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Narita

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Chiba : Narita
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Narita (成田; [1]) is a city in Chiba prefecture, Japan, some 70 kilometers to the northeast of Tokyo.

Omote-sandō, leading to Narita Shinsho-ji

Understand

The vast majority of Narita's visitors come there for one reason only: Narita Airport, Tokyo's international gateway. But there are a few attractions in the vicinity if you have a short layover and don't want to waste 2-3 hours of it on the long hike to Tokyo. Firstly, Narita town itself is very charming with lots of quaint winding old streets lined with old wooden shops. The pace of life here is dramatically different to that of nearby Tokyo and is very relaxed. This is a major congregation point for airline staff too so you can take it that most of the foreigners in town are Air Crew. This means there's a bit more to Narita's nightlife than may seem at first in this sleepy town.

Narita Airport and Japan Tourism were experimenting with conducting short tours for passengers with layovers at Narita Airport, but this seems to have ended; visitors can use the Retrobus instead (see Get Around).

Get in

By plane

Narita Airport (成田空港 Narita-kūkō, IATA: NRT ICAO: RJAA), located nearly 70 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, is Japan's largest international airport. The airport is generally modern and efficient, but sometimes overcrowded (particularly at immigration). Security has been rather heavy, especially when coming in, due to continuing controversy over land expropriated for the airport - there are plans in the works, however, to relax the checkpoints at train stations and possibly the entry gates for vehicles as part of the first security overhaul since the airport's 1978 opening.

The airport has two terminals connected by both train and bus. Foreign airlines operate out of either terminal, with Japanese carriers ANA and JAL operating out of terminals 1 and 2, respectively.

The South Wing of Terminal 1 opened in June of 2006, and now most airlines in the Star Alliance (e.g. ANA, United, Continental, Air Canada, SAS) operate out of that section (although Air New Zealand operates from Terminal 2). Carriers in the other two major airline alliances are also grouped together: the Skyteam Alliance (e.g. Delta, Air France, KLM, Korean Air) operates out of the North Wing of Terminal 1, and the OneWorld Alliance (e.g. JAL, American, British Airways, Finnair) operates out of Terminal 2. Check the airport's website just prior to your departure to determine the terminal you will arrive at. On the way to the airport, there are also lists (in English) posted near the doors of trains going to Narita.

There are Citibank cash machines that accept international ATM/credit cards once you leave customs on the arrivals floor of both terminals, as well as ATM machines operated by Japan Post. Recently, 7-Eleven affiliated Seven Bank ATMs accepting foreign cards can also be found throughout the airport.

There are many ways to travel between Narita Airport and central Tokyo. For a first-time visitor, suffering jet-lag, laden with luggage and holding a reservation for a major hotel, the easiest option is often to take the Limousine Bus direct to the hotel. A close second is taking one of the express trains to Tokyo or Ueno Station and then transferring to a taxi for the final leg. If taking the bus, note that traffic jams can cause you to reach your destination a lot later than you were told when you boarded.

When departing Narita, the better shops and restaurants are located in the check-in area: after passing security and immigration, all that's really available is expensive duty-free and some convenience store sundries. But remember that Japan restricts liquids in carry-on baggage, and plan to buy drinks for the plane after security.

If you're at Narita for a connecting flight, you may wish to use the dayrooms and showers inside the terminal, past security. Dayrooms are paid for by the hour; ¥1000 for the first hour and ¥500 for each additional hour. The dayroom consists of a bed and a bathroom with a shower. It's a great way to refresh yourself before your next flight. If you just want to take a shower, you can get a shower room for ¥500 for a half hour. Soap and shampoo are provided, but not things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shavers, and deodorant, so bring them in your carry-on with your change of clothes. Twin dayrooms are available for ¥1600 for the first hour and ¥800 for each additional hour. Dayroom reservations can be made up to a month in advance [2]

WiFi access is available throughout the airport. There are several WiFi desks located in both terminals which have 100-volt power ports and free Internet access. Elsewhere in the airport you can connect to the Internet with the SSID NRT-AIRPORT at a cost of ¥500 per 24 hours. [3]

By helicopter

If you're really in a hurry (depending on your definition of the term), Narita Heli Express [4] will whisk you to or from Tokyo Heliport (in Shin-Kiba). The regular fare is ¥260,000 per flight, which means that a solo passenger would spend the cost of one night's stay at the average Tokyo hotel every minute during the 20 minute ride. But if you share the ride with four other willing companions (the helicopter seats up to five), it splits down to ¥52000 per passenger.

