Mon 28 Oct 2019
Narita is one of Tokyo's two airports and a lot of travellers arrive here. One of the major downsides to this airport is that it's actually quite a ways out of Tokyo meaning you're up for a long trip into the city.
Since we were arriving late at night on our recent trip to Japan, we decided that we would just book a hotel near the airport and travel in the next day. we stayed at HOTEL MYSTAYS PREMIER Narita which worked out just fine.
After a good night's sleep, some excellent breakfast and a swim in the (rather empty) hotel pool we decided it would be fun to just go for a wander around the hotel. The concierge suggested instead that we catch a hotel shuttle bus in to town. Obviously I'd spent no time really looking into what there was to see in Narita but there was promise of some temples and it looked like it might be worth the effort. So 15 minutes or so later we disembarked in the town of Narita and started following the streets towards the temple complex.
At the end of a narrow street that was packed with tourists and quaint shops we reached the start of the temples.
The temples were quite spectacular. Certainly if you haven't seen too many temples in Japan yet, they are pretty amazing. And with the benefit of hindsight I think they are well worth the visit.
We got rather lucky as we were there on a Sunday and there was a service about to start in the great temple. We were invited to attend, and so sat towards the back of the temple while the events unfolded. It really was rather magical watching all the procedures they go through, banging various drums at different times. We just sat quietly and took it all in.
After the service we headed further into the complex. There were some amazing gardens to wander around.
This map kind of lays it out
And the Great Pagoda of Peace
By the end of it, we really felt like we had a perfect start to our trip with some really enjoyable temples and gardens.
If you find yourself arriving in, or departing from Narita on a trip to Japan, I'd highly recommend leaving half a day to explore this beautiful temple complex. Well worth it!