Narita-san Omotesando

The closest place to Narita Airport to get a taste of Japan.

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Narita Station is just 10 minutes away from the airport. The 800m path leading to the temple from the station is an old town street where you can get a sense of Japan through the regional delicacy of eel and the traditional festivals. It would be a waste to simply visit Narita just to use the airport.
Narita station, Narita-shi Chiba
(0476) 22-2111

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The town street with reminders of Edo is steeped in famous products

Narita-san Omotesando is the closest place to the airport where the good old days of Japan remain. It is said that the area is the most tourist-friendly place for a taste of Japan in English due to the large number of foreign visitors.

The first thing you notice as you walk along the street is the great number of establishments selling eel. Eel has been a Narita delicacy since the Edo Era. Eel cuisine has been popular due to its high nutritional value, its ability to energize people making the long journey away from Edo and the proximity to the habitat of the eel. Just past the middle of the street is Kawatoyo where you can see staff filleting eel at the storefront. Walking through that smoky sweet aroma is also one of the things to look forward to.

Nagomi-no-Yoneya, an establishment opened in 1899 dealing in kuri-yokan (chestnut bean jelly) also runs a yokan museum at the back. The yokan with added fortune slips is quite unique. Elsewhere, there is the Saheiji Kawamura Store which has the famous Teppo-zuke pickles, the lone sake brewery on the street, Chomeisen, and other shops which have many of the most famous products in Japan.

Furthermore, there are buildings which have existed since their construction in the Edo Era and which are still operating in the forms of the Onoya Inn and the Mitsuhashi Pharmacy both of which have been designated as Narita City Tangible Cultural Properties. Just strolling along the old street is enjoyable in itself. Halfway on the street to the left is the Narita Tourist Center which is recommended to get information on the area.

The incredible festival built by Narita-san and the townsfolk

The Narita Gion Festival, one of the best festivals in the Kanto boasting a 300-year history, is held annually in early July. With o-mikoshi portable shrines in the forefront, 10 floats and heavy stages are pulled around for 3 days until the evening. The highlight is seeing each of the floats slowly being pulled from the front of the station to Yakushiji-do Hall and then from the hall to the main gate up the slope in their own distinct way while the participants give intense and high-spirited cheers. The mass dance in front of the station is energetic and incredible.

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