I was all excited to see that the first leg of my favorite reality TV show, the Amazing Race on CBS, was set in Japan! The theme of this season’s competition is that all of the pairs that are racing are either dating or blind-dating.
The first 90 minute episode, which just concluded, saw teams fly from Los Angeles to Tokyo’s Narita Airport. Interestingly they used Taiwan as a connecting city. I have my reasons for why they planned this to be the case, but this article is not about that!
If you landed in Tokyo’s Narita airport, how would YOU start your Amazing Race in the land of the rising sun?
I have written an article on my blog that explains options for traveling from airports in Japan, which I hope you will look at. But in the meantime, here’s a brief summary of what was featured on The Amazing Race:
Teams pretty much went in one of three ways: Taxi, Skyliner (train), or Narita Express (train). At first I thought to myself, TAXI?! If you are starting your Amazing Race on a budget, the Taxi is the LAST thing that you want to take from Narita. Considering Narita’s large distance away from Tokyo, you would be better off saving money by taking public transport into Tokyo, using the train or bus, then if needed take a Taxi to your final destination. Taxis in Japan are pricey already, but they will be far less expensive to use when you get into the city compared to picking one up at the airport. In addition, Taxis MAY be subject to delays when traveling on the highway… I forgot how each team fared on the way from the airport, so if you want to check, just go to CBS and look at Season 26, Episode 1 of the Amazing Race on demand :)
In a nutshell, here is a speed and price comparison for the main travel methods going into Tokyo Station, one of the main transit hubs in the city. By the way… you can get more of Japan by tuning in to the Amazing Race on Friday (February 27) when the teams will visit Nagano!
JR Narita Express, One Hour, 3,020 yen each way
- Before March 14, 2015, 1,500 yen each way using the N’EX Tokyo Direct Ticket
- Effective March 14, 2015, 2,000 yen each way if the N’EX Tokyo Round-Trip Ticket is purchased
Keisei Skyliner, One Hour (Change at Nippori Station), 2,470 yen for Skyliner + 160 yen JR Yamanote Line = 2,630 yen
- Skyliner fare can be reduced to 2,200 yen with the Skyliner eTicket
Local JR Commuter Train, 90 minutes, 1,320 yen each way
Local Keisei Commuter Train, 90-120 minutes depending on route, ~1,200-1,500 yen depending on route
Airport Limousine Bus, 1 hour 45 minutes depending on traffic, 3,100 yen each way
- Fare can be reduced to 2,250 yen each way if the Welcome to Tokyo Limousine Bus Ticket (round-trip) is purchased
- Up until March 31, 2015, 2,070 yen using TCAT special ticket to Tokyo City Air Terminal (1,900 yen) then traveling to Tokyo Station by subway (170 yen)
Flat-fare taxi from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station 19,000 yen
Hailed taxi from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station ~20,000-30,000 yen and up depending on the meter and traffic conditions