Thursday, March 5, 2009

Airport City

No matter which country you are from, you probably start and end up at Narita International Airport in Narita city, Chiba prefecture if you are coming to Japan. It is known to have the face of ancient history, the Naritasan Shinsho-ji, 'Temple town' and its face as the city of travelling, an 'Airport City.'

Narita city is a city sizing about 214 square kilometers, with approximately 120,000 people living. As people who have stayed at Narita might know already, Narita city is not the most popular tourist sight even though it is located right next to the International Airport. But today I would like to introduce you to things that you were missing out.

Sakura-no-yama hill
Narita has a terrific location for people who love to take airplane photographs. A small park called 'Sakura no yama hill' is a great place where you can shoot best shots of airplanes just landing or taking off to the air. Furthermore, there are Sakura (cherry blossom) trees planted around in the park, so if you come during the blooming season, you could take a picture of an airplane with beautiful pink cherry blossoms surrounding it.

Temple Town
Another activity you could enjoy at Narita is to stroll around the temple town. The main street, Omotesando, runs down from JR Narita station to the Naritasan temple. The whole passage to Naritasan is filled with stores that have history of more than 100 years. In summertime, a festival is held on this main street. Beside these stores many candy stands fill the street too.

When you finish the walk through the Omotesando, a huge gate with 'Naritasan' written across it welcomes you. Naritasan is the main temple for the Shingon sect of Buddhism. It was first founded by a monk, Kancho-daisojo, in the year 940. Since then, it has been loved and worshipped by many from around the world. During the 'jyuken' season in January, students go to the main hall of Naritasan to get stamps on their foreheads for academic success.

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