Tokyo : What to do in Narita if you have a long layover

Winter 2014.

If there’s ever a need for you to transit in Narita with a layover of over 5 hours, you might want to visit the Naritasan Shinshoji Shrine founded in 940. Located near Narita International Airport, it’s a train ride away. I had a 10 hours transit on my way to a wedding assignment in Los Angeles last autumn, so I paid a visit this shrine.


Flying on as many different airlines is one of the things on my “to do” list. From Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles I took Japan Airlines. Flight JAL0724 Boeing 767’s cabin view.



 In flight meal. I give it a 7/10 rating. Pretty normal airline food. By far the best economy class in flight meal I had was from Thai Airways.


 First light of dawn over the coast of Japan.


 10 inch touch screen interactive in flight entertainment.


 The Sony A6000 captured the details of the clouds without any issue even through 2 layers of the cabin’s window.


The coastal line of Japan. Ooo… I like that big red dot on the plane’s wings. Reminded me of the Zero fighter. LOL


 From the plane to the immigration, it was a long walk but it’s ok. I had plenty of time before my friend Miki’s flight land.


 Flight JAL0724.


Miki is based in KL but we never get to hang out back in KL due to her work schedule so we decided to meet up in Narita instead. LOL. She heard that I was having a long layover in Narita so she switched her slot so she could land the same day as me. He flight landed 2 hours after mine so we met up. This is Miki on the right.


Naritasan Shinshoji Shrine is about 8 minutes by express or limited express train directly from Narita International airport. Take the JR line or Keisei line from Terminal 2 to Narita station. From there it’s about 14 minutes leisurely walk.


The neighbourhood between the station and the shrine is pretty lively and has quite a lot of tourists.



Japanese snacks. Too bad I didn’t buy any as this was the beginning of my trip and I knew I won’t have the space for them in my luggage on the way back.


Delivery lady on her bike.


I came across this restaurant specializing in unagi.


 Fresh unagi being cut up for serving.


Many of the buildings near the Naritasan Shinshoji Shrine are very old as you can see from it’s architecture and design.



This place is popular and is always frequented by many tourist during their long layover at Narita International airport. So you can see a lot of souvenir shops along the route from the station to the shrine.


A shop and a restaurant in a really old building near the shrine.


This is Somon the main gate of Naritasan Shinshoji Shrine.


 As you walked through the main gate you’ll see the secondary gate called Niomon gate.


With Miki before going up the stairs to Niomon gate.


 Like many Japanese shrines, there will always be a big fat ginomous cute lantern at the gate. The front view of the lantern as you walk up the stairs.


 And the rear view.


 A koi fish in the pond after Niomon gate.


Miki chan


This is the Three-Story Pagoda at the main court in front of the Great Main Hall. It was constructed in 1712, which is the 2nd oldest building to be built there. The buildings have very elaborate carvings which were carved by carpenters who specialized in temple and shrine building in the Edo period. Their work can be seen all over the buildings, some of which are a thousand years old.


 There are 5 buildings in total but we only checked out the Great Main Hall and the Three-Story Pagoda due to time constraint.


Here’s a map of the place taken from their website.


 Naritasan has a park around it and it’s really colorful during autumn.



 The park is really nice but due we didn’t walk through the whole trail.


 Gingkyo leaves.

















Miki and I called this “the burning tree”


 Selfie with Miki and “the burning tree”.





We couldn’t stop staring at “the burning tree”. It’s really beautiful as the late morning sun was right behind it so the sun light made the tree looks as if it’s burning. If only I have a tree like this in my yard!


 And this is the close up of the leaves.



And we bumped into Miki’s friends.



And it was time to leave.


Little girl with kimono.


It’s time for lunch. Both of us were kinda tired from our respective overnight flights. Well at least Miki had the rest of the day to sleep in while I have to continue my journey to Orange County, where the wedding was held.


 Koi fish sashimi set lunch.


 Can’t believe I actually tried koi fish sashimi. It tastes like tuna but the texture is a bit different, it felt like very tender beef. LOL.


After lunch Miki and I said sayonara to each other. It was time for her to head back to her hotel and get some sleep while I head back to Narita to get ready to check in for my flight to LA.


After checking in all my stuff. I came across this samurai exhibition and the lady asked if I would like to put them on and take some pix. Of course I said yes!


It require at least 2 person to put it on for you and it weights about 15kgs in total. It took 3 ladies to dress me up in it.


 They said I looked like a samurai that’s why they asked me to put it on. LOL.


Too bad it’s missing the katana and well err…. a horse!! LOL.


 2 of the ladies who dressed me up. The 3rd one was helped me take this pix.

 Alright, time to take it off and head to my plane!


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