Transiting through Narita
When you start getting into
clocking endless hours of flying,
an airport can make a whole lot of difference
when choosing your stopovers
or just paying that $200 difference
to stop in an airport that is
more convenient and comfortable.
When flying from the East Coast, USA
to a connecting destination in Asia,
if Narita with Japan Airlines is a stopover choice,
then maybe Narita Airport may be the way to go.
If you plan to stay for the night,
or just get out into the city,
there are 3 things to consider
before you book.
1) Immigration Lines are usually long and slow.
2) Japan’s winters can be as cold as Europe.
So, if you are coming from some sunny destination,
such as Bali, then be prepared if you plan exit on transit.
3) It’s over an hour to get into the city.
But otherwise, transiting through Narita has its pluses.
1) For shorter layovers,
there is free internet in Terminal 1.
2) Day rooms and shower are available.
Yes, the rooms look more like cubicles,
but if you are really exhausted…
just turn off the lights
and get horizontal.
Also located in Terminal 1.
There’s not that much shopping to do
in the airport before exiting customs.
If your flight comes in too early
to catch your next flight that same day,
taking an over night or a day room
in the near by Hotel Nikko Narita
is an other suggestion that I can make.
Buses come pick up guests every 20 – 30 minutes.
There are several other hotels in the Narita Airport area.
You can seek more information
at the airports official web-site:
There are official Day Bus Tours available,
if you want to get to check out the town
within a few hours.
Japan is more expensive than some other Asian cities,
such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, etc.
It usually takes about 14 hours from
the West Coast, USA to Narita
Narita Airport can be a good option for a lay over.
Great experience of taking a local tour in Narita
When I was wondering how to spend a few hours before taking the transit flight to Singapore from Narita, a bellman at Hotel Nikko Narita recommended me to take a three hour local tour by Narita Rainbow Tours. I said I didn't want to spend too much but the cost was something like 25 dollars per person, so instead of wondering around the hotel lobby, I took the tour.
It tunred out one of the most memorable tours I have ever taken; not so much for grand scale views and sceneries, but for profound understanding of the Japanese culture and history.
The highlight of the tour was the ritual at the temple, but preceding to that, we visited souvenir rows and old architectures around the temple ground. When you were explained stories behind, you naturally appreciate the value more, and the tour was a classic example of this case.
The ceremony is called "Goma", fire burning daily rite, held in front of Fudo-Myoo, also known as the Indignant Buddha. After coming out of the 15 minute service, I felt like having captured the essence of Japanese heart and mind deep rooted to her long history. The sensation was overwhelming and felt like I was spiritually reborn. By all means, I am not a religious person, but that doesn't mean anything once you enter the main hall of the temple and join the service.
Don't miss it when you happen to be in Narita for a few hours. Instead of spending leisure time just looking around the shopping center, it is worth while to feel the root of the Japanese culture, instead.
I don't know if the Rainbow Tours has a web site, but maybe you can google search with the key words like "Narita local tours", or "local tours in Narita". The guide was just superb in his expertise in the field. He could answer most of your questions in satisfactory (maybe more than that) way. He spoke almost near native English, lastly I wanted to add.
Staying at the Nikko Narita Hotel
I have a 24hr layover at the area that the Nikko Narita Hotel is at. Any suggestions of what do do for the evening. Any good bars, clubs etc. Thanks
Re: Staying at the Nikko Narita Hotel
As far as I know, Narita is not a town known for its nightlife. Here is a site which caters to airline flight crews and gives a little information about Narita and some places to go.