The cheapest bus from Narita to Tokyo/Ginza…for only 1000 yen!

There are many forms of transportation available in Japan. Trains, bullet trains, buses, taxis-- they’re all efficient, but some more costly than others. The Shinkansen (bullet train) is Japan’s best and fastest, though can cost roughly 3,000 yen to 10,000+ yen depending on your destination.  

For example, the Narita Express (NEX), the most popular Shinkansen for Narita Airport to Tokyo, costs about 3,020 yen in an ordinary car and 4,560 yen for a green car (first class car). Keep in mind that this is the price for a one way ticket. There’s a discount when you purchase a round trip ticket, which cuts your price by 33%. Let’s take a look, from 6,040 yen to 4,000 yen, not a bad deal right?

NEX ticket prices via

NEX discount ticket prices via

But wait! Don’t buy that ticket yet! Let’s cut that price down even more with the Access Narita bus

The Access Narita Bus

If you’re totally fine with bus rides and sitting for about an hour or a little more, then I definitely recommend the Access Narita Bus.  A one way ticket from Narita to Tokyo/Ginza is only 1,000 yen! This means that a round trip would cost 2,000 yen. That’s a whopping 50% slice off the discounted round trip ticket of the Shinkansen! Awesome right?

The Access Narita Bus, one of the most budget friendly buses around via

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “What exactly are the differences between the two other than price?” As someone who’s taken both the NEX and the Access Narita bus, I’ve made a chart to help compare and contrast the two.

A comparison between the NEX and the Access Narita Bus

Notes about the NEX

  • The website says that they are able to operate during late nights and early mornings, though I believe those times are only as long as the train stations are open. 

  • Roundtrip tickets have expiration dates. For example, some may be valid for only 2 weeks. Be careful of these time frames when buying your ticket! 

  • I think this is a given, but do not lose your ticket! Losing it will cause issues when you try to get through the ticket gate. Also, depending on what type of ticket you have, you may need to present it to the shinkansen officer who checks tickets during the ride. 

More information about the NEX:

Notes about the Access Narita Bus

  • Reservations are not required. You are able to show up without a reservation and pay in cash/passmo/IC Card on the bus. No credit/debit cards. However, it is a first-come-first-serve basis. Whoever lines up first, gets on first!

  • If you do want to make a reservations, you can do so through their website! However… the reservation site is in Japanese only. Getting a friend who understands Japanese would be a big help! 

  • Also, keep in mind that people who do have reservations are able to get onto the bus even if they didn’t come first. Although this only applies for buses bound for Narita, be sure to get there with a good amount of time to spare in case of long lines, those with priority reservations, as well as unfavorable weather conditions that can delay your departure. 

  • You are allowed one luggage to be stored in the bus’s luggage storage space, it must not exceed the size and weight limits, and oversized items are not allowed. 

  • Japan staff is normally careful when handling luggage, but, the bus company is not responsible for any items that are damaged during the trip, so pack carefully. 

  • The late night 1:05 (Ginza) and 1:10 (Tokyo) bus departure is women’s only! The fare for this bus is 2,000 yen. 

 More information about the Access Narita Bus:
And there you have it! Taking the Shinkansen is great, but could taking a bus be better? Happy travels folks!

Angie Rin