3 Short Side Trips from Narita Airport | japan-guide.com


As one of Japan’s primary points of entry and departure, Narita Airport near Tokyo is one of the most visited places in the entire country. In fact, according to a study released in 2018 in 2017 Narita was used by over 40 million passengers. That’s over 111,000 per day and this doesn’t include friends or family going to pick-up or drop. However, despite so many visitors going through Narita sadly most only think of it as a transit point. Few realize that nearby are a number of worthwhile attractions close to the airport which only take a few hours to experience. For example there’s a feudal era replica
town, several important temples and shrines, beautiful and accessible natural scenery, an airplane museum, and plenty of delicious local cuisine. On top of this, many also aren’t aware that Narita Airport has a new free service called the “Narita Airport Transit & Stay” program where they provide visitors with an English-speaking volunteer guide who leads them on one of several
short, customizable tours to a variety of nearby attractions and still get back them
to the airport in a few hours. If you end up traveling to or through Japan, it’s entirely likely that you’ll find yourself at Narita. If so, we highly recommend taking advantage of this service and in this video we are going to explain exactly how to so as well as walk you through the itinerary for three of the tours. So follow along we go on three short side
trips from Narita Airport. How to sign-up for the tours There are two ways to sign-up for the tours. The first is to go to the Narita Airport Transit & Stay Program website and book a tour for a specific day. And the second way is to show up at the one of the two Transit and Stay Program counters in Narita Airport on the day of and sign-up for the tour in person. These counters are located in the international arrivals lobby of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Here and here. At these Transit and Stay counters is the same place you’ll meet your guide and depart for the tour. Each tour uses public transportation and the guide will be with you the whole time letting you which buses or trains to take. One quick point of clarification though is that although Narita provides this guided tour service for free you’ll still have to pay transportation fares and attraction fees yourself. Alright so let’s take a closer look at three of the tours offered. Tour 1
Exploring Boso no Mura Boso no mura is a open air museum where you can experience first-hand what life was like in a local Japanese town during the feudal era. Before entering this life-size replica town, you can also rent an Edo Period style outfit at the Cosplay Annex just across from the main museum entrance and wear it while walking around the town. Once in costume and having paid the entrance fee, it’s time to explore the many facets of Boso no Mura. On the main street there are numerous shops, buildings, and eateries. A number of buildings also are free to enter and explore. At the end of the street is the local forge, and if you’re interested this where you can also try your hand at blacksmithing. Further into the grounds is a samurai residence which you are allowed to walk through and is also a peaceful place place sit to rest. And finally, the northern half of town is a functioning farm, complete with real growing crops and a complex of farm buildings which you can enter and explore. Here there are a variety of activities to try such as traditional toys, bamboo crafts, and (depending on the season) harvesting crops. After fully exploring this Edo era replica
town and returning the rental costumes you’ll head back to the airport with the guide. Tour 2
Cycling through the Countryside of Tako Town Only a short bus ride from the airport is a peaceful rice farming town called Takomachi, or literally, Tako Town. The highlight of this tour is renting a bicycle and pedaling through a few of its picturesque rice fields. The bus drops you off at Takomachi Michi no Eki, which is where you rent the cycles. These bicycles have electric assist motors, so even pedaling uphill is easy. From the station you cross the river and immediately are in the middle of a beautiful scene. With rice fields on either side and hills in the background, this is an excellent place to go slow, take a few photos, and soak in the natural beauty of this amazing location. Once you reach the end of the rice fields the next stop is the nearby Nichihonji Temple where you can explore the temple grounds, ring the large bell and pay respects in front of the main temple itself. The tour finishes by cycling back along the Kuriyama River to the Takomachi Michi no Eki to return the cycles. Here you can also shop for local produce and specialty items, and buy lunch which can be enjoyed either upstairs in the rest area or outside along the river. Tour 3
Local Cuisine & Aviation Museum The main focus of this third tour is eating delicious local cuisine at a well known nearby buffet restaurant. However, as we said before all these tours are customizable with a number of options depending on your interest, time, and budget. So, since we are at an airport, for this tour we’re going to add-on a few nearby aeronautically themed attractions. First off we’ll take the bus to the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences which is located at the southern end of Narita’s main runway. The museum has a number of interesting life sized aircraft displays many of which you can experience for yourself. Together with an abundance of interesting models, information, and several simulator experiences you don’t have to be a plane
enthusiast to enjoy the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences And, although it costs extra, one of the highlights is the hands-on Boeing 747 experience where a guide gives you a tour of the nose of a full sized 747 including the cockpit where you can even sit in the pilot seat. After the museum, we chose to take add a brief
stop at Hikouki no Oka Park or literally Airplane Park which is an excellent place to relax while watching the planes take off up close. Along with the museum of Aeronautical Sciences, this is another optional stop of tour which can be inserted anywhere you like on the itinerary. Last but definitely not least is the main event of this tour the all-you-can eat Restaurant Fu-Wa-Ri which is attached to the small roadside stop called Sora no Eki where local produce and specialty items are sold and events are often held. The cuisine offered in Fu-Wa-Ri’s buffet features dishes made primarily of local ingredients which come from nearby farms. The menu rotates depending on the season, and all the food is prepared in a home-cooked style As you eat, can also enjoy watching planes fly by outside. Hopefully the next time you’re at Narita Airport with a few hours to spare you can take advantage of these free guided tours offered by the Narita Transit & Stay program and are able see some of the attractions shown in this video for yourself. For more information or to watch another video, click the links on the screen now or head over to japan-guide.com your comprehensive, up-to-date travel guide, first-hand from Japan. Thanks for watching be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell for more videos about Japan Happy travels.

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