I'll travel in a few weeks and may have a ~10h layover in Tokyo (NRT airport).

I read on https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-61612599 (mirror):

From 10 June, tour groups will be allowed to enter the country. However the nearly 100 countries and regions, which include the UK, will be divided into three risk categories - red, yellow and blue - which will determine whether or not visitors can bypass quarantine measures, according to Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Is it possible to enter Japan (Tokyo, from NRT airport) for a few hours with a group travel?

I don't have any Japanese visa, resident permit or passport. I am a French citizen and US lawful permanent resident. Assuming I come from a country allowing me to bypass the Japanese quarantine measures.

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    You mean join a group you happen to meet there? Or say you are a one-person-group? I would expect in any case groups to have to be somehow declared in advance via a tour operator, with a pre-defined itinerary.
    – jcaron
    Jun 2 at 10:48
  • @jcaron thank you, anything that works to enter the country. Jun 2 at 10:50
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    I assume the tour group organizer will be annoyed if one of the member decides to leave the group for a few hours while transiting at NRT airport; imagine the troubles if anything bad happens.
    – Max
    Jun 2 at 11:44
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    @Max maybe some tours only last a few hours. Jun 2 at 12:06
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    I don't know why this was downvoted, the idea of group tours being only a few hours is completely reasonable. Istanbul airport did this pre-COVID, even for passengers who would normally need a visa to enter Turkey.
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 12 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


As of currently, the only option for tourists to enter the country is as part of a group tour. This means, a trip that was organised by some tour operator with a fixed itinerary and a known list of participants (source). It has been reported that there will ba a Japanese representative 'babysitting' the group to make sure nobody wanders off or anything. The participants will meet at some point in their country of origin before even boarding the plane to Japan.

This absolutely does not square in any way shape or form with the idea of a single traveller entering Japan for tourism purposes on a 10-hour layover.

It would make zero financial sense for a tour operator organising a tour to (say) Taiwan to go through the hassle of organising entry into Japan for just a couple of hours during a layover and it would just cause the company in question headaches.

The scheme also does not include spontaneous tours that might have been offered elsewhere especially pre-Covid (e.g. a guided tour of Singapore for a couple of hours during layovers that one can join at Chiangi airport).

  • Thanks. Is it possible to enter Japan (Tokyo, from NRT airport) for a few hours with a group travel? My question clearly indicates group travel. Jun 3 at 15:07
  • @FranckDernoncourt Clearly you are not understanding what the Japanese government means when it says group travel (what I also tried to spell out in my answer).
    – Jan
    Jun 3 at 15:11
  • No idea why you're claiming that. Jun 3 at 15:13
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    @FranckDernoncourt It's pretty obvious from (a) you having asked the question and (b) commenting on this answer imho.
    – Jan
    Jun 3 at 15:23
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    @FranckDernoncourt lepoint.fr/monde/…
    – jcaron
    Jun 7 at 23:37

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