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

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That’s about $75 USD. Not cheap, but given how Narita is out in BFE it’s not so terrible either.

Great story. I’m usually pretty calm and collected even in chaos, but I can imagine myself losing my shit at this scenario.


Dude why not stay in Narita for the night? It’s actually a very cool town with a fantastic temple. It’s definitely worth a day of exploring whether you’re stuck there or not.


Fantastic read, this should be a Nat’l Geographic article. I remember my fascination with Narita’s clockwork transportation network. Very schadenfreude to hear what happens when it goes awry.

This piece is a testimony to how the right writer can find the compelling narrative in just about anything, even “I had to get a cab at the airport and yikes.” Kudos.


Came here to say the same thing. I LOVE Narita. Been to Narita-san three times, including going at 6am for the early morning ceremony (which is astonishingly nice despite the fact that nothing really happens, which is kinda the point).


Narita was a pretty convenient airport to fly into when i went to Japan last year. It’s crazy to see this chaos because of the typhoon though, for me i’m always very anxious when making my way through an airport so being in a scenario like this i would’ve been flustered and stressed out.

This story reminds me of when I was flying into JFK on 9/11 to visit my sweetheart. We watched the towers get hit on airplane TV news while the pilot announced that we’d be rerouted to land at an airforce base upstate. Once we’d landed on the ground, airline personnel had no clue what to do. There were rumors of buses being organized to take passengers into town but then what? No trains or buses were going into NYC. The crowd milled around helplessly or surged up to the plane staff demanding answers that nobody could give. At that time about half the people (including me) did not own cellphones. I looked around & saw a small knot of middle-aged women around a phone booth; coming closer I heard them ordering a rental car & planning to drive to Rochester, where my boo’s parents lived. I shyly asked the ladies for help & they made room for me in the car, let me use a cellphone to contact the in-laws, let me stay with them while I waited for a reply, & finally dropped me off at the common-law in-laws’ place where I let myself in with a key hidden under a rock. None of us knew at the time what was happening but the middle-aged moms were the ones who managed to rally, organize, improvise a plan & get things done. I am so thankful that they included me. I concluded that moms should be in charge of disaster preparedness in the nation, as they are at home!


That was an exciting read. Thank you and glad you made it out. Sorry your wallet was caught in the cross fire.

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Great post. I’ve been through Narita on both of my two trips to Japan, and it never even seemed particularly busy. I can’t imagine it in such a state of chaos, but kind of a fun adventure to have in an unexpected place.

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So I guess I’m the only one who processed this as an exciting travelogue about a white guy who decides that lines don’t apply to him and stealing cabs is okay?

Who was he stealing the cab from? According to the post, things were so bad that the cabs at the departing area were dropping off their riders and just leaving the airport since it took too long to get to the arrivals area.

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