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Narita Sightseeing: 35 Things to Do on a Layover at Tokyo Narita Airport

Narita Sightseeing: 35 Things to Do on a Layover at Tokyo Narita Airport

Date published: 23 April 2020
Last updated: 19 July 2021

What to do when your connecting flight at Narita Airport is several hours away? Narita Airport isn't just the gateway to Japan - it's a hub for international flights in Asia.

But you needn't stay at Narita Airport while you're waiting for your next flight! In fact, there are a lot of recommended tourist spots that you can visit during a layover at Tokyo Narita Airport. Here we'll introduce several fun things to do near Narita Airport!

(Before you leave Narita Airport on a layover, be sure to check whether you need a valid visa for Japan.)

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Bargain Shopping at Shisui Premium Outlets
  2. 2. Enjoy Nature at Lake Inba-numa
  3. 3. Look for Local Souvenirs at Naritasan Omotesando’s Souvenir Shop Shibaraku
  4. 4. Sake Tasting at Chomeisen
  5. 5. Buy Cleansing Soap at Sabon Sama in Naritasan Omotesando
  6. 6. Stroll Around Naritasan Shinshoji
  7. 7. Taste the Local Flavors at Aeon Mall Narita
  8. 8. Buy Exclusive Japanese Sneakers at ASBee Aeon Mall Narita
  9. 9. Get Trendy Travel Goods at Stylish Travel
  10. 10. Find Traditional Japanese Souvenirs at Tenshodo
  11. 11. Naritasan Park
  12. 12. Narita Wholesaler's Market
  13. 13. Sogo Reido Sanctuary
  14. 14. National Museum of Japanese History
  15. 15. Yamato-no-yu
  16. 16. Shisui Hot Springs Yuranosato
  17. 17. Toyomi Shinonomeno Oka
  18. 18. Sakura-no-Yama Park
  19. 19. AEON Town Narita Tomisato
  20. 20. Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art
  21. 21. MEGA Don Quijote Narita
  22. 22. Shisho Shrine
  23. 23. Museum of Aeronautical Sciences
  24. 24. Strawberry Farm (seasonal)
  25. 25. Airplane Hill
  26. 26. Pastoral Landscape
  27. 27. Nichihon-ji Temple
  28. 28. Tako Ajisai-kan
  29. 29. Shiraishi Confectionary
  30. 30. Ajisai Park
  31. 31. Boso no Mura
  32. 32. Cosplay no Yakata
  33. 33. Italian Restaurant Yume-Terrace
  34. 34. Roadside Station Hakko-no-Sato Kozaki
  35. 35. Kozaki Shrine
  36. There’s a lot to enjoy around Narita Airport!

1. Bargain Shopping at Shisui Premium Outlets

1. Bargain Shopping at Shisui Premium Outlets

Shisui Premium Outlets is an outlet mall that opened in 2013 in Chiba Prefecture. It is a 15-minute highway bus ride away, so it makes a perfect spot to visit on a layover at Narita Airport. Many visitors to Japan go there, so it has an international feel.

High-end fashion, sports brands, various accessories, watches, miscellaneous goods can be bought at bargain prices. There are many services geared towards foreign visitors, so it’s a good spot to have fun shopping.

2. Enjoy Nature at Lake Inba-numa

2. Enjoy Nature at Lake Inba-numa

In the northwest of Chiba Prefecture, Lake Inba-numa is split between North Inbanuma and West Inbanuma like a valley by the Inba Discharge Channel. With a free walking map of Inbanuma Satoyama in hand, you can walk around the foothills surrounding the lake and forget the hustle and bustle of the city.

Facing the lake at Sakura Furusato Square, you can see the panoramic view of the Dutch Windmill with a field of tulips, take a boat ride, rent a bike, or have a barbecue watching the sunset.

