We have a mid-morning flight to catch from Tokyo Narita Airport, going home after two weeks in Japan. To avoid the stress of navigating rush hour in the city, we decide to leave Tokyo the evening before and find a hotel near the airport for the night.
The cheapest place we find is a business hotel in Narita town, APA Hotel Keisei Narita Ekimae. (Do not book from their web site. For some reason, you’ll usually get a much better price through other hotel booking sites.) They even offer free transportation to the airport, just 20 minutes or so away, and there’s a free for guests onsen (hot springs bathing facilities) inside the hotel. The rooms are tiny, but clean and with all the normal amenities.
We make the most of our time in Tokyo, so it is late in the evening before we arrive at the hotel. We chose the cheapest train from Tokyo, the Keisei Main Line. For just 870 Yen, about 8 US dollars, we get more than an hour and a half of authentic local train experience, allowing us to enjoy no less than 40 stops along the way.
In hindsight, we could have saved half an hour or so of travel time by taking a faster and only slightly more expensive direct train to the airport, and then get a cheap ticket to go a few stops back to Narita town. Still, it’s a pleasant train ride, not crowded at all, so we’re happy.
After checking in, I decide to go for a walk in Narita before going to bed. Rarely have a spontaneous idea of mine turned out so well.
From the square between the two train stations, I walk north on what seems to be the main street. By now it is almost midnight, so except for a few bars, McDonald’s and a noodle shop, everything is closed. Airline personnel looking for a party is in steady supply here, so places like the “Jet Lag Club” do good business. But never mind that. I keep walking up the street, sincerely hoping that the guy falling out of a bar I pass isn’t flying my plane tomorrow.