Photo: Pakutaso
travel

Haneda Airport’s new train line to make getting into, out of Tokyo easier for JR pass holders

10 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

If you plan to fly into Tokyo, Haneda Airport is where you want to land. Sure, rival Narita Airport sometime gets called “Tokyo International Airport,” but it’s actually all the way out in Chiba Prefecture, while Haneda is the one truly located within Tokyo.

However, just because Haneda is located closer to the Tokyo city center doesn’t mean it’s super close.

HT-2.jpg
Foreground: Haneda Airport. Way in the background: Downtown Tokyo Photo: Pakutaso

So no matter how long your flight to Japan was, once you get off the plane at Haneda and grab your bags, your next move is going to be to hop on a train to get into downtown. However, East Japan Railway (also known as JR East), has just announced that it’s building a brand-new train line to help get you to the fun part of your time in Japan more quickly.

Tentatively called the Haneda Airport Access Line, the new line will start at a new station to be attached to the airport building. From there it’ll run north to Tokyo Freight Terminal Station, at which point the track will flow into one of the preexisting JR lines which lead into Tokyo Station and continue out of the capital towards Tochigi and Gunma Prefectures.

Currently, the trip from Haneda to Tokyo Station takes about 38 minutes, starting on either the Tokyo Monorail or Keisei lines, neither of which are operated by JR. Both routes also require a transfer, at either Hamamatsucho or Shinagawa, two extremely busy Tokyo commuter stations which can be difficult to navigate even if you’re not hauling an overseas-trip amount of luggage.

The Haneda Airport Access Line, though, would require no transfer between the airport and Tokyo Station, and, according to a previous feasibility study by JR, would make the trip in 18 minutes, roughly half the time it currently takes. Best of all, the entire route being on JR trains means it would be free of charge to travelers with JR’s popular unlimited-use rail passes, and quicker access to Tokyo Station would be helpful for those hopping on the Tohoku Shinkansen, whose line starts at Tokyo Station, as well as the Hokuriku Shinkansen, which begins at Takasaki Station in Gunma.

JR says the project, which was just given the green light by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, will involve installing around five kilometers of new rail. As you might expect, though, laying tracks through the middle of Tokyo is no quick or cheap endeavor, and JR is estimating costs of roughly 300 billion yen to get the line ready to start carrying passengers in 2029.

Sources: JR East, IT Media

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© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

10 Comments
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Great news! Just in time for the 2032 Tokyo Olympics.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Not 1 metre of track for this new railway line has been laid.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@factchecker: As it was only approved last week, its very unlikely that any track has been laid, isn't it? The news last week and this article does state a 2029 opening. Waste of a post from you.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If you plan to fly into Tokyo, Haneda Airport is where you want to land. Sure, rival Narita Airport sometime gets called “Tokyo International Airport,” but it’s actually all the way out in Chiba Prefecture, while Haneda is the one truly located within Tokyo.

However, just because Haneda is located closer to the Tokyo city center doesn’t mean it’s super close.

Why on earth would I want to fly to Haneda if I'm going to Ueno, Oshiage or anywhere else on the east side of Tokyo?

"Journalists" seems to think Tokyo is the equivalent of Shinjuku and Shibuya only. Wake up.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Suskino: That's why you have a choice of airports for many destinations. As you are commenting on this you can't really complain as you have SkyLiner Access.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

At least there are already normal trains which leave Haneda regularly. Go to Narita and you'll see that, unless you're willing to pay a premium AND you're going to central Tokyo, you're in for a long wait. Neither the local JR nor Sky Access are frequent, and they sometimes depart close to each other.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

From Narita the bus is the only way!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Good news. Japan getting done as usual. The new station will bring both jobs and help the people of Tokyo. Well done Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@ Redbear

Which one do you work for.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I've flown into both airports, several times, and prefer Haneda and the monorail, even if I can't use my JR pass for it. The ride to Hamamatsucho is cheap. And hotels near that station are decent. All I have to do, after getting my first night's sleep is pay a few paltry yen to take the train to Tokyo station and exchange my JR pass document for the real thing. It really is a piece of cake.

As for the new train line, it's eight years away. And once the COVID thing is under control that leaves me several more years of annual 6-week adventures in my favourite destination. Really, who cares?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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