We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we tell you that “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. How do I get from one terminal to the next? What are the best airport restaurants? Is there anything to do if I have a long layover?
If you’re anything like us, then these are probably the types of questions you have that perhaps you don’t get push notifications for. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to the world’s top airports. Today we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Narita Airport (NRT).
About Narita Airport
Narita International Airport, aka Tokyo Narita Airport, is the main international airport that serves Tokyo. NRT is located one hour due east from Tokyo, and just southeast from Narita. The easiest, and quickest, way to travel between Central Tokyo and the airport is via the Skyliner or Narita Express, which both take approximately 45 minutes. It’s recommended to book round-trip tickets ahead of time to save a little money. Otherwise there are numerous buses and taxis, although taxis are very expensive. Car rental service is available in terminals 1 and 2.
Narita Airport served 40 million passengers last year, and is the main hub of Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways (ANA). Narita has 3 terminals, with free buses that transfer passengers between terminals. For passengers transferring between terminals 2 and 3, there’s an access corridor that takes approximately 15 minutes to walk.
Travelers should expect to find predominantly Asian-inspired restaurants at Narita Airport, which is frequently rated as one of the top airports in the world for food. Nonetheless, you’ll find some staple fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Subway. Some of Narita Airport’s more popular restaurants include Sushiden and Sushi Kyotatsu, of which Sushi Kyotatsu actually uses fresh fish from Tokyo’s famous market, Tsukiji. Other notable restaurants include Gihey, Sushi Yuraku, Nanosato, Keisei Yuzen, Dashichazuke EN, Tomita, Kineyamugimaru, Obon de Gohan, Miyatake Sanuki Udon, and Menya Kookai.
If you’re in a hurry, Tatsu Sushi in Terminal 3 is a good option since they have takeaway options and a takeout menu if you need something quick or want to eat on the plane. If you simply can’t stomach another piece of sushi or bowl of ramen, then there’s Freshness Burger for burgers and hot dogs. The fact is that while airport food may often leave much to be desired, it’s hard to go wrong at Narita Airport.
Many of NRT’s restaurants mentioned above double as a good place to grab a drink, including Tatsu’s Terminal 1 location, which specializes in craft beer, and even serves beer flights. Most of Narita Airport’s restaurants, however, are more likely to have Japanese beer and sake. Otherwise, your best option is Cafe & Bar Avion, which has multiple locations, and has a full bar with draft beer, wine, sake, and whiskey. Elsewhere, FaSoLa Cafe also has numerous locations serving draft beer, wine, and whiskey, and has a full coffee and tea menu.
Like many international airports, Narita Airport has a number of art exhibits throughout its terminals. Travelers can view photos, info, and map locations of NRT’s art on the airport’s official website. Additionally, in Terminal 1 travelers will find an art gallery, NAA Art Gallery, and Kabuki Gate, which is a gallery and shop introducing guests to the performing art of Kabuki. A unique amenity of Narita Airport is Sky Gate, which is a working FM radio studio, with a DJ booth and all, located in Terminal 1 that travelers can peek into. NRT has two observation decks, one at Terminal 1 and another at Terminal 2, where travelers can peer through telescopes and take photos of planes landing and taking off. Finally, there are a plethora of shops throughout the airport, many of which sell Japanese apparel and souvenirs.
Another one of Narita Airport’s unique features is Sky Lounge Wa, which is complimentary to all passengers, and doesn’t require airline status, a first-class ticket, or a fee like most airline lounges. Located in Terminal 2, Sky Lounge has numerous power outlets and comfortable seating like leather armchairs and sofas, similar to what you may find in traditional lounges. For travelers who need a quiet place to rest, there’s 9h, a capsule hotel in which guests can rent by the hour, or just use the showers for a nominal fee. Otherwise, airline lounges can be found in terminals 1 & 2, including those for All Nippon Airways, Korean Air, Delta, and United in Terminal 1, and American, Emirates, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, China, and Japan Airlines in Terminal 2.
Use TripIt’s interactive airport maps to discover shop, restaurant, and bar locations. You’ll also have everything you need to navigate your way with estimated walk times and step-by-step directions.