For transportation, expect to pay a hefty sum for your trip from Narita Airport to Tokyo itself.

This would not be your best option. How much does a taxi cost from the Tokyo Narita Int. Airport to Tokyo? Load of money. Fare can start from 25,000Yen and above, depending on the traffic.

Airport Limousine Bus

The Airport Limousine Bus from Narita to Tokyo Station would cost 3000Y for adults and half for children. The trip is going to be at least 80 minutes.


The fastest way of travel between Narita Airport and Tokyo Station is the JR Narita Express (NEX). The one way journey takes roughly one hour, costs around 3000 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass. There are departures every 30 to 60 minutes.

With the Suica & NEX package, available for 3500 yen to foreign tourists only, you can travel by Narita Express from the airport to Tokyo and receive a Suica prepaid card worth 2000 yen (500 yen refundable deposit plus 1500 yen worth in train fares). A round trip version is available for 5500 yen.

The JR Sobu Liner
The JR Sobu Line (Rapid Service) is the slower but cheaper JR alternative to the Narita Express. The one way trip takes roughly 90 minutes, costs 1280 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass. There is about one departure per hour.

For our trip, we decided to use the N’EX as it would be faster and easier for us. So we’d get 2 N’EX /SUICA combos plus roundtrip tickets for Xianelle on Child fare. That means:

(Two-Way) 5,500 Yen X 2 =12,000 Yen
(Two-Way– Child Fare) 3000

Total Cost = 15,000 Yen

This doesn’t include the taxi fare from Tokyo Station to Akihabara. You can actually change lines from Tokyo station and take the JR Yamanote line to Akihabara for free upon using the N’EX but we decided to just take a Taxi which would cost us:

Taxi from Tokyo Station to Akihabara (Two-way) = about 3000 Yen

Tokyo is supposed to be one of the most expensive cities in the world. Planning for an itinerary should always include budget considerations.  Looking at the allotted budget for our trip, it surpasses all our previous trips. I’ll cover the basic costs including what to expect for your stay in hotels, food, transportation, entrances, etc.

Hotels in Japan are expensive. Typical room sizes are considered smaller than your average hotel rooms unless you stay at 20,000 Yen per night hotel category. What you get is a bed and just space to move around. You may not even have enough space to unpack all your luggage content. Tokyoites seem to have a penchant for small spaces. Also, instead of paying a room on a nightly basis, you are charged on a per head basis. 3 star to 4 star hotels would usually charge about 8,000 to 12,000 Yen per head. That means for 2 people, you pay at least 16,000 Yen. Most online hotel websites are listed in Japanese and you can not reserve for rooms more than 3 months in advance. A lot of this is true even for 5 star hotels but they usually have a English site available. You may need to consider that hotels would charge a child a full adult fee if she/he is 7 or above that. So a 2 adult, 1 child setting that you were expecting would translate to 3 full paying adults.

You have other options for accommodation including a stay at  traditional Japanese inns called “Ryokans” (Wikipedia) where you sleep in a house sleep whose wall are divided by thin bamboo/paper sliding doors and you get to sleep in a Tatami Mats (Wikipedia) that you usually see in movies. You also have a common bathing station and get to be served typical Japanese breakfast by the hosts. These Ryokans usually charge higher than a hotel but you may be able to find good rates if you try hard looking for one which charges cheaper.

The next few days would be posts about Tokyo, Japan. I can’t help it as it is where we 3 are headed for this Friday! After months of planning, (see previous post), we started our own countdown at the start of November. Everything fell into place as we got our new passports from the Philippine Embassy in Doha, just in time for my company to transfer our Qatar Visas before we fly. For the Japan Visit Visa we acquired, I talked to the lady at the Japanese Embassy in Doha and was told that even though the old passports are invalid, the Japanese Visas are still valid and there is no need for us to transfer the Visa stickers. I’ve also arranged for AAA Qatar (Arabian Automobile Association) to pick us up on Thursday night since I get free pickup service being a Gold Member. I’ve made a quick review of some of AAA Qatar services on another post. I digress. The flight is at 1 AM, Friday, November 12 and would have a quick stop at Osaka, Japan before taking us to Tokyo. The flight is expected to be 11 hours long. Longer than our usual trip to the Philippines by 2 hours. I guess we have to endure the long flight…as they say, “No pain, No gain”.

