Monday, October 20, 2008

5 Hour Layover in Narita, Japan

On our way to Honolulu from Seoul, we had a 5 hour layover in Narita, Japan. We have not yet had a chance to visit Japan so we thought this was our chance to at least get a glance at some Japanese architecture nearby the airport, or at least a stamp in our passport.

Here is a rough itinerary of our afternoon:

Landed 15 minutes early in Narita. The immigration line was really long, but it actually moved fairly quickly, it took about 20 minutes to reach the front. They looked at our forms, stamped our passports and let us through.

We followed well posted signs down to the train station. We approached the ticket counter and said ‘Narita’, paid for a couple of tickets and made our way down to the platform.

Train arrives and we hop on.

Two stops later we are on the street in Narita with 4.5 hours left until the plane leaves.

We wandered down the main road past various restaurants and shops selling tourist items. We walked down the street to Daihonzan Naritasan Shinshoji Temple.

We walked around the park looking at different buildings, pagodas and statues. It was a serene view, very relaxing to just sit near the fountains and take in the fresh air. There was a little more we could see but we decided to turn around and walk back up the street.

Wandered up the street looking for a restaurant to have an early supper. We finally came across a Japanese Tea Shop and decided to eat there.

Got back to the train station, hopped on the train and was back at the airport by 6pm.

Wandered around the 4 story mall for a little while. We purchased a few cans of beer near the rooftop observation deck. Watched a few planes land and take off in the moonlight. Saw our plane waiting for departure.

7PM - Went back through immigration - which took roughly 5 minutes (There were no bags to check and we had our boarding passes)

7:25PM - Connecting flight to Hawaii leaves.

Narita Train Station

Local bus painted like a trolly car.

This was one of the main roads, each side is lined with tourist shops and restaurants.

These girls are dressed in their school uniform, they must be on their way home from school. The girl on the left actually rolled her eyes as she walked by me.. I guess she didn't want to be photographed!

Similar uniform for the boys, I was not able to get a shot from the front.

While walking around we explored the grounds of a Japanese Temple.

On our way back to the train station we stopped at this local restaurant for an early supper.

We took a little more time than necessary looking around, but anyone with at least a 5 hour layover could easily pull this off. If we had an overnight layover or longer, we would have definitely made our way in to Tokyo.

Here is a video clip of the observation deck at the Narita Airport.


Anonymous said...

This was extremely helpful and a ressourceful and creative way to spend such a short layover! I have a 17 hour layover to my next destination which is Indonesia and I am looking for things to do. The problem is, I arrive at 5pm and depart at 10am, which is extremely inconvenient as it will be dark out and many things will be closed! Anyways, Im determined to see what I can regardless. Thanks again for the post, it inspires me to go out and sightsee during my layover after seeing what you managed to do for within the time constraints of a 5 hour layover :)

hazel said...

I know this trip was a few years ago, but this was just what I was looking for! My 8 yr old daughter and I have a 5 hr layover in Narita and I just needed to know that others were able to make it to town without missing their plane! Thanks for sharing!