Uber vs Tokyo Airport Taxi: Which Transport Service is Best in Tokyo?

Service Compare in Tokyo between Uber and Tokyo Airport Taxi

Uber vs Tokyo Airport Taxi: Which Airport Transport is Best in Tokyo?

If you’re visiting Japan or coming back to Japan, one thing you will always need to think about is how to get to your destination from the airport.

Although Japan is well known for having a great public transport system, sometimes people prefer a more private ride that will take them directly to a specific place.

In this case, you may think of two options which are Airport Taxi and Uber.

In this article, we will compare these two services to see which one is more suited to your needs.


*Note: In this article, we will be using the service “Tokyo Airport Taxi” to compare it with Uber. If you are interested in checking other airport taxi services, check out the following article.

What is Uber?

Uber Japan
© 2022 Uber Technologies Inc.

As you may already know, Uber is a “mobility as a service” provider. This service is available in over 70 countries around the world. If you love traveling around the world, then it’s most probable that you already have the app installed on your mobile phone.

It comes in an app and is simple to use. It can help you if you suddenly need a ride in the middle of a foreign country.

The situation of Uber in Tokyo

The first thing you should know is that Uber is relatively new in Japan, initiating services in 2018. Because of this, the market size is not that large yet. So far, Uber is available mostly in large cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and Fukuoka.

In countries like the U.S. where Uber has a large market, it is very convenient, and in many cases cheaper than the usual taxi ride. However, this is not quite always the case in Tokyo yet.

▶Check the official website: https://www.uber.com/jp/en/

What is Tokyo Airport Taxi?

Tokyo Airport Taxi Website
Tokyo Airport Taxi Website

Tokyo Airport Taxi is a service that specializes in airport transfer. This includes rides from Narita or Haneda airport to your destination and vice versa.

The prices indicated on the website are straightforward and easy to understand. Booking is easy to do from the website and there is no cancellation fee, even if it is a last-minute cancellation.

Another attractive point about this service is the fact that you can make a booking 5 hours before your departure time.

And should your flight be delayed, the driver will wait up until 90 minutes for free. And in the case that your PCR test returns positive on arrival, your order will be fully refunded.

The prices are fixed depending on your area of destination which makes it easy to understand.

Also, a very important thing is that both customer service personnel and drivers speak English. So you won’t need to worry about any misunderstanding due to the language barrier.

▶Check the official website: https://www.airport-taxi.tokyo/en

Comparing Uber and Tokyo Airport Taxi

So now, how do we compare these two companies?

The following shows four of the most important qualities that people usually look for when deciding. Hopefully, this comparison will make things easier for you when deciding on which service you would like to contact.

The four qualities are the following.

  • Fares (Narita Airport – Tokyo): This is the cost for this service.
  • Fares (Haneda Airport – Tokyo): This is the cost for this service.
  • Passengers: This shows the capacity of passengers.
  • Other features: This includes booking services, ride availability, and language.

The following are the results.

1. Fares (Narita Airport – Tokyo)

In order to compare fares, we have decided to check the service price from Narita Airport to 4 different destinations: Shinjuku, Ueno, Setagaya, and Yokohama.

Tokyo Airport Taxi: In the case that you choose Tokyo Airport Taxi, the cost from Narita Airport to central Tokyo (within the 23 wards) is fixed. It will cost you 19,800 yen for a drive to Shinjuku, Ueno, or Setagaya.

Since Yokohama is located in Kanagawa prefecture, the cost is different, being 25,450 yen. Any destination within Kanagawa prefecture will also be this price.

These same prices apply for rides from Tokyo/Kanagawa to Narita Airport.

Uber: In the case that you order Uber for a ride from Narita Airport, prices will vary depending on the precise distance to the destination. The following is the price that appeared when I made a search on a weekday.

  • To Shinjuku: from 28,000 yen
  • To Ueno: from 29,140 yen
  • To Setagaya: from 28, 370 yen
  • To Yokohama: from 39,180 yen

*Note: Prices may vary depending on your destination’s exact location.

Also, as you can see in the images above, prices vary depending on the vehicle you choose.

