If you are flying into Japan on a non-business flight, chances are that you will find yourself landing at Narita Airport. There are two airports that service the greater Tokyo area. Haneda aims to capture the bulk of business flights but Narita is the busiest of Japan's airports and receives most of the tourist flights from the US.
At this airport, you are still forty-seven miles from the center of Tokyo, and although there are lockers at the airport, you might prefer to take your luggage with you into the city and store it at one of the central baggage storage services near Narita Airport so that you can access it if you need to. After that, you are free to explore this vibrant city unencumbered.
There is so much to both see and do in Tokyo that you should budget several days here, even if you are on a whistle-stop visit. The world's most populous city offers a breathtaking abundance of choices. You might like to start your day off at Tsukiji Fish Market, the world's largest, cruise over to the overtly opulent Meiji Shinto shrine, before catching your breath while wandering through the stunning Shinjuku Ghyoen National Gardens. When you have regained your equilibrium you could take in a soothing art gallery or museum, or you could opt for something a little different and attend a sumo wrestling match at Ryoku Kokugiken.
Narita Airport baggage policy
Individual carriers will have their own baggage policies as far as hold luggage is concerned. When it comes to hand luggage, policies at Narita differ little from those agreed to by most international airlines. Liquids will need to be in containers of less than 100 mls and those must be transported in see-through, resealable plastic bags. Keep these out of your carry on bag and ready for easy inspection by security staff.
Other rules to bear in mind when packing your hand luggage
- No dry cell batteries
- No toy or replica handguns
- Don't carry an electronic device that can't be switched off
- No aerosols
- No weapons of any kind and this includes scissors and pocket knives
Narita Airport food policy
Japan prides itself on its cuisine and at this airport, you will find food of surprisingly high quality when compared to many other international airports. You are not restricted to Japanese food and will easily be able to purchase more familiar foods if you are not feeling too adventurous.
If you are a foodie or simply want to delve into Japanese food culture while you are there, then Tokyo certainly won't disappoint you. Of course, sushi is widely available and can be purchased at just about any budget. The wildest show in town is the Robot Restaurant where dancers, robots and flashing lights, combined with a meal, have made this show internationally renowned.
A great way to enjoy authentic Japanese culture is to sample the wide variety of street food. One of the best places to do this is on the longest shopping street in Japan. Yonaka Ginza Shotengai is teeming with food stalls and you are bound to find something that suits your taste.
Narita Airport camera policy
Japan is a nation of camera lovers, and so you won't have too much trouble if you want to take photos at the airport. However, Narita is a busy place, and so you should do your best not to be a nuisance to fellow passengers. Tripods and professional lights can get in the way of people hurrying to make a flight, so it's better to leave those behind at a luggage storage near Narita Airport if possible. You should also note that while personal photography of the airport is fine, commercial photography needs special permission. And take care not to photograph any secure areas or security personnel.
Narita Airport rules
- Smoking is not allowed anywhere inside the terminals. If you need to smoke, you have to go outside to do it.
- Public intoxication is not allowed, and can because for ejection from the airport.
- Beware of Japanese sensibilities while traveling and try where possible to cover up any tattoos. Many Japanese still have a negative attitude towards tattoos.
Narita Airport transport links
Being situated so far from the city center, this is obviously an important issue. The drive will take ninety minutes, assuming there is no heavy traffic. A taxi could cost as much as 200 dollars. This leaves you with public transport and fortunately, the options here are good. Your best bet is to jump on a Narita Express train which will take you to Tokyo station. From there the extensive Metro service will take you to wherever you need to go.
Narita Airport lockers
Even if you are only planning on staying a few days in Tokyo - and this city deserves a lot more of your attention - it can be a long time to be separated from your luggage. You will be if you leave it at the airport. A more convenient option would be to take it with you to the city and then rent a locker near to the station.
Carry the bare minimum and stock up from your locker as and when you need to. There are many options available on this front but it makes sense for you to choose a service that offers online booking so that when you get there you are sure there is a locker waiting for you. Also, look for a service that includes free insurance in the rental price.