We would be arriving at Narita Airport at 7:10 P.M. and hopefully would go through immigration without hassle. A quick note; it would be best if you carry your passports, itinerary (one that you submitted to the embassy or a more detailed one), and hotel booking as you go through immigration just to be safe and be ready for questioning. I’ve asked Mavis to have a rundown of our detailed itinerary so she’ll have an idea of places we are going to.

[mappress mapid=”1″]

After immigration, instead of taking the bus to Tokyo, we would be getting the N’EX and SUCIA package by JR East Railway Company. NE’X stands for Narita Express Train which takes you to the main stations in Tokyo. In our case, we have to stop at Tokyo Station itself to get to our final destination. I’ll tell you where later. In any case, tickets are available a floor below after you exit customs. Fares are as follows:

Ordinary – 5,500 Yen
Green Car – 8,000 Yen

One Way
Ordinary – 3,500 Yen
Green Car – 5,000 Yen

It also comes with a SUICA card which has a preloaded 1500 Yen. The other 500 Yen is meant as a deposit once you return the card. The SUICA card is  a rechargeable smart card used as a fare for trains in Japan as train would basically be the mode of transportation you are going to use while there. By the way, Green Cars are “First Class Cars.

Anyway, the value of the package would really be 7880 Yen if you stop at Tokyo and goes higher if you stop at Yokohama or Shinjuku so you’d at least be saving 2880Yen by using N’EX.

Why N’EX and not bus nor Taxi? Bus takes longer that trains. Taxi? It would probably cost you less than  half of the cost of your airline ticket from Doha to Tokyo, say 40,000 Yen.

The N’EX is supposed to take you from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station in 53 minutes. So we’ll get 2 of the round trip packages. How about Xiane? Another tip for you guys with kids; Kids who are below 6 are free of charge as long as they seat on your lap. For 6 and above, you have to pay 50%. In Xiane’s case, it would be cheaper for us to buy her a separate N’EX card for kids plus we can get her a Child Suica pass which only deducts half of the adult fare for the other trains and metro.

Since we’re arriving at past 9:00 at Tokyo Station, I decided that we just take the Taxi from Tokyo Station to…Akihabara!  Yup, I found an apartment in Akihabara which would be our base for the next 14 days. The taxi is expected to be between 1000 Yen to 1500 Yen. Flag down rates of Taxi in Japan is 650 Yen/700 Yen , I think. It is quite expensive but since we’re going to endure the long trip, I didn’t want us to be carrying and transferring to another train line to reach Akihabara.

Hopefully, we will have things work out that way we planned them and that we won’t get any hassles along the way. I’ll probably make a post on our Tokyo Budget the next time around that other travelers who want to visit Tokyo would have an idea of some costs. Till then!

Tokyo, Japan 2010 Trip

This is our blog of our 14-day trip to Tokyo, Japan! Itineraries, budget, where to go, what to see and what to do!

  • Angie: It's a personal trip. I will be in Manila before the Japan trip and will be back to Doha after a mon [...]
  • xtian001: I am not sure about this and you may have to ask the Japanese Embassy directly. Is this a personal t [...]
  • An jie: Hi. I want to ask if instead of personal bank account (which I don't have here in Qatar), I will hav [...]
  • xtian001: Renato, visit the Japanese Embassy website so you'll know the requirements for you. As for your fami [...]
  • Renato Paglomutan Ilisan: Dear Sir/Madam; I would like to apply for a tourist Japan Visa with my Family on this coming thir [...]

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