Getting to Narita Airport
You’ve got a number of options. You can:
•Drive, either your own car or a rented van from Services.
•Take the shuttle from the Kanto Lodge or the New Sanno Hotel.
•Take a commercial Shuttle from Tachikawa
•Take the train.
The shuttle is the easiest and probably the cheapest. If you choose train, you could take a Japan Railway (JR) Train to Shinjuku, Ueno or Tokyo stations and then catch the JR Narita Express, Tokkyu Wing express, or Keisei Skyliner trains. Reservations may be needed for the express trains and fares are about ¥3,000 per seat from Shinjuku. The Narita Express train leaves twice a day from Tachikawa, both times early in the morning.
Before you venture off to Narita for the first time, consult your maps and check with the helpful people manning the Yujo Community Center desk about new roads and road closures. They produce a handy flyer showing expressway routes to Narita. It’s a long trip, between two and five hours one way. Follow the directions to the Chuo Expressway, and enter the expressway towards Shinjuku. Familiarize yourself with the Expressway number code. Follow #4 all the way into Tokyo. Ten km before you come to the actual turnoff you will start picking up another expressway, #7.Keep changing to stay in the lane marked #7. A number 7 will be posted directly over the lane you must follow. Expressway #7 will take you straight to Narita International Airport, making this route comparatively uncomplicated.
Another sometimes scenic route is via #3 and #2 across Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge toward the Higashi Kanto Expressway. Once at Narita, follow the signs for inbound passenger traffic. All parking is paid parking. Once you have met the arriving party and gathered the luggage, you may bring your car around to the entrance for easier loading. Retrace your steps to return to the base, or follow #7 to #4 and drive to the Hachioji exit, no. 5. You will see a sign telling you the exit is 8 km farther. Next, you will pass a rest stop on your left.
The next sign will tell you the Hachioji exits are in 1 km. There are two exits, 5 and 5-2. (Exit 5-2 is the exit for Yokota.) Stay on your left and follow the offramp around to the tollgates and pay your fees. Immediately after the tollgates, you will come to a fork, marked Hachioji to the left and Akishima to the right. Go right and follow the ramp around, where it runs into Rt. 16. Follow Rt. 16 back to the base. The toll for the round trip will be over ¥5000.
Meeting Arrivals at Narita
If meeting outside customs, confirm whether the arrival is at Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.
Narita International Airport Info: (0476) 32-2800; 0476345000
Narita Shuttle Bus
The simplest way to get to the airport is to take the shuttle bus that goes from Yokota to Narita International Airport every day except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Three buses depart Yokota’s Kanto Lodge at 9am, 11am and 1pm (starting from the East Side 30 minutes before). They arrive at Narita at about 12:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:30pm. They return from Narita at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. A one-way trip for leisure travelers costs $40 per adult and $30 per child. You may sponsor a visitor to ride the bus, even if you cannot be there to pick them up in person (check details in advance and note you may need to meet your visitors at the Fussa Gate to sign them onto base). Look for an up-to-date schedule at the Kanto Lodge or the Yujo Center. For more information: http://www.yokotasupport.com/wp-content/uploads/shuttle-schedule-jan15.pdf.
If those times don’t work for you, consider taking a commercial shuttle from Tachikawa to Narita. The Airport Limousine Bus is convenient to the train station. Or, if you have a ride, you can pick it up at the Palace Hotel in Tachikawa. Buy your tickets (¥3500 per adult) and make reservations the day before. Details are on the Airport Limousine Bus website. Liz Ruskin, 2011.
If you fly within Japan, chances are your flight will originate at Haneda Airport. Haneda is on the southeast side of Tokyo, along the bay. The easiest way to get there is by shuttle bus from Tachikawa, but you can also go by train.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the Ome/Chuo Line to its end at Tokyo Station. Transfer to the green Yamanote line and go three stops to Hamamatsucho Station (toward Shinagawa) and change to the monorail, which ends at Haneda Airport. Keikyu Railways also operates train service from Shinagawa Station to Haneda Airport. Note there is also more than one terminal at Haneda.
SHUTTLE DIRECTIONS: You can catch a shuttle to Haneda from Tachikawa. Details are on this website. Or try the Keihin Kyuko Bus, http://hnd-bus.com/route/haijima.html.