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Operated by JR, the Narita Express is one of the quickest ways to get to and from New Tokyo International Airport at Narita, travelling from Tokyo Station to the airport terminal in 53 minutes flat. The Narita Express actually serves a fairly large network of points in and near Tokyo—an ASCII map of the stations it stops at:

  Omiya
    |
 Ikebukuro    Tokyo=====Chiba=====Narita=====Narita Airport
    |           |
 Shinjuku---Shinagawa
                |
             Yokohama
                |
              Ofuna
Trains bound for Tokyo Station leave at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour during peak periods (morning and night), and about once an hour during the day. They rotate between Omiya, and Yokohama as their final destinations, with Shinjuku-bound trains occasionally thrown in during rush hours. At peak times, the maximum wait for a train bound for Yokohama or Omiya is one hour: during the day, you may have to wait for up to two hours.

Because it is a limited express train, the NEX charges a premium over regular trains, and is by advance reservation only ("advance" can mean a few minutes, as long as there are still seats available). One way fares as of September 2002, in yen, are:

            Regular  Green Car
Tokyo       2940     4980
Shinjuku    3110     5150
Ikebukuro   3110     5150
Omiya       3740     6080
Yokohama    4180     6520
Ofuna       4500     6840
Yes, I know what you're thinking: "That's a whole smegload of money!" Well, it is, but that's beside the point. The Narita Express is immune to traffic jams and other Acts of God. Unless you happen to own a helicopter, or traded in enough Pepsi Points to get the Harrier, the NEX is your friend.

(And if you have a Japan Rail Pass, the NEX is free! So hop on board!)

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