When making a journey-time comparison with other transport methods, one should take account of the time required to travel between one's point of origin and the heliport in Shin-Kiba and the time taken for travel between the helipad at Narita airport and the relevant terminal building. For a journey from the Tokyo station area to Narita Terminal 2, the time difference may be 20 minutes or less.

IF this tickles your interest, keep in mind that the helicopter also has service to Kawajima, Saitama prefecture in 30 minutes (¥235,000 per flight) and Maebashi, Gunma prefecture in 40 minutes (¥355,000).

Another helicopter service, Mori Building City Air Service, or MCAS [5], began operations in September 2009. MCAS operates helicopter services on a regular schedule into the Tokyo area. The standard fare (¥45000 per person one way, ¥75000 round trip) includes a 15-minute trip by limousine from Narita Airport to the Sakura Heliport, followed by a 15-minute helicopter ride to the Ark Hills Heliport in Akasaka, and finally, a trip by limousine to any destination in Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato and Shibuya wards. A limousine trip to any other Tokyo ward outside of this zone incurs an additional surcharge. You can get the helicopter all to yourself if you fork over ¥120,000 for a one-way trip, but if you travel with three others in the same party the fare is reduced to ¥30000 per person.

By train

Travelling to Narita City?

  • The easiest way to travel between Tokyo and Narita City is via the private Keisei Line. Commuter trains depart from Keisei Ueno and Nippori stations every 20 minutes or so during most of the day, reaching Keisei Narita station in about 60 minutes at a cost of ¥810. (Don't take any commuter trains with the word "Access" in it, as these trains take another, less-convenient route.)
  • Reserved-seat trains also run to Keisei Narita; these include hourly City Liner trains during the middle of the day (once in the morning from Ueno), and the Morning Liner/Evening Liner trains that operate in peak direction during the morning and evening, respectively. All of these reserved-seat trains require an extra surcharge of ¥920 and ¥400 respectively. Morning Liner and Evening Liner tickets can only be purchased on the same day of travel.
  • If you are travelling from Tokyo to Narita City via the JR Line, the hourly Airport Narita commuter train will take you from Tokyo Station to JR Narita station via the Sobu Line in 75 minutes at a cost of ¥1110. An alternate route is to take the Joban Line rapid service from Ueno via Abiko. Either trip is free with a Japan Rail Pass.
  • If you are travelling from Narita Airport to Narita City, the Retrobus tourist bus service makes seven daily runs to central locations and attractions within the city for ¥200; see "Get Around" below. By train, the Keisei Line has more frequent departures (3 trains per hour) than the JR Line (1 train per hour). The Keisei fare is ¥320 and the travel time is 10 minutes.
  • Few Narita Express trains stop at Narita station. Four trains going to Tokyo stop at Narita station in the morning, and four trains coming from Tokyo stop at Narita in the evening.


There are three train lines from Narita and all will get you into Tokyo. Note that if coming to the airport, each terminal has its own station and it is imperative that you get off at the right one. The stop for Terminal 1 is Narita Airport (成田空港), and the stop for Terminal 2 is, appropriately, Airport Terminal 2 (空港第2ビル), pronounced kūkō dai-ni biru, or literally, "Airport Number 2 Building". Lists of airlines and their terminals are posted inside the trains. As of July 2010, smoking is not permitted on any of these services.

The two premier train services that operate out of Narita Airport are the Skyliner and the Narita Express. As a general rule of thumb, Skyliner trains offer the fastest ride into Tokyo, while Narita Express trains offer direct one-seat connections to the bullet trains and most of Tokyo's major train stations.

