How to reach Nagano?
Nagano organized Winter Olympic Games in February 1998. This web page
explains how to reach Nagano after your arrival at Narita International
Airport. You have 3 alternatives to reach there, i.e. by train, bus or car.
Each has advantages and drawbacks so choose it by taking account of your budget and time.
Note: By clicking on the yellow rectangles of the map below, you can get the
1) Rectangle Narita explains you how to reach Tokyo from Narita Airport.
2) Rectangle Tokyo explains you how to reach Nagano from Tokyo.
3) Rectangle Nagano zooms in the northern part of Nagano prefecture where the games will take place.
4) Other rectangles give the information on other tourist resorts in Japan.
To find the meaning of a geographic term, please use the following search box which will send
a query to our Japanese dictionary of geography and tourism.
Take the train under ground of the airport building. You have 2
alternatives, Narita Express or Keisei Line. If you choose Narita Express,
you have to reserve a seat and the destination should be Shinjuku or Tokyo
Station. In the case of Keisei Line, you don't need any reservation,
excepting some express trains (Keisei Sky Liner), but be aware that the train may stop at each
small station. For the Keisei Line, the destination should be Ueno Station.
Limousine Buses serve the main districts of Tokyo. Purchase, inside of the
airport building, the ticket corresponding to your destination (railway
station, hotel etc.). Note the number on the ticket then wait for a bus
carrying the same number before the airport building.
You can take a taxi or a rental car. In the latter case, your itinenary is as following. As soon as you leave the airport, you enter an express way (Higashi-Kantou
Expressway). Take the toll ticket and rush to Tokyo. By arriving in Tokyo, you enter an urban highway (Shuto or Tokyo Expressway) to reach your district.
if you don't wish to stay in Tokyo, take immediately the direction of Shinjuku
which is the western district of Tokyo. From Shinjuku, keep the
direction to west and enter another express way (Chuou Expressway) to leave Tokyo. From Narita to Nagano, you may go through several toll gates but
should never encounter even one traffic light.
The most easiest way to reach Nagano is to take a bullet train from Ueno or
Tokyo Station. With the train which goes 260km/h, you can reach Nagano City
in about one hour and half, the same time as the trip between Narita-Tokyo. The train passes
through the towns of Takasaki and Karuizawa (Hokuriku Shinkansen Line), and some trains
halt even at the latter town. Unfortunately, in order to take that train,
you have to reserve a seat and during Olympics, they may have been all sold
out. In that case, you have to take an ordinary train from Shinjuku Station.
The train passes through Koufu and Matsumoto (Chuou Line). Excepting for
going to Hakuba/Happo direction, You might probably change the train at Matsumoto.
Anyway, after having arrived at Nagano City, you have to take a shuttle bus
to reach an Olympic ground.
There are many buses which will bring you directly to the Olympic grounds
from Tokyo's main railroad stations such as Ueno or Shinjuku. Unfortunately
most of boards are written only in Japanese but it could be a good way if
you master the Japanese language, because you don't need to take a shuttle bus
at Nagano Station.
From Shinjuku district, go to the west, i.e. to the direction of Hachiouji, by the urban expressway to enter Chuou Expressway. After
Koufu, at the junction Okaya, take the direction of Nagano. Because you pass
through the region where a heavy snowfall will be expected, check the weather even if it is fine at Tokyo, and possibly equip your car with snow tires. By arriving at Nagano City, it should be
better to leave your car there and take a shuttle bus in order to avoid the
traffic jams at the Olympic ground.
Last update: August 16, 2008
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