1. How to Get From Haneda Airport to Tokyo by Monorail

    One of my favourite things from our trip to Japan in October was that we flew into Haneda Airport in Tokyo for the first time ever instead of Narita Airport. Haneda Airport is located less than ten miles from Tokyo Station in the centre of the city making the journey incredibly easy, quick and very cheap and affordable. It was a welcome contrast to landing into Narita Airport which is located forty miles outside of the city and then having to take a less frequent, much longer and more expensive train or bus ride into Tokyo. I know that people can feel apprehensive the first time they travel to Japan wondering if it will be easy to work out where to go once inside the airport and how to buy train tickets so I took some photos just to show how easy the whole process is – there really is nothing to worry about.

    There are two different trains you can use to get into Tokyo from Haneda Airport – the Keikyu Line which goes to Shinagawa and the Tokyo Monorail Line which goes to Hamamatsucho. As we were staying in Shimbashi which is only one stop from Hamamatsucho on the JR Yamanote Line, we used the Tokyo Monorail. There are monorail stations in both Terminals 1 and 2 as well as the International Terminal.

    After leaving the baggage reclaim and customs area in the International Terminal, follow the signs for “Monorail” which will lead you to the ticket machines in the far left corner straight ahead of you.

    Above the ticket machines is a board which lists the fares from Haneda Airport using the Monorail and transferring to the JR Yamanote Line to some of the most popular stations in Tokyo – the stations listed are Tokyo, Shimbashi, Akihabara, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shin-Okubo. The top price that you see is the adult fare (anyone over 12), the bottom price is the child fare (anyone aged 6 to 12) whilst under 6’s travel free of charge. There is also another board with a map showing fares to all other JR Line stations in the Tokyo area.

    To buy a ticket the first thing you will need to do is press the “English Mode” button located on the screen which all the machines have.

    After selecting English, you will need to:

    Select “Transfer Ticket via Hamamatsucho | JR Line”

    Select the fare for your destination – as we were travelling to Shimbashi, the fare was ¥630 (£4.35 / $6.10) each

    Select the combination of Adult or Children tickets by using the buttons on the left hand side of the screen

    You can only pay for your tickets with cash – no credit cards are accepted. Not being able to use credit cards for local public transport is very common in Japan so always travel with some cash with you. There is also an ATM located close to the ticket machines.

    If travelling to Tokyo Disney Resort select “Transfer Ticket via Tennozu Isle | Rinkai Line and transfer at Tennozu Isle and Shin-Kiba for Maihama – this will avoid the very long walk when transferring to the Keiyo Line at Tokyo Station. The fare for Maihama is ¥830 (£5.80 / $7.35).

    You can also purchase a Monorail Suica IC Card from the same machines however we waited and purchased a regular Suica Card each from a ticket machine at one of the JR stations once we were in Tokyo. As you can use these cards in many places across Japan, I had read online that if there is a problem with a Monorail Suica Card, you can only go to one of the Tokyo Monorail offices to sort it out which is not any good if you’re on the other side of Tokyo or anywhere further afield. A Suica Card is a good investment to make when in Japan – you will need to pay a ¥500 deposit for your Suica Card when purchasing which can be refunded if you return the card at the end of your trip.

    After going through the ticket gate located to the side of the ticket machines, you will need to turn right for Platform 2 for the monorail towards Hamamatsucho – the monorail from Platform 1 goes to the Domestic Terminals at Haneda Airport. You can take either the escalator or an elevator up to the platform.

    The monorail to Hamamatsucho runs every few minutes during the day – you can check the timetable on the Tokyo Monorail website.

    There are small stowage areas for luggage in the Monorail – we put our carry-on bags in these and then stood with our larger suitcases though some people sat with their bags on the floor next to them. The journey to Hamamatsucho takes between fifteen and twenty minutes depending on whether you are on a local, rapid or express monorail and English announcements are made at each stop.

    At Hamamatsucho Station, the JR Yamanote Line is clearly signposted. Platform 2 will take you in the direction of Shimbashi, Tokyo, Ueno and Ikebukuro whilst Platform 3 goes towards Shinagawa, Shibuya and Shinjuku.

    So as you can see, it really is that quick and easy to get from Haneda Airport into Tokyo. It was so much better than the old journey that I used to do from Narita that when I go back to Japan again in the future, I will make sure I book a flight to Haneda.

    Have fun in Tokyo!

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