If you are on a budget and plan to use any of the various commuter train services that run out of Narita Airport, using a stored fare card (Suica or PASMO) will prove to be convenient.

JR East's Narita Express.

JR line

From Narita Airport, the fastest and most expensive way (by rail) into Tokyo is the Japan Railways (JR) Narita Express (N'EX) [6] into central Tokyo Station. The ride takes 55 minutes, costs ¥2,940 and offers the best connections to Shinkansen (bullet train) services or the JR Yamanote loop line. Trains usually depart Terminal 1 at around 15 and 45 minutes past the hour; there is one hourly departure between 12 Noon and 1 PM, and after 8 PM. Smoking is not permitted on board the Narita Express, and all seats are reserved. Brand new E259-series trains, which offer a smoother and more secure ride, have been introduced on the service from October 2009; they will be fully implemented on all runs by June 2010.

Alternatively, you can continue onward in the same train, which splits in two with the front half heading south to Shinagawa, Musashi-Kosugi, Yokohama and Ofuna, while the rear cars go west to Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro. Trains run to Hachioji, Takao and Omiya in the evening, with service from these stations to Narita Airport during morning hours. Reservations are required but can be purchased just before boarding if there is space (and there usually is). If there is no space, JR will sell standing tickets for ¥500 less.

JR East sells a special Suica fare package, called "Suica & N'EX" [7], exclusively to foreign visitors. The cost includes a discounted fare on the Narita Express (one-way or round-trip, in standard class or green class) and regular JR lines from the airport to any destination in the Tokyo metropolitan area; ¥1500 to use on rail travel in Tokyo or on purchases at locations that accept the Suica card, and a ¥500 deposit. The "Suica & N'EX" card is sold only at Narita Airport, and can be purchased using cash or credit card. It can also be recharged with additional funds, but only by paying cash. The one-way Suica & N'EX ticket is ¥3500 in standard class and ¥5000 for the green car. The round-trip ticket costs ¥5500 in standard class and ¥8000 for the green car; the return trip to Narita Airport must be taken within 14 days and seat reservations must be made prior to departure. (As an example, under this plan a one-way trip on the Narita Express from the airport to Shinjuku in standard class would cost only ¥1500, compared to the normal fare of ¥3110. A round-trip for the same journey would cost ¥3500, compared to ¥6220.)

JR also operates Rapid trains on the Sobu/Narita line, leaving once per hour and stopping at various points along the way, including Chiba. To Tokyo the trip is approximately 82 minutes and costs ¥1,280. These are normal, non-smoking commuter trains and often get crowded during rush hour (though boarding at Narita Airport should not be a problem).

If you have a voucher for a JR pass, then you should exchange it here at the JR View Plaza Travel Service Center (Regular JR ticket counter when the View Plaza is closed), as the Narita Express is free with a Japan Rail Pass. You can also make onward reservations from Tokyo.

Keisei Electric Railway's Skyliner.

Keisei Railway

The private Keisei (京成, stylized as K'SEI) Railway offers trains to central and southern Tokyo, as well as direct commuter trains to Haneda airport. Keisei trains run on two routes: the faster, more-direct Narita Sky Access Line and the slower, less-direct Keisei Main Line. Both routes connect to Tokyo's Keisei Ueno and Nippori stations. Nippori offers the easiest connection to the JR Yamanote and Joban Lines, and to the Nippori-Toneri Liner for Tokyo's Adachi Ward. At Keisei Ueno you can walk over to JR Ueno station to connect to the JR Tohoku and Takasaki lines and northbound Shinkansen trains, as well as the Ginza and Hanzomon subway lines.

Because the Sky Access and Keisei Main Lines operate on different fare structures, separate ticket gates and platforms are used at Narita Airport's two train stations. Sky Access Line passengers only have to pass through one ticket gate, while Keisei Main Line passengers must pass through two ticket gates.

