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No trains or buses from Narita to Tokyo after the category 3 typhoon = chaos for thousands

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I touch down at Narita Airport on schedule and feel lucky to have just missed Typhoon Faxai, a category 3 storm which had passed through the area hours earlier. I’d received a note from the airline that, depending on how fast the typhoon was moving, my flight (which was scheduled to land just after 3 pm) could be canceled or delayed, but we left on time and the updates during the flight suggested all was clear. As a resident of Japan, I get to use the special “reentry permit holder” lines at immigration which tend to take about 5 minutes to get through, which is incredible compared against the sometimes hour-long queue for visiting foreigners. Once through customs, I have to decide how to get home. Some airports offer no transportation, Narita for all its faults (mostly that it’s so far from Tokyo) offers many. I bounce between taking the Narita Express train or the Airport Limousine bus. Both options will get me to Shinjuku for about $40 and take roughly an hour and a half. From Shinjuku station, I can transfer to a local line and I’m walking in the door of my house about 15 minutes later. I tend to prefer the train because I’m tall and the reserved seats have more legroom, but it runs only once an hour, while there tends to be a bus leaving every 10-15 minutes so the bus is often more convenient. Anyway, my point is as I was walking off the plane at 3 pm I expect to be home by 5pm. Read the rest

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