To get to Kita Inbanuma, go to Kozunomori Station on the Keisei line and take the Narita City community bus Hokusuka route for 28 minutes and get off at the Jinbee Watashi bus stop and walk. To get to Nishi Inbanuma, from Sakura Station on the Keisei line, take the Sakura city bus 7 minutes to Furusato Hiroba and walk from there.

3. Look for Local Souvenirs at Naritasan Omotesando’s Souvenir Shop Shibaraku

3. Look for Local Souvenirs at Naritasan Omotesando’s Souvenir Shop Shibaraku

Shinshouji is among the top temples of Japan for many visitors. About a 15-minute walk from Narita station on JR line or Keisei Narita station on Keisei line, it has also become popular with foreign tourists in recent years.

On the way to Shinshouji, the road is lined with restaurants and souvenir stores. Among them is Souvenir Shop Shibaraku, where you can just browse and look at the daruma, Maneki Neko (lucky cat), and other items that have a Japanese feel.

They also have Chiba Prefecture Narita City’s mascot “Unari-kun” and different types of Hello Kitty goods. Why don’t you try to find a Japanese souvenir here?

  • Souvenir Shop Shibaraku
    おみやげ処 しばらく
    • Address 286-0033 Chiba Prefecture, Narita City, Hanazaki-cho 531-10
    • Nearest Station 5-minute walk from Narita Station on JR Narita Line. 4-minute walk from Keisei Narita Station on Keisei Line
    • Phone Number 0476-22-0557
    • Business Hours: 9:00 – 18:00
      Open All year

4. Sake Tasting at Chomeisen

4. Sake Tasting at Chomeisen

Chomeisen is the only sake brewery on Naritasan Omotesando Street. The well water used to make Sake is renowned for its flavor and quality; a lot of people visiting Shinshouji also pop into this store. It has a retail store selling locally brewed alcohol and well as a stand selling rice malt amazake (sweet sake).

Sake Brewery Chomeisen has a large range of sake for you to try, from a refreshing dry taste to a rich sweet flavor. After tasting the sake, you can take a look at the photos of the sake making process. There are English captions as well so foreign tourists don’t need to worry.

  • Chomeisen
    長命泉
    • Address 286-0032 Chiba Prefecture, Narita City, Kamicho 540
    • Nearest Station 5-minutes walk from Narita Station on JR Narita line. 6-minutes walk from Keisei Narita Station on Keisei line
    • Phone Number 050-5592-7822
    • Business Hours: Mon – Sat 10:00 – 19:00, Sunday 9:00 – 18:00
      Open All Year

5. Buy Cleansing Soap at Sabon Sama in Naritasan Omotesando

5. Buy Cleansing Soap at Sabon Sama in Naritasan Omotesando

Naritasan Omotesando Sabon Sama is a popular store often featured in the media. It is the only store in Japan that sells the purifying soap “Sabon Sama.” Shinshouji is known for its sacred fire rituals for the harvest. Those prayers from Buddhist teachings are included in the soap.

The “Nyoihouju” (Wish-fulfilling jewel) is a soap shaped round like a pearl to grant any wish with its soft and smooth texture. Each color has its own scent. Its daily purifying soap is recommended as a souvenir.

  • Naritasan Omotesando Sabonsama
    成田山表参道 さぼんさま
    • Address 387, Nakamachi, Narita-shi, Chiba
    • Nearest Station 9 minutes walk from Narita Station on JR Narita line. 10 minutes walk from Keisei Narita Station on Keisei line
    • Phone Number 0476-29-4447
    • Business Hours: 10:00 – 17:00
      Open All Year

6. Stroll Around Naritasan Shinshoji

6. Stroll Around Naritasan Shinshoji

In 940, Naritasan Shinshoji was built to commemorate the suppressing of a rebellion by the forces of the Taira no Masakado and pray for peace. Through expressions of extreme anger, Fudoo Myo-O (Buddhist fire god) saved many people and gained the following of many great people in history. The Great Main Hall, where prayers are held is the most important building and is open to the public.

