Friday, January 1, 2016

Narita: Gateway City to Japan

EMU JR East E259 series, Narita Express (NEX), passes through Oosaki Station
 
Happy New Year! The year 2016 has begun. At the opening of New Year, I am going to show you the gateway city to Japan.

Recently, the media reported that the number of inbound tourists reached 19 million this year. It was the highest ever, and showed a remarkable increase of 40 % on a year-to-year basis.

There are two international airports in the Tokyo metropolitan area, namely Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and New Tokyo International Airport (Narita). If you arrive at the Narita airport, you can choose from two routes to get to the downtown Tokyo area. One of them is the JR East Line and another one is the Keisei Line. JR East operates Narita Express (NEX); meanwhile Keisei has its flagship model, Skyliner. It is hard to choose between the two, as both trains are fast and comfortable. In my opinion, NEX is more convenient to access many sub-centers of Tokyo; meanwhile, Skyliner is cheaper and faster.

Wait a moment! Before making a binary choice, why don't you stay in Narita City? You can then enjoy the suburban area. For instance, there is a notable Buddhist temple, Shinsho-ji in Narita City. In this season, many people visit this temple for Hatsumode. Hatsumode is an event to pray for safety and peace for the year by visiting a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple for the first time since the start of a new year.

For your information, you can taste local food such as grilled eel, yokan (sweet bean jelly), senbei (rice cracker) and peanuts in Narita City, after visiting Shisho-ji temple. Don't miss it!
 
Three-story pagoda in Shinsho-ji temple near Narita Station
 
Official information about Narita Express (NEX): http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/nex/index.html