Sky Access Line

Confused by these options?
Since the opening of the Sky Access Line in July 2010, train options to and from Narita Airport on the Keisei Railway may sound confusing, even to a seasoned traveler. Here is a brief summary of major services:

  • The fastest way to reach Tokyo is by using the Skyliner. This train reaches Nippori and Ueno stations in under 45 minutes at a cost of ¥2400. Seat reservations are mandatory.
  • The cheapest way to reach Nippori or Ueno from Narita Airport is to take a regular commuter train. In the morning and early afternoon you should use Keisei Main Line commuter trains which leave Narita Airport three times per hour and cost ¥1000. During the later hours, the best way to get to Nippori and Ueno is to use a Sky Access Line commuter service which operates directly to these stations (¥1200).
  • The Sky Access Line commuter trains run directly into the subway line during the morning and afternoon hours, making it the best way to get to the Asakusa and Nihonbashi areas. Ginza can be reached by changing trains at Nihonbashi.
  • The Sky Access Line is also the best way to reach Haneda Airport by train. Direct commuter services run to Haneda Airport in 1 hour 45 minutes at a cost of ¥1740 (compared to 1 hour 30 minutes and ¥3000 on the Limousine Bus), but note that bus service to Haneda is more frequent than train service.


Keisei's premier service is the Skyliner [8], which operates on the Sky Access Line twice per hour. The Skyliner is the fastest train connecting Narita Airport to Tokyo, with trains running into and out of Keisei Ueno and Nippori stations. The brand new Skyliner trains offer comfortable seating and a maximum speed of 160 km/h (100 mph). The full run from Terminal 1 to Ueno takes 44 minutes, with the train traveling nonstop between Nippori and Terminal 2 in 36 minutes. All seats are reserved and the fare is ¥2400 each way.

The budget option along the Sky Access Line is the commuter train service known as Access Express, or Access Tokkyu (アクセス特急). Access Tokkyu trains depart every 40 minutes, and most daytime trains run into the Toei Asakusa Subway Line (during later hours, change at Aoto). Making limited stops, the Access Tokkyu offers the best ride to Asakusa (65 minutes, ¥1240) and Nihombashi (70 minutes, ¥1280). Shimbashi (75 minutes, ¥1280) puts you within easy reach of the Yurikamome light rail line to Odaiba. A change of trains at Nihombashi will allow you to make a quick hop into the Ginza district (Higashi-Ginza Station, 80 minutes, ¥1280). Many services also continue onto the Keikyu Line for Shinagawa (85 minutes, ¥1460) and Haneda Airport (105 minutes, ¥1740).

After 4:00 PM (5:00 PM on weekends), Access Tokkyu trains run directly into Nippori and Keisei Ueno in 60 minutes at a cost of ¥1200, otherwise you will have to change trains at Aoto station; this increases travel time to 70-80 minutes.

From the Access Tokkyu trains you can transfer at Imba-Nihon-Idai station - two stations after Terminal 2 - to local Hokuso Railway services. At Shin-Kamagaya station you can change to the Shin-Keisei Railway and Tobu Noda Line, which make for inexpensive trips to Matsudo (65 minutes, ¥1070) and Omiya (130 minutes, ¥1580), respectively. At Higashi-Matsudo station you can change to the JR Musashino Line for Saitama's Minami Ward (80-110 minutes to Musashi-Urawa depending on connection, ¥1450).

Keisei Main Line

Regular Tokkyu (特急) commuter trains - those that do not carry the "Access" designation - depart from Narita Airport every 20 minutes, reaching Keisei Ueno in 80 minutes at a cost of ¥1000. During the morning and early afternoon hours, you should use these Tokkyu services over Sky Access trains as they offer a one-seat, cheaper ride. After 4:00 PM (5:00 PM on Weekends), Sky Access trains offer a one-seat ride from Narita Airport directly to Nippori and Ueno; the 20 minutes you'll save on the Sky Access train is worth paying the extra ¥200.

