I'm arriving at Narita airport at 9:30 pm, and departing from Haneda airport at 9:30 am the following day. I am a Filipino citizen working in The Bahamas.

Will I still need a transit visa?

  • 2
    Where is your destination? What visas do you have? – Michael Hampton Dec 12 '15 at 2:35
  • 1
    Do you plan to get a hotel room or just hang out in Haneda Airport all night (Narita shuts down at 11 pm)? Are you on a through ticket or separate bookings? – user13044 Dec 12 '15 at 5:00
  • 1
    Are you a resident of the Bahamas? – Calchas Dec 12 '15 at 7:21
  • Whether OP plans to stay at a hotel, or is on separate ticket, or is a Bahamas resident is irrelevant here. – fkraiem Dec 30 '15 at 19:05

The simple answer is that you'll need a visa.

You are arriving in one airport and then departing from another, so you'll need to enter the country to get between them. This means that you either need to be from a country that does not require a visa for Japan (which doesn't include the Philippines), or have some form of pre-arranged visa.

Technically Japan does have a concept of a "Shore Pass" (sometimes called a "Transit Pass") that can be used in situations like this, but in general it's not possible to use it. The Shore Pass needs to be requested by the "captain" of your "ship", which basically means that the Airline needs to request it on your behalf - you can't do it yourself, and as a rule airlines will not do it for you.

Even if you could talk the immigration officials in Narita into giving you a Shore Pass it still not going to be possible, as the airline will not let board the flight to Japan without the proper documentation.

Note that even if you can change your flights so that they are both to/from the same airport then you may still need a visa. Japan does allow "Transit Without Visa" (TWOV) as long as you stay airside (ie, don't pass through immigration), however in Narita this is only allowed if you are departing on the same calendar day as you arrive - an overnight stay still requires a visa. Haneda on the other hand will allow you to stay for up to 72 hours in transit (because what could be more fun than spending 3 days airside in an airport!)

  • This answer is wrong. Firstly Shore Passes can be issued to passengers with an overnight connection, if the airports of arrival and departure are in the same group. And since Timatic states this, check-in staff certainly shouldn't deny boarding based on the lack of a transit visa. Secondly, overnight stays at Narita don't require a visa - it's not possible at all, as at least the airside areas of all airports other than Haneda and Kansai close at night. – Crazydre Feb 19 '17 at 6:10
  • Shore Passes need to be requested by the "captain" of the "ship" on your behalf. Many airlines will simply not do this. End of story. The rest of your comment makes no sense. – Doc Feb 19 '17 at 7:05
  • "a Shore Pass technically needs to be requested by the airline". Not anymore, the passenger requests it on arrival. The JAL hotline confirmed this to me recently, and user bonacci, who posted another question on the same topic, experienced this – Crazydre Feb 19 '17 at 7:09

As stated by Timatic, the database used by airlines:

Holders of onward tickets transiting to a third country can obtain a Shore Pass on arrival for a max. stay of 72 hours only if there are no connecting flights on the same calendar day

So, despite the other answer stating otherwise, this is a very real option. Present your passport and connecting boarding pass (or e-ticket, if you can't print the boarding pass in advance) to immigration at Narita.

One requirement is:

Departing from the same airport of arrival, or from a different airport (or seaport) around the airport (or seaport) of arrival, if both ports are located within the same group below:

Group A: Airports: Narita (NRT), Haneda (HND), Nagoya (NGO), Niigata (KIJ), Komatsu (KMQ) and Yokota.

So no, you do not need a visa

  • Your quoted text states "only if there are no connecting flights on the same calendar day". How do you know this is the case for the person asking? Secondly, as has already been stated, a Shore Pass technically needs to be requested by the airline (the "captain of the ship"), and many will not do this. – Doc Feb 19 '17 at 7:06
  • @Doc Due to the late arrival time at NRT, combined with the fact that this itinerary was actually sold, I'm 98% sure you couldn't make the same connection on the same day. Besides, how likely is it that immigration officials at NRT would bother to check this small detail of whether there happens to be another flight from HND to wherever OP is flying? It's a reasonable connection - as such OP should definitely be fine – Crazydre Feb 19 '17 at 7:15

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.