appears really good value, as you’re getting two days unlimited travel on the Tokyo Metro for only $9NZD.
For our trip, I’ve ruled out the Airport Limousine Bus as being too expensive, and so it’ll come down to either the N’EX or the Skyliner. The Skyliner is a good deal on the underground, but I want to use a lot of the JR overground services such as the JR Yamanote line, so it’ll be a toss up.