My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: July 12, 2023
Once thought to be a city too far out of reach, Tokyo has never been more accessible. If you're coming from somewhere far away, you will almost certainly fly into Narita Airport in the neighboring prefecture of Chiba, or into the more centrally located Haneda Airport. But air travel isn't the only way to get to Tokyo. If you're coming from elsewhere in Japan, you have plenty of other options: the shinkansen (bullet train) and other express trains, long-distance buses, and ferries.
No matter which mode of transportation you take, you won't have any trouble getting to and going around central Tokyo, thanks to the impeccable subway system. The subway is arguably Tokyo's most reliable transportation method. Take advantage of the endless lines spanning across the city to get to wherever your trip takes you to. Buy a prepaid Suica or PASMO card to make going through the ticket gates even easier, and check the maps for additional information about traveling within and around Tokyo.
Direct flights to Narita and Haneda are the most common ways to access the country. Once you arrive, you can jump on an express train or Limousine bus that will transport you into the heart of the city. Please check these pages on Narita Airport and Haneda Airport for more information.
Alternatively, you can fly into Kansai International Airport (KIX) or Chubu Centrair International Airport, Nagoya from abroad. These airports are great access points for exploring areas such as Kyoto, Osaka, Ise, and Takayama, before visiting the capital. You can easily take a domestic flight to Tokyo from these two airports, as well as a host of other local airports that are dotted around the country. An increasing number of budget airlines offer fares at very wallet-friendly prices.
The Tokyo International Cruise Terminal started operating in September 2020. The terminal is able to accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world. If you are planning to visit Tokyo during a cruise, there are taxis, trains and buses that can easily take you into the city for sightseeing. Also, the terminal is only five minutes away by car from Odaiba, a popular tourist destination and entertainment hub. For those boarding a cruise, the terminal is easily accessible from Narita and Haneda airports.
The shinkansen (bullet train) is another option for accessing Tokyo from other cities around the country. From Kagoshima in the southern island of Kyushu to Hakodate in the northern island of Hokkaido, a network of sleek and speedy express trains criss-cross the country providing you with a quick and easy travel option to Tokyo.
If you want a more unique experience coming into Tokyo, try coming by ferry. It's best to prepare a plan in advance to make the most of a day near the piers. Take a look at the Walks and Tours section for some ideas. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a Tokyo regular, our itineraries will help you make the most of your Tokyo adventure.
Japan's long-distance express buses offer a cheaper way into the city and across the country. If you're looking to save some money and are used to long bus rides, you may want to consider taking an express bus. They can be more comfortable than you think. Many buses come equipped with electric outlets and reclining chairs. For overnight journeys, there are usually additional amenities such as blankets and pillows. Some bus operators even offer more luxurious options, like privacy curtains and extra legroom. The main departure and arrival points for express buses are the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal, by Shinjuku Station, and Bus Terminal Tokyo Yaesu, by Tokyo Station.