Japan

Narita Airport Guide – 11 Pro-Tips & Must-Dos For Singaporeans Visiting Tokyo

Narita Airport in Chiba, Japan


Airports – they’re all one and the same, right? You check in, hand over your luggage, then sit by the gate until your flight is called. Boring. Not at Narita Airport though. From plane observation decks to fresh sashimi, here’s your guide to Narita Airport so you’ll navigate this place like a pro.


– Best Narita Airport tips –


1. Use the shower & nap rooms to freshen up during long layovers


Long layovers always feel like you’re stuck in limbo as you wait for the hours to pass by before the next leg of your trip. At least you can freshen up with a shower and a nap at the airport. 


Image adapted from: Narita Airport

There are showers available at both Terminal 1 and 2 which cost ¥1,050 (~S$9.64) for 30 minutes of use. That’s more than enough time to shampoo, condition, and blow-dry your hair – all of which are provided for you to use. After your shower, get some shut eye at the nap rooms that cost ¥1,560 (~S$14.33) for 60 minutes. 

Rates:
Showers:
¥1,050 (~S$9.64) for 30 minutes
Nap rooms: ¥1,560 (~S$14.33) for 60 minutes (Single) | ¥2,520 (~S$23.14) for 60 minutes (Twin)

Showers
Location:
Terminal 1, Public Area, Central Building, 2nd Floor
Opening hours: 7am-8pm, Daily
Contact: +81 0467 33 2190

Nap rooms with showers
Location: Terminal 1, Transit Area, Central Building, 3rd Floor
Opening hours: 7am-9pm, Daily
Contact: +81 0476 32 4734

Location: Terminal 2, Transit Area, Satellite, 3rd Floor
Opening hours: 7am-9.30pm, Daily
Contact: +81 0476 34 8537


Image credit: Nine Hours

Alternatively, you could also check yourself into Nine Hours, a capsule hotel at Terminal 2. Located on the public side of the airport, this place is open 24/7, so you can check in any time. 


Image credit: @ninehours9h via Instagram

You’re allocated your own personal capsule to sleep in and will have access to the shared showers that come with all you need to freshen up – even a set of pyjamas. Lockers are also provided, so you can store your luggage safely while you get over your jet lag. 

ADDRESS
Japan, 〒282-0004 Chiba, Narita, Furugome, 字古込1番地1 成田空港第2旅客ターミナル隣接 立体駐車場第2ビル B1F
Opening Hours: Sunday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings Hide
Monday Open 24 Hours
Tuesday Open 24 Hours
Wednesday Open 24 Hours
Thursday Open 24 Hours
Friday Open 24 Hours
Saturday Open 24 Hours
Sunday Open 24 Hours
GOOGLE REVIEWS
4
(2097)
RECOMMENDED TICKETS AT S$57.00

2. Get SIM cards from 24/7 vending machines if you land late


As Millennials and Gen Z-ers, we all know having constant internet connectivity is a must, just so we can show off all the cool things to do in Japan on IG and TikTok. To stay connected, you can pick up Wi-Fi rentals from shops around Narita Airport, although most of these places close by 9pm.


Image credit: shimajiro@mobiler

If you’re landing late, you can still get ahold of prepaid SIM cards from 24/7 vending machines in all 3 terminals:

  • Terminal 1, Public Area: Central Building, 1st Floor and Basement 1
  • Terminal 1, Public Area: South Wing, 1st Floor
  • Terminal 2, Public Area: Main Building, 1st Floor
  • Terminal 3, Public Area: Main Building, 1st Floor

The SIM cards come with English instructions, so you won’t need to worry about configuring them to your smartphones. Most also come with a SIM card tray eject pin and a mini envelope to keep your old SIM card safe during your holiday.

For smartphones that are eSIM compatible, you can also try getting a travel eSIM.


3. Spend all your loose change on rows of gachapon



Image credit: Air Trip

It’s always a scramble at the end of a trip to use up all your coins that you won’t be able to trade back into SGD at the money changer. If you do find yourself with more than a pocketful of change, use them up at Gacha World at the airport.


Image credit: Love Narita

You’ll find rows upon rows of capsule machines, each one containing a luck-of-the-draw trinket. It’s usually figurine toys of characters from popular anime, Sanrio, and Disney, but you’ll also find quirky ones like cats dressed up as sushi and miniature weapons.

Location: Terminal 1, Public Area, Basement Concourse
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Contact: +81 090 6743 1730


4. Search for Pokémon wall decals for a fun photoshoot



The decal at the Terminal 1 Lobby Departure makes it look like the Pokémon are waving farewell to you.
Image credit: Narita Airport

After checking off all the Pokémon things to do in Japan, Narita Airport is where you can squeeze in one more opportunity to see Pikachu and friends. You’ll find Pokémon wall decals plastered all over the airport for you to snap pics with. The decals change throughout the year and can be found in both the public and transit sides of each terminal.