You can see historical structures such as the 58-meter high Great Peace Pagoda with messages of peace from world leaders and the 25-meter Three-Storied Pagoda surrounded by beautiful statues which have been designated as an important cultural property. There is also a park with a waterfall and a pond where you can take a break surrounded by flowers.

Shinshouji is a 10-minute walk from Narita Station on the JR Narita Line or Keisei Narita Station on the Keisei line. From Narita Airport to JR Narita Station, take the train from Narita Terminal 2, an 8-minute trip.

7. Taste the Local Flavors at Aeon Mall Narita

7. Taste the Local Flavors at Aeon Mall Narita

Aeon Mall Narita is a shopping mall close to the airport, which you can get to by catching a bus from Narita to Keisei Narita station (Adult one way: 210 yen, running about every 15 minutes). The 174 stores range from food and clothing to entertainment, starting with a large supermarket (Aeon Style) to fashion stores, lifestyle goods, and a variety of restaurants.

Inside the mall, there are event spaces where stores from around Japan sell local foods or music concerts are held. The food court has 12 stores with Japanese, Western and Chinese cuisine, ice cream, donuts, sweets, a baby room, and a kids corner.

8. Buy Exclusive Japanese Sneakers at ASBee Aeon Mall Narita

8. Buy Exclusive Japanese Sneakers at ASBee Aeon Mall Narita

On the 2nd floor of Aeon Mall Narita is ASBee Narita which sells popular sneaker brands like NIKE, Adidas, Converse, PUMA, SKECHERS, New Balance, and casual shoes such as Lee, Timberland, and Redwing. They also have kids, business shoes, and ladies' shoes. They also stock shoes limited to ASBee, Japan-exclusive editions, and made in Japan.

9. Get Trendy Travel Goods at Stylish Travel

9. Get Trendy Travel Goods at Stylish Travel

Inside Narita Airport Terminal 2 is a variety store with a fun and fashionable “Stylish Travel” concept, they have an ample selection of travel goods and popular fashion items. Unique stickers, tin badges, key rings, Narita Airport exclusive design t-shirts, suitcases, reusable shopping bags, all make a good travel partner. Why not take a look before heading to immigration?

  • Stylish Travel
    • Address Narita International Airport second passenger terminal building Main Building 4F M4072, 1-1, Furugome, Furugome, Narita-shi, Chiba, 282-0004
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Airport Terminal 2 Station (JR Narita Line / Keisei Main Line / Narita SKY ACCESS Line)
    • Phone Number 0476-34-8676

10. Find Traditional Japanese Souvenirs at Tenshodo

10. Find Traditional Japanese Souvenirs at Tenshodo

This is a souvenir store in Terminal 1. It sells exclusive items made from select factories with “luxurious and magnificent Japan” as a concept. You will only find things that display exquisite traditional Japanese techniques in pottery, chopsticks, fans, hand towels, and ceramic pottery.

They also have a lot of Tenshodo original goods made by famous craftsmen from all over Japan. Everything is also duty-free—the perfect place for your last shopping trip before you leave.

  • Tenshodo
    Goods
    • Address In front of Narita International Airport first passenger terminal south wing Gate 33, Narita-shi, Chiba, 282-0011
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Narita Airport Station (JR Narita Line / Keisei Main Line / Narita SKY ACCESS Line)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 0476-33-5161

11. Naritasan Park

11. Naritasan Park

Located on the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple grounds behind the main hall, expansive Naritasan Park has lovely walking paths, several ponds and a waterfall, and many flowering trees and shrubs that accent the seasons.

The 58m tall Great Peace Pagoda is impressive even from a distance, and there you can try sutra copying, a kind of meditation, to relax the mind.

Many people come to the park in early spring for the Plum Blossom (Ume) Festival or in autumn to admire the beautiful colors of the leaves. While strolling through the park, keep an eye out for stone tablets – these are inscribed with haiku poems written by greats such as Matsuo Basho and Takahama Kyoshi.

