getting to yis

Booking Your Flight

There are two major airports in Tokyo: Narita (NRT) and Haneda (HND).If possible, we recommend you fly into Haneda airport. Although it’s more expensive, it’s much closer to Yokohama. Haneda is about 25 minutes away from YIS, and if necessary, you could easily take a taxi (for around US$100).

Narita is about 90 minutes from Yokohama. If you choose to fly to NRT, please make sure you allow enough time to get back and forth.

From the Airport to Yokohama (via the Yokohama City Air Terminal (YCAT))

From both airports (NRT or HND) we recommend you take the Airport Limousine Bus (which is extremely well organized and efficient) to the YCAT Terminal here in Yokohama.

  • The cost of a bus ticket from NRT is around JPY6,800 (US$80) (NRT – YCAT Schedule)
  • The cost of a bus ticket from HND is around JPY1,000 (US$15) (HND – YCAT Schedule)

Directions for taking the YCAT bus are here (please note: we can not reimburse you for your bus ticket, this is just the document we use for visiting guests).

From YCAT to Your Hotel

Taxi: The easiest way to get from YCAT to your hotel is to take a taxi, which will cost around US$25.

Note: Please make sure you print out a copy of the address of your hotel in Japanese for your taxi driver (Star, New Grand), although they will try to speak English, it is always easier to have the directions written in Japanese.

Subway: For those of you who’d like to take the subway, the nearest station to these hotels is Motomachi-Chukagai on the Minato-Mirai Line, the trip will cost around US$5.

It can be a little confusing to walk from the YCAT terminal to Minato Mirai line, but it’s well-signed and people are willing to help. Here is a map of the YCAT station, and Yokohama station – they are connected by Porta, an underground mall (you do not have to go outside to get from one to the other). Make sure to follow the signs for Yokohama Station, and then the signs for the Minato Mirai line – you’ll go through Porta, the underground mall, on your way, (bout 5 minutes walk.

Note: the subway stops around midnight (I think the last train is 12:30), so if you’re arriving very late, you may have to take a taxi.

Internet access in your hotel

Please note that the Star Hotel (and most likely the New Grand as well) does not have wireless internet access – if you’d like to be wireless, make sure you bring your own Airport Express (of course there will be free internet with an ethernet cable for those who don’t mind being “tethered”.)

The YIS campus is wireless (N-protocol only, G-protocol devices will not work on our network).

From Your Hotel to YIS

Detailed directions for how to get to YIS from anywhere in Tokyo can be found here on our website. It’s very easy to get to YIS from both of the recommended hotels, however, if you’re worried about how to get to school, someone from YIS will meet you at 8:15 in the lobby of the New Grand and 8:20 in the lobby of the Star Hotel, so we can walk up together.

General Logistics (Currency, Mobiles & Weather)

Currency Exchange

To give you an idea of how much to exchange, a simple Japanese meal will run about JPY2,000 (US$20) per person, a Western meal will be about JPY5,000 (US$50). One-way train fare to Tokyo from Motomachi is around JPY500. YIS will cover your lunches, as well as Thursday night’s dinner, so please plan accordingly.

Japanese ATMs are very picky and often will not accept a foreign ATM card. It’s recommended that you bring cash and/or exchange currency in your home country. There are Citibank ATMs around Tokyo and Yokohama that you will be able to use, but they are not very plentiful.

Mobile Phones

Your mobile phone may not work in Japan (or the rates may be quite high). Generally, I would not expect to use your phone while you are here. See more details here. Do not plan to pick up a SIM card at the airport. Japan uses a different mobile phone system and you will need either a phone contract (from your home country which works in Japan), or you can also consider renting a phone from the airport (NaritaHaneda). Generally, we would recommend just working with wifi only and not bothering with cellular service while in Japan.


The weather has been a bit rainy in the past few days (don’t expect to see too many sakura trees still in bloom), so make sure to bring an umbrella and light rain jacket. Dress is business casual at school.

Getting Around

My favorite subway app for the iPhone is MetrO. Make sure to download Tokyo-Yokohama as your subway map before you leave (or on free wireless), then you’ll be able to use it even if you don’t have internet access).

If you’re planning to take a taxi and want to know the cost before hand (very important because taxis are very expensive here), try Samurai Taxi.

If you’re planning to use 3G, Maps is amazingly helpful, as is Google Translate.

If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments!

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