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The Muslim Traveller’s Essential Guide To Tokyo’s Narita International Airport

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Shasha Dania  •  Jul 25, 2019

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[Updated 20 December 2019] If you've decided to fly to Japan for your next vacation, chances are you might find yourself landing in Tokyo's own Narita International Airport. Credit: Giphy Yes, that adorable dancing plane above is Narita Airport's own mascot - Unarikun! Narita Airport is a busy place throughout the year, but you won't have to be confused with our trusty one-stop guide to the in's and out's of this airport. 😊 From where to find halal meals to the location of the prayer rooms, we hope this guide will help make your journey through Narita Airport a smooth one!
Overview of Narita International Airport
One of two international airports in Tokyo (the other one is Haneda Airport), Narita Airport handles almost 3 million passengers per month over 17,000 flights! 😮 Situated in the Chiba prefecture, this airport has three terminals and frequently listed as one of the busiest air freight hubs in the world.
Credit: Alan Wilson on Flickr Narita Airport is also the main hub for the country's national carriers like All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Japan, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Peach, Spring Airlines Japan and the soon-to-be-launched ZIPAIR Tokyo.
Getting here
How to get from Narita Airport to central TokyoWhether you're stayingin Tokyo itself or taking a train to other cities in Japan, the first step in your journey will have to be getting out of the airport. Although Narita Airport is located outside of Tokyo itself, there are plenty of public transport options available that are quick and convenient! Narita Airport even has aroute diagram that will display the time taken for each option. Note: These methods will also take you from central Tokyo to the airport - but do remember to factor in extra time for transfers or navigating through crowded stations so that you won't miss your flight home! Fastest option: Keisei Skyliner Express
keisei skyliner
Credit: @mingvely.dx_xb on Instagram
  • If you're heading to Nippori or Keisei Ueno stations within Tokyo, book a ticket for the Keisei Skyliner Express direct train. The journey will take just 36 minutes (Nippori) or 41 minutes (Ueno)!
  • The Keisei Skyliner also covers other popular stations such as Asakusa, Shinbashi, and Shinagawa. However, it does not go directly to Tokyo station.
  • Cost: From JPY2,465 (using IC cards i.e. Suica or Pasmo)
Convenient option (JR Pass-friendly): Narita Express (N'EX)
narita express nex
Credit: @shin1wtnb on Instagram
  • If you have a JR Pass or are taking theshinkansen to other cities, you'll want to get onto the N'EX instead. Part of the JR System, the N'EX line covers stations including Tokyo, Shinbashi, Shinagawa, Shibuya, and Shinjuku. You can even reach Yokohama on the N'EX!
  • #HHWT Tip: If you're transferring to a shinkansen to Kyoto or Osaka, take the N'EX to Shinagawa instead of Tokyo. Shinagawa is a smaller station and will be much less crowded. It's also a lot less confusing to navigate compared to Tokyo station, and it will be a less stressful start to your trip!
  • Cost: From JPY3,017 (using IC card) however if you have a Japan Rail Pass (Ordinary/Green), JR Tokyo Wide Pass, Tohoku Area Pass, Nagano & Niigata Area Pass, the cost will be covered via your pass so you won't need to make a separate payment.
Cheapest option (no JR Pass): Bus
narita cheap bus
Credit: @ichi23jp on Instagram
  • If you're not using a JR Pass and don't want to make any transfers, taking a bus is the fastest way to get to some of Tokyo's busiest and most popular neighbourhoods including Shinjuku, Ginza, Asakusa, and the Tokyo Disney Resort that houses both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.
  • There are various express andnormal bus services available, and you can purchase tickets directly at thebus stops across all 3 terminals.
  • Cost: From JPY900
Shuttle Bus
The free terminal shuttle bus is available at Narita Airport, if you're planning to explore other terminals. For transit passengers, you can take the transit passenger shuttle buses after passing through the security check.
Halal Restaurants
There are 3 halal restaurants in Narita Airport at the moment - located in terminal 1 and terminal 2. You can take the shuttle bus that is provided between all 3 terminals. Homemade Udon Noodles KINEYAMUGIMARU at Terminal 1
What better way to start (or end!) a trip to Japan than with some authentic, homemade udon noodles? 😋 KINEYAMUGIMARU's self-service system lets you pick out your own bowl of thick, chewy udon - whether you're craving cold udon with dipping sauce, udon in hot broth topped with fried sweet tofu, or even curry udon, you'll find the perfect meal for you here!
