Tokyo enjoys two international options: Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport) and Narita International Airport.
Narita International Airport is actually located 60 km east of Tokyo in Chiba prefecture, and was for many years the only airport providing international air service to the area. While offering the majority of international flight options, its distance from downtown Tokyo means that the first experience foreign visitors arriving to Narita Airport will have of Japan is the long journey (either by train, bus, or taxi) to their hotels.
Tokyo International Airport used to be called “Haneda Airport,” and is often still referred to as such even though the name was changed when international flights were added in 2010. While international flights to/from Haneda Airport are limited to select routes and airlines, it is expanding all the time. Considering the limited selection, and its convenience to central Tokyo, it is advisable to choose a flight to Haneda over Narita where ever possible.
Japan has introduced bio-metric registration as part of the entry requirements for foreigners into the country. In general, foreigners 16 years of age and over must be fingerprinted and have their photo taken as part of immigration landing procedures when entering Japan.
The immigration official will check your passport and disembarkation form and insert the appropriate visa stamp (Landing Permission) inside the passport.
If you are arriving with a Japan visa in your passport, you will be issued a Residence Card (or zai-ryu card) when you enter the country. This card will be made based on the information the immigration bureau has on file from your visa application, and will act as the standard form of identification while you are in Japan and should be kept with you at all times.
When relocating to Japan, it is necessary to fill out 2 copies of the “Customs Declaration” form in duplicate which will allow your personal effects to clear customs smoothly, usually within a week or so after arrival to Japan. These forms are available from the flight attendant inside the airplane. Failure to submit these forms may delay the release of your personal belongings and you will be required to provide additional paperwork.
The customs officer will stamp both forms and return 1 form to you which must be submitted to the local shipping agent when your shipment has arrived as part of the customs clearance process.
Please be careful to follow quota when sending medicines, cosmetics, other over the counter drugstore items and contact lenses for personal use.
Up to 100 kg of rice per year may be imported for personal use. Anything over this amount is subject to duty.
After retrieving your luggage, it is necessary to pass through the customs clearance counter.
Japan has specific regulations which must be followed in order to bring pets into Japan. Preparations which include ISO compliant microchip implantation, blood test and rabies vaccinations must be started at least 6 months before entering Japan and advance notification submitted to the Animal Quarantine Service. Pets coming from a rabies-free area have looser regulations, but also require at least 40 days prior notification.
Additionally, it is important to be aware that procedures vary according to type of pet and failure to follow these Japanese regulations may result in your pet having to endure a very long quarantine during which you are responsible to pay for food and pet hotel.
By taking advantage of any of the Baggage Delivery Services located inside Narita and Haneda airports, you can avoid having to deal with carrying luggage into Tokyo. Baggage can be delivered as soon as the following day for a nominal fee and is recommended when taking public transportation such as the limousine bus or train.
Narita International Airport is the gateway to Tokyo and eastern Japan for many international visitors. Its location in Chiba prefecture, some distance from downtown Tokyo means that the first experience foreign visitors arriving to Narita Airport will have of Japan is the long journey (either by train, bus, or taxi) to their hotels.
There are many options for travel from Narita to Tokyo.
Airport Limousine Bus
The airport limousine service is convenient and economical with many buses leaving throughout the day stopping at major hotels in Tokyo and the Tokyo City Air Terminal (TCAT). Tickets can be purchased from the ticket counter located in the arrival lobby.
JR Local Trains
There are several train lines going into Tokyo and ending at various train stations. Unless you take an express train, be prepared to stop at every station on the way to your final destination which may take up to 2 hours for central Tokyo. The advantage is regularity of service, subway and other train connections and low fares. Please follow signs inside the airport to purchase tickets and board train located in the basement area of the airport
NEX (Narita Express)
This express line has trains going directly to Tokyo, Shinjuku and Yokohama stations. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket counter located in the arrival lobby.
Keisei Skyliner train
An economical service going directly to Ueno and Nippori areas in the northern part of Tokyo. It is possible to change to local train or subway to get to other stations in Tokyo. Please follow signs inside airport to purchase tickets and board the train located in the basement area of the airport.
Because of Narita Airport`s distance from central Tokyo, taxis, although convenient and offering door to door service, are the most expensive option and can cost up to \30,000.
Some popular taxi services have English speaking drivers and offer online reservations.
Online reservation for door-to-door service between Narita Airport and Tokyo.
MK Taxi Meet & Greet Service.
Hinomaru Taxi Service