One last stop, Narita, Japan 🇯🇵
What is Narita known for? Most people will tell you the airport, the reason for this is that folks who visit Tokyo would land in either of two airports and Narita international airport is one of them. Although the Airport is in Narita most people would just head directly to Tokyo itself without giving a second thought to spend some time in Narita.
All journeys must come to an end and after spending 3 weeks in Japan, we chose to conclude our trip here. There were two options for us as we were flying out of Narita international airport after travelling from Osaka. One option was to head to Tokyo and spend a night before heading to Narita airport or head to Narita city from Osaka and explore Narita for the day. We picked the latter as we already had spend a week exploring Tokyo and we had an early flight to catch. Furthermore, The airport is one train stop from Narita city.
To get from Osaka to Narita city, we took an overnight bus to Shinjuku bus station in Tokyo. From the bus station, we took the metro from Shinjuku station to Ueno Park via the Ginza line. At Ueno Park, we took the Keisan Line directly to Narita city. The journey from Tokyo to Narita roughly took about an hour and a half.
We had a full day to explore Narita city after we checked into the Airbnb that we had booked for a night. Within walking distance from Narita train station is Shinshō-ji temple. Shinshō-ji temple is a Shingon Buddhist temple dedicated to Fudō Myōō (the wisdom king) who is normally portrayed as holding a sword and rope surrounded by flames. Fudō Myōō is also know as a fire god and is associated with fire rituals held at the temple. The Shinshō-ji temple is one of the most well known temples in the Kantō region, boasting large complexes and grounds. Some of the large structures at Shinshō-ji temple have been designated as National Important Cultural Properties due to their historical significance.
On the way to and from Shinshō-ji temple, you will see many shops and restaurants and you will soon notice the mouth-watering smell of grilled food in the air. Narita's is famous for their Unagi. Unagi is Japanese for fresh water eel and is usually grilled in a style known as Kabayaki. The fillets of unagi are glazed with tare sauce which is a sweeten soy base sauce that is caramelised over a charcoal fire. The most common way to serve unagi is to serve over rice with a little extra tare sauce poured over it; this dish is known as unadon. The unagi at Narita do come at a premium and the reason for this could be that the unagi are prepared fresh on the premises.
The 3 weeks of our Japan trip have flown by and I would recommend that if you have the time before catching your plane at Narita airport do stop by Narita city. Throughout our 3 weeks journey we discovered every town and city had something different to offer and this also stands for Narita. There is so much more of Japan to explore and experience and we hope to return at some point in the future.