Quick to-dos before you land in Japan

Your plane is about to land in Japan and you will either be waking up from a long nap or are just about to turn off some random movie you have been watching. And while you are probably tired and just ready to get to your hotel, there are a few things you need to do before the planes taxis to the terminal.

Be ready – Just be ready. Have your bags packed up, get your headphones put away, and just be ready to go. The last thing you want to do is be the last person trying to stuff everything back into your bags and holding up everyone else. So get your act together and just be ready at least 10-15 minutes before the plane lands and begins to taxi up to your gate.

Fill out the forms – (During normal times) before landing in Japan, you are given immigration and customs forms you will need to fill out before you land (or you can fill out after you land), no matter what, you will need to have the forms filled out in order to enter the country. So have a pen ready and get these things filled out before the plane even lands, it will save you some time.

Go to the restroom – This gets difficult as the plane gets closer to landing because everyone seems to have the same idea as you will notice lines form for the restrooms before the plane lands. So either plan it out (drinking and when to hit the restroom) or after you get off the plane, find the restroom. You will want to take care of this before standing in line for immigration and you find yourself in pain trying to hold it in.

Know where you are going – Do yourself a favor and study the airports a little bit, whether it is Narita or Haneda. Know where you are headed before you land, even if you don’t know which gate you will be landing at. Just knowing where international arrivals have to head or domestic transfers are, can help save you some time as you get off the plane.

Follow instructions – Just listen and follow instructions. During normal times, I had to change different lanes for immigration and such, having to retrace my steps several times because the airport officials decided to change things. It can be a pain, but just roll with it. And now with a pandemic, rules are being changed on the fly, so just be ready and just do what you need to do to get through all the checks and onto your destination.

And one last quick tip, have your passport out of it’s passport holder. The folks in the lines will not take it out for you and don’t want a case around it as they scan and process it, so do that as well.

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