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A Layover in Narita (Tokyo)

If you happen to find yourself stuck in Tokyo’s Narita International Airport for more than a couple hours, you might be thinking about heading out of the airport and into the city for a breath of fresh air. However, most transit options take an hour or more one way to get into downtown Tokyo, which might be a bit much depending on your layover.

If you have less than a day to spare, consider heading to the town of Narita itself. This small, peaceful town may prove to be just the break that you needed in order to revive yourself before a long flight. Only five minutes on the train from the airport drops you right at Narita station (on the JR Narita line) or Keisei-Narita station (on the Keisei Main line). Either is a viable option, as they are only about 200 meters apart.

From either, walk to Omotesando Road, a lovely street lined with traditional style shops and restaurants. Take this opportunity to refuel with a coffee or pick up some souvenirs from your travels. At the end of the road and a 15 minute walk from the station, you’ll find Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, the most famous spot in the town of Narita. The entrance to the grounds is marked by a colorful, three-story pagoda, and there is no admission fee. The grounds are actually quite large, and there are multiple temples to view, as well as a park with three lakes and an art museum.

Another 15 minute walk past Naritasan, you’ll find the Aeon Mall shopping center. This modern, expansive mall includes many of Japan’s popular stores, such as the Daiso ¥100 store and Yamada Denki, an electronics store. From the mall, walk back along the same route to either station to catch a train back to the airport.

What have you done during your layover in Tokyo?

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