The Narita Express is one of the limited express trains linking Narita Airport to the city, operated by JR East. As this is part of Japan Railways Group, there are lots of passes that can be used on the Narita Express, making it a popular mode of transport from Narita Airport to the city by tourists. Using a JR TOKYO Wide Pass, I started my trip off with the Narita Express as part of this very useful pass.
Heading down to Narita Airport Terminal 1 Railway Station.
The concourse of Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station is shared between Keisei and JR East.
For this 6-day Tokyo trip, I had wanted to mix train rides with touristy Tokyo, so I opted to use the JR TOKYO Wide Pass for the first 3 days, and the KLOOK Keisei Skyliner One-way Ticket + Tokyo Subway Ticket (72 Hours) for the following 3 days.
The JR TOKYO Wide Pass is one of the best value rail passes in Japan that cannot be purchased overseas, as compared with other value rail passes that only allow you to purchase them overseas.
As I wanted to use the JR TOKYO Wide Pass immediately, I purchased it from Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station’s JR East Travel Service Centre to start the usage there and then.
Queuing up to purchase my JR TOKYO Wide Pass. English-speaking staff are present before the queue to tick off what you would like to purchase on a slip of paper to pass on to the counter staff for ease of purchase.
Preparing my JR TOKYO Wide Pass and reserved seat ticket for the Narita Express 30.
Once my tickets were settled, it’s time to kick start the train journeys in Japan.
Heading into JR East Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station.
Users of JR rail passes are unable to use the automatic gates.
Instead, use the manual gate with a manned staff which will check your paper ticket.
Heading down to the platform.
The Narita Express usually departs from Platform 1. Platform 2 is usually used by Narita Line, Sobu Line (Rapid) and Yokosuka Line trains.
Queuing up by my car information.
Don’t just board the first train that you see as more often than not, it would be the Sobu Line Rapid Service train and not the Narita Express. While the JR TOKYO Wide Pass is valid on this train, it would take at least 1.5 times longer than the Narita Express and may even involve transfers at major stations en route.
The platform information boards for the Narita Express and Sobu Line Rapid Service.
My incoming Narita Express train with passengers from Tokyo.
My JR TOKYO Wide Pass for use on the first 3 days of my trip.
My reserved seat ticket for the Narita Express 30 to Shinjuku.
Once the Narita Express arrives and all passengers have disembarked, the cleaners go in first to tidy up the train.
The station sign of Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station.
The stopping patterns of the Narita Express and Sobu Line Rapid Service.
The JR East and builder plate of the Narita Express E259 series.
The destination sign of the Narita Express for Shinjuku outside Car 10. Cars 1 to 6 are for Yokohama.
Boarding the Narita Express 30 once the train has been cleaned.
The Ordinary Car interior of the Narita Express.
My seat on the Narita Express 30 from Narita Airport Terminal 1 to Shinjuku.
The legroom on board the Narita Express.
A guide on how to use the Narita Express reserved seat if holding a limited express ticket without seat reservations.
The view from my seat.
Information screens in front of the car displays the route information.
Information is rotated between Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese.
The route map of the Narita Express 30 in Car 9.
JR EAST Free Wi-Fi is available on board, but I didn’t try it out.
The screen will show the progress of the train as it travels along.
Making a brief stop at Narita Airport Terminal 2·3 Station to pick up more passengers.
The luggage area by the door allows you to store your luggage with a bar to protest it from shifting as the train travels and a number pin lock for extra peace of mind.
Charging ports are also available at every seat by the armrest.
Exiting from the Narita Airport tunnels.
The next stop is Tokyo Station, and transfer information is provided.
Stopping at Horinouchi Signal Field which is a loop line on the single-track Airport Branch Line.
Crossing with another Narita Express bound for Narita Airport Terminal 1 at Horinouchi Signal Field.
Passing under the Keisei Narita Sky Access Line.
Splitting away from the Keisei Narita Sky Access Line.
Approaching the main Narita Line.
Curving towards Narita Station.
Passing through Narita Station.
Passing through the outskirts of Tokyo through Narita and Chiba.
Passing under the Chiba Urban Monorail tracks.
Passing through Chiba Station.
Time for a visit to the toilet.
The toilet wasn’t as clean as I expected, but I blame the foreign users of this train.
A small splash-proof sink in the toilet.
Even the toilet paper was folded nicely by the cleaners.
A baby seat is also available in the toilet.
A simple user-friendly lock function for the door.
Outside the toilet, there is a standalone basin area.
A male standing toilet is also available.
Heading to the connecting part of the train to try walking between two trains in motion.
The gangway connecting the rear train with the front train.
Heading to the front train to check out the Green Car.
The interior of the Narita Express Green Car in 2+2 configuration. Hmm, I’m happy with my Ordinary Car then.
The two train sets on this train have identical formations.
Crossing over the Edo River.
Crossing over the Naka River.
Crossing over the Arakawa River with a clear view of Tokyo Skytree as the train approaches Tokyo.
The platform facilities are shown as the Narita Express 30 approaches Tokyo Station.
Making a brief stop at Tokyo Station.
The two trains decouple at Tokyo Station to head on to Yokohama and Shinjuku respectively.
Continuing on my train for Shinjuku, the next station is Shibuya.
Continuing on through Tokyo.
Looking out at Tokyo city.
Making a brief stop at Shibuya.
Getting ready to pick up my luggage and disembark.
The transfer information for Shinjuku Station.
Disembarking from the Narita Express 30. The journey from Narita Airport Terminal 1 to Shinjukuk took 85 minutes. However, travel time may differ by each train as each train has its own precise timetable.
The view of my Narita Express 30 at Shinjuku.
The E259 series branding by the side of the train.
The Narita Express N’EX logo by the side of the E259 series EMU.
The train would form the Narita Express 43 departing from Shinjuku at 4.40pm.
Heading up to the transfer concourse.
As I was holding the JR TOKYO Wide Pass, I could simply transfer to my connecting local train as the portion is covered as part of the usage zone.
Heading down to the Yamanote Line outer loop platform.
Here, I continued with the Yamanote Line to my destination.
Overall, a pleasant ride with the Narita Express despite not being the fastest way to get to downtown Tokyo. That being said, it is covered by the JR TOKYO Wide Pass and a wide variety of other passes unlike the faster Keisei Skyliner, so based on cost and value, it is still one of the popular options to travel to and from Narita Airport. Using JR also allows seamless connections to other lines around Tokyo, so if you are using a regular or discount ticket other than the various popular rail passes, the Narita Express would work out better in terms of cost savings too.