A Guide to Transferring Between Tokyo Haneda and Narita Airports

A Guide to Transferring Between Tokyo Haneda and Narita Airports

Whether you are about to visit Sapporo, Okinawa, or some other Japanese city other than Tokyo, Osaka, or Nagoya, and you are arriving from outside Asia, chances are you will have to transfer at one of the two major Tokyo airports – Haneda and Narita.

Depending on what your destination is or where you are arriving from, you might even need to transfer between the two airports.

This article looks at what options you have for traveling between Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita airports, and how much each of them costs and takes.

Before jumping into the details, though, I’ll mention that the most convenient way to get between Tokyo Haneda and Narita airports is by a frequent direct bus which costs 3,100 yen (about 30 dollars).

And, below is a table summarizing the three ways to get directly between the two airports:

MethodCostTimeFrequency
Bus3,100 yen1 – 1.5 hoursApprox. every 15 – 20 minutes
Train1,800 yen1.5 – 2 hoursApprox. every 40 minutes
Taxi30,000 yen1 – 1.5 hoursOn demand

 

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The Two Major Tokyo Airports: Haneda and Narita

Tokyo Haneda airport is located in Ota Ward of Tokyo, about 20 kilometers from Tokyo and Shibuya stations. While between 1978 when Narita was opened and 2010 when Haneda’s new international terminal was built it served largely as a domestic airport, nowadays there are flights out of Haneda to many international destinations all over the world as well.

Tokyo Narita airport, in contrast, is located about 70 kilometers from Tokyo station. And, in fact, it is located outside of Tokyo itself, in Chiba prefecture. Besides the international flights by carriers from all over the world and a limited domestic network of the Japanese full-fare carriers, the airport has also developed into a low-cost airline hub offering both domestic and international flights.

Tokyo Narita Airport

For you as someone transferring between the two airport, however, the main thing to know about is which terminal your flight will arrive in at the first airport and which terminal it will depart from at the other one.

While you should be able to get that information from your itinerary, here’s a quick overview of the two airport’s terminals.

Tokyo Haneda Airport Terminals

Haneda airport has the following three passenger terminals:

  • Terminal 1 (Domestic): Used by all domestic flights operated by the Japan Airlines group and Skymark Airlines. Also used for some Starflyer flights.
  • Terminal 2 (Domestic): Used by all domestic flights operated by the All Nippon Airways group, Air Do, and Solaseed Air. Also used for some Starflyer flights.
  • International Terminal: Used by all international flights.

In case you get off at the wrong terminal, there’s no need to worry as there are two shuttle buses – one connecting the two domestic terminals and another one connecting all three terminals. There is also a walkway connecting the two domestic terminals.

On a side note, within the next couple of years, there are plans to create an international section of Terminal 2 at which point the current International Terminal will become Terminal 3.

Tokyo Narita Airport Terminals

Narita airport has the following three passenger terminals:

  • Terminal 1: Used by all Star Alliance member airlines except Air India which uses Terminal 2, most Sky Team member airlines except China Airlines which uses Terminal 2, as well as by some other airlines including Uzbekistan Airlines and MIAT Mongolian Airlines.
  • Terminal 2: Used by all OneWord airlines, as well as the two airlines mentioned above, and some other airlines including AirAsia X, Scoot, Qatar Airways and Emirates among others.
  • Terminal 3: Used by low cost carriers including Jetstar, Vanilla Air, Spring Japan, and Jeju Air.

Tokyo Haneda Airport

All three of the terminals are used for both domestic and international flights, and they are interconnected with a free shuttle bus. It is also possible to walk between Terminals 2 and 3 in about five or so minutes.

 

Traveling Between Tokyo Haneda and Narita Airports

While there are basically unlimited number of ways to get between the two airports using a combination of buses, trains, and taxis, below are the three direct ways to do so.

#1: Direct Bus Between Haneda and Narita Airports

By far the easiest and most convenient way to transfer between Tokyo Haneda and Narita airports, just as mentioned in the beginning of this article, is using the direct bus service operated by Limousine Bus.

