Tokyo Narita International Airport
Your gateway to Tokyo — Here's what you should know before heading to Japan.
If you’re bound for Japan, there’s a pretty good chance that your flight will land here. After all, Tokyo Narita International Airport handles nearly half of all international flights to and from Japan and is one of two major airports for Tokyo.
Narita airport and its three terminals are the main hub for Japan’s legacy carriers, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA). It also serves as a hub for the low-cost carriers Jetstar Japan, Peach and Vanilla Air.
Despite its title of “Tokyo Narita Airport,” or sometimes just “Narita Airport,” it is so far from Japan’s capital (60 kilometers east of Tokyo, to be exact), you might wonder how to make your way from out of the surrounding fields to begin your Japan adventure. Thankfully, Tokyo Narita International Airport is as modern as you’d expect a Japanese airport to be. Once you arrive, you’ll be able to connect to free wi-fi and get your hands on pocket wi-fi, SIM cards, and prepaid phones.
Terminal 1, 2 and 3
Each terminal has a different layout and varying shops and restaurants. You can access Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 by using the JR or Keisei train lines very easily. However, to get to it, you’ll need to walk about 10 minutes or use the free shuttle bus to head.
ANA and Star Alliance carriers operate mainly from Terminal 1, which is divided into three sections: North Wing, Central Building and South Wing.
JAL, Oneworld, and Skyteam alliance flights primarily use Terminal 2. It’s also home to Japan’s largest duty-free mall.
Low-cost carriers arriving and departing Narita Airport are serviced by Terminal 3, featuring an indoor track for easy navigation (blue for departures, red for arrivals). The terminal also boasts Japan’s largest airport food court. Terminal 3 was completed in April 2015.
If your Japan itinerary left you with little room to shop, you’ll have plenty of opportunity before departing. Wasabi or sake-flavored Kit-Kat, anyone? You won’t have to look hard to find traditional wares, clothing, household goods, electronics, and, of course, treats from across Japan.
All terminals have convenience stores (7-Eleven in Terminal 1 and Lawson in Terminals 2 and 3), perfect for stocking up on limited edition Japanese snacks. If it’s anime and manga-related goods you’re after, then you’ll need to hit up Terminal 1 for COSPA Akihabara, Hakuhin Toy Park, and Hello Kitty Japan, as well as Terminal 2 for the Pokemon Store.
Make use of your leftover yen at the gachapon (capsule toy) area on the first basement level of Terminal 2 or buy a few drinks at a vending machine once you’ve cleared security. Still, if you have some time before heading to the airport, why not do a quick trip (or a day trip) to the nearby Narita City.
For more on flights and transport in Japan, check out our Japan 101 guide.