12. Narita Wholesaler's Market

12. Narita Wholesaler's Market

Fruits, vegetables, and fresh seafood from all over Japan are available to purchase at this wholesale market in Narita, where hundreds of people shop every day.

Food stalls are also set up in the market, so it's possible to sit down to enjoy a fresh meal before visiting other attractions.

13. Sogo Reido Sanctuary

13. Sogo Reido Sanctuary

Officially called Meishozan Toshoji Temple, Sogo Reido Sanctuary is a Shingon Buddhist temple constructed to memorialize those who died in battle when the shogun Saka-no-ue-no Tamuramaro subjugated the Emishi people of northern Japan around the end of the 8th century.

Although today Naritasan Shinshoji is the most prominent temple in Narita, it is predated by Meishozan Toshoji. In fact, that is how Naritasan Shinshoji Temple got its name: After Toshoji – whose kanji characters mean 'east' and 'victory' – it was logical to use the characters 'new' and 'victory' for the new temple.

Later nicknamed Sogo Reido after a folk hero, Meishozan Toshoji Temple is indeed a sanctuary from the pressures of modern life, and the grounds are gorgeous in June when the hydrangea flowers bloom – a special festival is held to celebrate this seasonal event.

14. National Museum of Japanese History

14. National Museum of Japanese History

A range of exhibits on general Japanese history and culture are displayed at this national history museum in the town of Sakura west of Narita Airport.

Located where Sakura Castle formerly stood, the museum contains many items designated National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, and exhibits are rotated monthly. Example themes include the gastronomy of Edo, and perspectives on Japan's ancient burial mounds called kofun.

15. Yamato-no-yu

15. Yamato-no-yu

Designed specifically for adults, Yamato-no-yu is a hot spring resort a short distance from Narita Airport, complete with both indoor and open-air natural hot spring baths, a sauna, spa treatment including reflexology and aromatherapy, and even a 9m indoor swimming pool and fitness gym.

Travelers with tattoos need not worry about being turned away, as Yamato-no-yu has a completely welcome policy toward body art. A Japanese restaurant and sushi bar offers a wide variety of menu items, and also serves local Chiba sake.

(Children under 6 are not allowed. The facility is completely non-smoking.)

  • Yamato-no-yu
    成田の命泉 大和の湯
    • Address 1630 Odake, Narita, Chiba 286-0841

16. Shisui Hot Springs Yuranosato

16. Shisui Hot Springs Yuranosato

Just a short way from Shisui Premium Outlets shopping mall, Yuranosato offers a complete spa experience with natural hot spring water, including rotenburo outdoor baths, open-air shallow baths designed for a reclined soak, a Finnish style löyly sauna, massage, deep scrubbing, and more.

After bathing, relax in the easy chairs with a Japanese manga or magazine from their library, or indulge in fresh sushi and other Japanese fare at the on-site restaurant, which also serves locally brewed sake.

  • Shisui Hot Springs Yuranosato
    酒々井温泉 湯楽の里
    • Address 1-1-1 Iizumi, Shisui-cho, Inba-gun, Chiba 285-0912, Japan

17. Toyomi Shinonomeno Oka

17. Toyomi Shinonomeno Oka

For the chance to see planes landing and taking off right before your eyes, few locations offer better views than this observation hill adjacent to Narita Airport's Runway B.

Children and aviation enthusiasts especially will be thrilled at the close distance, and shutterbugs will appreciate the special holes in the fence designed for easy photography.

  • Toyomi Shinonomeno Oka
    十余三東雲の丘
    • Address 71-14 Toyomi, Narita, Chiba 286-0101

18. Sakura-no-Yama Park

18. Sakura-no-Yama Park

If you can't decide whether you want to do hanami (cherry blossom viewing) or watch planes take off and land only a short distance away, this park is for you: in spring, you can do both! Even outside the sakura season, Sakura-no-Yama Park is a great place to stretch your legs and let the kids run around, with views of the planes from anywhere in the park.

