Have you wasted more tedious hours than you can count browsing duty-free perfumes and (unsuccessfully) trying to hunt down wifi during a long international layover? Want to be able to use this time to fully experience a country's culture instead? Yeah, I thought so.
As a major airport in East Asia and the final frontier before crossing the vast Pacific Ocean, if you're an international traveller, chances are you'll find yourself at the Narita International Airport for a layover. Luckily, if you're stopping through this airport, you don't have to add more hours to your trying-to-fall-asleep-on-uncomfortable-airport-benches tally: the airport is a quick and easy ride from the bustling city of Narita. This is the perfect place to explore for a few hours to experience Japanese culture, history, food and shopping without breaking the bank or getting lost in downtown Tokyo.
Since long-haul flights require you to do enough planning even just concerning what to pack, this guide will take care of all the dirty work you'll need to get the most out of your time in Japan, from directing you through customs and immigration, to making sure you know exactly where to be and when in order to make your connecting flight. In between the two, some of the trip highlights will include:
- Shinsoji Temples: the most famous temples in the Kanto region of Japan and the Shingon sect of Buddhism
- Naritasan Park: a relaxing natural environment with waterfalls and koi ponds, right in central Narita
- Calligraphy Museum: featuring a wide variety of calligraphic works from throughout Japan's history
- Omote Sando Street: the ideal place to sample some of Narita's specialty dish: unagi (eel) and pick up some authentic Japanese gifts
- AEON Mall: a modern Japanese shopping experience for everyone with clothing, cosmetic, book and food stores as well as an arcade
Skip all the planning while still turning a couple hours into a full-blown vacation. You're guaranteed to get the most bang for your Yen while in Japan with this detailed guide.