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How much time for Narita customs and immigration?

How much time for Narita customs and immigration?

Oct 3rd, 2005, 02:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 96
How much time for Narita customs and immigration?

Hello all,
This forum has been a HUGE help to me so far...hopefully someone can help me out with this.

I arrive in Narita from LAX at 5:53PM on a Sunday night in November. The way my trip itinerary worked out, I'm supposed to be meeting my travel partner in Kyoto that night (doesnt matter what time).

In order to catch the last non-Nozomi train (leaves Tokyo Station at 8:52PM), I will need to catch the JR Narita Express at 7:13PM.

So my question: is 1hour, 20 mins enough time to clear immigration and customs and catch the JR Narita Express? What is customs like at Narita during the evening hours on a Sunday night? I'm thinking that somebody on this board has arrived at Narita during that time before...

Thanks in advance for the advice!

PS...Arriving in Osaka isnt an option since Tokyo is a "stopover" on the way to Hong Kong.
Johnnyman7 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 02:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,034
You might make it, but it really depends on the day. As a general rule, we breeze through immigration and customs at Japanese airports...but we also use the Japanese citizens/residents line, which is considerably shorter. If there are several planeloads of people arriving at the same time, which is highly likely, the lines can be very long. While they can move very quickly, they don't always. Also, you need the factor in the possibility of your flight being delayed. There have been times that we've landed at Narita and had to taxi for 20 minutes to a gate, making an "on time" flight late.

So, while you might make it, I'd have an alternative plan in place.
KimJapan is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
I agree with what Kim said, have a back-up plan (or as my son would simply say, "What she said"). I got into Narita on a Sunday late afternoon in March last year. For some reason, our United plane landed and taxied way out at end of airport grounds (I hearad one flight attendant call it "the graveyard"), and they had to put us on buses just to get us to the main terminal- we waited for the second buses to show up for about 15 min., all of us out on the concrete, then 10 min ride to the airport terminal and to get off the bus and into the bldg., then it was an hour in the very long customs line. So I wouldn't have made it on your timeline. Although people on here have said my experience was unusual, it did happen.
emd is offline  
Oct 4th, 2005, 06:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 96
Thats good advice. I do have a backup plan in place, but it's a last resort. Is Singapore Air usually on-time to their arrivals?

Also, if I have nothing to declare in customs, will that make a difference? Any other tips on getting through customs and immigration quickly?
Johnnyman7 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2005, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
I had nothing to declare. It took an hour to get through the line and up to the fella to tell him nothing to declare and get him to stamp my passport. I think the line is just a product of how many planes have landed around the time of your landing. You really can't get throught the line any faster than it takes. It's just a be patient and wait thing.
emd is offline  

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