Keisei also operates hourly City Liner trains during the middle of the day only. Using older trains that operated Skyliner services prior to their upgrade in July 2010, City Liners run on the Keisei Main Line and make stops at Keisei Narita, Funabashi, Aoto, Nippori and Ueno stations. The travel time from Ueno to Narita Airport is 75 minutes at a cost ¥1920. There is also a daily 7:00 AM City Liner departure from Keisei Ueno to Narita Airport. Unless you want your own reserved seat and extra space to put your luggage, you should consider saving money by taking regular commuter trains. Narita city is served by regular Tokkyu trains every 20 minutes (10 minutes, ¥250). These same trains reach Funabashi with only a few minutes' difference than the City Liner (50 minutes, ¥720). Aoto is more frequently served by commuter trains (55 minutes, ¥1080 on Access Tokkyu; 65 minutes, ¥890 on regular Tokkyu). For Nippori and Ueno, either take a commuter train as described earlier or pay up the extra yen to take the Skyliner.

Other reserved-seat services include the Morning Liner which operates from the airport to Ueno twice in the morning, and the Evening Liner which operates from Ueno to the airport six times at night after the final Skyliner service has run. Morning and Evening liner trains are cheaper than the City Liner at ¥1400, but the drawback is that you can only make a seat reservation on the day of departure from a special ticket vending machine.

From the Keisei Main Line you have the option of transferring at Funabashi station to the JR Chūō-Sobu line or at Katsutadai station to the Tōyō Rapid with through service to the Tōzai subway line, both of which go right through the middle of Tokyo. The Chūō-Sobu line goes through Akihabara (86 minutes from Narita, ¥1100), Ochanomizu, Yotsuya and Shinjuku (104 minutes, ¥1260) and facilitates an easy transfer to the regular JR Chūō express, which goes as far west as Tachikawa, Ōme, Takao and other destinations beyond. The Tōzai line takes a slight southern approach with stops including Kiba (77 minutes, ¥1400), Nihonbashi, Iidabashi and Takadanobaba (98 minutes, ¥1440).

Note that none of the subway or Chūō lines are specifically prepared for travelers with big luggage and tend to get crowded once inside the Yamanote ring, the exchanges at Katsutadai and Funabashi are usually rather pleasant though.

By bus

There is also a network of Airport Limousine shuttle buses that serve most major hubs within Tokyo, stopping at major hotels, as well as some suburbs. Prices are comparable to the Narita Express train services (¥3,000/person), but are convenient for the first-time traveler as they take you directly to your hotel. The Airport Limousine is also one way to transfer to Haneda Airport; Access Tokkyu trains are cheaper, but Airport Limousines are much more frequent. The journey to most points in central Tokyo takes 90 minutes or so, but watch out in rush hour (especially on the way to the airport) as there may be traffic jams.

The Airport Limousine buses make three pickup stops (Terminal 1 North Wing, Terminal 1 South Wing, Terminal 2) and two dropoff stops (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2).

By taxi

A taxi to central Tokyo is extremely expensive, on the order of ¥30000 if you hail one directly by yourself (equivalent to a few nights stay in the average Tokyo hotel), and you are more likely to get stuck in a traffic jam than save any time. Flat fare taxi cabs to Tokyo go for around ¥17000-19000 from special taxi ranks, but even so, if you're in a hurry, it's generally much faster and cheaper to take the Narita Express or the Skyliner, and change to a taxi upon arriving in Tokyo or Ueno. If you're not in a hurry, consider the airport limousine bus.

Tokyo MK Taxi and Cab Station Ltd offer advanced bookings for taxis in English. Their prices are more or less equivalent to the flat-fare prices noted above, once additional fees are figured in.

Get around

The easiest way to go between Narita City and Narita Airport is by using the Narita City Round Bus or Loop Bus (Retro Bus)[9], the tourist bus service operated by Narita City. There are seven daily trips from JR Narita station, stopping at major locations within the city (including the International Cultural Center, AEON Narita Shopping Center and Shinsoji Temple), as well as both terminals of Narita Airport. Buses depart from Narita Airport Terminal 2 at 8:00, 9:30, 11:00, 13:30, 15:00, 16:30 and 18:00; departures from Terminal 1 are 5 minutes later. The first three buses run directly from the airport to the Cultural Center and Shopping Center in about 20 minutes; the last bus at 18:00 only runs to JR Narita station. ¥200 adult.