The comfortable buses operate around three to four times per hour during the day (check the timetable) and tickets cost 3,100 yen (about 30 dollars) for adults and 1,550 yen (about 15 dollars) for children. The drive takes anywhere between an hour and an hour and a half depending on traffic.

You can buy tickets for the bus inside both airport’s terminals, and you do not need an advance reservation. Besides the fact that you don’t have to transfer along the way, the advantage of taking the bus is the fact that you can catch it at (and disembark at) any of the airport terminals.

#2: Direct Train Between Haneda and Narita Airports

The second easiest and a cheaper way to get between the two Tokyo airports is by using a direct train connection operated by Keisei and Keikyu companies. Unlike the bus, the direct train operates roughly every 40 minutes, and it costs 1,800 yen one-way (about 18 dollars).

Depending on the exact train you get on, it takes anywhere between an hour and a half and two hours. As such, it’s a fair bit slower than the bus, but it still offers the convenience of a direct connection for almost half the price.

You can search for a the train schedules on Hyperdia. Make sure to check the number of transfers as there are also some itineraries where you have to change trains along the way.

#3: Taxi

The third way to get from Haneda airport to Narita airport or vice-versa without having to transfer is by taking a taxi. However, because of the high cost, and the relatively high convenience of the other two options, you will likely end up using this option only in an emergency (or if you need to be on a private call, and so on).

The taxi ride from Haneda to Narita airport costs around 30,000 yen (300 dollars), and just like the bus ride, can take anywhere between an hour and an hour and a half.

 

Time Needed to Transfer Between Haneda and Narita Airports

As you can see above, even if everything goes smooth, getting between Tokyo Haneda and Narita airports takes at least an hour. More realistically, however, accounting for any potential delays and congestions, you should calculate with at least two hours of transfer time between the two airports.

On top of that, you will need to account for the time it might take you to get off the aircraft of your inbound flight, clear immigration, and pick up your bags, as well as for time to check-in before your connecting flight. In total, I would account for at least three hours to do that.

With that, even though JAL’s minimum connecting time (MCT) between the two airports is 3.5 hours, I suggest you leave at least 5 hours between your flight’s arrival at one Tokyo airport and departure from another. Especially so if you plan to check a bag in.

 

Summary

To sum it all up, in case you are in a hurry and your budget allows it, I suggest taking the bus. If you want to save some money, and have some extra time on your hands, then taking the train is a perfectly comfortable way to get between the two airports as well. Especially so given that they are both at the end of the train line and so you will be able to almost certainly get a seat.

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MethodCostTimeFrequency
Bus3,100 yen1 – 1.5 hoursApprox. every 15 – 20 minutes
Train1,800 yen1.5 – 2 hoursApprox. every 40 minutes
Taxi30,000 yen1 – 1.5 hoursOn demand

25 thoughts on “A Guide to Transferring Between Tokyo Haneda and Narita Airports”

  1. I have a question.
    I will flight from SGN (VN) to HND on JL70, then from NRT to DFW (USA) on JL12 on the same day (connection time: 3 hrs 50 mins)
    When I arrive in Haneda, am I supposed to check out my luggage before going to Narita to catch the connecting flight to USA?
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Tran, yes – you will have to pick up your luggage at Haneda after arriving from Saigon and take it to Narita yourself.

      1. I will have a similar transfer. Would the Japanese authority ask to see a Japanese Visa or would the transfer plane ticket suffice?

  2. Hi Keishi, thanks for the great article! I would also like to ask for you recommendation. I’ll be flying in from SFO, and my next flight out of HND is about 8 hours after my arrival in NRT. I understand that I will need to pick up my luggage in NRT and check in again at HND, but I think I should have at least 4 hours remaining. Do you have any recommendation for places that I can visit during my transfer from NRT to HND? Thanks so much in advance.

  3. Hi Keishi, I have a flight from India to Narita then another connecting flight from Haneda to Canada(YVR), I have applied for the transit visa, Do i need anything else to clear customs?. And if so then is it easy to travel between the two airports.
    Thankyou.