Lean against the wall of this decal at Terminal 2’s 2nd Floor Arrival Concourse to make it seem like you’re sitting with Pikachu.
Image credit: Narita Airport


5. Check out free & interactive art installations


When it comes to art, Japan has quite the selection. Think any of the teamLab exhibitions or even the Art Aquarium Museum that displays goldfish as art installations. So it should come as no surprise that Narita Airport would have its own showcase of masterpieces.

There are works of art on both the Public and Transit sides of the airport and in all 3 terminals. Your best bet in finding all of them is to follow this map of the Art Promenade at Narita Airport


Image credit: Narita Airport

Otherwise, highlights to look out for include the giant stained glass window and Edo period-style painting of passengers at the airport at Terminal 1. Over at the departure lobby of Terminal 2, the 39.2m-long ceramic mural depicting the 4 seasons in Japan is hard to miss.


If you’re the kind of person who wishes to touch art and not just look at them, head over to the departure lobby of Terminal 3. There are a couple of interactive exhibitions, such as a seating area that has been covered in knitted blankets and sweaters. It’s as soft as it sounds, so feel free to run your hands over the artwork.


6. Do all your souvenir shopping while saving on tax here


Getting souvenirs is a must whenever you travel to Japan – especially those individually-wrapped snacks that are easy to hand out to friends and family back home. Guess what – you can get these at the airport at Fa-So-La, a chain of shops that sell all sorts of Japanese souvenirs.


Peanut monaka from Chiba prefecture.
Image credit: Snaplace

You’ll find much more than just Tokyo Banana, giant Pocky, and matcha-flavoured Kit Kats here. There are prefecture specialties like apple-flavoured snacks from Aomori and red bean-filled mochi from Nagano.


Image credit: Fa-So-La

And it’s not just snackies you can cart home. The different Fa-So-La outlets also sell the usual tchotchkes like magnets and t-shirts, as well as made-in-Japan stuff like sake, super lightweight foldable umbrellas, and manga merch. The best part: it’s duty-free – plus you won’t have to drag all your souvenirs with you if you’re travelling around the country.

Full list of Fa-So-La outlets at Narita Airport.


7. Observe planes landing & taking off at T1 & T2 observation deck



Image credit: Narita Airport

For those with time to kill before check-in, take a walk to the observation decks at Terminal 1 and 2 for a round of plane-spotting. There are plenty of benches around so you can park your bum on one to watch planes take off and land at Narita Airport.


Image credit: Narita Airport

Each airplane’s livery is easy enough to spot, but if you want details, head for the coin-operated binoculars you’ll find on the decks. You can even check out the notice boards that show you what airlines land at which runway.

Terminal 1 Observation Deck
Location: Terminal 1, Public Area, 5th Floor
Opening hours: 1st April-30th September 6.30am-9pm | 1st October-31st March 7am-9pm

Terminal 2 Observation Deck
Location: Terminal 2, Public Area, 4th Floor
Opening hours: 1st April-30th September 6.30am-9pm | 1st October-31st March 7am-9pm


8. Enjoy lounge privileges from S$11.20/pax before departure



Image credit: Narita Airport

If you’re already holding on to a Business Class or First Class ticket, then move right along to your dedicated airline lounges. But that doesn’t mean Economy Class ticket holders have to sit out on lounge access. You can enjoy a dedicated rest area at Narita TraveLounge.


Small bites and hot meals are charged separately.
Image credit: Narita Airport

The pay-per-use lounge costs just ¥1,220/pax (~S$11.20) for entry and comes with free-flow non-alcoholic drinks, Wi-Fi, and chargers at every seat to keep your devices fully juiced. Alcoholic beverages and food are available at an extra cost. There’s no time limit on the use of the lounge, so feel free to while your time away here during a long layover.

Rates: ¥1,220/adult (~S$11.20), ¥610/child (~S$5.60)

Location: Terminal 1, Transit Area, Central Building, 3rd Floor
Opening hours: 7am-9pm, Daily
Contact: +81 0476 32 2555 | Narita TraveLounge website


– Best things to eat at Narita Airport –


9. Feast on fresh sashimi & sushi before your flight home



Image credit: Hennah via Google Maps

In any other airport, we might caution you to pick up sushi just before your flight. But at Narita Airport, we recommend heading to Sushi Kyotatsu for one last bite of fresh sashimi and sushi. They’ve got pre-packed sushi platters containing popular choices like California or spicy tuna rolls if you’re in a rush to get something.


