Narita International Airport, Narita Japan
Narita airport from above After a long trip from Chicago, IL USA, we finally arrived at Narita airport. Virtually all flights from the USA land at Narita. Located 40 miles from Tokyo, Narita has two main terminals known as Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

Nitin G. emailed us to say that quite a few international flights originating from countries other than the USA land at the smaller Haneda airport which is closer to the Tokyo. (20-30 minutes by train) and Yokohama. These flights typically pass through Osaka airport but old hands know that it saves time and money to travel out of Haneda. Thanks Nitin!

Narita Airport
Terminal 2

Terminal 2 is quite impressive with many shops and restaurants. The airport also has video and short stay rooms where you can rest.

Arrival Procedure (in 1998)

See Narita Airport for current procedures

  1. Fill out disembarkment card. This card is usually given to you by your airline flight attendants as you approach Japan. Additional cards are available at the airport. The card contains some basic questions like your name, where you are staying, length of stay, etc. and is easy to fill out.
  2. A shuttle bus takes you from the arrival terminal to the immigration area. At the immigration counter, you will be asked for your passport and the disembarkment card. This check took less than a minute for us.
  3. Walk downstairs to baggage claim and retrieve your baggage (if any was checked in).
  4. Take the luggage to the customs counter. Here a customs agent will ask you a few questions. We were asked for our passports, the reason for visiting Japan and our length of stay. Interestingly, our baggage was not checked at all!
  5. From the custom's counter, you walk through a sliding glass door and you are in the terminal area to get transportation to Tokyo. Currency exchange counters are available here. 

  6. Here is the form used to exchange currency.
You have several options to get from Narita to Tokyo. This includes:
  • Airport Limousine - This was our choice. Comfortable buses that take you and your luggage directly to most major hotels. This is also one of the most inexpensive choices. 2700 yen each ($19.00).
  • JR Trains - The train station is conveniently located in the airport. 
  • Subway - The station is located under the terminal. 
  • Taxies - Very expensive. 
A short wait for our limousine bus...
 We enjoyed great weather during our visit. Here is a view waiting for the airport limousine (bus) to arrive for the trip to Tokyo.

Departure Procedure (in 1998)

See Narita Airport for current procedures

  1. Go to your airline's check-in counter. Depending on your airline, the counter may be in either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. Pay attention as you approach the airport and you will see signs indicating which terminal to use.
  2. Your luggage will be checked with x-ray type machines. In our case, this was done before we got to the check-in counter.
  3. Before going to your gate to board your flight, you will be stopped at a station and asked to pay a Passenger Service Facility Charge. As of June 1998, this costs 2040 yen ($14.68) for each adult and 1020 yen ($7.39) for each child 2 to 11 years old.
Returning back to the airport

Outside view of Terminal 1.

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