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Transit 11 hours in NRT - what to do?

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sparoy

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My daughters will arrive in NRT at 0635 on QF21 and leave for ORD at 1805 on AA154 on the same day.
If they check the entire luggage all the way to ORD, can they get out from the airport? I heard that some tickets do not allow you to get out from the airport. How do we tell from the award etickets?
Do they have enough time to visit Tokyo as it is at least 1 hr away by the fastest train each way?
Thanks

sparoy
 

Mal

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I'm not a Japan expert by any stretch of the imagination, but IMHO 11 hours is plenty for a quick trip.

I don't know whether it is legit, but I had no issues entering the country on a ~4 hour stopover a few months ago.

Customs and immigration were a breeze (although, they did question me quickly as to my intentions).

The trains into Tokyo are frequent. Can be a bit confusing as to where you get onto the trains in Tokyo stations though.

As a guide, I caught the express train to Tokyo station (return), and had time to wander around, grab a quick meal and head back to the airport.

I would probably recommend skipping Tokyo station and instead going to Shinjuku or similar. IMHO better shopping and looking area (although ~ 30 mins more each way on the train and a few $ more)

Others will recommend visiting the nearby town of Narita for such a short stopover.

Best you consult some Japan guide books on the best areas to quickly visit.
 
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IMOA

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QF21 arrives ahead of the traffic so you can get through customs and out the door very quickly, in fact even when picking up baggage we tend to clear immigration, get bags and clear customs in less than 10 minutes, sometimes in under 5.

They should have comfortably enough time to get in to see tokyo but my suggestion is they only try to see one area, if they bounce about they'll waste too much time imo. Some suggestions would be:

Asakusa/akihabara: Visit the Sesoji Temple in Asakusa for a taste of the past and then into the electronics shopping distrct (not my favourite to be honest but it's convinient and gives a nice contrast) for a taste of the future

Tsukiji/Ginza: Down to the fish markets for a fantastic sushi breakfast then walk up through Ginza for the shops etc

Shibuya/Shinjuku: Shopping and people watching with the fashions of japan.

Getting in from the airport the keisei is the best $ option, quite cheap and the express takes about an hour to Ueno. If they go across to shinjuku/shibuya I'd suggest the get the narita express (Nex) to get back as it's on the far side of tokyo and it means they can simply hop on the train in shinjuku and they will know exactly when they will arrive at the airport. Train travel is easy in tokyo but if they are running tight on time and having to change a few trains it can get a bit stressful for a first timer.

I'd strongly urge them to head into tokyo, it may be a short trip but it's certainly not one to waste
 

sparoy

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Thanks for all your suggestions and welcome IMOA to AFF. Excellent first posts.
However I'm still wondering whether there's any restriction in leaving the NRT airport with their luggage already checked in to ORD
 
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JohnK

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sparoy said:
However I'm still wondering whether there's any restriction in leaving the NRT airport with their luggage already checked in to ORD
I have done this at many airports and it has never been an issue. I don't see why NRT would be any different.

Worse case scenario is if they do not make it back for the ORD flight their luggage will be off-loaded before the aircraft takes off.
 

Mal

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Looking some more into Narita Airport and stopovers, there appears to be a "International Passenger Service Facilities Charge" in Japan of ¥2040 (~$20)

The details: Applies to International Departures from Narita.
Exemptions: Infants and International transfer pax connecting within same calendar day.

So I don't believe that this would apply regardless of whether the person enters the country or not - as long as they aren't there overnight.

Doesn't appear to be any other customs based/immigration type taxes that would apply.

I don't believe the airport would be concerned about the connecting bags lying around 'out back' while the pax are away from the airport - or at least I have never been made aware of this being an issue or heard anything different.

Whenever I have more than 3-4 hours spare at an airport, then I'll leave where possible and visit the town for a stroll, bite to eat and relax away from the airport. Never had any dramas (but always very cautious of my time and ensuring that I am back at the airport in reasonable time for my flight).

