Perhaps there are times when you can not find a hotel, sometimes you have to leave scarily early in the morning and sometimes you’ve been traveling for 24 hours and you do not care what time it is; you just need some sleep! Having flown through Narita International both domestically and internationally I feel confident saying That there are better airports to sleep in, but never fear! It IS doable.
You can find a bench in the international terminals (departure areas or hallways leading to them are your best bet. Security tends to wake people up and tell them to move near Arrivals). Know that the Domestic terminal does close for a period of time overnight but there IS a free Shuttle Bus between each terminal starting at Terminal 1 at 5am and going until about 10:30pm. The exact schedule and map in English can be found here. The train stops at each terminal as well, and runs until a time a bit later than the Shuttle Bus. Here is more Information about train lines, routes, prices and schedules to Narita Airport.
Benches do tend to go fast so I’ve found some corners on the floor near power outlets to set myself up rather nicely. The best thing you can do though is to stay away from escalators and moving walkways! People use them all night and every time someone steps on them, the automated voice obnoxiously wakes you up.
My favorite option for sleeping here however has to be the nine hours Narita Airport capsule hotel. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Capsule hotels tend to conjure up images of coffin-sized, hole-in-the-wall claustrophobia. I’m here to tell you you’re wrong!
Both men and women can stay at nine hours Narita, though they’re separated by the lobby. Men go to the left and women to the right. You enter a large locker room from which you can go to the bathrooms, showers and beds, all of which are very modern-looking, clean and comfortable! Upon check-in you’re given pajamas, slippers, towels, a locker key and some basic toiletries. The showers come with shampoo and soap. And the atmosphere is very serene, perfect for de-stressing and getting some much-needed zz’s.
The capsules themselves are actually spacious enough to comfortably sit up in, with power outlets, adjustable lighting and there is a white noise maker that sounds like someone breathing. (Horror movie anyone?) My only complaint was that there is no fan or A / C so the capsule was a bit warm at first. But I left the door half open and problem solved!
Reception is friendly, multi-lingual and 24-hours, which is super important! They take both cash (only Japanese yen) and credit cards and it’s best if you reserve a spot in advance (though my reservation was made just hours before). You have the option to stay, nap or shower all for very reasonable prices. Located in Terminal 2 there are signs for it as soon as you enter the building so it’s also extremely easy to find (for those of us directionally-challenged folks). No matter how you choose to get your beauty sleep, happy travels!