Between my UA 9661 ORD-NRT (arrives 8.45 pm) & NH 937 NRT-CGK (departs 10 am next day), I have about 14 hours of transit time in Narita. It’d be great if the long transit happens during the day but that was not the case. Narita is NOT a 24-hour airport. The facilities close down around 10-11pm after the last flight clears out. Thus, technically, if you’re transiting overnight, you have to go somewhere else. This is emphasized when you need to get a ‘Shore Pass‘ (more info here) that gets you pass the immigration check. To do so, you need to see an airline agent standing by near the immigration check (do not go to the immigration line just yet). Ask for a shore pass. The agent will then ask if you have a hotel reservation nearby. If not, they will check nearby hotels for openings. Once you get the pass, go the immigration line.
The most affordable hotel near NRT is about $70-80 but why would I want to spend that much for such a short time of stay. I did my due diligence (and here) before my journey and found out about an area in NRT where people can stay overnight (and save $80!).
After walking around and exploring, I picked a spot inside the Meeting Point and confirmed with the people there about it being the overnight transit area. More people started coming in around 10.30 pm. If you hang out at other areas, police officers will ask/escort you to this specific Meeting Point. By 11 pm, police officers came and check everyone’s passport and boarding pass. They made the rounds twice at that time. The officers then did another round of checking at 1-2 pm. All the while, there would be one or two officers standing by near us. Some people might feel uncomfortable. I felt more safe with their presence. If you need to use the restroom, there’s one open 24 hours near the Meeting Point. I have also read about a 24-hours convenience store but I did not get to it this time.
At around 5 am, people started leaving the Meeting Point. I read that domestic low cost carriers in Japan have earlier departure times. The international terminals (South Wing more for Star Alliance airlines, North Wing for One World airlines) opens at 7.30 am sharp and I want to get in early to explore the lounges and take a shower. I left the Meeting Point around 6.30 am just to explore some more. Some shops started opening, most of them open at 7 am.