Will I have time to shop at Narita?
April 3, 2018 7:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm flying from the US to Singapore via Narita and I have a four hour layover in Tokyo. Will I have time to do some shopping?

My itinerary looks like this: Houston - Tokyo, landing at 2pm JST. My flight to Singapore leaves a bit after 6pm. Flying United in, and All Nippon out. I assume I'll be going through customs and passport control and whatnot, but I'm not sure which terminals I'll be in, and if I'll have access to and time to peruse the shops.

Bonus question: I have ten year old boys obsessed with manga and soccer, a husband obsessed with mechanical keyboards, and a self obsessed with fabric. Are there shops that cater to any of these things? (I know it's a long shot for everything but the manga.)
posted by pyjammy to Travel & Transportation around Tokyo, Japan (5 answers total)
I wouldn't leave the airport to shop - it took me over an hour to get through security at Narita. Though that was on a Monday morning, it was also without collecting and re-checking any baggage. There were shops in the airport but depending on what terminals you are, they are more or less sparse and more or less generic.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:06 AM on April 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh, sorry, I should clarify - I don't mean to leave the airport. I mean shopping at the airport. Poorly worded question!
posted by pyjammy at 8:07 AM on April 3, 2018

As long as you are booked on a single itinerary, you will not have to go through immigration or customs. Your bags will be checked through, and you will not collect them in Narita. Just make sure you follow the signs for "international transfers" or something similar. You will have to go through security again, but when I last did that several years ago, it was extremely fast to do this. Assuming your flight is on time, you will probably have time for shopping. Make sure to check what time your flight leaving Narita starts boarding. Sometimes international flights board very early (1-2 hours before departure time).

International transfers at Narita:

Shops at the airport:

If for some reason you booked these flights as two different trips, then I think you will have to go through immigration and customs, possibly recheck bags, and go through departure immigration and security. You would still have time to do some shopping, but probably not as much.
posted by cruelfood at 8:15 AM on April 3, 2018

There are some shops inside security, although its mostly standard gifts/omiyage and the usual super-high-end brand duty-free stuff. There is also a big mall-like thing right outside security which will have some better options (at least in Terminal 1). You'd have to exit/enter for that, of course. The last few times I went to Narita security was like 10 minutes, but this varies heavily.
posted by thefoxgod at 12:53 PM on April 3, 2018

We bought some Japanese dolls, wasabi Kit Kats and had some fabulous sushi at Norita during our connection between the States and Singapore. We did not have to go back through customs.
posted by fyrebelley at 10:22 PM on April 3, 2018

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