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How to buy Narita Express ticket at Narita Airport

how to buy narita express ticket at narita airport Travel Guide

If you are visiting Japan for the first time, of course, you don’t know what to do right after arriving at the airport.

You have to head downtown to begin your dream travel in Japan, are you going to use public transportation?

Compared with a decade ago, signs around public places are getting friendly for overseas travelers, but surely still get you confused to find out how to get tickets and how to ride on.

Today, I am going to tell you the latest information to get the Narita Express ticket at Narita Airport Terminal 2 station.

Railway concorce at B1F

ign by the elevator narita airport

Narita Airport is 5 level floor building included with the underground railway’s concourse.

The train station called “Narita airport terminal 2 station” for Narita Express (JR LINE) is located at B1F.

If you want to exchange the actual “JAPAN RAIL PASS” from the voucher, “JR EAST TRAVEL SERVICE CENTER” is located on the same floor at the railway concourse.

“JAPAN RAIL PASS” is the special discount train pass for overseas travellers, which is the multi pass that you can unlimitedly use JR LINEs includes Shinkansen.

train narita

After you get to the arriving terminal lobby, follow the sign said “Train” which goes down to the underground.

(You should be on the first floor.)

You can use elevators but they are very tiny and most of the time there are full of people already when the doors are opened.

You might need to be patient.

JR East Travel Information center

jr east travel service center

When you get to B1F following the “Train” sign, you will see “JR EAST TRAVEL SERVICE CENTER” and “SKYLINER & KEISEI INFORMATION CENTER” next to each other.

If you need to exchange “JAPAN RAIL PASS”, go to get one here.

You don’t need to buy Narita Express ticket once you get “JAPAN RAIL PASS“.

Skyliner & Keisei Information center

skyliner keisei information center 2

If you want to get the cutest transportation card in Japan, you can get “PASMO PASSPORT” at “SKYLINER & KEISEI INFORMATION CENTER”.

JR Ticket Office <Midori no Madoguchi>

ticket office at narita airport terminal 2 station

When you look at the opposite side of JR EAST TRAVEL SERVICE CENTER and SKYLINER & KEISEI INFORMATION CENTER, there are ticket gates and JR Ticket office called “MIDORI NO MADOGUCHI”.

what is “Midori no Madoguchi”?

ticket office*This is NOT a ticket office at Narita Airport. 

All manned ticket counters and offices of JR LINE are called “MIDORI NO MADOGUCHI”, which literally means “Green (service) counter”.

Actually even though I am Japanese, it is very complicated to purchase a Shinkansen ticket from ticket vending machine especially combined with the airport shuttle or the local trains.

Indeed for foreign travelers, it is much easier to purchase train tickets at “Midori no madoguci” and moreover, you can’t use international credit cards for ticket vending machines.

narita express midorino madoguchi

There are ticket vending machines next to the ticket office, but as you see in the picture, the right sign tells you that you can’t use the international credit card.

*NEX means Narita Express.

Get in the line

midorinomadoguchi line narita airport terminal2 station

It depends on the time of the day, you might need to wait in the long line to purchase the ticket.

In my situation, we got there after 5 p.m. on Saturday, there was already a long line.

the ticket officer narita express narita airport station

While you are waiting in the line, a station officer may ask you the ticket details that you are going to buy.

Narita express and Shinkansen is operated by “Japan Railway company” aka “JR LINE” so that you are able to purchase combined tickets of Narita express and Shinkansen, or local line tickets in Tokyo area at the same time.

the ticket detail

  • The number of people who need tickets
  • The payment method
  • The seat grade on NEX, Green car (the first-class seat) or the regular car
  • The destination
  • Shinkansen, Green car (the first class) or reserved seat or no-reserved seat
  • Shinkansen, Smoking or non-smoking
  • Shinkansen, the destination
  • Need the local train ticket or not

When your turn comes, give the card to the counter staff.

They will provide the best train coming next and explain the detail.

This situation happned because it was in the rush hour. It was the first time this happened to us.

Even you will not get asked, you are still asked the details above.

Go through the gate

My case was going to Nagoya by Narita Express and Shinkansen.

In my case, I will get three kinds of tickets for “Narita Express” and “Shinkansen” rides.

ticket narita express and shinkansen

I know it’s confusing, don’t worry I still make a mistake when I get through the ticket gate.

To through the first gate at Narita Airport Terminal 2 station, you need this.

narita express ticket

Don’t insert all three ticket, the gate will be closed that we did for the first time.

There is a station staff all the time by the gate, you can ask them if you are not sure.

ticket gate at narita airport terminal 2

When you succeed going through the gate, you will go down to the platform again.

Look at the ticket and make sure of your car number and seat number which you will get on.

There are stickers on the platform, wait around the sticker where you should get on.

Narita express plat form

Local trains also use the same track so that make sure you are following the sign for “Narita Express”.

Narita Express

Narita Express inside*Narita Express, first class seats

Narita express aka N’EX is the express train directly connected with major areas in Tokyo. It has comfortable seats, (enough leg room) luggage storage areas, and free wifi service.

free wifi service on Narita express

It takes about 60 min between Narita airport and Tokyo and Shinagawa station.

Major stationTime
Ikebukuro1 hr 33 min
Shinjuku1 hr 24 min
Shibuya1 hr 18 min
Shinagawa79 min
Tokyo sta.59 min


It helps you if you know the train station and the ticket office that are located on the basement floor of Narita Airport.

Also, if you are planning to purchase “Japan Rail Pass“, you will be required to exchange the actual pass at JR EAST travel service center in the basement.

Get line to get the ticket for Narita Express and Shinkansen ticket (or local train ticket ni Tokyo area if you need to transfer to other cities.

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