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  • If you are visiting Japan, or even just have a layover here

  • it's not unlikely that you'll end up spending a few hours or more at Narita Airport

  • Although it is true that Narita is quite far from downtown Tokyo

  • this doesn't mean your time here needs to be spent waiting around the terminals

  • In fact,

  • there are several worthwhile attractions within half an hour of Narita.

  • And not only this but there are even tours to these locations

  • which depart right from the airport.

  • The two types of tours are: The Narita Airport Transit and Stay Program tours

  • which come with a free personal guide, are pay as you go, use public transportation, go to only one location,

  • take about 3 hours to complete, and include a meal only if you decide to buy one.

  • And the Narita Select Bus Tours.

  • These come with a group guide, cost a flat fee of 3500 yen,

  • and (as the name implies) you travel everywhere in a private tour bus.

  • Each of these tours goes to three different locations,

  • take around 6 hours, and include lunch.

  • And of course, both type of tours bring you back to the airport at the end.

  • We already made an entire video about the pay-as-you go Transit and Stay tours,

  • so in this video we're going to cover the bus tours.

  • So follow along as we go on 2 Bus Tours from Narita Airport.

  • There are two different themed tours to choose from, but both courses have the exact same boarding points.

  • These are at either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 of the airport or at the bus stop outside JR Narita Station.

  • Here, here, and here.

  • Tickets for these tours are available at the JR

  • EAST travel service centers in the basements of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 as well at any of the other locations in this list.

  • OR you can also pay directly in the bus after boarding.

  • Back to the the course options.

  • There are two options to choose between:The Sawara Course which is more Japanese history themed,

  • and the Shibayama Course

  • which is more about Japanese culture.

  • Let's go through what each entails:

  • Tour 1: The Sawara course

  • The first stop of the tour is Boso no Mura,

  • a large outdoor museum built to look like town from the feudal era. Here, visitors can see first-hand

  • what life in the surrounding area was like in centuries past.

  • Before entering, tour participants also have the option to rent a traditional overcoat (called a “happi”) for an additional fee.

  • Boso no Mura has several distinctive areas to explore:

  • There is the main street with numerous shops, buildings, and eateries.

  • A samurai residence and the tea house next door.

  • And the farm complex which has several buildings to walk through, and even grows real crops.

  • Also, although it costs extra, depending on your interest and time available

  • you may want to experience traditional tea ceremony which is conducted in the tea house.

  • After Boso no Mura, the bus goes to the Hakko no Sato Kozaki Michi no Eki to make your own instant

  • miso packets, have lunch, and shop.

  • Miso soup is a common element in many traditional Japanese meals and

  • at this roadside station an instructor will walk you through making your own balls of miso complete with custom toppings.

  • Once back home, just add hot water, stir, and enjoy a nice cup of miso soup.

  • After the lesson, it's time for lunch

  • (which is included in the cost of the tour), and there will also be time to explore the rest of the roadside station

  • where several shops sell local specialty items and produce.

  • Interestingly this particular michi no eki has a shop

  • specializing in fermented goods from miso to soy sauce to sake.

  • The last stop of the tour is the quaint town of Sawara which is famous nationwide for its biannual

  • festival called the Sawara Matsuri where giant, ornately crafted, floats are pushed through the streets.

  • To start off in Sawara,

  • the tour head to the Dashi Kaikan, a museum dedicated to the festival which features examples of real floats,

  • a theater where a multi-lingual video about Sawara is shown, and

  • informational displays.

  • After the museum you'll take a pleasant stroll along the Ono River which runs through the historic and picturesque center of town.

  • Here there are many well preserved dating as far back as the feudal period, which is why Sawara also has been given the nicknamed

  • Little Edobecause exploring the many traditional looking shops residencies, and warehouses feels a bit like going back in time.

  • After finishing in Sawara, the tour ends back where it started, either at Narita Airport or JR Narita Station.

  • Tour 2: The Shibayama Course

  • Just like Tour 1, Tour 2 starts off at Boso no mura, the large replica town

  • we talked about earlier. Since we already covered this location,

  • we'll skip ahead to the second stop, the roadside station known as Tako Aji-sai-kan Michi no Eki.

  • The town of Tako, where this facility is located, is known for producing large quantities of high quality rice.

  • And so, on this tour, you get to try your hand at making traditional Japanese rice balls (calledonigiri”)

  • using locally harvested Tako rice.

  • An instructor will guide you step by step to properly form the rice

  • and wrap it with seaweed to create several onigiri that you can enjoy

  • immediately afterward during lunch (which is also included in the cost of the tour).

  • Other things to do at this michi no eki are;

  • explore the shops selling locality specialties,

  • take a nice stroll on the nearby river which is lined with seasonally blooming hydrangea bushes

  • and cherry trees,

  • And if there's time briefly explore the beautiful rice fields next to the river.

  • The last stop of the tour is at Shibayama Nio-son Temple

  • which was established in the late 8th century during the Heian Period.

  • The tour guide will lead you through the historic temple grounds while explaining

  • its various points of interest.

  • Some of the highlights are: The main gate which houses statues of two Nio Guardian Kings,

  • The main hall, and its attached museum

  • which houses many haniwa clay figures from the 5th to 7th centuries.

  • Ringing the bell behind the main hall,

  • and for those joining the tour on weekends

  • there is also the opportunity to experience a Goma fire ritual, in which a monk

  • ceremonially burns wooden sticks that have participants' desires written on them and

  • asks for the deities' blessing.

  • After departing Shibayama Nioson Temple, the tour concludes by dropping you off where you started and

  • that's what each tour is about. If you have six hours or more to spare at night to airport

  • these bus tours might be a good way to spend the time.

  • For more information or to watch another video,

  • click the links on the screen now or head over to japan-guide.com, your comprehensive,

  • up-to-date travel guide, first-hand from Japan.

  • Thanks for watching, be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell for more videos about Japan.

  • Happy travels

If you are visiting Japan, or even just have a layover here

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2 Bus Tours from Narita Airport | japan-guide.com

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    Summer posted on 2021/01/11
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