I am a Chinese citizen and I have a US visa. When going back to China, I have a long layover (about 20 hours) in Narita and I have to stay overnight there. Do I need a transit visa? I am now in San Jose, California.

Also, could I go to Narita terminal 2 from terminal 1 as my flight will be arriving to the terminal 1? However, there is only a capsule hotel in terminal 2.

Many thanks!

1 Answer 1


It is possible to move between terminals airside at Narita, provided that you have a connecting flight at another terminal. That said, I don't think the said hotel (Nine Hours Narita) is located airside, so you will need to enter Japan anyways. There are no airside hotels in Narita.

It is possible for you to get a shore pass, which will allow you to enter Japan for at most 72 hours before carrying on with your travel. However, since this is not guaranteed and the denial of shore pass requests is not unheard of, there is a chance of you not being boarded without a transit visa. So, yes, you'd have to either get a visa, or change your itinerary such that it does not include such a long layover.

However, I assume that you are a resident of the United States. If that is the case, you are eligible to apply for a e-visa for tourism (*) online, which may be more convenient than applying for a transit visa. The documentation required are roughly the same.

(*) Yes, you are mainly just transiting through Japan. But since you have a layover of 20 hours, I assume you'd be doing something so that will constitute tourism.

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    Narita is not a 24/7 airport, so any overnight layovers will require a visa, full stop. OP is likely to be denied boarding if they show up without one. Commented Apr 7 at 20:07
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    @lambshaanxy Timatic clearly states the existence of shore passes, so I bet they are likely to be boarded. That said, there is no guarantee that one will be granted a shore pass, just like not everyone with a visa will be granted entry - but of course, the chances of the former is far higher than that of the latter.
    – xuq01
    Commented Apr 7 at 22:32
  • Of course they exist, but they're not at all guaranteed. At a 24h airport like Haneda, not getting a shore pass is a minor inconvenience; but at Narita, the airside is cleared nightly and if they don't get the shore pass, they'll be deported at the airline's cost. Commented Apr 7 at 23:08
  • See also travel.stackexchange.com/questions/9027/…: Transit visas are not required for same-day connections at NRT. Commented Apr 8 at 1:52

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