Sunday, November 22, 2009

Narita City

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When you hear the word Narita, the Narita International Airport immediately comes in mind. It is the first place that foreigners usually take the the first step onto Japan. The Narita International Airport is located in Narita City. Beside being a gateway to Japan, Narita itself is a very charming city.


Narita Station
From the airport, you can take the train to Narita station. It is only take one or two stations, depends on which terminal you are from, to get to Narita station.

Omote Sando
Once you arrive in Narita station, head outside and walk to Omotesando.

Omote Sando
Omotesando is the main road in central Narita. The road has about 150 small shops and it is widely regarded as one of the best traditional city streets in Japan.

Omote Sando
There are lots of old wooden shops and restaurants. The atmosphere is very traditional and relaxing. Very different from Tokyo.

Omote Sando
You can expect to see lots of souvenir shops.

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My main destination was the Narita-san Shinshoji Temple.

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Narita-san Shinshoji Temple was founded by Kaizando Priest Kanjo in 940. The temple is dedicated to Fudo Myouou of Narita (Narita's God of Fire). The temple attracts more than 13 million worshippers a year.

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This is the Niomon Gate, the entrance to the main hall. The word "Fish Market" is written in the lantern. It's been a tradition since Edo period for fish market to provide the lantern.

Daihondo
Daihondo, the main hall.

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When I arrived in front of the main hall, I was surprised to see how huge this temple was. The temple has a wide assortment of classical Japanese halls, pagodas, and parks.

Daito Pagoda
The Daito Pagoda, constructed in 1984, symbolizes the principle idea of mutual respect and dedication.

Daito Pagoda 2
It is said the World Leaders’ messages for eternal peace were buried in the time capsule underneath the Daito Pagoda.

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The temple was also a very relaxing places. I saw people just standing, walking, talking, enjoying the nature.

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Lots of people brought their pet companions to here. It is a nice place to walk around.

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There was a huge forest park behind the main hall. The park was opened in 1928 and covers an area of 165,000 square meters.

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The park looked like a maze to me.

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There were fences along side of the pathway, and lots of sign warning you not to cross the fences.

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The red leaves have started to show up.

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Next week might be the best time to hunt for Momiji. I need to search for a good place soon.

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There were lots of Buddhist statue around the place.

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Small ones.

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Big one.

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Animal one. This is the lion statue sculptured by Yujiro Goto.

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It was almost 4 in the afternoon, so I decided to go back to the main hall.

Shinsouji Temple

Shinsouji Temple
Finally back to the main hall.

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Let's first head to the left side.

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Shaka Do
Walk a bit further and you can see the Shaka Do.

Shinsouji Temple
Originally built in 1858, it was supposedly planned to be the main hall, but the hall was moved in 1964. Five hundreds Rakan (Buddha's disciples who attained Nirvana) are carved in the relief on the wooden sliding door. It is said that Houkyou Ryozan Matsumoto spent ten years carving the sculptures.

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Went back to the main hall.

Shinsouji Temple
On the right side, there was Sanju no Toh, a beautiful three storied red pagoda. The Gochinyorai, five Buddhas, are enshrined in the pagoda. The carving on the pagoda was beautifully sculptured.

Shinsouji Temple
Head a little bit further and you will see the Shotoku Taishi Do.

Shinsouji Temple
Shotoku Taishi was a prince regent who proclaimed Buddhism the official religion of Japan. He is called the father of Japanese Buddhism.

Shinsouji Temple
Close to the main hall, there was a place where they sold omamori.

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Different kinds of omamori were being displayed.

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Omikuji vending machines to randomly write your fortunes in a piece of paper.

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If your fortune is bad, it is a custom to fold up the paper and attach it to a pine tree in the temple. Well, usually it is a pine tree.

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It was 5 PM and it was already dark. Time to go home. The day is short during this season.

Kawatoyo
Before I went home, I decided to stop at Kawatoyo, a famous eel restaurant in Narita.

Kawatoyo
I couldn't find an empty table so I ordered the Unaju bento for take away. Unaju is fried eels on top of rice.

Unaju
It was a bit pricey (1500 Yen) but it was delicious. Definitely worth the price.

Shinsouji Temple
If you come to Japan and has time to spare, don't just go to Tokyo directly. Spend one night in Narita and you will definitely love it.

6 comments:

kodomut said...

I can never get tired of saying this. Your cloudless skies are really really so lovely.

dans said...

@kodomut: Thank you. It is quite easy to get a cloudless skies in Japan. Sometimes I want it to have more clouds in the sky. ^^

hirobot said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely! Thanks for sharing your photos!

Joshua Zimmerman said...

You're right, the only thing I ever think of when I think of Narita is their horrible airport. It never occurred to me to look around the area.

Nice photo!

dans said...

@hirobot : Thanks !
@Joshua Zimmerman : That was my impression too in the beginning. You should go there. It was a nice place to visit.

Anonymous said...

Hi, random person here, my name is Narita, but I'm from Bangladesh, never been to Japan at all! I've always wondered what Narita the town was like...I'm really glad to know its so pretty! Thanks :)

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