I am in Japan and I have purchased a kitchen knife (slightly over ¥16,000), claiming back the sales tax. The tax refund office did attach a document to my passport stating the sale.

Tomorrow I will be leaving through Narita. I have read about the procedure and I must show that I am taking the knife away with me. But of course, being it a knife I cannot take it with me in the cabin and I must leave it on the checked luggage.

What will be the proper procedure? May I go through customs before checking in? Or must I declare it when checking it somehow?

  • 1
    Don't worry about it -- there is zero enforcement of the theoretical requirement to show your purchases. – lambshaanxy Sep 5 '19 at 13:25
  • @jpatokal Effectively, I just had to pass through one automated passport checking machine and nobody ever checked my passport for the document. Thank you for your comment. – SJuan76 Sep 7 '19 at 13:24

You don't have to declare anything in Japan.

First you check your luggage in, with the knife inside.

Then you go through security, and finally, just before the passport exit stamp gates, there is small desk with a box where you leave all the receipts you have attached to your passport. Nobody looks at them nor at you, so you don't have to declare anything.

You should declare your purchases in your home country when you arrive, and pay taxes on your purchases done in Japan, but this is a different story.

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