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Narita Airport

The Difference Between Narita And Haneda Airport

Which airport should I use when visiting Tokyo? This article will answer the common questions about airports in the Tokyo area, Japan. Let's dive into learning about the differences between Haneda airport, Tokyo district, and Narita airport, Chiba prefecture.

How Many Airports in Tokyo?

For those unfamiliar with Japan's geography, you may be searching to find out what the difference is between the two airports in the Tokyo area: Narita and Haneda. Technically, Narita Airport is in Chiba prefecture, making Haneda the only airport in the Tokyo district by address. Simply, here are some of the main characteristics of each airport.


  • WIN: The number of international flights

  • WIN: The number of airlines

  • WIN: The volume of air cargo traffic

  • LOSE: Further away from downtown Tokyo


  • WIN: The number of runways in total

  • WIN: The number of landing aircraft in a year

  • WIN: The number of passengers in a year

  • WIN: The number of parking lot capacity

  • WIN: Closer and easier access to downtown Tokyo

  • LOSE: Fewer international flights

Narita Airport

Narita Airport is actually located in Chiba prefecture, not in Tokyo. Transportation will take about 1.5hrs to reach central Tokyo which may sound like a bit of a hassle, however, there are more airlines that fly in and out of Narita, compared to Haneda. Therefore you will have more choice in airlines, flight schedules and price. Airport transfer is pretty easy. The most popular methods would be either the limousine bus or the Narita Express train. If you have a JR Pass, you can use the pass to ride this train. Seats must be reserved for the Narita Express, so please make a reservation prior to your ride.

Narita Airport

Haneda Airport

A little shopping area located on the second floor. It almost makes you feel like you traveled back to Edo period. (Pre-TSA check-in)

Haneda Airport is located within Tokyo prefecture, so transportation can only take more or less than 30min, depending on your destination. You will have choices of the limousine bus, Keikyu train line, or the monorail (the monorail doesn't run towards the more popular areas). This airport was initially built for domestic flights. You can still see this trend in the number of domestic flights offered at Haneda vs. Narita.) 

Haneda Airport

Which airport should I use when visiting Tokyo?

The common answer to this question would be "case-by-case." 

Typically, although Haneda Airport has been recognized as the primary airport for domestic flights and Narita for international flights, the differences between Narita and Haneda are becoming less and less, as Haneda has been increasing the international flights and Narita has also been increasing domestic LLC airlines in recent years. With that being said, it is essential to ask yourself what is your travel priority: cost, travel time spent on the train from the airport to your destination, whether if you're traveling by air within your stay, etc.