Great news this month on the transportation front for central Tokyo residents. It was announced that a new breed of Keisei Sky Liner, the ‘Narita Sky Access’ will cut the time from Nippori Station to Narita Terminal 2 from 51 minutes to a mere 36 minutes. That’s a 15 minute improvement, for those of you averse to counting.
This makes for great press because Tokyo is widely seen as being inconveniently far away from it’s airport. But it doesn’t change the fact that Nippori is still pretty far North, although I suppose you could technically call it central Tokyo (if you really wanted to). But it’s still 23 minutes from Shinjuku and 30 minutes away from Shibuya by train, so you’re still looking at a full hour to get from the airport to the true heart of central Tokyo.
The fact remains that Tokyo is just really, REALLY big. And for the vast majority of people who live here, long trips to the airport are going to be a fact of life. If you live outside of the city’s 23 special municipalities, it’s going to be even longer. Consider the chart below which shows the distribution of most of the city’s population. Tokyo has about 13 million people, 8 million of which live in the 23 ‘ku’. Even for those in the center, the train ride is still quite long.
But every little bit helps, right? ’36 minutes’ does make for great headlines though! Ah well. There’s always Haneda…