It is also possible to go between the city and the airport by using the JR and Keisei local trains. These cost a bit less than ¥300 each way. The JR and Keisei stations in Narita are quite close to each other and a reasonably long walk from AEON Narita Shopping Center, the temple, et cetera.

There is also a slightly more complex local bus network run by Narita Kuko Kotsu[10] which is mainly useful for accessing the Aviation Museum and industrial areas around the airport. Fares for this line range from ¥150 to ¥420 depending on distance.

Take your passport with you for re-entry to the airport.

See

  • Naritasan Shinshō-ji Temple (成田山新勝寺). [11]. Said to date back to 800 AD, the large temple has a wide assortment of classical Japanese pagodas and halls and a pleasant quasi-European park. Half the fun is getting there: the kilometer-long Omote-sandō from Narita station is a giant shopping arcade filled with restaurants and souvenir shops. Directions are available from the airport's Tourist Information Desk.
  • Sakura-no-Yama Hill (成田市さくらの山) [12] is located near the northern end of the main runway of Narita International Airport. Unfortunately there is no bus service to this location. There is nice little park with beautiful cherry trees and a good view of airplanes landing and taking off from the main runway.
  • Sanrizuka Goryo Ranch Memorial Hall (三里塚記念公園) [13]. +81 476 35-0442. 25min by bus from JR Narita Station. Open 9AM-4PM daily except Mondays. Admission free.
  • Museum of Aeronautical Science (航空科学博物館) [14]. +81 479 78-0557. About 15min by bus from Narita Airport (JR/Keisei Station). Open 10AM-5PM. Closed on Mondays, year end and new years holidays. There is a charge to get into the main building, which has an observation deck on the fifth floor.
  • Chiba Prefectural Flower and Tree Center (Botanical Garden) (千葉県立花植木センター) [15]. +81 476 32-0237. Open 9AM-4:30PM. Closed on Mondays, year end and new years holidays. Admission free.
  • Narita Tourist Pavilion (成田観光館). [16] +81 476 24-3232. Learn about Japanese Tea Ceremony every Thursday from 10:30AM. Open 10AM-6PM (June through September) and 9AM-5PM (October through May). Closed on Mondays and during year end period.

Do

If you are going into Narita, make sure to get some Japanese ¥ as most places will not take foreign currency. The 7-Eleven outside of the west gate of JR Narita station takes foreign cards 24 hours a day (except Mastercard, Maestro and Cirrus), and there is also a post office with ATM a few blocks down the street from the am/pm store. Also allow a bit of time for exchanging back leftover currency on departure as this is not something you can do at an ATM!

Buy

Not that much. There is a large Aeon shopping mall outside of town, which you can get to by bus, if you absolutely have to visit a branch of the sporting goods store "The Sports Authority." There are souvenir stores on the road leading to the temple, as well as a reasonably interesting "100 yen" store -- which actually sells items for ¥105 including consumption tax -- along the way. Still, everything should be cheaper than at the airport.

Eat

Fishing on tarmac
Narita has no coastline, but officially it's still Japan's eighth-busiest fish port due to the vast quantities of frozen tuna and other premium sushi fish imported by air.


Many shops on the main street sell unagi (うなぎ) broiled eel in a sweet sauce. It can be expensive for a standard plate (unaju (うな重), layered on rice, is ¥1500) but it is quite tasty. Look for the guys cleaning and chopping the eels right by the street-side.

Another great option is takoyaki (たこ焼き), or fried octopus balls. These are popular on the go treats, going for ¥360 for ten small takoyaki. Order zenbu (全部) to get all the toppings. There is a stand right by the Keisei line station main exit (left as you are leaving). Look for the little cartoon octopus pulling a cart of fried balls.

Don't forget to get a hot and sweet dorayaki (どら焼き), or sweet red bean pancake from a little shop across the main street.

