Tokyo’s transit has been a nightmare for many tourists. With multiple tourist attractions waiting for you to explore, what would be most efficient way to visit all these places without wasting extra money on your Tokyo transportation? To make things easier, Japan has introduced some transport tickets for foreign travelers traveling from Narita airport(NRT) to Tokyo or Haneda airport(HND) to Tokyo. Here we will recommend you some useful Tokyo’s tickets among them all!
Japan’s railway can be divided into three categories: JR (also known as Japan Railways), Tokyo Metro, and other private railways. For the transportation in Tokyo, there are JR East operated by Japan Railway, Tokyo Metro operated by Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd, and Toei Subway operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation. Then there are some other private railway companies.
Popular subway stations for tourists
What is private railways?
If you are planning to visit suburban areas in Tokyo, you might need to take private railways. Private railway companies usually work with big railway companies, so you won’t need to get out of one station to another when you need a transfer. It’s also called “direct transfer” which means stations are all connected, making it more time-efficient for tourists.
Popular Private Railway Lines
Tokyo Subway Ticket
There are three options when getting your Tokyo Subway Ticket: 24hr, 48hr, and 72 hr. It is valid for the time after first use within the expiry date stated on the back of the ticket, so you could decide when to activate the card. This card is specifically suitable for tourists who arrive late night at the airport because you could buy the ticket when you arrive at the airport, and activate it the next day you start your trip. By doing so you can save hours of time of your ticket for the next day.
WELCOME！Tokyo Subway Ticket (HND Airport to Tokyo)
WELCOME！Tokyo Subway Ticket includes a one-way or round trip ticket between Keikyu Line Haneda Airport International Terminal Station and Sengakuji and unlimited transfer between all Tokyo subway lines, with a valid period that can be selected from 24-72 hours to suit travel plans. It is similar to Tokyo Subway Ticket because it also gives you unlimited access to Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway in a certain period of time. The only difference between them is the access to Keikyu Line. Tourists who wants to get into Tokyo city from Haneda Airport can take Keikyu Line with WELCOME！Tokyo Subway Ticket. Get on the subway from the airport and transfer at Shinagawa Station to JR Yamanote Line then you’ll arrive Tokyo, Shibuya, or Shinjuku Station.
A single ticket from Haneda Airport to Tokyo through Keikyu Line costs around 580 yen or 610 yen. Thus, getting a WELCOME！Tokyo Subway Ticket is clearly a better deal!
Tokyo Combination Ticket – Tokyo Travel Guide
Sometimes you couldn’t arrive wherever you want through subways. Tokyo Combination Ticket allows unlimited rides on Tokyo Metro, Toei Subway, Toei Streetcar (Toden), Toei Bus (except special late-night buses and buses with seating capacity restrictions, etc.), all sections of Nippori-Toneri Liner as well as all JR lines within the Tokyo metropolitan area for one day as stated on the ticket.
Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway Ticket (Narita Airport to Toei Subway Lines)
The Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway Ticket includes one-way or round trip between Narita International Airport and Keisei Ueno Station plus the Tokyo Subway (Toei Subway + Tokyo Metro Subway) Free Ticket (24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours).
If you are landing at Narita Airport and you want to save your time on the traffic, you should consider buying a Keisei Skyliner & Tokyo Subway ticket. The Keisei Skyliner connects Narita airport and Keisei Ueno Station, and it only takes 40 minutes to Tokyo city. You can relax and take a nap on your way to Tokyo city. Highly recommended for people traveling with their parents!
Greater Tokyo Pass
Here comes the winner among all the transport tickets. Ticket holders can get unlimited rides on railways of 12 private railway companies in Kanto area and buses of 51 companies in metropolitan Tokyo. Basically, you can get on any subway in Tokyo except for JR. Besides, you can get on any bus with non-reserved seat. The price might look a bit expensive itself, but after some simple calculation of your transportation expense for a total of 3 days, you’ll find out it is actually a great deal.
Triangle ticket offers unlimited one-day travel on Tokyu Lines in the triangle area linking the fashionable towns of Shibuya, Jiyūgaoka and Futako-tamagawa. It is consisted of 17 stations, an area with plenty of independent coffee shops and grocery stores. If you are looking for a feature tour in this area, this one-day ticket is something you may want to consider.
*Keep in mind this ticket is valid only for the date of purchase.
JR Tokyo Wide Pass
The JR Tokyo Wide Pass is a discounted pass for unlimited rides in Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto area. Valid for three days, the pass is good for unlimited rides using reserved seats on ordinary cars on Shinkansen, limited express and other trains in the valid use area. The only downside for this ticket is not being able to take Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. However, it is still a great option for tourist who want to visit popular attractions like Mt. Fuji, Izu and Karuizawa, GALA Yuzawa, or some other suburban area far away from Tokyo.
N’EX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket (Narita Airport to Tokyo)
The N’EX Tokyo Round Trip Ticket provides round-trip travel in ordinary car reserved seats on the Narita Express. It provides easy access with no transfers. You can get from Narita airport to metropolitan areas like Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Yokohama. Also, this ticket allows passengers to transfer to another JR East train to any JR East station within the designated Tokyo train area.
*Reminder: After exiting a ticket gate, the ticket cannot be used for re-entry.
The Suica is a prepaid e-money card. Compared to normal ticket, Suica will sometimes offer small discount. It is convenient since you won’t have to buy your tickets from the vending machine every time. The Suica can be used not only for JR East trains, but subways and buses as well. Prices include a deposit of 500 yen, which will be refunded after you return the card.
PASMO is the same as Suica, they also offer prepaid e-money card. The only difference is the sales location because it is published by another company.
How to top up?
You can top up your Suica or PASMO card either at a ticket vending machine or a convenient store.
How to return?