Travel Information | Visit Chiba | Latest update:2023/06/06
Tokyo has two international airports for visitors: Narita and Haneda.
Narita International Airport is considered Japan’s gateway to the world, receiving the nation’s largest number of visitors from overseas. It is located outside of Tokyo, here in the countryside of Chiba Prefecture, but has multiple options to take you easily into the city.
Haneda International Airport is located in Tokyo proper, sitting on the edge of Tokyo Bay connected to the rest of the city by multiple train lines.
Both are very convenient, and will put you in close proximity to many exciting sightseeing locations. Here, we’ll introduce both airports, and give you an idea what kind of fun awaits you nearby.
Narita Airport is actually found in Chiba Prefecture, not Tokyo, but with highway buses, express trains, and local lines that all run regularly to and from the airport, you’ll have many options to head straight into the city.
Check here for all your options: https://www.visitchiba.jp/information/narita-to-tokyo-3-ways-to-go/
However, it is worth spending some time exploring Chiba, as there is a lot you may miss if you jump straight into the concrete jungle of Tokyo. Tokyo Disney Resort is even in Chiba if that’s on your itinerary!
Getting started, the areas close to Narita City have some must-see Japanese culture to explore, namely, Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple and the surrounding neighborhood Monzenmachi which is preserved to look very much like it did during the Japanese renaissance in the Edo Period. The narrow streets, tiled roofs, and bustling shops you often see in pictures of Japan can be easily experienced here. The temple itself is also a big draw, being one of the most historically significant temples in the Kanto region.
For more information about what to see and do in the Narita area, please click: Around Narita | Visit Chiba
Haneda Airport opened an international terminal in 2010, and while the majority of international flights still go to Narita, many will find themselves with the option to go to Haneda. If you do fly into Haneda, you’ll find plenty of ways to get around. The Keikyu Line can take you to both inner Tokyo, or Kanagawa to the south (home to both Kawasaki and Yokohama cities). The Tokyo Monorail will zip you straight to the heart of Tokyo where you can hop on the JR Yamanote Line to popular spots like Shinjuku, Shibuya, or Harajuku. Alternatively, you can also go to Odaiba, Tokyo’s premier shopping and entertainment district, all built right on Tokyo Bay.
Chiba too can be easily accessed via rental car from Haneda Airport through the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line Expressway, an incredible undersea tunnel and bridge crossing Tokyo Bay. Once through the Aqua-Line, you’ll be in Kisarazu, which is a city in Chiba best known for its outlet shopping at Mitsui Outlet Park Kisarazu. This area also serves as a starting point for heading south along the coast toward where the mouth of Tokyo Bay opens into the Pacific Ocean.
Your transportation options are stellar from both airports, but if you have the chance to choose, hopefully this information gives you an idea which one will fit your travel goals. Narita for access to more classical Japanese culture, or Haneda for quick access to Tokyo and beyond.