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I have a flight coming up on March 31st. I’ll travel with my 4-year old & 4-month old. We all have US passports. We’ll arrive in NRT terminal 2 at 4:15pm to be exact and have to change airport in HND terminal 3. We’ll leave from HND to Manila at 1:55 am. Our airline is JAL. I have a few questions:

  1. We’ll fly from Boston to Narita Airport and then have to transfer to Haneda for our long layover. Will they transfer our luggage to Haneda?
  2. How do we go to Haneda in a not so expensive way?
  3. Where can we “sleep” in the airport without having to pay for hotels or so on?
  4. Any ideas where to go and eat around Haneda airport that’s good with kids?

Please share some ideas how you guys manage to travel with kids. I’ll be just with myself and with my kids going to the Philippines. I’d for us to explore or even just try local food outside the airport if it’s possible since we almost have a 10-hour layover.

I may not be able to respond to ask more info and to thank you guys. I don’t know how this works since it’s my first time here. But I’d like to say thank you all.

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    The answer to #1 depends entirely on how your flights are ticketed, so you'll need to provide details about that. Are they on the same confirmation number (PNR) or separate? Same airline / alliance or different? Mar 21 at 18:34
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    @NateEldredge I believe it’s quite unusual for airlines to transfer luggage between airports, isn’t it? But knowing which airline(s) is/are involved and whether it’s a single ticket or not would definitely help. Also a clarification on the arrival and departure times would be useful.
    – jcaron
    Mar 21 at 19:15
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    @NateEldredge However the OP booked her tickets, there's no way the luggage would be transferred. The luggage will be offloaded in NRT for pickup by their owners, and screening by Customs.
    – dda
    Mar 21 at 22:52
  • Is there any chance you can still change this flight(s)? This is a difficult connection to make with two small children and luggage.
    – Hilmar
    Mar 22 at 12:14

3 Answers 3

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You have two separate flights, to and from two different airports, 40 miles away from each other. You'll have to pick up your luggage, and schlep it all the way to Haneda, and check in again.

As for going from NRT to HND, the easiest is probably, especially with kids and luggage, the limousine bus that connects both airports. 3,600 yen per person. No idea whether your children have to pay. It'll take you an hour and a half from departure. So in Haneda around 18:00.

The cheapest, about half that, involves taking 3 trains. Probably a nightmare in your situation...

Also, if you're flying from T2/international, it closes at midnight. T3 stays open. Since you said you'll be in Japan around 16:00 and have a less than 10-hour layover, I suppose you'll fly from T3 at 01:40 with PAL. EDIT: I see you are flying with JAL, so this might make things easier, as you could (not guaranteed) check in early(-ier) than with PAL, as JAL has all-day counters, as opposed to foreign airlines with few flights: they tend to rent by the hour.

My advice would be to head first to T3, check in, if possible, then, with your hands relatively free, head back to Shinagawa (20 minutes by train, direct), and have dinner there. You said in your edit that you'd like to experience local food outside the airport, and Shinagawa is probably the best option. Head back to HND after dinner. Pass through security, immigration, and wait it out there.

Alternatively eat at the airport, there's a bunch of restaurants. Then pass through security, immigration.

There is indeed a direct train, once in a while, as mentioned below. I should've remembered, but I haven't been to Japan in a while... enter image description here 2

The bus would still be more comfortable, and it doesn't really matter how long it takes: you and the kids can sleep for a while...

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    HND has tons of reasonably priced eating options, there's no point going all the way to Shinagawa. And this goes double for OP, who is traveling with a young child and a baby. Mar 22 at 5:06
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    Unless, of course, the bus/train into Shinagawa provides interesting sights to keep a 4 year old occupied and not crying/whining/"I booooored"...
    – FreeMan
    Mar 22 at 13:20
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    Would they accept check-in that early? In most airport/airline combinations you often can check in only 2 to 3 hours before departure, the exception being airlines having a major presence at the airport.
    – jcaron
    Mar 23 at 12:37
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    @jcaron Good point, especially considering it's PAL, which probably rents counters for 3 or 4 hours.
    – dda
    Mar 23 at 13:26
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    @NicolasFormichella An app called Japan Transit Planner.
    – dda
    Mar 23 at 13:27
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We’ll fly from Boston to Narita Airport and then have to transfer to Haneda for our long layover. Will they transfer our luggage to Haneda?

You may want to contact your airline as it seems to have a lot of conflicting info

Where can “sleep” in the airport with not having to pay for hotels or so on?

With two children, especially this young and this late in the day, I would not risk it, get a hotel for both your kids' and your own comfort.

How do we go to Haneda in a not so expensive way?

The easiest by far is the direct limousine bus from Narita to Haneda, cost being JPY3600 (~20USD) per adult and JPY1800 (~10USD) per child that takes a seat on the bus. You can book online.

Some of those Q&As cover travelling with young childrens

You can find others with the tag

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    I would agree with the hotel but, OP is most possibly leaving at 01:40, so not a viable solution.
    – dda
    Mar 22 at 5:42
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    @dda This is precisely why Haneda has by-the-hour hotels: en.first-cabin.jp/hotels/haneda1 Mar 22 at 21:48
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First, even if you booked the flights on the same ticket, it is very likely that the airline would not transport your luggage between airports. Don't count on it, and be prepared to have to claim your baggage at HND and re-check it in at NRT.

Contrary to the accepted answer, there ARE direct trains from Narita to Haneda. They are Keikyu express or rapid express trains that provide through service to Keisei. As said, they cost about 1,800 yen. When run as rapid express, they take about 1.5 hours, and when run as express they will take 2 hours. The downside is that there are quite few of them.

Now, as you're arriving at 16:00, there is a good chance you'll catch the 17:25 direct train from Narita Terminal 2/3 to Haneda. But failing that, you can take the bus.

Many people said that the bus will likely be much more comfortable - yes, they are not wrong about that. But buses will be affected by traffic, and when the traffic is heavy it's likely that any gained comfort would be negated due to the length of the bus ride. So it's still really up to you.

As for the hotel: I don't think you'll need one, given you flight is around midnight and not close to the dawn. There aren't really any place to sleep besides the benches at the airport. If you have Priority Pass or other cards or frequent flyer memberships that grant you access to a lounge, that might be an option. Otherwise, there are a few hotels around Haneda Terminal 3 that cost around $100 a night, which might still be a good deal if your budget allows.

Finally, there are places to eat in the airport. Plus, if you travel 1 stop via the monorail (or Keikyu), that will get you to Tenkubashi where there is a commercial complex.

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    With two young children and luggage, the Limousine Bus will be much more comfortable than a regular commuter train. Mar 22 at 7:13
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    Also, 6 PM Tokyo is 5 AM Boston, I suspect the OP could make good use of that hotel! Mar 22 at 7:15
  • I wouldn't call the Access Limited Express a regular commuter train. It would be a bit more comfortable than that. That said, the limousine bus is probably more comfortable - but who knows how the traffic in Tokyo would be like.
    – xuq01
    Mar 22 at 7:15
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    @xuq01 if it's the Sky Access train that's (now) shown in the screenshot in the accepted answer, then it is pretty much a regular commuter train. Very different from the Skyliner on the same route, which is all-seats-reserved and has comfortable seats (but of course doesn't go to Haneda, being only up to Ueno).
    – muru
    Mar 22 at 9:04
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    @FreeMan This is a suburban/commuter railway. The trains run at max ~100 km/h in segments without speed limitations, and usually much slower, to not be a disturbance to residents along the railway. You can't compare it to an intercity train; many commuter railways run even slower.
    – xuq01
    Mar 22 at 14:56

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