I’m using miles on United to get to cruises leaving from Singapore. United has a small hub in Tokyo. The rules for international travel allow for stops of up to 24 hours to be considered a connection as opposed to an additional leg.
I had originally booked flights from Houston to Chicago on United and ANA from Chicago to NRT (Tokyo) and then United from Tokyo to Singapore. I had 3 friends traveling from Chicago on an earlier United flight. I got to the airport early and got on an earlier flight to Chicago. I used a phone at the airport and my cell phone to call both ANA and United to see if I could either get on the earlier ANA flight from Chicago or the earlier United flight. Luckily United was able to get me on the earlier flight with my friends. This gave me a few more than the 24 hours officially allowed.
Below is a picture of my entry stamp in Tokyo.
We took the train from Narita airport to downtown Tokyo. I used some of my miles to book two rooms in the Hilton. We went to a government building nearby that had a free observation deck.
Pictures from the observation deck:
My friends were tired, but I intended to use my short time in Japan as much as possible, so I wandered around downtown Tokyo on foot. I was surprised that the metro shut down in the evening.
Below pictures were taken as I wandered around downtown and found a small temple.