Note though, that is part of the Qantas (and some other airlines) conditions of carriage that they expressly prohibit you from leaving a transfer airport. I presume this is to ensure that they aren't hit with fines for immigration offences (eg no visa) and to ensure that any liability for anything that goes wrong is on the pax. Under Qantas rules, this could lead to denied boarding.
Flying with Us - Before You Travel - Conditions of Carriage - Long
0.1 Refusal of Carriage
Even if you have a ticket and a confirmed reservation, we may refuse to carry you and your baggage if any of the following circumstances have occurred or we reasonably believe will occur:
<snip>
* if you ask the relevant government authorities for permission to enter a country in which you have landed as a transit passenger
 
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dajop

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I can't comment on NRT, but last year I had a five hour connection between flights (OZ->NZ) at KIX (Osaka), and had no problems in exiting the airport for that period of time. Did get queried what I was going to be doing in the short period of time, though. Point of difference was that I had carry on luggage only, which I paid to be stored for the few hours in the terminal, landside.
 

sparoy

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Thanks for all your replies. My daughters will be flying to NRT tomorrow night and it's good to know that they can get out from the airport during the transit. Will keep you posted.
 

Tiki

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We have a 12 hour layover on the way back from LHR via HEL and NRT to BNE and we will be doing the same thing-having a very quick whirlwind tour of the highlights.
 

Evan

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Japanese immigration etc are all fine with people on AU passports from what i can tell, just turn up fill in the form and you get in, but there is also a special line for transit passangers so maybe different form ?. I have never just steped out for a 12 hour stop over as i have always ended my trip in NRT/KIX (ie staying atleast a couple of days)

E
 

Mal

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I'm doing a 12.5 hour daytime transit soon in NRT. Arriving ~6am.

While I've been to Tokyo before and am comfy with being there, this time I'm pretty puzzled as what to do.

I was thinking about the Fish Markets, but have been told that they'll be pretty much done for the day by the time I get there and instead should save it for a time when I can be at the fish markets by 6am.

I'm wanting to save Narita for another time I've got a shorter layover.

I suppose all I really want to do is to grab a couple of meals (lunch and early dinner), do some shopping for some cool items clotheswise/gadgetwise (but not really electronic), travel on some trains and just chill out for the day arriving back at the airport around 5pm.

So, any good suggestions?
 

BlacKnox

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Mal said:
I'm doing a 12.5 hour daytime transit soon in NRT. Arriving ~6am.

So, any good suggestions?
Uhm, depends what you're into. PM me your fantasy list and hopefuly I can help. I've been there several hundred times...
 

Mal

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BlacKnox said:
Uhm, depends what you're into. PM me your fantasy list and hopefuly I can help. I've been there several hundred times...
Not entirely sure what I really want to do in Tokyo - hence my post, but wouldn't mind visiting a shopping centre type place that has good lifestyle gadgets and/or clothing, or to disappear outside of Tokyo to somewhere else that would be more scenic.

Fromer's have an ok base that I would do a few things from here: Tokyo : Suggested Itineraries : In One Day | Frommers.com

Eg, something like 1,2,4,7, back to NRT.

Foodwise, I'll find something pretty easily. Last time I was in Tokyo, I spent time a few hours wandering around Shinjuku and found some nice places to shop/eat/look. Looking for another area to explore, but not wanting too much of a complicated transfer on the trains etc.

A place where I can view Mt Fuji would also be good, but not really necessary as I should be able to do that next time when in Tokyo.
 

Mal

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I also just realised the day I'm planning to visit Tokyo is a (substitute) public holiday. So any relevant comments are also welcome about what will and won't be open.
 

BlacKnox

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Apologies Mal; didn't realise my inbox was full.

