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Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

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fc
Portland, Oregon
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Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

Our flight from Canada will land at Narita around 4.30 p.m. I estimate that health checks, deplaning, and immigration/customs will take at least two hours. Currency exchange, JR pass exchange, and picking up tourist brochures will add another hour. The earliest that we could leave the airport would be 7.30 p.m.

We are scheduled to go to Kyoto early next morning on the bullet train. Our choices after leaving the airport would be (a) Overnight at a Narita hotel and go to the Tokyo station early next morning (b) Check in to a Tokyo hotel for the night.

The advantages of Narita overnight are that Narita hotels are cheaper (Hilton/Holiday Inn) and we can use the JR pass to get to Tokyo on a regular JR train and save the cost of the Airport Limo bus. The disadvantage would be taking two big suitcases on a crowded commuter JR train during the morning rush hour (Narita to Tokyo) the next day.

Any feedback/advice would be highly appreciated.

Thank you,

Fenton.

Honolulu, Hawaii
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1. Re: Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

I would avoid the cost of a night in Narita and go directly to Kyoto, assuming that you have no desire to stop in Tokyo. The health checks should be over, depending when you leave, so your times are off by at least an hour. Forget the brochures and get on the Nex / Shinkansen to Kyoto.

Toronto
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2. Re: Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

Clearing custom, immigation and pick up luggages will takes about 45minutes, 15 minutes to exchange JR Pass, or use the suica and Narita express discount ticket to give you an extra day of JR Pass, stay at Tokyo is not a bad idea. Also depends on what time you leave for Kyoto the next day, it takes less than 3 hours to go to Kyoto. Be aware that you may suffer from jetlag and get up early, so you will have a morning in Tokyo before leaving for Kyoto.

Tokyo
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3. Re: Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

I might suggest you to stay overnight in Shinagawa in Tokyo where many of the narita Express and all the Kyoto bound Shinkansen trains stop. Trying to make it to Kyoto on the day of arrival in Japan sounds very exhausting. Take a good rest in Tokyo at that night, and head to Kyoto refreshed the following morning.

Suica and NEX would be a good deal to get to Tokyo (Shinagawa) from NRT.

…blogspot.com/2008/07/narita-express-to-toky…

You can use the remaining suica credit when you return to Tokyo.

tokyo
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
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4. Re: Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

If you did decide to overnight in Narita, you could always headback to the aiport in the morning, then take the JR Narita Express Train to Tokyo or Shinagawa Station therefor not having to ride the regular JR commuter train from Narita completely.

Those Narita Hotels usually have free shuttle's to the Airport.

Guildford, United...
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5. Re: Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

Don't know about the dreaded pig flu but it has never taken me more than 30 mins to clear Narita. Have stayed in a number of hotels at Narita, cheap compared to Tokyo but all shabby and fourth rate, so I would go to Tokyo. Don't go straight through to Kyoto unless you are certain that you will not be exhausted after the flight. The only time I did it I thought that I was going to die!

tokyo
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
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6. Re: Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

Usually that is the case, however due to the swine flu flights from the US and Mexico are subject to inspection from health inspectors, eg, inspectors board the planes at the gate and go through, this has caused some delays in the past due to the lack of inspectors, though things seem to be dying down a bit, so your wait may very from a few minutes extra to who knows when.

fc
Portland, Oregon
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39 posts
3 reviews
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7. Re: Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

Thank you very much for all your responses. Based upon your advice, we've decided to overnight in a Tokyo Hotel (Shinagawa) and go to Kyoto the next day morning.

Best regards,

Fenton.

Bellevue, Washington
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2 posts
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8. Re: Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

Fenton,

Just want to thank you for asking the question because I am making the same trip as you in July. Narita - Tokyo - Kyoto. I have been to Japan twice and both time landed around 4:00 PM and got out of the airport around 6:00PM.

Do post back after your trip. I'd like to hear your experience on swine flu delay (if any) and your self-guided tour in Kyoto.

Have a fun trip!

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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9. Re: Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

While 4pm is the peak time for Narita immigration, and as much as I advertise how long one might have to wait, it has never taken me more than 45 minutes through immigration. Since immigration takes so long, most of the time luggage is already at the carousel waiting for pick-up. I think 60-75 minutes should be the norm in the afternoon peak hours on average.

Kyoto, Japan
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10. Re: Late Arrival: Overnight in Narita or go direct to Tokyo?

According to the latest news, Japanese government changed the guideline: one is that the special Swine Flu Quarantine in cabin has been terminated.