    1. Hi Naman, you should be fine if you have your connecting ticket, passport, and visa. But if you are not sure, check with the Japanese embassy just to be sure.

      As for transferring between the two airports – if you don’t have much time, just take the direct bus. That’s by far the easiest. Just ask at the bus ticket counter for it at Narita and they’ll help you.

  4. Hi Keisha, my question is, my sisters are travelling from Manila to Chicago next month. Their flight will be from Manila to Haneda then from Narita to Chicago..they have 13 hours layover from Haneda to Narita. When they exit from Haneda airport to Narita, do they need transit Visas? and can they get from Haneda airport immigration?

    1. Hi Tess, you’ll have to check with the Japan embassy regarding the visas as it depends on their nationality, etc.

    2. I arrived at Haneda airport by flying from Chicago. And I have to transit in Narita. The staffs at the airport helped me get the transit Visa immediately. They are really friendly.

      1. Hi Zachery,
        Do you mind sharing more information on how to get this transit visa. Did you get it before the immigration or after?
        Thanks

  5. This is my first time to travel that i have a layover in Haneda my problem is i have a knee problem is there someone could help me when i arrived at the Haneda airport..because im travelling alone..tnx

    1. Hi Jean, I recommend contacting your airline beforehand and explaining your situation – that way they might be able to arrange someone to escort you where you need to go.

  6. Brenda Arcangel

    I arrive Narita in 5/30 at 1:25pm and my connecting flight is from Haneda to Okinawa at 5:15pm. Will I have enough time to connect with my next flight by bus?

  7. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. Why not fly the people another 35 miles to their next departing airport NRT on their way to the USA from the Philippines. My wife’s elderly mother is coming to visit us and when buying the ticket I just assumed that since she was wheelchair assisted that there would be someone to be with her the entire trip but it appears that she’s going to have to try to get her luggage somehow and then get on a bus if she can figure out how to pay for it and then get off again, go thru customs and security again and get on another flight to the USA? How backwards is that? Cheap-O Air should be ashamed of selling that kind of scam flights to people who assume that the two airports would have some sort of secure shuttle service between the two airports. Last time I use that company and let me stay away from Japan who probably are in on the scheme to make money off of unsuspecting tourists.

  8. Is a transit visa or needed if im transferring from haneda airport to narita? Haven’t seen any clear answers here. Tyi

  9. I will be travelling from Los Angeles to Haneda and have a connecting flight from Narita. Layover is 5:00 hours.

    Will that be enough time to travel from Haneda to Narita ?

    Does ANA Airline provide for transportation?

    Do I need a VISA if I am USA citizen?

    1. Hi Pam,

      ANA will not provide transportation. The quickest way – which I’d recommend considering you don’t have that much time – is taking the direct bus.

      Don’t forget to pick up your bags at Haneda before continuing to Narita, since you will have to recheck them there.

      As for visa, generally US citizens don’t need visa.

  10. Hi! This December I have a flight from Kansai to Haneda (arriving at 740am) and then a connecting flight from Narita (leaves at 1055am) to Germany. I have around 3 hours 15 minutes to change airports from Haneda to Narita. Can you suggest me the best way to travel in this limited time?

    1. Hi Chantale,

      Are you traveling with checked luggage? Are these flights on the same ticket?

      With this tight connection, your best bet would likely be taking a bus (or a taxi, but that is very pricey). But even then, if your flight is delayed or if there is a traffic jam, the chance of you missing your connection is quite high. If the flight is on time, the bus is on-time, and you get off at the right terminal, you should be able to make it (although it will be quite tight).

      Do you have a way to rebook (or book a new flight) to Tokyo the day before?

      Keishi

  11. Hi
    I have a flight from Dallas to Vietnam.
    I have to flight from Dallat to Narita (arriving at 4:45pm) and then a connecting flight from Haneda (leaving at 1:30am) to Vietnam. I have my checked Luggage
    Layover time is : 8:45 mins
    Do I have to check out my checked luggage or only my carry on luggage?
    Can you suggest me anything to do at night in Tokyo because I have about 8hours to transit ?
    Thank you

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