Been a while since I wrote here for travels. Time to do one page!
So, I went on another business trip to Houston a few months ago and like the year before, I had a 19 hour layover in Narita. Same as last year, landed in Narita late in the afternoon and get to stay overnight before flying again the next day.
My next flight was at 11 in the morning and I got up at 6~ish so I decided to go out for a walk before heading off to the airport. I checked out from the hotel and dropped off my hand carry at JR Narita Station’s coin locker and went off to the temple.
Google map took me through the local neighborhood before finally going into the Narita Omotesando. Omotesando (表参道) is a front (表) approaching road (参道) of a shrine. The Narita Omotesando has shops on its left and right. But since it was 7 in the morning, none are open.
After a short walk on the Omotesando, I finally reached the main gate (総門 – somon). Even though the temple was established in the year 940 during the Heian period (平安時代 ), This gate is quite new, built in 2008.
Going through the main gate, we meet a second gate called Niomon (仁王門). This gate is a bit older, built in 1830. It has a large paper lantern hanging in the middle of the gate.
A temizuya (手水舎) for cleansing yourself/ablution is available before the stairs and a pond is located behind the gate
Right behind the gate, you’ll see a pond with koi in it. There’s a large stone turtle on one side of the pond that has lots of coins on its back. I suppose people throw their coins there.
After going up more stairs, you’ll see the Great Main Hall (大本営) and a three story pagoda (三重塔). The Great Main Hall, built in 1986, enshrines a sculpture of Fudomyo-o (不動明王) or Acala in Sanskrit. This sculpture was made by Kukai, a famous Buddhist monk, back in 810 in the Heian period. Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to take pictures inside the Great Main Hall.
The three story pagoda (三重塔) is one of the oldest structures in the temple complex, was built in 1712.
To the left of the Great Main Hall, there’s the Shakado hall (釈迦堂). This hall was built in 1858 and was the main hall of Naritasan temple. It was then moved to its current location in 1964 when the Great Main hall construction began.
Behind the Great Main Hall, are statues of 44 Fudomyo Acalanatha’s disciples.
Behind the Great Main Hall, there’s a large (16 Hectares) park called Naritasan Park (成田山公園).
Unfortunately, I had to leave before I get to explore the whole temple complex as I got a flight to catch. Other than the sites I mentioned above, Naritasan temple grounds has a Calligraphy Museum (初度美術家), a couple more halls like the Gakudo (額堂) and Komyodo (光明堂) Hall and a great pagoda called the Great Peace Pagoda (平和の大塔)
If you’re in Narita and looking for a place to visit, you should visit the Naritasan Temple. I recommend sparing at least 2 hours of your time to visit the temple.
Address: 1 Narita, Chiba 286-0023, Japan
Tel +81 476-22-2111
Hours: 11:30 – 13:45 and 17:30 – 20:30
How to get there from Narita Station
Naritasan Temple is around 15 to 20 minutes walk from either the JR Narita or Keisei Narita Station