JR's Narita Express train has cut its price in half for foreign travelers. This means that it just became the best value for your money to get from Narita Airport to central Tokyo.
The price is falling from roughly 3,000 yen ($30) to 1,500 yen ($15) each way for holders of foreign passports. For children, the same price cut takes effect and the price falls from around 1,500 yen to 750 yen ($7.50).
The N'EX, as it's also known, is a special JR train that runs between Narita Airport terminals and several major train hubs around Tokyo, such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shinagawa, and out to suburbs like Yokohama.
Why the JR Narita Express is better
As the Konnichiwhoa Japan Guide shows, there are still alternatives, including the Limousine Bus and the Keisei Skyliner (which is still convenient for those staying right around Ueno). But those cost around $30 each way and aren't any faster than JR's Narita Express. The modern N'EX is fast, incredibly smooth, comfortable, has fancy TV screens with updated flight times and news in English, and even has a drink cart for you to get that first (or last) Japanese snack or beer on the go.
I've most recently lived in Shinagawa, which is a Narita Express stop, so I've taken this train a number of times and enjoyed the journey every time. It's an efficient and easy greeting to the country, and it's a beautiful view on the way out. I love it.
The new pass requires a foreign passport
You'll have to show a non-Japanese passport to take advantage of the deal. For Japanese nationals, the price remains the same.
The discounted Narita Express ticket is one of many discounts Japan orchestrates to encourage tourism, but this latest is probably the most aggressive discount I've seen on such a common service.
Check out the JR Narita Express site for the full details.
Image credit: Wikipedia