When you place your order you'll get to select your choice of udon toppings and the size of your bowl. Then you can even add on sides such as tempura prawns, meat, or vegetables, or onigiri rice balls to complete your meal!Once you've made payment, you can dispense as much broth as you wish for the noodles, and add garnishings such as spring onions for that extra crunch. 🤤 On my family's last trip to Tokyo the restaurant was even serving special edition udon that came in a vegetable and chicken stew!Halal status: The kitchen is halal-certified by the Japan Halal Association Average price of main dishes: From JPY630 onwards Opening hours: Open daily; 7.30AM-9PM Location: Terminal 1, 5F, Central Building (public area before passport control) La Toque at Terminal 2
Halal Japanese curry? It's a dream come true! 😍 La Toque is another halal option for those at Narita Airport, serving up authentic Japanese curry that will leave you feeling so so satisfied. Some of the flavours even come with melted cheese, and of course, fried chicken cutlets that will leave you drooling! If you happen to reach Narita Airport early in the morning, don't worry about finding breakfast. Head over to La Toque for some freshly cooked omurice (omelette rice) and even pancakes too! Other breakfast items include toast with eggs, or pancake with eggs if you're worried about curry rice being too heavy for a morning meal. 😉Halal status: The kitchen is certified halal by MUIS (Majlis Ulama Islam Singapura) Average price of main dishes: From JPY980 Opening hours: Open daily; 7.30AM-8.30PM Location: Terminal 2, 4F, Main Building (public area before passport control) Sojibou at Terminal 2
Come to Sojibou if you're craving for Japanese soba and tempura sets. There are cold and hot soba noodle sets, and it comes with different toppings ranging from jumbo shrimp tempura, wild vegetables or chicken cutlet. Halal status: Halal-certified (by NPO Japan Halal Association) Average price of main dishes: From JPY600 Opening hours: Open daily; 7AM-9PM Location: Terminal 2, 4F, Main Building (before passport control)
Prayer Rooms
After you've finished your meal, you may want to complete your prayers before leaving the airport. Luckily, Narita Airport has prayer rooms in all 3 of its terminals, both before and after passport control!
Each prayer room even comes with an area to do wudhu (ablution) and a qiblat marked on the ceiling for your convenience. There are movable partitions available in some of the rooms, but we advise you to bring your own prayer mats and garments as there may not be enough provided for all users. Do note thatthese prayer rooms are for guests of all faiths.Terminal 1 Prayer Rooms (Open between 6am - 11pm) Before passport control: 5F After passport control: 2F Terminal 2 Prayer Rooms (Open between 6am - 11pm) Before passport control: 1F (main building) After passport control: 1F (main building) Terminal 3 Prayer Rooms (Open between 6am - 11pm) Before passport control: 2F After passport control: 3F
Connectivity
We highly recommend getting a wifi router or local SIM card if you're travelling in Japan as it will make navigating maps and streets a lot easier. If you've pre-booked either option before your flight, follow the instructions given to you and pick it up without any fuss. If you're only buying it once you reach Narita Airport, there are still lots of options available to choose from! P.S. The airport also has various areas outfitted with charging ports for your phones and mobile devices, so make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave! Just don't access any personal or sensitive information such as bank account details while you're plugged in, as a safety precaution. 🙂
japan sim card
Credit: Only In Japan on Facebook
There are many vending machines carrying SIM cards of different durations (usually 7/14/21 days) and capacitiesthroughout the airport. SIM cards are usually more cost-effective if you're travelling on your own, and they're convenient as you won't need to return them to any booth before you depart. As there are multiple vending machines in the airport, you can pick and choose an option that best suits your trip duration and data needs. 😊
For those travelling in groups of 2 or more, it might be more cost-effective to pick up a Wifi router instead. Wifi routers are more convenient if you have multiple devices (e.g. phones, laptops, and tablets) that need data access at any one time. However, if you plan to do separate activities you may have to come to an agreement on who gets to bring the router with them and who has to go without Wifi for a short time. 😅 There are many booths that offer Wifi rental in the airport - so you can shop around for one that suits your needs!
Redeeming your JR Passes
JR Pass Exchange Offices
JR Passes are some of the most popular transport methods to get around Japan, especially if you're visiting multiple prefectures or islands in one single trip. To obtain a JR Pass, you'll have to purchasean Exchange Order (EO) before landing in Tokyo. Once you reach the airport, bring the EO to the relevant JR Travel Service Center to exchange it for the specific pass.#HHWT Tip: You can purchase the JR Pass in Japan itself, but it's usually cheaper to purchase it in your home country beforehand!
Instruction sheets for relevant JR Passes such as the one above will be displayed on the counter in various languages - do let the service offers know if you need any clarification as they're more than willing to help you out! 😊 JR Passes can be quite confusing to use especially if it's your first time using them, so do clarify all of your concerns before leaving the airport to make your journey onwards a smooth one.
