Narita airport is the international Tokyo airport that serves the greater Tokyo area, handling a majority of Japan’s international passenger traffic. It is situated 57.5 km east of Tokyo station in the ward of Narita. It was formerly known as New Tokyo International Airport and was renamed officially in 2004 to differentiate it from Tokyo International Airport which is commonly known as Haneda.
Narita airport, or the New Tokyo Airport, has two terminals. Terminal 1 has two wings, the North wing and the south wing. Similarly, terminal 2 is divided into the main building and a satellite wing connected by the Terminal 2 Shuttle System.
As a result of overcrowding of the Tokyo airport at Haneda in the 60s, the Japanese government saw the necessity of expansion. Due to the lack of space for expansion the best alternative was to build another Tokyo airport so as to accommodate the country’s increased traffic. The rural Chiba Prefecture was selected as the ideal site. The first terminal was completed in 1972 and developments have been continuing since.
Being the second busiest freight hub in Japan, and the second busiest passenger airport in Japan, the New Tokyo Airport handled almost 35.5 million passengers in 2007. It serves most of the leading international airlines. It also operates helicopter charter flights between Narita, Tokyo Heliport, Saitama-Kawajima Heliport and Gunma Heliport.
Ground transportation to and from the New Tokyo Airport comes in several forms. There are several options in form of rail, bus, taxi, and the Narita Express and Keisei Skyliner Limited Express speed trains. Being quite far from Tokyo, distance is the main drawback for Narita compared to other Tokyo airports. But with the services of the speed trains, your trip to Tokyo will range between 36 minutes and 70 minutes. The Keisei Skyliner takes 36 minutes to get to Nippori station in central Tokyo. If you are destined for south Tokyo, you would opt for the Narita Express which would get you there in 56 to 70 minutes.
Of the two Tokyo airports Haneda Airport and Narita, Narita handles more international flights.