There is so much to see and do in Japan and we tend to explore more of Tokyo on our yearly visits rather than the neighborhood we grew up in. I think many of us are guilty of this and just don’t give much thought about the places that are right in our own backyards. This year we made it a point to explore some old and new places in our hometown in Narita, Japan. The great thing about Narita is that it’s only one train stop away (about 7 min) from the Narita International Airport. So if you happen to have a long layover and want a little taste of Japan, there are a ton of things to do in Narita. Here are some of our favorite places.
1 Narita, Chiba 286-0023, Japan
Our hometown is in Narita, so we visit this temple often but sometimes we forget just how massive the grounds are here. Most people only visit the main area of Narita Temple where the huge temple is, but if you walk a little further around the back, you can explore so much more. There is a park here which leads to a beautiful waterfall surrounded by trees and huge rocks. It’s a gorgeous area and you’ll spot a staircase made of large stones that will eventually lead you to the waterfall.
The forest and the sound of the waterfall was so serene and beautiful. We were really looking forward to wandering around the area a bit more, but it started raining. This place is massive and TripAdvisor has even awarded this park a “Certificate of Excellence”. This certificate is awarded to attractions that consistently earn great reviews from travelers.
1 Chome-558 Sogo, Narita, Chiba 286-0004, Japan
Cherry Blossom season is huge among both tourists and locals so finding a place that isn’t packed with people during this time of year can be tricky. We’ve found that the best places to view cherry blossoms are in local areas like residential parks or the smaller temples like Toshōji Sogoreido. .
We were driving home when we spotted the blooming cherry blossoms at this temple and had to stop by and view them. The grounds here are smaller compared to Narita Temple but it’s perfect because it doesn’t attract huge crowds. We walked around and enjoyed the cherry blossom trees and even spent some time having our fortune read.
It was 200 yen (~$2) for the fortune-telling paper strip and our mother read our fortunes to us. It even came with a random tiny gold ornament. If you want to get a fortune-telling paper in English, we recommend going to Narita Temple as most everything is translated into English there.
386-2 Nakamachi, Narita, Chiba 286-0027, Japan
We absolutely love this Japanese tea garden and think you will too. Miyoshiya a bit tricky to find if you aren’t aware of it so keep a close eye on your Google Maps when navigating to this hidden gem. They serve traditional green tea and their traditional Japanese sweets are delicious.
There is seating both indoors and outdoors and even if you sit indoors, it will still feel like you’re surrounded by the beautiful garden because the seating area has is structured with glass. If you aren’t a big fan of green tea or sweets, it’s worth just peeking your head inside to view the gorgeous garden.
1338-1 Komaino, Narita, Chiba 286-0121, Japan
This park is famous for airplane sightings as it’s located right next to Narita International Airport. It’s also known for their cherry blossom trees, hence the park’s name Cherry Blossom Mountain Park.
Unfortunately, the cherry blossoms weren’t yet blooming when we went, but we saw all the cherry blossom trees lined up in a row and could only imagine how beautiful it must be when they are in full bloom. There is a small shop here where you can buy souvenirs and even have some lunch. It’s a unique spot and fun for both kids and adults.
If you’ve been to Japan, have you ever considered exploring Narita? We’d love to hear your thoughts.