Narita is one of the main airports in Tokyo, but it is also a lovely small town not to be missed. I have just spent a couple of days here and I found it so beautiful that I thought it would be nice to write about it!
You might have few hours to spend here in between flights, or maybe you have a very early (or very late) flight to catch and have decided to spend the first (or last) night in Tokyo a bit closer to the airport. Now you are wandering what to do in the free time and I’m here to help!
There are 3 Terminals in Narita. Most domestic and international airlines are located in Terminal 1 and 2, while only Jeju Air, JetStar, Spring Japan and Vanilla Air use Terminal 3.
Check here where you need to go: things might change at all times!
There is a Free Shuttle Bus service between all the Terminals that is very well explained on the airport website.
All Terminals are full of restaurants, café, services, ATMs, Information desks, shops, seating areas, kids parks, lounges and more.
There are plenty of Baggage Storage options available at Terminal 1 and 2, if you wish to leave the airport “Hands Free”. Coin operated lockers are located on almost every floor and you can find all the information here.
GETTING TO NARITA (town)
From both Terminal 1 and 2 underground level, there are two fast and convenient connections to the town of Narita:
- JR Narita line: it takes 15 minutes from Terminal 1 and 12 from Terminal 2 and it costs ¥240 (£1.65 ca) per person.
- Keisei Line: it is 13 minutes from Terminal 1 and 9 from Terminal 2 and the cost is ¥260 (£1.78 ca) each.
The two stations in the town are located very close to each other, about 3 minutes’ walk and both are in the centre.
You can take taxis outside the stations, but I actually think that you can walk everywhere!
WHAT TO DO IN NARITA
A huge amount of information, including itineraries and discount coupons, about the town can be found on the FEEL website.
There are so many other things that you could do in this area, but, unless you plan to stay here few days, the below activities will fill up the time generally available while waiting for a flight connection!
Narita Omotensando street
The road that goes from the stations to the famous Naritasan Temple is the beautiful Narita Omotesando.
Take your time to stroll on this antique street, full of beautiful traditional Japanese buildings, shops, restaurants and lovely people.
Every few meters, on both sides of the street, there are small, cute sculptures of funny characters and all kind of animals!
I felt so tempted by this lovely souvenir sold everywhere in the Omotesando, that I had to buy it for my collection of small planes!!!
It is called Unari-kun and it is half airplane and half eel! It has been nominated the official mascot of Narita city in 2017. I couldn’t find it anywhere in the UK, but if you like it, you can buy the Official Fan Book here!
Naritasan Shinshoji Temple
This beautiful Buddhist temple rises on the grounds of a huge park. The history of the temple goes back more than 1000 years, and you can hear it for yourself if you decide to do one of the guided tours below or one available at the temple.
The temple is about 1.5 Km walk from the station (downhill!) on Narita Omotesando and it will be the most enjoyable walk!
Inside the gate, there are trees, lakes, ponds, memorial stones and lots and lots of turtles living quietly in this peaceful environment.
Naritasan has a nicely organized website that will give you plenty of information if you need more!
Freshwater Eel (Unagi) Restaurants
There are one restaurant after another on Narita Omotesando and most of them prepare eel! This is the traditional and official dish of the town, since the Edo era and people are crazy about it. I had never had eel in my life, before visiting Japan but I must admit it is really tasty!
Outside some of these restaurants, you can see the entire preparation process, from the whole animal to the cooked skewers.
JOIN A TOUR
At the airport, in both Terminals,you can find the desk of the “Narita Airport Transit & Stay program“. They provide information about self-guided tours and also non-professional guided tours made by volunteers (mornings only): what a nice idea!
If, instead, you like the idea of joining a professional tour, I can recommend these options on Viator:
- The “Narita 4 hours private walking tour for transit and layover” is a private tour and includes pick up at the airport.
- The “Private Narita Layover Tour including Sake Tasting” is still a private tour, but it lasts about 3.5 hours and departs from JR Narita station, so you have to organize your own transportation (see above for more info!).
WHERE TO STAY IN NARITA
As I mentioned above, everything in Narita is within walking distance, so I think any nice hotel will be fine for a 1 or 2 nights’ stay.
We stayed at the Richmond Hotel Narita, a beautiful 3* hotel about 5 minutes’ walk from the station. It has all kind of rooms, from single to triple, smoking and non. Furniture is contemporary and minimalist, and the room has a lot of free amenities. It has an on-site restaurant, but we didn’t use it because we prefer to wander around the city also for breakfast, so I cannot comment on it 🙂
At certain times of the day, if booked in advance, the hotel provides a complimentary free shuttle service to/from the airport!
To search availability and prices of other hotels in Narita have a look and book here!
TRANSFER TO TOKYO
To give you complete information about Narita airport, I would like to mention 4 ways you can reach Tokyo from here (and vice versa):
- The Keisei line train (and also the Skyliner) leaves from the stations at both Terminal 1 and 2, and reaches Ueno in about 40 minutes. These trains are frequent (every 15 minutes during the day) and the one-way ticket costs about ¥2500 (£17.00 ca).
- There is a Limousine Bus service, that costs about ¥3000 (£20.00 ca) and gets you to Tokyo Station in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- If you like to travel with a bit more comfort, because maybe you have many bags or just because you are too tired, there is a nice Shared Transfer service both from the airport and to the airport.
- If you prefer the luxury of a private transfer, instead, you can choose between a Business Class Car (arrival or departure) or a Luxury Van (arrival or departure).
FINDING A PLACE TO WORK FROM
If you need a relaxed environment and a place to work from, in typical Japanese style, head to Kaikatsu Club! The website is only in Japanese, but at the entrance there is English information, too.
There are plenty of private cubicles for one, two or three people. The seat is “Japanese”, floor height, but has a backrest that makes it really comfortable. There are computers, slippers to go around, hangers for your coats, reading lights, blankets and food available to order. We brought our laptop with us and worked from there for few hours: lovely experience.
There are plenty of comic books available to rent during your stay, if you want to do the whole experience!
This “Manga Café” is available throughout Japan and prices change in each location. The registration fee is about ¥300 (£2) and 3 hours would cost around ¥950 (£6.50). Definitely recommended if that’s what you need!
Have you been to Narita or are you going soon? Do you have any question that you want to ask me about a layover in Narita?
Thank you so much for reading!
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