VDD19/Air travel

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This page covers air travel advice for VDD19.


Your passport must be valid for as long as you would be allowed to stay as defined by the country visa policy. For visa-free visits, this is typically 90 days. However German, British and Irish citizens are allowed for 6 months. As a general, you should always renew a passport 6 months before it expires anyway.

On international flights, you should always carry a receipt of your flying itinerary - especially return flights, a copy of any reservation for accommodation, a pen in working condition and of course the receipts for any checked-in bags. You will be required to fill a landing card, which the flight attendants should provide during your flight into Japan. If you did not get one, you can also fetch one at the airport border checks.

As a general rule, never bring meat or fresh food through customs. Also bring a copy of any medical prescription drug. Your bag will be checked at customs.

  • Before departure:
    • Disable roaming data on your phone.
  • After landing you will go through:
    • thermal cameras (to detect people with fever),
    • passport/visa checks,
    • baggage reclaim,
    • and finally custom checks.
  • Past arrivals:
    • Look for an ATM if you need local currencies.
    • Look for prepaid data SIM if you pre-ordered one, or wish to buy one.
    • Drop your heavy bags at a delivery service counter (for reasonable price) if you wish.
      • That way, you do not need to go to your hotel until evening just to drop your bags.
      • You should have your hotel address written in Japanese.
    • Then follow signs for the public transit station (see below for airport transfer).

Airport transfer

Note: If you can choose to fly through Haneda or Narita, Haneda is most convenient.

Haneda (HND)

There are two options from Haneda to the city:

  • the Tokyo monorail to Hamamatsucho station for ¥500,
  • the Keikyu railway to Shinagawa station for ¥300.

Both services connect with the JR Yamanote loop line for onward travel.

Onward to IIJ:

  • JR Yamanote line counter-clockwise (toward Tokyo/Ueno) to Akihabara station, then
  • JR Chuo-Sobu line west-bound to Iidabashi station.

Narita (NRT)

The airport is located quite far from the city, in the neighboring Chiba prefecture. There are two competing train companies to get to the city:

Please note that the first train to the airport start around 6:00. If your flight leaves Narita before 9:00, you should really consider staying at a Narita airport hotel the night before.

Narita Express

The Narita Express operated by JR East goes directly to/from Tokyo-Central station.

From Tokyo-Central to IIJ, take the JR Chuo line to Iidabashi station.

with JR Pass

The JR Pass (and JR East Pass) include unlimited rides on the Narita Express. Ask for a ticket to Tokyo at the same time as you exchange your JR Pass voucher for the real pass.

without JR Pass

You can buy a discounted round-trip if you go back to Narita within 14 days.


Keisei operates three different types of services between Narita and Tokyo-Ueno (actually Keisei-Ueno station).


The Skyliner is the fastest option to the city, and is recommended if you cannot buy a round-trip. You can buy a ticket online in advance for a small discount here.

Keisei Main Line

The limited express is the cheapest (and slowest) option. You can buy a ticket at the station.

Onward to IIJ, walk 600 meters south from Keisei-Ueno to the Toei metro Ueno-Okachimachi station, and take the Oedo line to Iidabashi station.

Kansai International (KIX) "Osaka"

Directly to Tokyo

This only makes sense with a JR Pass. Get the train tickets at the same time as you exchange the voucher for the pass:

  • JR West's Kansai-Airport Express to 'Shin-Osaka, then
  • JR Central's Tokkaido line Shinkansen to Tokyo-Central.

Via Osaka

  • JR West Kansai-Airport Express with a JR Pass, or
  • Nankai Electric Railway without a JR Pass.

Chubu Centrair / Nagoya (NGO)

  • Meiteitsu Limited Express to Nagoya central, then
  • JR Central's Tokkaido line Shinkansen to Tokyo-Central.


For international flights, it is generally recommended to arrive at the airport terminal 2 hours before scheduled departure, unless your airline has advised otherwise.

Hint: If you have a local prepaid SIM card and your phone accepts only one SIM card, inform your local SIM card on your flight booking, so you will not miss any last minute notice from your airline.

  • Before airport security:
    • You may want to return your payment card for refund, if applicable. Or keep it as memento.
  • After airport security:
    • If you have spare cash, and you will not be coming back any time soon, you can spend it on overpriced duty-free shops after airport security.
    • Be at the gate at the boarding time, not the departure time.