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train system question from narita to shibuya

grandkodiak

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im pondering a trip to shibuya but the cost to tokyo int are much greater then to narita, not to mention there are alot less direct flights! so if i arrive at shibuya, i take it theres train access right there on the spot? ive been looking at a few maps, and it looks like from the airport i go to the first station called oshiage, then a train leaves from there all the way to shibuya via the "tokyo den-en toshi" line?

this map seems easiest to read, but compared to nj transit it looks like a spider web after a storm!

http://www.lta.gov.sg/images/Tokyo rail map.jpg

i read the main post about rail that you have to get a rail pass before going to japan? i take it you cant just arrive at a station, state your destination and get tickets like here in the states? shibuya and back would be my only destinations, im on a budget and would only be going to make a delivery of sorts. what do train passes cost in US roughly? i know its about $20 round trip from my house to NYC so thats the only basis I have to go by! ;)

would a taxi be cheaper? rough guestimate looks like about a 50 mile each way at least via taxi... ive never even taken a taxi here in jersey so i dont know what the cost is even roughly!
 

MeAndroo

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When you say Tokyo Int'l, I think you mean Narita. It's the main international airport in Tokyo (at least as long as they keep it from changing to Haneda). Despite it being Tokyo's international airport, it's actually in Chiba, and the trip into the heart of Tokyo where Shibuya is can take a little time. There's bus, train, and car access, but please please PLEASE do not take a taxi. It will be VERY expensive.

If it were me, and I were just going to fly to Narita, go to Tokyo and fly back home, I would NOT get a rail pass. They'll cost you around $300 USD and unless you take the bullet train out of Tokyo or do a ton of local rail travel, you won't hit that in the week the rail pass lasts (there are longer passes for more money).

You can indeed show up and buy tickets at any station. There are maps, often labeled with roman letters in addition to the Japanese, with a bunch of ticket machines for your use.

When I go from Tokyo to Narita, I usually take the Narita Express, a slightly more expensive train (about $30 USD), for the comfort. There are cheaper lines that take a bit longer, but I enjoy the ease of the Express after or before flying. You could take it straight to Shinjuku, transfer to the Yamanote line, and be in Shibuya shortly thereafter.
 

grandkodiak

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ah i saw tokyo international on a map, guess its haneda airport? the picture shows it due south pretty much of shibuya, west and south a bit of narita. ha for all i know its not even there anymore! you know how wonderfull map translations can be :) looking at a map its considerably closer to shibuya, but the cost for the tickets seems to be more then double, and most are 20-30 hour multi connection flights! ack! but these google ticket finders arent very friendly, they pick randomish locations of departure and arrival based on city. i havent looked too far into it, just in the research phase but making the general outline, looks like ill be plane and train hoppin for awhile to get there and back either way! costs an issue but my real concern is simplicity. if i can find a single flight and single train ill be more then happy to wait twice as long then taking 4 different trains and 4 planes and going back and fourth! thats where the stress comes in, especially if you make a mistake!
 

epigene

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Yes, the Tokyo subway/railway system is probably the most complex in the world. To me, the NYC subway system is easy compared to Tokyo.

And, yes, you can head to Oshiage (a subway station) from Narita (Airport) and switch to another line that gets you to Shibuya. Ask at an information desk at the airport for the train that takes you to Oshiage.
I'm not exactly sure about the fare, but you should expect to pay about $30 one way for the train. If you take the taxi, be sure to spend at least $300! (Not sure about the taxi fare since I've never taken a taxi from Narita to home in my whole life! :D )

Otherwise, you can also take the Narita Express train that takes you straight from Narita to Tokyo. Take the train and get off at Tokyo, Shinagawa or Shinjuku stations and transfer to the Yamanote Line (commuter train) that takes you to Shibuya. The train fare is about $30.
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/nex/

ah i saw tokyo international on a map, guess its haneda airport? the picture shows it due south pretty much of shibuya, west and south a bit of narita. ha for all i know its not even there anymore! you know how wonderfull map translations can be :) looking at a map its considerably closer to shibuya, but the cost for the tickets seems to be more then double, and most are 20-30 hour multi connection flights! ack! but these google ticket finders arent very friendly, they pick randomish locations of departure and arrival based on city. i havent looked too far into it, just in the research phase but making the general outline, looks like ill be plane and train hoppin for awhile to get there and back either way! costs an issue but my real concern is simplicity. if i can find a single flight and single train ill be more then happy to wait twice as long then taking 4 different trains and 4 planes and going back and fourth! thats where the stress comes in, especially if you make a mistake!
I don't know what you're looking at, but Haneda Airport is for domestic flights, although there are flights--though very few--between Narita and Haneda. Nearly all international arrivals, especially from North America, are at Narita.

I'm posting additional info on the train from Narita to Oshiage that you were talking about. The webpage is here:
http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/keisei_us/html/o_express.html
It is a rapid-service commuter train, meaning it's not as fast as Narita Express or its rival express train, the Keisei Skyliner, serving between Narita and Ueno/Haneda. Another drawback is that you have to change trains at Aoto to get to Oshiage, meaning you need 2 train transfers to get you to Shibuya, lugging your suitcase(s). The advantage, however, that the fare is about $20.

Because I hate walking around railway stations with suitcases, I'd take the Narita Express or the Airport Limousine shuttle bus service ($30) any day!
I also found the bus service drops you off in Shibuya:
http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/platform_searches/index/2/45
 
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butakun

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Haneda's name is indeed Tokyo International Airport, while Narita is officially Narita International Airport (used to be New Tokyo International Airport until 2004.)
 

Glenski

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Coming to Japan only to visit Shibuya is, pardon my language, very strange. Why?

Land at Narita and you should take the Skyliner train into the city. A taxi would cost you US$200-300.
Land at Haneda and you should take the train or monorail in. Nice friendly English-speaking staff at the circular info stations will help you.
 

inertia

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The simplest way to get from Narita Airport to Shibuya is to take the Narita Express straight to Shibuya. No transfers, no fuss. The Narita Express trains go to different destinations in/around Tokyo, and some of the lines include Shibuya among their stops. There's no need to go to Tokyo or Shinjuku station and take the Yamanote. I live on a train line connecting to Shibuya station so I take this branch of the Narita Express every time I travel.

Just go to the train/bus counter outside the arrivals exit. It's right after going through customs and getting into the regular part of the terminal. Tell the clerk you want a Narita Express ticket to Shibuya and she'll get you a ticket for the right train.
 

epigene

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The simplest way to get from Narita Airport to Shibuya is to take the Narita Express straight to Shibuya. No transfers, no fuss. The Narita Express trains go to different destinations in/around Tokyo, and some of the lines include Shibuya among their stops. There's no need to go to Tokyo or Shinjuku station and take the Yamanote. I live on a train line connecting to Shibuya station so I take this branch of the Narita Express every time I travel.

Just go to the train/bus counter outside the arrivals exit. It's right after going through customs and getting into the regular part of the terminal. Tell the clerk you want a Narita Express ticket to Shibuya and she'll get you a ticket for the right train.
You're right. That goes to show how often I take the Narita Express these days and that I'm not aware of the stops the train makes... 😌
 

Elizabeth

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Depending on where you're staying, another option for a similar price may be the Airport Limousine shuttle bus from Narita that makes direct stops at most of the major hotels in Tokyo. Watch out in rush hour, though. The ones I've taken to the airport have been about 90 minutes.
 

Glenski

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If she's as hooked on you as you are on her, have her meet you in the airport and help find the way.
 
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