Taxis in Japan are significantly more expensive than public transportation, especially for trips to and from airports. However, taxis provide convenience that may be worth the extra cost to some travelers.
Cost Comparison to Public Transportation
The biggest expense with taxis in Japan is airport transfers. For example:
- A taxi from Haneda Airport to Shinjuku costs approximately 8,000-9,000 yen. The same train trip is only 500 yen.
- A taxi from Narita Airport to central Tokyo runs around 26,000 yen. The train is 700-800 yen.
For shorter trips within cities, taxis are more reasonably priced:
- A 10-minute taxi ride in Kyoto might cost 1,300 yen.
So while not cheap, prices are comparable to taxis in other developed countries.
Traveler Opinions on Taxis
Many travelers on the JapanTravel Reddit complained about the high cost of taxis compared to trains and subways. However, some justified the extra expense for convenience after long flights.
As one Redditor put it:
“The last thing I want to do after a 14.5 hour flight is worry about getting a Suica and getting on a train with a bunch of people and then get from the station to my hotel with luggage.”
Other travelers also reported their actual taxi expenses:
- “User paid ‘10,800 yen’ for a taxi from Haneda Airport to Shinjuku.”
- “Another paid ‘almost 8,000 yen’ for a taxi from Haneda Airport to Tokyo Station.”
- “One paid ‘10,000 yen’ for a taxi from Haneda Airport to Asakusa.”
So while seen as costly compared to public transit, taxis provided a faster and more comfortable trip for some arriving tourists.
When Taxis May Be Worthwhile
There are certain situations where taxis can be worthwhile in Japan:
- Arriving at the airport with heavy luggage and after long flights
- Traveling with small children or elderly who need assistance
- Covering long distances where public transit would take significantly longer
- Need to get somewhere during late night when trains and subways are not running
For simple daily transportation around cities, public transit is usually the better option. But taxis have their place for convenience. Travelers should weigh the cost versus benefits for their own situation.
Cheapest Way From Narita to Tokyo City Center
It will take 1 hour 13 mins to drive from Narita International Airport to Shinjuku. You can see the directions here.
If you are looking for the cheapest way to get from Narita to Shinjuku, you can take the Keisei Skyliner train. The train ride takes about 41 minutes and costs ¥2,470. You can buy tickets at the airport or online.
Here are the steps on how to take the Keisei Skyliner train from Narita to Shinjuku:
- Go to the Keisei Skyliner ticket counter at Narita International Airport.
- Purchase a ticket to Shinjuku.
- Go to the Keisei Skyliner platform.
- Board the train and wait for it to depart.
- Get off the train at Shinjuku Station.
Cheapest Way From Haneda To Tokyo City Center
It will take 27 mins to drive from Haneda Airport (HND) to Shinjuku Station. You can see the directions here.
If you are looking for the cheapest way to get from Haneda to Shinjuku, you can take the Monorail and then the JR Yamanote Line. The total travel time is about 50 minutes and the cost is ¥1,160.
Here are the steps on how to take the Monorail and JR Yamanote Line from Haneda to Shinjuku:
- Go to the Monorail station at Haneda Airport.
- Purchase a ticket to Hamamatsucho Station.
- Board the Monorail and wait for it to depart.
- Get off the Monorail at Hamamatsucho Station.
- Follow the signs to the JR Yamanote Line.
- Purchase a ticket to Shinjuku Station.
- Board the JR Yamanote Line and wait for it to depart.
- Get off the JR Yamanote Line at Shinjuku Station.