Mal said:
Not entirely sure what I really want to do in Tokyo - hence my post, but wouldn't mind visiting a shopping centre type place that has good lifestyle gadgets and/or clothing, or to disappear outside of Tokyo to somewhere else that would be more scenic.
I'd highly recommend Kamakura for a daytrip - the old capital of Japan. Lots of temples and shrines and you can visit the beach. You can get there in 2.5 hours on the Sobu line from Narita (about $22) directly; or on the Yokusuka line from Tokyo station. The extra people there on the public holiday will add to the ambiance.

On the way home, stop at Yokohama for shopping (e.g. Minato Mirai 21 complex), visit Japan's largest Chinatown, largest ferris wheel, tallest building (and observatory for some great views), world's tallest lighthouse etc etc. OF course this would all be more convenient if you were arriving at Haneda, which is only 30minutes from Yokohama. Nonetheless if you want to "travel on some trains and chill out" then this intinerary would work.
 

Mal

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BlacKnox said:
I'd highly recommend Kamakura for a daytrip - the old capital of Japan. Lots of temples and shrines and you can visit the beach. You can get there in 2.5 hours on the Sobu line from Narita (about $22) directly; or on the Yokusuka line from Tokyo station. The extra people there on the public holiday will add to the ambiance.

On the way home, stop at Yokohama for shopping (e.g. Minato Mirai 21 complex), visit Japan's largest Chinatown, largest ferris wheel, tallest building (and observatory for some great views), world's tallest lighthouse etc etc. OF course this would all be more convenient if you were arriving at Haneda, which is only 30minutes from Yokohama. Nonetheless if you want to "travel on some trains and chill out" then this intinerary would work.
Cheers for the info BlackKnox. My day in Tokyo was actually today, so I didn't get to see your post before my day out. I'll save your idea for the next time I'm in Tokyo for a decent layover.

In the end, I caught the NEX into Tokyo station, then the Yamanote line to Yurakucho station, and spent several hours wandering around Ginza. I stumbled across the fish market about 10am (even though I'd given up on going!), and it was ok at that time. Of course no fish auctions, and way too many trucks/forklifts going about, but I still saw a few Tunas being moved about, and plenty of other fish. Wandering around the stalls was also nice.

Popped into a few shops, grabbed brekkie and lunch and checked out the Sony Feature shop (pretty cool technology) and then wandered back to Tokyo station and caught the NEX back. Was going to complete the Yamanote circle and then catch the NEX, but decided to get back to the airport a little earlier than I planned as I didn't have my onward boarding pass.
 

BlacKnox

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Mal said:
Cheers for the info BlackKnox. My day in Tokyo was actually today, so I didn't get to see your post before my day out... In the end, I caught the NEX into Tokyo station, then the Yamanote line to Yurakucho station, and spent several hours wandering around Ginza...
Sounds like you had a relaxing day nonetheless. In Ginza I love sitting at the Dotour coffee shop on the main intersection (diagonally across from the giant TV) watching all the beautiful people walk by. And if you have a heap of money to burn, the Ginza hostess bars on the small streets back from the same intersection are the best in the world :cool: .
 

simongr

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OK - here's a similar question. I am overnighting in Tokyo on my circleasia trip. I arrive Thursday evening, will train/bus to hotel in City - I am staying at the Hilton in the City and my flight leaves at 8:20PM the next day. I estimate that I will need to leave Tokyo at about 4PM.

I am thinking of going to the Imperial gardens/palace but that is about it. I wont be able to do a heap of shopping as I will be travelling with just hand luggage - any thoughts?
 

tscharke

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simongr:: catch the train from Shinjuku out to Akihabara........if you thought the Wan Chai Computer Centre was an eye opener then you ain't seen nothing :cool: however if you dont feel like riding the train then Yodobashi will not disappoint!

guaranteed you wont be able to resist handing over the JPY ;)

otherwise the Meiji Shrine, Edo Museum, Tokyo Tower or just hanging out in Kabukicho! Try some great food at Shomben Yokocho (Shinjuku - next to the Odakyu Department Store)
 
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BlacKnox

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If the weather is good, take a boat ride on the Sumida River from Asakusa; the ferry being a five minute walk from the Temple.
 
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