Image credit: Max Filin via Google Maps

But if you have the time, sit down and ask for the catches of the day. While it won’t exactly be an omakase dining experience, the recommendations change daily, so you know you’re getting the freshest stuff. Ones to look out for include chutoro (¥1,200, ~S$11.02) – semi-fatty tuna sashimi – and Japanese tiger prawn (¥1,000, ~S$9.19).

Terminal 1
Location: Terminal 1, Transit Area, No. 3 Satellite, 3rd Floor
Opening hours: 9am-7.30pm, Daily
Contact: +81 476 32 1777

Terminal 2
Location: Terminal 2, Transit Area, Main Building, 2nd Floor
Opening hours: 7.30am-10pm, Daily
Contact: +81 476 33 8300

Sushi Kyotatsu website


10. Eat Japanese fruits in IG-worthy desserts at Mizunobu Fruit Parlor



Image credit: @mizunobu_fruitparlor via Instagram

Be for real right now – you’ve been tempted to buy those hundred-dollar melons in Japanese supermarkets before. But if you always walk away empty-handed, Mizunobu Fruit Parlor is your chance to see if those luxury Japanese fruits are worth every penny.


Image credit: Masaaki Otowa via Google Maps

This cafe serves all sorts of seasonal fruits like strawberries, figs, and muscat grapes in desserts like parfaits (from ¥2,500, ~S$22.97) that are meticulously layered with fruits, whipped cream, and coulis.

You can even enjoy the fruits in creative ways like the seasonal petit fours platter (¥3,000, ~S$27.56) that sees locally-grown produce transformed into tarts, macarons, and cakes.

Location: Terminal 2, Transit Area, Main Building, 2nd Floor
Opening hours: 7.30am-10pm, Daily
Contact: +81 476 34 8411 | Mizunobu Fruit Parlor website


11. Slurp up handmade udon made fresh daily at Kineya Mugimaru


You’re pretty much spoilt for choice when it comes to getting Japanese food at Narita Airport. But we’re betting none of them serve handmade udon for as low as ¥350 (~S$3.21) a bowl. Kineya Mugimaru is a hidden gem found in the public area of Terminal 1 that makes their noodles fresh on-site daily. Plus, they’re halal-certified, so Muslims can enjoy the food here too.


Image credit: 自家製麺 杵屋麦丸 成田国際空港第1T店 via Google Maps

The ¥350 bowl is the most basic option and just has udon in dashi broth. But for something more filling, get the noodles topped up with beef curry or mentaiko (from ¥480, ~S$4.41). Otherwise, the classic pairing of tempura and udon is sure to keep your belly satisfied.

Location: Terminal 1, Public Area, Central Building, 5th Floor
Opening hours: 7.30am-8.30pm, Daily
Contact: +81 476 32 7877 | Kineya Mugimaru website


What you should know before visiting Narita Airport

Most of us dread having a layover, but when you have an airport like Narita, spending a few extra hours in an airport can actually be fun. Of course, these tips aren’t just for layovers. The next time you find yourself needing to go to Narita Airport, check in early. It’ll give you plenty of time to check out the cool amenities here.


Image credit: Visit Chiba


Is Narita Airport in Tokyo or Osaka?


Neither. It is in Chiba Prefecture and serves the Greater Tokyo Area of Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawasaki, and Saitama.


Is it difficult to go from Narita Airport to Tokyo?


There are various modes of transportation that will bring you from Narita Airport to central Tokyo.

Trains: There are a number of train options available, such as Keisei Skyliner, Keisei Access Express, and Narita Express with ticket prices starting from ¥1,270/pax (~S$11.66). You can purchase tickets online or at the Narita Airport Station in Terminal 1 or Airport Terminal 2 Station at Terminal 2.

Buses: One of the most affordable options is to hop onto the Low Cost Bus. The network has bus stops at all 3 terminals and will make stops to various destinations such as Shibuya, Ginza, and Ikebukuro within central Tokyo. Tickets start from ¥1,300/pax (~S$11.94) and can be purchased at the airport.

Taxis: Taxis are notoriously expensive in Japan, but they are available if you want a more direct ride. It’s estimated to be about ¥26,100 (~S$239.61) from the airport to Tokyo Station.


Which is better, Narita or Haneda?


Haneda International Airport is located within Tokyo prefecture itself, so it’s definitely nearer than Narita Airport. That being said, most flights from Singapore fly into Narita Airport itself. Major airlines like Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and Thai Airways service both airports.

Address: 1-1 Furugome, Narita, Chiba 282-0004, Japan
Contact: +81 476 34 8000 | Narita Airport website


Cover image adapted from: FaSoLa, Max Filin via Google Maps, Narita Airport

Raewyn Koh

Old millennial.

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