  • Sakura-no-Yama Park
    成田市さくらの山
    • Address 1338-1 Komaino, Narita, Chiba 286-0121

19. AEON Town Narita Tomisato

19. AEON Town Narita Tomisato

This large shopping center is located within walking distance of Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple and Keisei Narita Station, making it popular with visitors who wish to combine shopping with a cultural tour.

  • AEON Town Narita Tomisato
    イオンタウン成田富里
    • Address 133, Higashimachi, Narita-shi, Chiba 286-0025

20. Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art

20. Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art

The museum’s collection extends from works by well-known artists such as Rembrandt, Monet, and Picasso to 20th-century American artists such as Rothko and Pollock.

The expansive garden with ponds, and various flowers year-round is ideal for relaxing.

21. MEGA Don Quijote Narita

21. MEGA Don Quijote Narita

This giant store can be your one-stop shopping destination for just about anything and everything. Open 24 hours, with multi-lingual staff available.

Credit cards & Alipay accepted. Hotel/Airport/Overseas shipping available.

  • MEGA Don Quijote Narita
    MEGAドン・キホーテ 成田店
    • Address 82 Wing Tsuchiya, Narita-shi, Chiba 286-0029, Japan

22. Shisho Shrine

22. Shisho Shrine

Learn about Japanese Shinto traditions at Shisho Shrine, a small rural shrine with a history of over 350 years.

With cherry trees lining the path from the torii gate to the main shrine building, the grounds are stunning, with sakura in late March to April.

23. Museum of Aeronautical Sciences

23. Museum of Aeronautical Sciences

Dedicated to aviation, this fun and educational museum has both replica and real airplanes, clothing and equipment used by aviators, a real cockpit you can sit in, a DC-9 flight simulation experience, and much more.

An observation tower brings you closer to the planes taking off from Narita Airport, and the museum even has a fourth-floor restaurant with views of the sky.

  • Museum of Aeronautical Sciences
    航空科学博物館
    • Address 111-3 Iwayama, Shibayama, Sambu District, Chiba 289-1608
    • Admission: 500 yen (adults); flight simulation experience is 100 yen extra.
      Closed Mondays, or the following day if Monday is a holiday.

24. Strawberry Farm (seasonal)

24. Strawberry Farm (seasonal)

From March to April, you can tour a strawberry greenhouse and enjoy a basket of fresh, local strawberries as you make your way to Shisho Shrine or on to Airplane Hill.

25. Airplane Hill

25. Airplane Hill

This outdoor observation area provides unobstructed views of airplanes taking off from Narita Airport and flying almost directly overhead.

Aviation enthusiasts will likely want to visit Airplane Hill after touring the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences for the full visual and auditory experience!

26. Pastoral Landscape

26. Pastoral Landscape

Surrounded by beautiful rice paddies, Tako Town is famous for its delicious rice, which can be enjoyed with bento boxes on the banks of the Kuriyama River or in a dining area on the second floor of Roadside Station Tako Ajisai-kan.

Relax on a short river boat ride (available weekends), or rent an electric bicycle to explore further afield.

27. Nichihon-ji Temple

27. Nichihon-ji Temple

Nichihon-ji Temple is an important temple of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism and is well-known as being home to the Nakamura Danrin, a school for monks.

Nichihon-ji is also known as the Ajisai (hydrangea) Temple: in June, its wooded grounds come alive with 8,000 colorful hydrangea blooms.

  • Nichihon-ji Temple
    正東山日本寺
    • Address 1820-1 Minaminaka, Tako, Katori District, Chiba 289-2257

28. Tako Ajisai-kan

28. Tako Ajisai-kan

Roadside Station Tako Ajisai-kan sits right on the bank of the Kuriyama River and sells a variety of Japanese-style bento lunches, dango, tamagoyaki rolls, and of course, the delicious Tako rice.

