How to get to Tokyo from the UK

How we got to Tokyo

A great city in every sense of the word Tokyo is one of the biggest in the world.  It’s packed with things to do, things to see, great food and drink and some of the nicest people we’ve ever had the privilage to meet.  If you’re wondering how to get to Tokyo from the UK you’ve come to the right place. 

Read on for information such as which airlines fly there from the UK, airport hotels and transfers.

Airlines

To get to Tokyo from the UK obviously means flying.  We flew from Heathrow and there are 4 airlines that fly non-stop to Tokyo from here.  Japan Airlines (JAL), Virgin Atlantic, ANA and British Airways. 

We flew with British Airways.  There are other airlines you can travel with that involve stops on the way including Emirates and Etihad.  We didn’t fancy that.  Plus, we always get great service with British Airways and enjoy the flights. 

We always use Skyscanner to check out who flies where and the best current deals on flights.

Heathrow Airport Hotels

Sheraton Skyline Heathrow Airport Hotel

We usually book flights which depart early in the morning to make the most of the day at the other end.  For this reason we like to have a pre-flight overnight stay to start our trip a day early and to make sure we’re close to the terminal for departure.

The night before our flight we stayed at the Sheraton Skyline on Bath Road.  We really like this hotel and have stayed there several times.   There are lots of other hotels on Bath Road and you can check them out on Booking.com

Breakfast at Sheraton Skyline

We like the fact the rooms here have 2 double beds, some with a runway view.  And the breakfast is always great.  The hotel also has a swimming pool which we usually take advantage of as a great start to the trip.  We like keeping hold of our car keys and parking here allows us to do that.

Including the parking for 10 days we paid £165.25 (this included return Hoppa Tickets to the airport).  

We booked The Sheraton Skyline as part of an Airport Hotel and Parking deal through Holiday Extras.  In our experience Holiday Extras offer unbeatable value for pre-flight accommodation and parking.  We also booked the Heathrow Hoppa through them.

We have no hesitation booking through Holiday Extras.  They provide the best value for money when it comes to hotels and parking.  Even better value than booking direct with hotels or booking separately.  You can also book extras such as breakfast and airport lounges.

Timing can make a huge difference when you book with Holiday Extras.  We’ve found prices changing significantly over a six week period, sometimes saving as much as 33%. 

Transfer to Terminal

We used the Heathrow Hoppa bus for our transfer to the Airport.  The buses do tend to get quite full, but it’s an efficient service which runs regularly from outside the hotel.  You can get a taxi to and from the terminal which cost approximately £12-£15 each way.  The Hoppa cost £11 per adult for a return ticket with children under 15 travelling free.  

From the Sheraton to Terminal 5 it takes approximately 15 – 20 minutes and the Hoppa runs from 4.30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m.  Buses run every 30 minutes to Terminal 5 and every 20 minutes to the other terminals.  Remember to ask your driver where your bus departs from for your return journey as signs for the buses/stops have been an issue for us.  Usually it is stop 17 or 18.

Flight

Flight

The flight to Tokyo from the UK takes 11 hours 45 minutes.  With complimentary meals, drinks, snacks and a couple of naps, it didn’t feel that long.  As with most long haul flights you get your own screen and access to a huge catalogue of films, tv, music and games.  The crew on these flights really were excellent.  Very helpful and accommodating.

There are 2 airports in Tokyo.  Haneda and Narita (www.narita-airport.jp).  We flew in to Haneda (www.haneda-airport.jp) as this is closer to the city.  Transfer time depends on which way you choose to travel to your Hotel.  

Transfer from the Airport

We had intended to use the Airport Limousine Bus Services (www.limousinebus.co.jp) to transfer to our hotel.  Because of our arrival time we would have had a long wait until the first one of the day.  So we decided to use public transport.  Having spoken to a very helpful lady at the information desk we decided to take the Tokyo Monorail (www.tokyo-monorail.co.jp/english) to Tennozu Isle Station.  We then took a train on the Rinkai Line to Shinkiba Station.  

As our hotel was situated in Tokyo Bay we then took the train on the Keyo Line to Maihama.  Door to door this cost approximately £20 for 2 adults and 2 children.  At the time the prospect of travelling this way felt a little daunting.  But we really enjoyed it.  We also learnt a lot about how the transport system worked.  This really helped us with future journeys for the rest of our stay.

A taxi in to Tokyo will take approximately an hour and cost around £60 – £70.

A bonus of using the rail travel option was that we got to tick off one of our ‘to do list’ items before we even got to the hotel.

You’ll see vending machines like this all over Tokyo.  They contain items that we don’t see back in the UK.  From different flavours of Coke to soups and noodles.  Some of us were particularly excited about this and we made it our mission to sample as many of these as possible.  See more about things to eat in our page Food, Drink & Money in Tokyo.

Planning your trip to Tokyo from the UK

Here’s a round up the resources we used when planning our trip to Tokyo

More Info

If there’s anything else you need to know about how to get to Tokyo from the UK feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch on Social Media. 

Also, check out the pages to the right and the posts below for more information on visiting Tokyo.

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