Narita, a town with the temple of over 1000-year-long history
Narita is not just an airport city
I believe that many of you know Narita for the International Airport to go in/out Japan.
But did you know another face of the city?
Shinshoji temple in Narita city has over 1000 years history "since 940" (not a century but a millennium!).
For locals, even in modern times, the temple is known as one of the most popular spots to visit at the beginning of the new year, wishing happiness for the coming year (hatsu-mode).
If you have hours until your flight from the International Airport, why not visit the temple town?
It's just 10 minutes train ride from the airport to Narita downtown (Keisi or JR Narita station).
Wha to see in Narita
On the way to the temple from the train station, you will never feel bored, as the main street to the temple, called "Omotesando", is the main attraction of visiting the temple.
Traditional style wooden buildings stand along the street as shops, local food stores etc. What we can find on the street are interesting and some are rare even for us, local Japanese.
As for Shinshoji temple, not only the main hall but several halls and monuments are also available to visit in the vast temple site.
If you have enough time, it has a large Japanese garden and Calligraphy Museum.
It must be a good chance to take a stroll for refreshing and discovering seasonal flowers or to find the traditional cultural works.
Even if you do not have enough time to travel to Kyoto or Kamakura, while staying in Japan, you will feel being at such a traditional site even in Narita.
Narita Shinshoji temple (English version)
For more tips to enjoy Narita town
For those who are interested in traditional Japanese sweets, I recommend Yoneya on the main street. The established sweets maker have offered traditional sweets as local specialty souvenir for people visiting the temple for years.
Behind the flagship store, it has a small museum showing the history of Yokan (traditional sweet beans cake). Unfortunately description at the exhibition is only in Japanese language. But it is still interesting to find sweets making facilities used around a century ago or packages of sweets in the past.
Yoneya flagship store and Yokan Museum
Address: 500 Kamicho, Narita-city, Japan
At last, if you are a transit passenger arriving in the morning at Narita airport (with valid passport to entry to Japan), free tour with an English speaking volunteer guide is available.
No advance reservation is necessary for the tour. After you arrive at the airport, just please drop by Transit Program Counter set up in both Terminal 1 and 2 for tour registration.
For more information about the transit tour, please visit the website below.