Written by Shirley T
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 16:44
Imagine this situation whereby you are competing with time to catch a plane. And your instinct told you that you are actually riding on the wrong train to the airport? Sounds like an exciting scene in a movie yeah! And believe it or not, my Significant Other (SO) and I were the stars of the day!
After 3 days lesson of Tokyo subway and train, we thought we had graduated. On our last day, we dragged our luggage to Keisei Ueno Station and bought the cheapest ticket (1000 yen per adult) to Narita Airport and expecting everything to be as perfect as how we reached Ueno from airport. This time it was just in reverse order.
Tips: Airport Train at Keisei Ueno Station
1. By Narita Limited Express
Ticket can be purchased at self-service counter.
- Journey from Ueno to Narita Airport takes 1 hr 10 min
- Every 30 minutes
- Cost 1000 yen (the cheapest)
- Several stops: Ueno -> Nippori-> Aoto -> Takasago -> Yawata -> Funabashi -> Tsudaduma -> Yachiyodai -> Katsukadai -> Sakura -> Narita -> Narita Airport Terminal 2 -> Narita Airport Terminal 1
2. By Skyline Airport Express
Ticket can be purchased at staff-manned counter
We confirmed with the station staff on the track number so we were pretty sure with our decision to board when we saw an available train right ahead. In less than 5 minutes, the door finally closed and the train started moving.
- Journey from Ueno to Narita Airport takes 1 hr 3 min
- Every 20-40 minutes
- Cost 1920 yen (adult)
- Few stops: Ueno -> Nippori -> Funabashi -> Narita -> Narita Airport Terminal 2 -> Narita Airport Terminal 1
Fifteen minutes later, I smelled something wasn't right. First, the coach we took was empty. Only us until the next few stations. Second, the auntie with huge luggage at the same platform (I supposed she was going to airport) did not board the same train with us. Why? Was she taking Skyliner Express? Third, this train was practically stopping at every station but not the same stations as what we rode 3 days ago. Fourth, the condition of the coach did not look as new as the one in our former experience.
After some debate, my SO decided to walk through a few coaches and approached the train driver. At the same time, a Japanese lady that sat near us probed me in English whether we were heading to airport. As soon as I told her about it, she said this train did not go to airport and we had to get down at Aoto (the same station that she would get down) to catch Narita Limited Express. Fine, it was the same conclusion my SO told me upon his return. In my heart, I was praying we would be in time to check-in and catch our flight.
A few stations passed and we finally arrived at Aoto. After we got down, we eventually saw the LED indicator on the so-called 'wrong' train stated 'Local'. The lesson we learned: Read before boarding .
Since the lady also alighted at this station, she told us to wait at same platform for the next train. What amazed us next was she went to ask the station staff and returned to inform us that the next train was precisely the train to board. We were so touched and impressed at the same time! We thanked her a few times before she left.
Two minutes later, 'our' train - Narita Limited Express (we read this time) which was clearly indicated on the train itself arrived. Back in my mind, is this what people say 'Good Karma' or merely 'Lucky'? And I could not imagine how many 'what if' that we had to deal with if the opposite were to happen!
To the Good Samaritan - Arigato gozaimas (thank you) for saving our day! If not, we could have missed our flight to Dallas! We wish you happiness and good health in abundance.
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