Is it true that we can obtain Shore pass at Narita Airport only once in lifetime?

I am an Indian citizen who recently visited Tokyo, by obtaining shore pass at Narita Airport, Immigration officer present at Airport told me that be cautious you can Only obtain this pass once in your lifetime so be prepared for next time.

Can anybody confirm?

  • 1
    Japan Airlines told me 3 times, and when asking the immigration bureau they didn't know of any such restriction (!!!) – Crazydre Aug 25 '16 at 19:03
  • Did the officer tell you that you can only obtain this pass once in your lifetime literally? What is the exact phrase the officer used? – Blaszard Jun 19 '17 at 10:54

There is little that is publicly known about this "shore pass" and how it works. The legislative text behind it is here, but its implementation details are internal Immigration Bureau policies, which are not public and which this particular official may intentionally or not have misrepresented.

If you are feeling lucky, you can try asking the Immigration Bureau directly using the e-mail form here, but my experience is that they often decline to answer questions they consider too specific.

To play it safe, get a visa.


I was in transit through Narita airport in June 2016. Obtained shore pass easily both times during the ongoing trip and the return.


I managed to get a confirmation from the Japanese head of immigration. The Shore Pass only being obtainable once in a lifetime is not true.

It is apparently a widely abused system though, which is why some officials may try to tell travellers that there's a limited amount of times one can obtain it, which, according to the official, is actually misconduct on their part.

However, if relying on a Shore Pass frequently, much like with the US Visa Waiver Program, you may want to prepare extra proof that you will not abuse the system, including ties to your home country, to present on request.

  • We don't know exactly what was said, but "Once in a lifetime" is a also common idiom meaning "extremely rare" -- maybe it wasn't intended literally. – David Richerby Jan 26 at 13:12
  • @DavidRicherby "Extremely rare" wouldn't be accurate either – Crazydre Jan 26 at 14:44

protected by Community Jan 27 at 7:24

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

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