As many of you North Americans know, there is an upcoming winter storm hitting the Northeast soon (at time of writing). I am about to take a flight from Shanghai, China back to New Jersey, with a layover in Narita, Japan.

If I arrive in Narita and the second leg of my flight is delayed (possibly to the following day), will I be permitted to exit the airport? What would be the standard procedure for the airline? (In addition, what would happen if I had to stay overnight?)

Additional information:

I'm a Chinese citizen, leaving from Pudong International Airport, stopping at Narita, and finally arriving at Newark International. The first leg (Shanghai-Narita) is operated by All Nippon Airways, and the second leg (Narita-Newark) is operated by United Airlines. I am also a minor (under 18), but not considered as an unaccompanied minor, at least by United.

Thanks in advance!

  • What is your nationality?
    – Neusser
    Jan 4, 2018 at 8:40
  • @Neusser I am a Chinese citizen.
    – Jerrybibo
    Jan 4, 2018 at 8:42
  • You'll probably need this: sleepinginairports.net/asia/tokyo_narita.htm :-)
    – jcaron
    Jan 4, 2018 at 15:36
  • Note that in some situations, airlines may actually refuse to let you board the first leg if they think there is a strong chance you may get stuck at the connection airport. Or they may reroute you. What class are you flying, and do you have frequent flyer status?
    – jcaron
    Jan 4, 2018 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


According to the site of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, China is not in the list of countries for visa exemptions. This means that you need a visa to enter Japan, so you will not be allowed to exit the transit zone of the airport.

  • Thanks for the answer! Just an additional question (I should've clarified in the original post), what would happen if I have to stay overnight? Do I just sit in the airport?
    – Jerrybibo
    Jan 4, 2018 at 14:11
  • Yes, I think so. @Jerrybibo
    – Neusser
    Jan 4, 2018 at 20:07
  • Aw, this is going to be a tough trip. Thanks again for the clarification.
    – Jerrybibo
    Jan 4, 2018 at 22:07

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