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  1. #1

    Duty Free Question

    This summer I am going to be flying from Guam to Hawaii via Tokyo. As such, I will be in Narita for all of about two hours. Can I shop at the duty free store there? If I can, what should I look for?

    Joel
    "Oh Bother!" said Pooh as he slapped another magazine in his AK-47...

    http://vinesnwines.blogspot.com

  2. #2
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    Re: Duty Free Question

    There are a number of export only bourbons available in Japan. Four Roses, Wild Turkey and Blanton's come to mind. You should be able to shop duty free in Japan. I know that you cannot shop duty free in the US unless you have an international ticket. Coming from Japan, you shouldn't have a problem.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
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  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2007
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    Re: Duty Free Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mythrenegade View Post
    This summer I am going to be flying from Guam to Hawaii via Tokyo. As such, I will be in Narita for all of about two hours. Can I shop at the duty free store there? If I can, what should I look for?

    Joel
    There are four different duty free companies with shops in Narita: Empire DFS, Japan DFS, Fa-So-La, and JAL/DFS. Here is a link to the Narita duty free shop map and listings. You can identify which shops are located in your terminal:

    http://www.narita-airport.jp/en/guid.../index.html#01

    The shops will occasionally have different products, but where they overlap the prices will almost certainly be identical. Check them all, however, because one may have a promotion that includes a free bag or 200ml bottle with a particular purchase. The last of the group has an exclusive with Wild Turkey, so this is the only place to get the latest WT export only product. The first three stores are likely to have two specialty Four Roses products not available in the U.S. that are must buys -- Four Roses Super Premium and Four Roses Black. Blanton's Silver and Blanton's Gold may be available as well, but remember that the only difference between these and the standard issue of Blanton's is proof. All Blanton's whiskey comes from the same stock of barrels.
    ____ ____
    Barrel_Proof

  4. #4

    Re: Duty Free Question

    I'm wondering (as I think you are) whether you can shop duty-free as an in-transit passenger who possesses a through-ticket from U.S. possession (Guam) to the U.S. (Hawaii). Anyone?
    Tim

  5. #5

    Re: Duty Free Question

    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon View Post
    I'm wondering (as I think you are) whether you can shop duty-free as an in-transit passenger who possesses a through-ticket from U.S. possession (Guam) to the U.S. (Hawaii). Anyone?
    You got it Tim!

    I don't know all the rules of Duty Free. I will be in another country, but I won't be able to leave the airport as I don't have a visa, nor will I have time. Since in the US airports you have to have a ticket to an international airport, I assume I will be able to buy duty free in Japan, but I'm not sure... I was hoping someone here would know :-)

    The second part of my post had to do with what to look for. So far I've heard exclusive WT products, higher proof blantons, and four roses. Isn't the four roses a woodford reserve brand? If so I'm not interested...

    Joel
    "Oh Bother!" said Pooh as he slapped another magazine in his AK-47...

    http://vinesnwines.blogspot.com

  6. #6

    Re: Duty Free Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mythrenegade View Post
    ...Isn't the four roses a woodford reserve brand? If so I'm not interested...

    Joel
    Four Roses is a distillery independent of Woodford or any of the other Kentucky/U.S. distilleries. It's outside Lawrenceburg, and is owned by Japan's Kirin -- but produces Diageo's Bulleit bourbon as well as its own labels. They are distinctive and generally very good bourbons, unavailable in the U.S. outside Kentucky. Several you would find in duty free are unavailable even IN Kentucky.
    Tim

  7. #7
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    Re: Duty Free Question

    I have never had any problem with buying duty free when passing through anywhere other than the US. For instance, I frequently pass through Dubai, Germany, Amsterdam, etc. on flights to and from the US, and I can always shop there with little or no hassle. However, once I get into the US on my way home I lose that privilege, and don't get it back until I am on my way out of the country.
    One thing I have noticed recently in other countries is WT Sherry Signature. Has anyone had this before? I can't say I drink much sherry, but I am tempted to try this out. The only thing that makes me pause, is that they say on the bottle that they add sherry to some of the batches, so they get more sherry flavor. If this is the case, can't I just buy a bottle of WT and a bottle of sherry and get the same results at home?

  8. #8

    Re: Duty Free Question

    Quote Originally Posted by lar03 View Post
    I have never had any problem with buying duty free when passing through anywhere other than the US. For instance, I frequently pass through Dubai, Germany, Amsterdam, etc. on flights to and from the US, and I can always shop there with little or no hassle...
    Again, I think Joel's question/problem is that both ends of his trip are IN the U.S. (Guam is a U.S. territory). Thus, he really doesn't have an international ticket -- he's just spending time in an international airport.
    Although I don't often fly internationally anymore, I'm interested to learn the answer, just as a curiosity and for possible future reference.
    Tim

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: Duty Free Question

    I'm quite certain the concept of "duty free" is that the product is leaving the country and won't be consumed/used there......so it is sold "duty free". Therefor, when at Narita Airport, Japan, all they need to know is that the product is leaving Japan for a foreign country.

    Now the interesting question that Tim may be asking is "Could you shop at your US departure airport Duty Free Shop when your ultimate destination is a US territory even when transiting thru a foreign country?" I suspect not because the product will end up being consumed in the US (in theory anyway).

    Each country has its own set of regulations for duty free. For example.....go into Club Habano (sp) cigar shop on Grand Cayman and purchase a Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona cigar and it costs $25. Ask for a box of them, and they will sell the box to you duty free and let you carry it out of the store (works out to be $15 each duty free)! Why......because they assume a box won't be consumed during your stay, so it is sold under the presumption that a whole box is leaving the country. But go into their DF liquor store and you can't leave with your purchase.....it goes onto the cruise ship/airport for you to pick up when you leave.

    Randy

  10. #10

    Re: Duty Free Question

    Just as a word of advice. The duty free at Narita is not very good and not really a bargain. I used to fly through there all the time and never found outstanding bargains. The Yen exchange rate just kills it. I wasn't looking for bourbon at the time, but I don't really remember a great selection either. I don't think they even check to see if you have an intl ticket. The entire terminal is international.

 

 

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