Sapporo New Chitose Airport Japan Arrival Experience (November 2022)
Japan is one of the few countries remaining in the world requiring pre-registration with trip details and vaccination certifications before visiting the country. Following pre-registration on Visit Japan Web, the process continues immediately after stepping off the plane when landing in Japan. In this post, I will describe my on-arrival experience in Sapporo New Chitose Airport on my Hokkaido trip in November 2022.
Register on Visit Japan Web
There are many websites on the internet describing the registration and experience of Visit Japan Web, which I shall not repeat here. In a nutshell, there are 3 parts: Quarantine (Fast Track), Immigration, and Customs. Visit The Milelion for a thorough write-up on the registration process.
Immediately after disembarking from my Scoot TR890 flight, the path from the aerobridge is channeled into the queue for document checks. Many staff are on hand to repeatedly inform you to connect to WiFi to access the Visit Japan Web portal.
IMPORTANT: Screenshots of Visit Japan Web QR codes are not accepted at Sapporo New Chitose Airport. You must access the live Visit Japan Web portal. The staff will swipe a little bit of your phone screen to check the URL and that the browser is working live.
There are seats laid out in the queue which reminded me a little bit of QB House.
Once connected to the airport WiFi which worked very well, access the Visit Japan Web portal for your QR codes.
Quarantine (Fast Track)
Keep your screen on throughout the process. The queue leads to the Fast Track counter where they will check the first page, followed by giving you a welcome notice which eliminates quarantine, along with a red circle stamp. Don’t lose this paper and stamp, you need to show it at customs later.
Following the Fast Track counter, next up was immigration. There were only 3 people in front of me in the queue, so the process was very fast. It is also noteworthy that this was a rather private affair since my Scoot TR890 flight was the only international flight at the airport.
Following immigration, next up was baggage reclaim.
It was a private airport experience with the whole international terminal serving only 1 flight – my Scoot TR890 from Singapore. Baggage reclaim was at Belt C.
Airport staff were already on hand to move baggage off the carousel, even with the light passenger load.
As I had no baggage to reclaim with my cheap no-frills ticket, I headed next to customs.
The customs process was automated at a kiosk, though with customs officers still on hand to act as customer service. This was the opposite of the immigration paperwork as my paper form was not accepted, and my customs Visit Japan Web QR code was used instead.
As I had nothing much to check on me since I was carrying just 1 under-seat bag on this flight, I was through in seconds, and out freely in Japan.
Following customs, I was freely in Japan with Doraemon to welcome me to an empty terminal.
It was surreal to be back in Japan after so long, but to an empty terminal, which reminded me of travel restrictions for the past 2 years.
There were going to be just 3 international flights arriving at Sapporo New Chitose Airport, with the next arrival in about 3 more hours.
Sapporo New Chitose Airport’s international terminal is located away from the main transport facilities in the domestic terminal, so began the walk over to the domestic terminal to travel onwards to Sapporo.
The path from the international arrival hall was connected to the domestic terminal with a series of travellators.
Looks like everyone is in the domestic terminal. It doesn’t feel so sad any more.
This part of the domestic terminal felt more like a mall rather than an airport.
There was also a Pokémon Store along the way.
Looks like the domestic terminal is rightfully busy.
From here, I headed down to the basement to begin my Hokkaido train trip.