Create the most unforgettable memories: Try aromatic unagi and experience wearing kimono in Narita!
Wearing "kimono" (Japanese traditional dress) or "yukata" (casual summer kimono) is definitely a must-do in Japan! Recently, I had a chance to have a half-day kimono experience in Narita City, so I’d like to share my experience with you.
Get off from JR or Keisei Line Narita Station and walk for about 15-20 minutes. "Hidetora" is located right by Naritasan Shinshoji Temple. Upon arrival at the store, a friendly staff lady confirmed the price and explained other details. They have different pricing plans from 2980 yen, including dressing and hair styling! The staff are extremely friendly and used a translation device, so there was no problem communicating in different languages.
The kimono specialists are very experienced, so it didn't take long to dress up and get my makeup and hair done. But I still suggest you go early, as there is a range of fabulous options for the yukata, "obi" (sash) and "geta" (footwear)! You might need some time to pick out your favourite one. Don’t worry though, they’ll help you choose and won’t rush you at all. It took me about an hour for the whole process, and even then I was strolling around town before noon.
I planned to go to Naritasan Shinshoji Temple as a day trip this time. Luckily it was only a 2 minute walk from the kimono shop. I’d never visited this temple before, but I had a wonderful time here! The temple complex is full of history, and of course, a perfect backdrop for photos. There’s also a park (Naritasan Park) nearby with greenery, ponds and waterfalls. A perfectly pleasant backdrop for a leisurely walk.
As I wandered the omotesando street, I found numerous interesting shops and traditional restaurants. One that really grabbed my attention was "Kawatoyo", the oldest and most famous "unagi" (freshwater eel) restaurant in the area. The staff cut and grilled the eels at the front of the shop. You can really get a feel for how fresh they are before you taste them. I tried the most popular dish, "una-juu" (grilled eel on rice), and it really surprised me. The two large pieces of unagi were so aromatic. They were so soft and tender that they almost melted in my mouth! The homemade, sweet sauce perfectly balanced the flavor of the unagi. I also appreciated the iconic Japanese wooden house which was built in 1917, showing off traditional Japanese architecture and culture from the Edo period. There’s always a long line in front of the shop, but it’s absolutely worth queuing up for. Trust me. You can’t miss this local specialty. It won't disappoint!
What’s more, Narita City is not just the site of Narita Airport, it has a lot more to explore as a historic city. If you are enthusiastic about Japanese culture and want to see what "Edo" was like, Narita City is the best destination! Spend a day here wearing beautiful kimono and enjoying delicious unagi dishes. You can entirely immerse yourself in the authentic Japanese atmosphere!