2. Fares (Haneda Airport – Tokyo)

Same as we did with Narita Airport, we checked the service price from Haneda Airport to 4 different destinations: Shinjuku, Ueno, Setagaya, and Yokohama.

Tokyo Airport Taxi: In the case that you choose Tokyo Airport Taxi, the cost from Narita Airport to central Tokyo (within the 23 wards) is fixed. It will cost you 11,800 yen for a drive to Shinjuku, Ueno, or Setagaya.

Since Yokohama is located in Kanagawa prefecture, the cost is different, being 10,830 yen. Any destination within Kanagawa prefecture will also be this price.

These same prices apply for rides from Tokyo/Kanagawa to Haneda Airport.

Uber: In the case that you order Uber for a ride from Haneda Airport, prices will vary depending on the precise distance to the destination. The following is the price that appeared when I made a search on a weekday.

  • To Shinjuku: from 7,870 yen
  • To Ueno: from 12,087 yen
  • To Setagaya: from 11,776 yen
  • To Yokohama: from 11,367 yen

*Note: Prices may vary depending on your destination’s exact location.

Also, as you can see in the images above, prices vary depending on the vehicle you choose.

3. Passengers

Tokyo Airport Taxi: In the case that you choose Tokyo Airport Taxi, the vehicle will be a Toyota Alphard which is a 7-seater vehicle. up to 6 people can ride with plenty of space for luggage.

Uber: On the other hand, in the case that you order an Uber ride, what will usually appear is either a 4 passenger vehicle or a 5 passenger vehicle. Prices will vary depending on the vehicle you choose.

4. Other features

Tokyo Airport Taxi: In the case that you choose Tokyo Airport Taxi, beforehand booking is required which can be done as soon as 5 hours before your departure time. Should your flight be delayed, the driver will wait up until 90 minutes for free. And in the case that your PCR test returns positive on arrival, your order will be fully refunded.

A very important thing is that both customer service personnel and drivers speak English. So you won’t need to worry about any misunderstanding due to the language barrier.

Uber: On the other hand, in the case that you order an Uber ride, beforehand booking can’t be done at this moment. This probably is because the market is still too small at the moment.

The market size also affects the availability of rides at certain hours.

Also, although rides starting from central Tokyo were available, I wasn’t able to find a ride starting from Yokohama.

Regarding language, this will depend on the driver. However, since the destination is predetermined, this will not be a big issue in most cases.

Conclusion

As you can see, price-wise, in the case of taking a ride from Narita Airport to central Tokyo or Yokohama, Tokyo Airport Taxi has a much more affordable price in comparison to the Uber ride.

On the other hand, in the case of taking a ride from Haneda Airport to central Tokyo, depending on the destination, sometimes Uber is cheaper and sometimes Tokyo Airport Taxi is cheaper. And from Haneda Airport to Yokohama, Tokyo Airport Taxi is more affordable.

As I previously mentioned, Uber is relatively new in Japan and doesn’t have a large market yet. This means that there is a risk that you won’t find a ride once you arrive in Japan. It would be good if you could book in advance, but I wasn’t able to make a booking for a Uber ride in advance.

So, if you would like to book in advance to guarantee a private ride from Narita airport or Haneda airport to Tokyo, then Tokyo Airport Taxi would be our recommendation.

For bookings or more detailed information about Tokyo Airport Taxi, check out the following link!

▶Book a ride with Tokyo Airport Taxi now!

And regarding Uber, a good way you could use their service is in the case you are in central Tokyo and you suddenly need to take a ride somewhere. You could also use a regular taxi, but if you’re not confident with your Japanese, ordering an Uber ride could be an alternative.

Taxi usually offers better prices than Uber, but during late nights when taxi rides have an extra fee, that is when Uber becomes a good alternative.


I hope this article was helpful for you.

Transportation from the airport to your final destination in Tokyo is a thing some people tend to forget. In the case that you don’t have so much luggage, you may not mind using the public transportation systems. However, if you’re traveling with a lot of luggage or with a small child, using a private ride will make things much less stressful.

If you liked this article and wish for more information about transportation, check out these other articles.

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