Tokyo, Japan: Arrival in Narita Airport (Sim, Where to Withdraw, Skytrain to UENO)

This post will include several topics but they all happened during our travel from Manila, Philippines to Tokyo, Japan. This is our second time in Japan but first time in Tokyo. 

As of July 2023:

1. NAIA Terminal 3 Immigration Experience
2. Narita Airport (Arrival Card and Customs Declaration)
3. Claiming of Sakura Sim Card via Klook - Purchase Yours Here: Klook Link Sakura Mobile  | 

Japan Travel Sim? Purchase yours here.

4. Where to withdraw Yen currency in Narita Airport for Philippine debit card holders (I think this is one of the ATM that has good rates)
5. Skytrain via Klook - 
Purchase Yours Here: Klook Link Tokyo Skyliner Ticket (Narita to Ueno)

I will be posting links that will direct you to where you can book online tickets.

Please be kind. HAHAHAHA.
I'm trying my best despite my obvious lack of creativity and skills. 

I bought those limited edition Arizona x Adidas collaboration sneakers when I saw the pair on sale in Busan, South Korea and I was supposed to use them in Spring 2020. Life happened. But at least they were finally able to go to Japan and fulfill their main purpose. 🤣

1. Immigration Experience

It was the fastest out of all our out of the country trips. We only spent 30 minutes in line at the immigration counter until the X-ray machines. 

But we have a lot of previous travels and Japan requires a visa so we didn't need to show other documents aside from our passport and visa. We've prepared the QR code beforehand but it wasn't asked for at the counter. We weren't asked a lot of questions. 

It's just sad that a lot of people encounter difficulties passing through the immigration especially for first timers and solo travelers. Traveling to another country and/or proving one's capacity to travel shouldn't be that hard and traumatizing for anyone. 

Our flight was delayed for forty minutes.

Narita's Immigration was fast but we weren't able to prepare the arrival card/arrival QR code beforehand. We spent several minutes to answer and to form in line. Also, because we got confused about the Customs Declaration Form. 

Here's the link for the fast track: Arrival Card and Customs Declaration

It's best to accomplish the forms online so you can head straight to the immigration queue upon disembarkation. You won't be allowed to leave the airport without submitting both the Arrival Card and Customs Declaration Form.

2. Our choices for internet connection were buying a sim card and availing a hotspot/pocket wifi. We settled for the former because we didn't want another responsibility. haha! We didn't want to pay deposit nor allot time in returning the device. E-sim cards are also becoming popular but our phones weren't compatible so it was out of our options.

Instructions on where exactly this is claimed is in the voucher. 

2. I used to prepare the currency of the country I'm visiting while still here in the Philippines but the hassle of doing that isn't worth it anymore. 

You'll find a 7-11 branch in Narita Airport and it has a good exchange rate. Head to this floor near this gachapon area to find it. 

Where to withdraw in Narita

There are several machines at the airport but the one in 7-11 is what I recommend because it has a good exchange rate. 

Exchange rate for that day:

Actual Yen rate from Google: 1 JPY = 0.38720 PHP

Rate from 7-11 Bank: 1 JPY = 0.388226 PHP

The difference is only 0.001026 PHP/ 1 JPY

I know that this can get confusing so I'm including a sample computation:
Btw, the machine would ask you if you're withdrawing in Yen rate or in PHP rate. This computation is for when you choose Yen rate. 

Ex: You withdrew 50,000.00 Yen using a Mastercard Debit Card.

ATM Withdrawal Charge: 500 JPY/ 194.11300 PHP

50,000 Yen * 0.388226 PHP = 19,411.3 PHP
Plus  194.11300 for the ATM Withdrawal Charge

Total amount debited in your card: 19, 605.413 PHP

Actual Yen Rate that day: 19,360.00 PHP

Difference including card withdrawal charge: 
245.413 PHP.

I don't know where else can you get an exchange rate better than this.

You can leave a message or a comment if this isn't clear enough or if you have more questions 'cause we know that I'm not the best at explaining things. 😂😂

For those who've known about 7-11 machines, is it the same rate for all the atm across Japan?

3. There are several options in going to Tokyo. The price and length of travel varies depending on the transportation but we chose Skyliner Express. 

It's more expensive but it has the shortest travel time of 41 minutes. Reserving online is cheaper than purchasing on site. 

Purchase Yours Here: Klook Link Tokyo Skyliner Ticket (Narita to Ueno)

We would've ridden the regular train if the arrival schedule of the flight was earlier but we decided not to take the risk 'cause we have to arrive at Ueno Station before the subway stops operation for that day. Taxi prices are high and we wanted to make sure we don't pay for that. 

If the ticket says that your departure time is 21:33 then don't ride the train that arrives at 21:29 'cause it is not yours yet. Several trains bound for several locations use the same platform so it can get confusing at first. 

Always remember that trains are usually on time so arriving too early wouldn't make a difference because it follows a schedule but arriving 2 minutes after the schedule would likely mean that you've missed your train.

Skyliner is a reserved seating train. There's an area where you can place large luggage. Ours wasn't big so we took it with us on the seat.

Arrived 22:18 in Ueno Station and we were able to purchase subway ticket bound for our hotel at 22:29.  

Still hoping for the day when commuting in Manila is this efficient. 


During our walk to our hotel, we immediately noticed the Tokyo Skytree.😍😍😍 We decided to check in this area rather than the more famous areas like Asakusa, Shinjuku, Shibuya because we wanted the peace and quiet and to be away from Tokyo crowd at night. Lol. Hahaha! We moved to another hotel in Ginza though but that's for another post. 

After checking in our hotel and putting down our stuff, we went to the closest 7-11 branch to buy our dinner/midnight snack.

And here ends the first night of one of the best trips we've ever taken... :))

Thank you, Universe for giving us the chance to heal our 2020 heartbreak! Tokyo trip finally came true after three years and three months of waiting. 💖

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