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11 hour NRT Tokyo Layover…Asakusa or Narita Town?

11 hour NRT Tokyo Layover…Asakusa or Narita Town?

Mar 25th, 2015, 12:07 PM
  #1  
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11 hour NRT Tokyo Layover…Asakusa or Narita Town?

Our upcoming trip (2 more weeks!) starts with an afternoon arrival in Hong Kong where we’ll go into Kowloon and stay overnight (eat, sleep, etc.), then we have 7 nights in Phuket & Phi Phi, and 4 nights in Ubud, Bali. On our way back to LAX, we have this 11 hour layover in Tokyo and we want to take full advantage of it. I understand that if we go into the Asakusa area, it can eat up about 5 hours (getting out of customs, train to city, train back to airport to arrive 2 hours before our flight out). But that still leaves us 6 hours of wandering around.

If you had six hours, would you spend it in Tokyo or opt for 7-8 hours in Narita instead? Is that too much time for Narita? Should we add something else to it? BTW, we arrive at the airport at 6:30am, so will there even be anything open in Narita at that time?

We want to be back at the airport at 3:30pm for a 5:30pm flight out.

Our hopes are to eat lots of sushi and noodles and any other interesting food, visit a fish market, tea house, temple, shop for souvenirs, take lots of pics, and basically just absorb the culture. Pretty much I want to experience enough to convince my husband to come back and make Japan as its own trip
loves2sing is offline  
Mar 25th, 2015, 12:29 PM
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I'd stay in Narita and make a bee line for the Naritasan temple complex. It's maybe 10 minutes (at most) from the airport by taxi or bus, and opposite the entrance is a fun little shopping street lined with little cafes, food stands, souvenir shops etc.

I always wonder how many people pass through NRT every day/year not knowing of this national treasure just minutes from the airport.

Street leading to temple entrance - http://gardyloo.us/Naritasan121s.JPG

Main entrance - http://gardyloo.us/113b.JPG

Various scenes in the complex -

http://gardyloo.us/071b.JPG
http://gardyloo.us/066b.JPG
http://gardyloo.us/061s.JPG
http://gardyloo.us/051s.JPG
http://gardyloo.us/036s.JPG
http://gardyloo.us/Naritasan092s.JPG
http://gardyloo.us/Naritasan038s.JPG

http://www.naritasan.or.jp/english/
Gardyloo is offline  
Mar 25th, 2015, 12:55 PM
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Thank you for your reply Gardyloo. So you would suggest I take a taxi as opposed to the train? Are the prices fixed? We are comfortable taking public transit trains, but then again...that's when we can actually read the signs or ticket machines, lol.
loves2sing is offline  
Mar 25th, 2015, 01:16 PM
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You can take the train, from which it's around a mile walk to the temple (from the station.) Or at the Narita station you can pick up the Circle Bus - http://naritatransit.net/bus/timetable.pdf - for about a 5 min. ride. IIRC the train is around Y300 and the circle bus Y200 each way, but that might be out of date. A taxi would be faster but obviously more expensive.
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Mar 25th, 2015, 01:58 PM
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Any idea what we might expect to spend for a taxi?
loves2sing is offline  
Mar 25th, 2015, 05:07 PM
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Take the train or bus if you're going into Narita. It's faster and easier. I have done these flights with eh all day layovers many times. Some times I've gone into Tokyo, other times into Narita. Most of the shops in Narita open about 9:30 or 10:00, so you might as well not hurry through immigration...perhaps eat breakfast at the airport or train station. You can walk down from the train station to the temple, then walk or take a taxi back up the hill (it's actually a one way loop). There is a bus near the station that takes you on a 5 or 10 minute ride to a little shopping mall with a supermarket and various shops. Good place to get food & souvenirs. It is a pleasant, no stress way to kill the day, but you can run out of things to do.

Going into Tokyo takes at least an hour to hour & a half each way. Buy a round trip ticket to save time and to know for certain you have a return seat at the right time. You'll still have time to visit Asakusa, shop a bit, eat lunch and even go to a sento (public bath house). The train to Tokyo is more $$ than to Narita, but I find it a more interesting way to spend the day.

Check your bags all the way through to your final destination, so you won't have to deal with them or with checking in to the later. Security entering the airport is not usually too bad.
lcuy is offline  
Mar 25th, 2015, 06:16 PM
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Thank you Lcuy..."run out of things to do"...that was my concern since we have quite a bit of time. But the trains to Tokyo do seem expensive. Am I reading it right? Around $100 round trip per person? And it certainly looks confusing trying to get there...but maybe it's just been a long day, lol.
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Mar 25th, 2015, 09:51 PM
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No, it would be more like $25 to $60 round-trip pp depending on how/where you go in Tokyo.

If you are interested in a hot springs visit then I really liked Yamato-no-yu in Narita town. It is on the loop bus route.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Mar 26th, 2015, 07:17 AM
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Thank you mrwunrfl
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