This post is related to my Tokyo and Seoul trip but I’ll also tie in my experience in Taipei as well.
When I first arrived in Tokyo, I took the rail to my hotel because it was pretty convenient with my hotel being by Shinjuku Station and that being one of the stops. However, leaving from the Shinjuku area to go to Haneda Airport, the metro was not as direct so I took what they call an Airport Limousine Bus. These aren’t like school buses but more like the big buses you might use on a tour. The seats are usually pretty comfortable and can recline. The nice thing about using the bus, especially if you’re staying at a known hotel is that they pick up directly from the hotel or you can probably find a stop at a nearby hotel. In my case, they picked up directly at the hotel so I only had to get my luggage to just outside the hotel.
In Tokyo, the buses run to and from both Narita and Haneda Airport and in between. Just make sure when you’re leaving you’re hotel you’re taking the bus to the right airport. I also used it returning to Tokyo from Narita Aiport since I was staying at the Park Hotel Tokyo which would require me to transfer by metro and I had a really have suitcase with me. At the airport, you can find their booth near the exits and can pay cash or card. From the hotel, you can buy the ticket from the hotel concierge or front desk usually and also with cash or card. I believe you do have to reserve beforehand or they might not stop at the hotel. When you alight at the airport, you are dropped off right at the airport doors so it’s a quick walk to the airline counters. You can find the routes, timetables and bus numbers here. From Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku to Haneda Airport it was ¥ 1230 or about USD $12 and from Narita Airport to Park Hotel Tokyo it was ¥ 3100 or about USD $29. As you can see, Narita Airport is a lot further so it’s more costly.
The system in Seoul is pretty similar to that in Tokyo. From my knowledge, there are two bus companies: the Airport Limousine and the KAL Limousine. The only difference is that they service different stops.
On previous trips, I stayed in Gangnam and used the KAL Limousine which I believe are now ₩16,000 each way to/from Incheon. On this trip, I stayed in Myeongdong so we took the Airport Limousine from Gimpo Airport and to Incheon Airport. From Gimpo it was ₩7,000 and to Narita Airport it was ₩15,000. I remember for the KAL Limousine at Incheon, I was able to buy tickets at a counter but for the Airport Limousine you pay at the bus so it’s important to have cash on you. Also, the first time I took the Airport Limousine, I only had large bills since I just exchanged money and the driver wouldn’t take such a large bill. I was lucky the worker loading the bags was willing to change money with me since that was the last bus of the night. So if you’re taking the Airport Limousine, make sure you have cash and it would be best to have smaller bills or just have the exact amount ready.
You can also take and Airport train but if you stay in Myeongdong, you would have to transfer at Seoul Station and with the excess luggage, it was easier to take the bus.
In Taiwan, I’ve only ever flown in or out of Taoyuan Airport so I really don’t know about Songshan Airport. However, at Taoyuan Airport, there is an area you can find by following the signs where you’ll find a few bus counters. It’s not quite as obvious as Tokyo or Seoul since the area is a little hidden away. If I remember correctly, there are multiple companies running buses to different locations so you may need to find the one going to the area you are trying to reach. You pay at the counter and I’ve only used cash so I’m not sure if they take card or not.
Last time I took the bus, I was staying at the W Taipei so I took the bus to the Taipei City Hall Bus Station which was just around the corner from the hotel. The one-way trip was NT$ 145 which is only about USD $5. The buses are also those large tour buses so it’s a pretty good deal. You can find information on the routes and schedules here. I’ve never actually taken the bus from the city back to the airport so I’m not sure how it works but I would guess you would pay cash for a ticket.
I believe in the last year, Taoyuan Airport is now connected by rail so you can take the train to Taipei Main Station and then connect from there to your destination but transferring in Taipei Main Station can be a bit of an inconvenience but it is faster since Taoyuan Airport is quite a distance from central Taipei.