Directions to the JR Booths in each terminal are clearly marked out in each terminal, so follow the signs and don't be afraid to ask for directions!  There are JR East Travel Service Centers in all terminals, where you can exchange EOs for the JR East Pass. For other JR Passes, you can head to the Visitor Service Center at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 P.S. The Visitor Service Centers havea whole range of brochures and pamphlets for Tokyo and other cities, as well as booths for car rentals, SIM cards, and everything else visitors to Japan may need. 😊 Stop by to get some last-minute ideas for your itinerary!Terminal 1 JR EAST Travel Service Center Location: B1 Opening Hours: 8.15am - 7pm daily Terminal 1 Visitor Service Center Location: Central Building, 1F (Arrivals, in public access area) Opening Hours: 8am - 8pm daily Terminal 2 JR East Travel Service Center Location: B1 Opening Hours: 8.15am - 8pm daily Terminal 2 Visitor Service Center Location: Main Building, 1F (Arrivals, in public access area) Opening Hours: 8am - 8pm daily
Other useful facilities
Family-friendly facilities
Narita Airport has several family-friendly facilities throughout its terminals so you won't have to panic over dealing with any situations that might arise. Nurseries are available in each terminal of the airport and come with a private breastfeeding booth, diaper changing station, washbasin, and hot water. Check out this floor map for the exact location.
There are also playgrounds called Kids Park (adult accompaniment required) so you can spend some time during the long wait before your flight. It's available at all terminals and you can find the locations here.Luggage delivery services
Excited to start your journey the moment you touch down, but hampered with all of your luggage? Send your luggage directly to your accommodations with one of the delivery companies present at the airport and make your life a little easier! 😆 Delivery services are also available from your accommodations to the airport so you won't have to lug bulky suitcases around in crowded trains or cramped buses - just book your slot with them beforehand!
There are 3 baggage delivery services at Narita International Airport: GPA Airport TA-Q-BIN, JAL ABC airport delivery service, and QL Liner. The luggage delivery rates vary across all delivery services and are based on luggage size and hotel location. Below is the estimated luggage delivery rates: Estimated luggage delivery rates (per luggage)
  • GPA Airport TA-Q-BIN: JPY1,270 - JPY4,500
  • JAL ABC airport delivery service: JPY1,740 - JPY6,790
  • QL Liner: JPY1,720 - JPY9,860
  • For exact locations and opening hours, visit this website for more information.
#HHWT Tip: GPA Airport TA-Q-BIN is widely preferred by the locals for its reliability since it's associated with TA-Q-BIN, a trusted Japanese delivery service. For same-day delivery, drop off your bags before 10AM to receive yourluggage by 8PM-10PM on the same day. For bag drop-offs after 10AM, you will receive your luggage the next morning.Coin/card-operated lockers
narita airport lockers
Credit: Karmun Leung on Facebook
One of the facilities that I used during my last trip to Tokyo was the coin-operated lockers you can find throughout the different floors of each terminal. The lockers can store everything from small handbags to larger luggage, which was especially useful for holding our souvenirs while we checked in and had our lunch! Best of all, they cost between JPY300 - JPY1,000 per use (depending on size) and you can use your IC card to pay for them. 😁 Lockers are also convenient if you have bulky items such as strollers, or if you plan to spend some time at the towns nearby the airport before your flight. P.S. Remember to check what the duration of use for the lockers are before you pick one. Some lockers will cost more as they're supposed to be for a multi-day use! Instructions are stated in English, so you won't have to struggle to understand Japanese ☺️ For exact locker locations at Narita Airport, visit this website to find out more!
What to do during a layover in Narita Airport
Narita Airport Transit &Stay
If you arrived early or find yourself having a layover at Narita Airport, join the Narita Airport Transit & Stay! Offering free tours led by English-speaking guides, you can sign up for a volunteer guided tour or self-guided tour. You can enjoy a Japanese cultural experience at Narita-san Shinsho-ji temple, cycle across Japan's countryside or join other tours based on your interests.
During our recent trip to Chiba, we joined the 'Cosplay in an Edo Period' where we cosplayed as a samurai at Boso-no-Mura, a reconstruction of traditional Japanese village during the Edo period.
While Narita Airport Transit & Stay offers free guided tours, participants need to bring a small sum of pocket money to cover expenses such as entrance fee, transportation, and other activities such as costume rental. For 'Cosplay in an Edo period' tour, we spent JPY1,600 and you can find the minimum budget for other tours here. #HHWT Tip: If you have enough time (at least 6-8 hours), you can join the Narita Airport Transit & Stay's Sawara or Shibayama bus tours. This six-hour tour requires a minimum budget of JPY3,500 and you can find more information here. We hope that this guide hasmade it easier to navigate through the airport. 😊 Let us know if there any other airports you would like to know more about!