Top Places to Visit in Narita
October 11, 2016
Narita City in Chiba Prefecture is the gateway city for many who are entering Japan or in transit via Japan. For a short visit that encompasses many aspects of Japanese culture, it’s the perfect area to spend a few hours or even a day or two. Most of these Top Places to Visit in Narita are dog-friendly when the animal is carried securely by its owner.
1. Daihonzan Naritasan Shinshoji Temple Complex
Special events are held at Naritasan at least once a month. The biggest are: the New Year’s Grand Goma Fire Ritual celebration every January 1, the Setsubun bean-throwing festival on February 3, the drum festival in mid-April, the Takigi Noh theatre performance on the third Sunday in May, and the Gion-e summer festival in early July. Please note that sometimes Naritasan can become quite crowded with visitors, especially during big events. This famous and popular Shingon Buddhist temple complex has been in active use for over 1,000 years, although none of the extant structures are older than the 18th century.
Zori sandals hanging within the Niomon Gate
Statue of Fudomyo, the deity enshrined at Naritasan
Hours: Open 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., although technically the temples are always open.
Admission: Free. Free guide tours in English are available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on most days. Printed guides are available in English, Chinese, and Korean. Dogs are allowed in if they are carried.
Directions: Ride JR Narita line to JR Narita station or ride the Keisei main line to Keisei Narita station. Walk about 10-15 minutes along Narita Omotesando (see below) until you reach the Main Gate. It’s about 90 minutes from Tokyo station, and 15 minutes from Narita Airport Terminal 2 station.
Time to enjoy: Whatever your schedule permits. If you only have an hour or two, look around the main gate area.
Address: 1 Narita, Narita City, Chiba Prefecture
2. Naritasan Omotesando Shopping Street
This winding road goes down the hill to the Temple’s main entrance. There are many shops and restaurants, most in traditional buildings. Specialty foods include grilled freshwater eel, which you can watch being prepared for cooking, and giant sembei rice crackers. Popular souvenirs are temple ornaments and charms, art and antiques, and foods. The Narita Tourist Pavilion is located here, with multilingual information, an exhibition room, and public restrooms available.
Tourist information pavilion
Traditional buildings on Narita Omotesando
Hours: Always open.
Access, Address, and Website: same as for the Temple.
3. Naritasan Koen Park
A verdant park dotted with stone stelae, lanterns, and benches. Walk along stone and gravel paths around the three ponds, where turtles and colorful koi abound. You can buy food to feed these fish. The Calligraphy Museum within the park does not have English information or guidance. Popular park events include the Plum Blossom Festival in March, Fudo-no-Oido Tea Ceremony in April, and autumn foliage viewing. It is very peaceful and refreshing at any time of year.
Stone path in Naritasan Park
View of Great Peace Pagoda spire above pond and of the roof of the calligraphy museum just visible among the pine trees
Hours: Always open. Calligraphy Museum open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, closed Mondays.
Admission fee: Free. Calligraphy Museum ¥500 for adults.
Directions: Immediately behind the Naritasan Shinshoji.
Address: Same as for the Temple.
Time to enjoy: One to two hours.
4. AEON Mall Narita
This large, modern shopping mall offers multi-lingual guidance in English, Chinese, Korean, and Thai. It features Tax Free shopping for tourists, as well as Made In Japan souvenirs. It is very popular among visitors for its proximity to the airport, cinema, and large number of shops and services (over 160). Foreign currency exchange machines, medical care, fitness, gift wrapping, lost & found, photocopying, insurance, banking, photography, and travel services are also available. Amenities include WiFi, wheelchair service, nursing room, kids’ playroom, restroom for colostomy bag users, prayer room, smoking room, and coin lockers. Dogs are allowed if carried.
Information Counter on 2F near food court (note the Pepper robot at far left)
Yume Bokujo branch shop
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Some shops open at 9:00, 10:00, or 11:00 a.m. and close earlier.
Access: Nearest stations are the same as for Naritasan. Walk about 15 minutes north from the train stations, or ride the Chiba Kotsu bus from bus stop #6, between the two train stations, directly to the mall, about 10 minutes. ¥210 per adult, ¥110 per child aged 6 to 12 years, free for infants under 6 years. Bus shuttles run to the area hotels.
Time to enjoy: From one hour to one day.
Address: 24 Wing-Tsuchiya, Narita City, Chiba Prefecture
Website (Japanese, with machine-translation available): http://narita-aeonmall.com/
5. Yume Bokujo (Dream Dairy) farm and auto campground
The Dream Dairy farm is a family-oriented experience located in northern Narita-shi. Especially suitable for younger children, the compound offers horse riding, milking dairy cows, churning butter, riding a mini steam locomotive, fishing in a pond, mini golf, off-road bicycling, land sledding, duck racing, archery, tractor riding, making jam, picking in-season fruits, and petting farm animals. Dogs may enjoy the dog garden, dog café, and dog paw washing. Eight restaurants serve a variety of foods with an emphasis on fresh dairy and farm products.
View of the petting zoo and duck race area
The dairy’s ice cream and cheesecake
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except on holidays, when it opens at 9:30 a.m.
Admission fee: ¥1,400 adults, ¥700 children aged 3 to 12, free for children under age 3, ¥1,200 for adults aged 65 and older. Dogs are also welcome (on leashes) at ¥1,000 to ¥1,500, depending on size.
Access: Nearest station is Namegawa on the JR Narita line. Take the free bus from the station; it runs about every hour from 9:10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Time to enjoy: From half a day to one full day.
Address: 730 Nagi, Narita City, Chiba Prefecture
Long-term Kanto area resident with decades of global travel experience. Has lived on three continents so far, always near bodies of water. Freelance narrator, editor, proofreader, cosmetic name developer, transcriber, writer, and M.C. First one up in the morning to feed the cat and make the bento.