Narita was our first stop on our month long Japan trip. Many people skip Narita because they think there isn’t much there, just the airport, that’s all. However, the competition was based out at an airport hotel, and we didn’t think it would be worth it traveling in to Tokyo.
I found it really hard to find anything to do in Narita when Googlíng, and there is a reason for that – it’s not a main tourist destination, there isn’t the WOW locations like Fushimi Inari or the Golden Temple in Kyoto, or the busy streets of Osaka and Tokyo. No, most people think it’s a location to fly in and fly out. However what is present is an amazing Park site and a pretty cool shopping strip!
We stayed at Hotel Welco, we requested a smoke free room however the room we got was a previous smokers room. We didn’t have any view, however it was cheap, close to Lawsons (a 7-11 alternative) and close to transport so we could get around for the day we were in Narita town.
Like I said, there isn’t too much to do in Narita, but like all Japanese towns, they had a temple site and park, and a small shopping strip which I found amazing!
Naritasan Park is a large location which has gardens, Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, a Great Peace Pagoda, a calligraphy museum, ponds and waterfalls, and well kept gardens.
We skipped the calligraphy museum due to the price, however we walked all around the gardens and took some cool photos. This was our first taste of temples in Japan and I loved it!
The Great Peace Pagoda was truly an amazing site, it was built in 1984 to celebrate the temples 1,150th anniversary. The water feature you in the gallery below is the site you can see from the steps leading away from the pagoda. While this is a young building in comparison to all the other buildings on site, it’s really a site to behold!
The great hall (Daihondo) is a large building on site which was built in 1712. I am unsure what the colored flags surrounding the building are – in photos online of the building, the flags are not present. The tower next to the building was built to pay respect to Prince Shotoku (572 – 622 AD).
There was also a Buddhist temple and what I recall (I think!) used to be a storage of grain? I can’t remember! I Wish I took photos of the description boards. We went inside the temple, but we couldn’t take photos (common place in all temples)
We got a lot of photos from around the park, too. I’ll add those at the end as part of a larger gallery.
On the way to the Park, you have to go down Omotesando Road (not be confused with the same road in Tokyo!). The road is very narrow and has 100s of small shops selling freshly made goods or souvenirs. I’m really gutted I only have a few photos from here. Walking down the street kind of sends you back it time, doing a bit of digging, apparently this is the road which was the last leg of the trip from Edo (Tokyo) to the Temple. Travelers would stop here to rest and eat. We stopped at a cafe where I got to try some amazing fluffy pancakes, which I didn’t get a photo of, either. So just check out the restaurants Trip Advisor here for photos. It was the only restaurant in the whole of our trip where we sat on the floor. I expected we’d be doing that a lot more then we actually ended up doing!.
We also visited a mall, and went to Watami Narita. Which had good food and drinks.
So overall, no, there isn’t a million things to do here like in Koyto or Tokyo, there’s no “IG influencer” worthy shots here, but the gardens are beautiful, same with the temple. The shopping street is fascinating and there are quite a few nice restaurants around! I would recommend staying in Narita if you had, say a half day spare before you fly out and you want be close to the airport. Maybe don’t stay at the hotel we did though if you are sensitive to smoke.