In addition to a restaurant, there is a dining space on the second floor where you can look out onto the river while eating your lunch.

  • Michi no eki Tako
    道の駅 多古
    • Address 1069-1 Tako, Katori District, Chiba 289-2241

29. Shiraishi Confectionary

29. Shiraishi Confectionary

This small shop sells wagashi (Japanese sweets) made by hand using carefully selected ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, and rice grown locally in Tako.

From mitarashi dango to sakura mochi, and even Japanese shaved ice in summer, there's sure to be something delicious for a range of palates.

30. Ajisai Park

30. Ajisai Park

Known as ajisai in Japanese, hydrangeas are symbolic of early summer in Japan and their blooms are loved and photographed nearly as much as sakura in the spring and fall foliage in the autumn.

Tako's Hydrangea Park spans both banks of the Kuriyama River and is a lovely place to relax.

In spring, the park is blanketed with yellow mustard flowers, and in fall, colorful cosmos stand out against the blue river.

  • Ajisai Park
    あじさい公園
    • Address Tako, Katori District, Chiba 289-2241

31. Boso no Mura

31. Boso no Mura

Boso no Mura's authentic Edo Period townscape has been used as a filming location for numerous Japanese period dramas, and it's also the perfect place for visitors to dress up as ninja, samurai, or other famous characters from Japanese history!

Admission is 300 yen.

  • Boso no Mura
    千葉県立房総のむら
    • Address 1028 Ryukakuji, Sakae, Imba District, Chiba 270-1506

32. Cosplay no Yakata

32. Cosplay no Yakata

The friendly staff at Cosplay no Yakata, located adjacent to Boso no Mura, will happily help you transform into a figure straight out of Japanese history.

Reservations for the cosplay are required and can be made by Narita Airport Tourist Information Center staff on the day of your visit; when you arrive at the counter, please tell them you wish to cosplay, and your preferred costume. They'll check whether an outfit is available in your size.

33. Italian Restaurant Yume-Terrace

33. Italian Restaurant Yume-Terrace

Surrounded by a panorama of greenery, Yume Terrace uses only the freshest ingredients in its dishes, which vary seasonally.

In summer its fresh soft-serve ice cream, straight from nearby Yume Farm, is a big hit. Both indoor and terrace seating is available.

  • Italian Restaurant Yume-Terrace
    ゆめテラス
    • Address 1039 Ryukakuji, Sakae, Imba District, Chiba 270-1506

34. Roadside Station Hakko-no-Sato Kozaki

34. Roadside Station Hakko-no-Sato Kozaki

Learn about Japan’s fermentation traditions at the Fermentation Market, which offers locally-brewed saké and many fermented products from all over Japan. Also located at this roadside station is a fresh produce market where you can buy a range of fruits and vegetables grown by Japanese farmers.

  • Roadside Station Hakko-no-Sato Kozaki
    道の駅 発酵の里こうざき
    • Address 855 Matsuzaki, Kozaki, Katori District, Chiba 289-0224

35. Kozaki Shrine

35. Kozaki Shrine

Travelers can pray for a safe trip at Kozaki Shrine, which enshrines Amano Torifune no Mikoto, the guardian deity of aviation, transportation, and industry.

The shrine grounds are also home to a huge camphor tree hundreds of years old, designated a Natural Monument. When Tokugawa Mitsukuni saw this tree, he reportedly asked, “What might this tree be called?” (“Kono ki wa, nan to yu mon jaro?”) Ever since, it has been called the “Nan-Ja-Mon-Ja Tree.”

  • Kozaki Shrine
    神崎神社
    • Address 1944 Kozakihonshuku, Kozaki, Katori District, Chiba 289-0221

There’s a lot to enjoy around Narita Airport!

But there are still more places we can recommend. If you still have time, please take a look.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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