  • Papas is one good place to eat in Narita. It's a wee place not far from the main 'Sando' street, which only holds about 16 people. But the food is great (Japanese-style 'izakaya' type food, or 'Sets' at Yen 1500 for drink, starter and choice of main meal) and the service from Mama-san and Papa-san is first-rate. He speaks great English too!
  • Cafe Le Bon, (or The Spiral Staircase) is very close to Narita-san temple. Popular despite relatively late opening hours. It consists of one upper room with a semi circle of hot plates, on which your food is cooked in front of you. The menu consists of one item: an all-you-can-eat meal including a huge drink, Japanese salad, gyoza, oriental chicken, wedges and ice cream, starting around ¥1680 depending on what you're drinking. Stuffy and hot, but extremely welcoming, friendly, quick, and the food is delicious.
  • Grill House Hero's, 845-8 Hanasaki-Cho (walk down the little street to the right of JR Narita station), +81 476 22-9002. Open daily 5PM-0AM. One of the best places to eat Okonomi-yaki style food. Menu is available in English. Food prices range from ¥580(cheese omelette) to ¥1900 (Steak), Drinks are ¥320(softdrinks) and ¥550(Beer).
  • Lion's Den Across the street from the Barge. Old airline crew hang out. Local mom and pop restaurant with cheap dining selections.
  • Hitsujiya Narita, In Ometo-sando (Left into Omote-sando, approx 200mtrs along on left hand side(just after Thai restaurant on right, opposite Maxi...??)), 0476-85-7234. 5-11pm. Food is just great. Possibly a strong Korean influence. Only has 4-5 tables. Service is good, family run. Menu is only in Japanese, but owners have fair grasp of english. Locals also eat here. ¥380 - 1000.
  • Shin Shin (しんしん), (On the right side of Omotesando just after the Chiba Shinyoukinkou 千葉信用金庫), 0476-22-4252. 11:30AM-2PM 5PM-11PM L.O. 10PM. Nice, quiet restaurant with good Japanese food. Kaiseki and other sets and a short selection of good sake and shochu. Menu is only in Japanese, but just select any set based on your budget. ¥2,000-¥6,000.

Drink

  • Barge-Inn, Omote-sandō (the road leading to the temple), [17] Great pub serving western-style food, plus local & international beers. Every Saturday there's live music and/or dancing.
  • The JetLag Club, [18]. About 50yds round the corner from the Barge, there's another watering hole run by a Belgian guy named Vince. The beer's great, and the atmosphere is really friendly. Free popcorn is provided, as well as a delivery service from 'Papas'.
  • The Cage Out of the JR train station, straight through the plaza, right at the AM/PM, down about 100 yards, across the street, 2nd floor. Karaoke bar.

Sleep

Narita has a large number of hotels in the vicinity and they are often cheaper than hotels in central Tokyo thus it may be worthwhile staying out at the airport on your first/last night. If you want to get a cheap rate, however, do book in advance as rates and availability for walk up customers are highly variable.

Mid-range

  • Comfort Hotel Narita, 968 Hanazaki-cho, Narita (Short walk from Keisei Narita and JR Narita stations), 476-24-6311 (FAX: 476-24-6321), [19]. Check in 3PM, Check out 10 AM. Singles from ¥5800, Twins from ¥6800, Doubles from ¥6500. Free continental breakfast. From Narita Airport, take the Keisei Line Tokkyū train (about 3 departures per hour) to Keisei Narita station. Take the east exit, walk across the overpass, and the hotel will be on the left side. Facilities include complimentary broadband Internet.
  • Mercure Hotel Narita, 818-1 Hanazaki-cho, Narita (Short walk from Keisei Narita and JR Narita stations), 476-23-7000 (FAX: 476-23-3911), [20]. Offers good, reasonably priced accommodation, with friendly staff, happy to speak English. It has a small but good selection of restaurants, and there's also a good bar, with TV, Pool Table, Internet Access etc.
  • Center Hotel Narita, 922 Hanazaki-cho, Narita (Short walk from Keisei Narita and JR Narita stations), 476-23-1133 (FAX: 476-23-1134), [21]. Free Continental Breakfast. Non Smoking Room. Stamp Card. VOD service.

Get out

If you have more than 8 hours to spare, you should seriously consider making the effort to visit Tokyo itself, although with limited time it really is best if you plan where you will go in advance of arriving at the airport.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!




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